STRONG SUITS

Tai­lors cut loose

Fashion Quarterly - - Contents -

ED­WARD VON DADELSZEN

DADELSZEN.COM

De­scribe your sig­na­ture suit: The Elvira is based on the vin­tage, boyfriend-fit blazer made iconic dur­ing the ’70s by the likes of Lau­ren Hut­ton and Bianca Jag­ger. We worked with our master pat­tern maker in Italy on a modern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of this con­cept. How has it

evolved since its first in­cep­tion? We first in­tro­duced the Elvira in a win­ter white shade, based on the killer jacket-and-skirt combo worn by Michelle Pfeif­fer’s char­ac­ter in Scar­face. It was in­tended to be a one-off, but we have since made this cut a per­ma­nent ad­di­tion to the Dadelszen tai­lor­ing of­fer­ing due to its pop­u­lar­ity and abil­ity to tran­scend age and oc­ca­sion. How has your ap­proach to tai­lor­ing evolved

since you first started de­sign­ing? We now of­fer the same suit-jacket cut with a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent match­ing trousers and skirts, rang­ing from high-waisted and slim, to more mas­cu­line styles. Our clients tend to se­lect at least two dif­fer­ent trousers to pair with their suit jack­ets, in­creas­ing wear­a­bil­ity. What has in­flu­enced these evo­lu­tions? Our own de­sires (as wear­ers of tai­lor­ing) and, of course, our cus­tomers. You can’t ex­pect ev­ery woman who pur­chases a blazer de­signed to last sea­son upon sea­son to want just one match­ing pant to wear with it. What fac­tors do you con­sider when de­sign­ing work­wear for the modern woman? Life­style is what it comes down to. We of­fer our suit­ing in hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent fabric op­tions. One client may want a raw silk tuxedo jacket for cock­tail hour and the same cut in a woollen flan­nel or cash­mere for work. It comes down to what ex­cites and fits seam­lessly into the life­style of the wearer. With each cut we de­sign, we think, “Will this work in a mul­ti­tude of fab­rics? Does it work within our sea­sonal wom­enswear of­fer­ing?” What type

of woman do you have in mind when de­sign­ing, and what do you aim to pro­vide her with? There is no par­tic­u­lar woman we have in mind — the Dadelszen woman can be of any age and stage. But she does love qual­ity and knows what she likes. Ev­ery­thing from our col­lec­tion is made to last, so rarely will we have women shop with us who only want to wear the lat­est trends. What are the com­po­nents

of your ul­ti­mate power suit? Per­fect cut, per­fect fit and fabric. How would you style it? Any­thing goes, but an im­pec­ca­ble suit can be killed by the wrong footwear. What does power dress­ing mean to you? Con­fi­dence is key. The best com­pli­ment we re­ceived re­cently was that a client’s tuxedo suit made her feel con­fi­dent, strong and beau­ti­ful, and she was sure that she and it “would have many fun times to­gether”. Who is your power-dress­ing muse? Char­lotte Ram­pling.

“A suit should fill you with the strength of your in­di­vid­ual pur­pose and es­teem… the com­po­nents are dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one.”

BENNY CAS­TLES

WORLDBRAND.CO.NZ

De­scribe your sig­na­ture suit: World is all about colour and shape, and wear­ing your per­son­al­ity on the out­side. A suit should el­e­vate your con­fi­dence and straighten your pos­ture, but ul­ti­mately make you feel like the very best ver­sion of your­self. How has it evolved since its first in­cep­tion? Our core val­ues and sen­si­bil­i­ties do not change but ev­ery sea­son we look to ex­cite by recre­at­ing the fa­mil­iar — turn­ing ex­ist­ing con­cepts on their head to pro­vide all in­di­vid­u­als the op­por­tu­nity to be stylish. How

has your ap­proach to tai­lor­ing evolved since you first started de­sign­ing? Denise L’Es­trange-Cor­bet founded World on tai­lor­ing and crafts­man­ship. With [co-founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor] Fran­cis Hooper’s ex­u­ber­ance, the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of style and sub­stance was achieved. As a de­signer I main­tain this spirit, chan­nelling Fran­cis’ point of view into col­lec­tions that en­cour­age in­di­vid­u­al­ity and cre­ativ­ity in the wardrobe. We con­tin­u­ally push our­selves to re­fine our fin­ish­ings and details, while reimag­in­ing shapes and fab­ri­ca­tions. What fac­tors do you con­sider when de­sign­ing work­wear for the modern woman? Who the woman is! Our muses are not fig­ments but real clients we know and bring into our con­scious­ness as we de­sign. Un­der­stand­ing them is key to pre­sup­pos­ing what they might find in­stinc­tual or fas­ci­nat­ing. What type of woman do you have in mind

when de­sign­ing, and what do you aim to pro­vide her with? World is a per­son­al­i­ty­fo­cused brand — we look to dress your mind, not your body. We of­ten dis­cuss the re­al­ity of the suit-wear­ing woman in the cor­po­rate and non-cor­po­rate sphere, how we can as­sist her in achiev­ing her goals and help her present her­self in a way that is true to her en­deav­ours and per­son­al­ity. What are the com­po­nents of your ul­ti­mate

power suit? Con­fi­dence. A suit should fill you with the strength of your in­di­vid­ual pur­pose and es­teem. The com­po­nents are dif­fer­ent for each and ev­ery per­son, but we must al­ways suc­ceed in cre­at­ing a sil­hou­ette and fin­ish that cap­tures attention with­out ask­ing for it. How would you style it? I tend to be an ad­di­tive stylist, al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­cor­po­rate colour, tex­ture and per­son­al­ity through ac­cou­trements such as jew­ellery, pochettes, ties and bows, as well as belt­ing. The choice of shoe and hand­bag is also key, and don’t for­get the face, whether that means glasses of a spe­cial na­ture or makeup de­signed to en­hance your fea­tures. Your look must be head-to-toe. What does power dress­ing mean to you? The ex­pres­sion of con­fi­dence and per­son­al­ity through fash­ion. It for­gets to fit in or go along with the crowd. It’s in­di­vid­ual and emo­tive, it will in­spire and de­light, putting you in the right frame of mind to achieve what­ever the day will bring. Who is your power-dress­ing muse? Denise L’Es­trange-Cor­bet, be­cause her style is the per­fect cross be­tween cul­ture and camp that could not be achieved by any other in­di­vid­ual.

KAREN WALKER

KARENWALKER.COM

De­scribe your sig­na­ture suit: Very mas­cu­line. We never do ‘ladies’’ suit­ing.

How has it evolved since its first in­cep­tion? The style has not changed. The very first range we sold in­ter­na­tion­ally was a col­lec­tion of very mas­cu­line suit­ing and we made our name off the back of it — Madonna made the pants from that col­lec­tion fa­mous. Our love for mas­cu­line suit­ing has not waned since. How has your ap­proach to tai­lor­ing evolved since you first started de­sign­ing? The sil­hou­ettes and con­cepts haven’t changed at all, how­ever the level of craft has got­ten bet­ter as has our un­der­stand­ing of what it is to build a suit, rather than just a suit-shaped thing. What has in­flu­enced these

evo­lu­tions? A 20-year-long con­tin­u­ous en­quiry into tai­lor­ing, and an ob­ses­sion

with de­tail. What fac­tors do you con­sider when de­sign­ing work­wear for the

modern woman? Suit­ing as [the quin­tes­sen­tial] work­wear is an out-of-date con­cept. That’s just not how peo­ple dress any­more. When we de­sign suit­ing, it’s for women who love a mas­cu­line style, either sin­gle-mind­edly or con­trasted with fem­i­nine or util­ity-style pieces. It’s noth­ing to do with work. Yes, you can wear it to work, but that’s not our mo­ti­va­tion or how most of our cus­tomers ap­proach it. What’s your favourite way to style a suit? I like ca­sual pushed against for­mal. If it’s the full suit then it’s with man-style brogues and a T-shirt. But I also love a blazer with a pair of silk py­jama pants, or tai­lored pants with a sweater or T-shirt. It’s all about sub­ver­sion, sur­prise and con­trast. What does

power dress­ing mean to you? Hav­ing pres­ence — and it’s noth­ing to do with suit­ing. The term ‘power dress­ing’ is be­ing thrown around a lot these days and it’s prob­a­bly partly ironic, as dis­tinct to the se­ri­ous, po­lit­i­cal con­text it was as­so­ci­ated with in the ’80s. I sup­pose it holds some in­ter­est for those who weren’t there then — per­son­ally, I don’t like the term for this mo­ment in time. I think it drags us back lin­guis­ti­cally, con­cep­tu­ally and po­lit­i­cally and I feel un­com­fort­able with it. I find it more dis­em­pow­er­ing than em­pow­er­ing as an idea.

Who is your suit­ing muse? Diane Keaton, Char­lotte Ram­pling, Elsa Peretti, Char­lie Watts, Jarvis Cocker, Katharine Hep­burn, Lau­ren Ba­call, [Vladimir] Mayakovsky, Nick

Cave and [Arthur] Rim­baud.

“I like ca­sual pushed against for­mal… It’s all about sub­ver­sion, sur­prise and

con­trast.”

JANE DANIELS

JANEDANIELS.CO.NZ

De­scribe your sig­na­ture suit: El­e­gant and sim­ple made from qual­ity Euro­pean fabric. Al­ways im­pec­ca­bly cut, ev­ery sea­son we add in­ter­est­ing new de­tail­ing.

How has it evolved since its first in­cep­tion? With ex­pe­ri­ence comes re­fine­ment. While the con­struc­tion is more com­plex, the end re­sult ap­pears more sim­pli­fied, more ar­chi­tec­tural. Tai­lor­ing is still the back­bone of what I do and I spend a lot of time and fo­cus on selec­tion of cloth for pur­pose. How has your ap­proach to tai­lor­ing evolved since you first started de­sign­ing? From a well-bal­anced and es­sen­tial pat­tern block I now use drap­ing on the stand more to achieve in­ter­est­ing de­sign fea­tures. My de­sign and pat­tern team brings a mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence and we work closely to­gether in the stu­dio. There is a lot more trial of de­sign now be­fore com­mit­ting prod­ucts to mar­ket. What

has in­flu­enced these evo­lu­tions? Stretch fabric! De­vel­op­ments in fab­rics from my Ital­ian mills have re­sulted in cloth that can per­form in dif­fer­ent ways. This has al­lowed us to be in­no­va­tive in our tai­lor­ing with some ex­cit­ing out­comes. It has be­come a case of that which is pos­si­ble weighed against that which is prac­ti­cal. What fac­tors do you con­sider when de­sign­ing work­wear for the modern woman? Our suit­ing must be able to take her from the board­room to a cock­tail lounge, or through air­ports and other cli­mat­i­cally con­trolled en­vi­ron­ments while still feel­ing com­fort­able, look­ing good and be­ing eas­ily main­tain­able. What type of woman do you have in mind when de­sign­ing,

and what do you aim to pro­vide her with? I make clothes for women who are self-as­sured and qui­etly con­fi­dent. My aim is that my client can look great, ap­pro­pri­ate and pro­fes­sional and get on with what she does with­out giv­ing her cloth­ing a sec­ond thought. What are the com­po­nents of your ul­ti­mate power

suit? A su­pe­rior cut (with which comes com­fort), be­spoke-dyed Euro­pean fabric of the high­est qual­ity, ex­clu­sively made but­tons from Ger­many and France, Ital­ian stretch fabric lin­ings and — this sea­son — hand­painted lin­ings.

How would you style it? This sea­son, I would style the suit with our Ja­pane­sein­spired cross­over shirt, black leather boots and, for a clean look, min­i­mal jew­ellery. What does power dress­ing mean to you? Power dress­ing is a state­ment — it’s your open­ing po­si­tion, it’s own­er­ship of con­fi­dence, and it sug­gests a belief in abil­ity. To a young per­son it might help open a door, to a busi­ness­woman its pur­pose might be to say, “I be­long here.” So said a client who sits on many in­ter­na­tional boards, and who re­marked to me that she must look pow­er­ful and fem­i­nine but not fussy, and must blend in with a lot of con­fi­dent, pow­er­ful men. Who is your power-dress­ing muse? I grav­i­tate to­wards women with a sleek style that suits my re­fined ar­chi­tec­tural aes­thetic. Some that come to mind are An­gelina Jolie, Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, Stella Ten­nant, Cate Blanchett, Ellen DeGeneres and the late Carolyn Bes­sette-Kennedy.

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