A designer’s bold new idea: personalized clothing that changes with you
Savile Row is the Mount Olympus of men’s couture. Well-dressed men from all over the world come to London hoping to go from mere mortals to bespoke gods with a new custom costume. And even if you can’t make it to The Row, there are plenty of dressmakers around the world who can offer you personalized work. But while these personalized men’s tailoring codes are the heart of traditional dapper dandies around the world, there’s not much you can do with a fitted hem or fitted waist to stay on trend. What if you want something new? You can change the garment, but give it a whole new look to stay fresh? It is outside the norm.
In other words, until the arrival of Steven Passaro. A graduate of the London College of Fashion two years ago, the Paris-based designer has made it his vision to challenge the rules of bespoke menswear by transforming what it means to have a unique piece of clothing. By its very definition, tailor-made means a level of personalization. But there are strict limits to how the garment can be transformed. And if Passaro quickly respects these traditions, his interest in reinventing the tailor-made has led him to create a new method of personalization in the male sphere.
“I actually just watched a documentary on Savile Row,” he says. “And I always turn to tailors for advice because I’m a freak when it comes to how things are going.” In mid-March, Passaro released their second collection, a group of very romantic pieces that included a long black jacket fitted with a frame detail, a handmade silk veil, three-layer pleated pants and a jacket. double-breasted velvet with sequins. But while the details and well-cut pieces hint at Passaro’s deep artisan skill, a new concept – he calls them “Evolutive Garments” – suggests a new take on bespoke menswear.
Say you like one of Passaro’s trench coats. To get one, you walk into a fitting, where the designer measures it to your body. Once delivered you wear it and you feel the king of gloomy weather. A year passes, and like many clothes, the splendor of the trench coat fades a little. It’s natural. But instead of buying a brand new coat and going through the pain of finding the perfect fit, you can bring the piece back to Passaro. There he’ll turn the coat into something almost new by placing a custom add-on. Do you know the feeling you get when you find a new way to style your favorite pair of shoes? It’s like that, but for the rest of your closet.
The demo on his site illustrates an option of adding a contemporary-shaped textile plate or belt-like element to the scarf, but the designer assures us that the options are malleable. “I always change like a river. And I’m also a Pisces, so I’m very touching, ”Passaro jokes. “But, like me, people are constantly growing and changing too. People’s clothing tastes can take a lot of hollow and I wanted to create something that would create a more lasting connection with our clothing.
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