During Milan men’s fashion week in June, I took some time out from the frenetic catwalk-to-catwalk dash to visit the serene Via Montenapoleone atelier of Mariano Rubinacci and bespeak a suit (more images after the jump). Fortuitously, I had the rare opportunity to be guided not only by two generations of Rubinacci – the maestro Mariano, and his style icon son Luca – but to also call upon the advice of THE RAKE’s fashion editor, Esther Quek (it’s always good to get a feminine perspective, we find). Together, we settled on creating a light, summery three-piece, choosing a vintage linen – cream with a burnt orange check – from Rubinacci’s extensive cloth archive, the experience of having a bolt of material draped over my shoulder (complete with makeshift lapel) helping me get a better idea of what the finished garment might look like – a far superior way of doing things than the usual ad-hoc choosing from a miniscule bunch of fabric samples. The fact that Luca was wearing a waistcoat cut from the same cloth also assisted in visualising the end product (yeah, maybe I bit Luca’s style a little, but I’m certainly not the first one to do that; Rubinacci Jr.’s followers are legion).
Shots from this initial measurement and decision-making session appear here; additional photography tracking a subsequent early-August first fitting in London will be posted on the site shortly, and a proper feature on the full Rubinacci bespoke experience will run in an upcoming issue of THE RAKE.
For more on Rubinacci’s enviable selection of vintage cloth, have a read of RAKE contributor Simon Crompton’s posting on the subject at his blog, Permanent Style: www.permanentstyle.co.uk/2011/06/rubinacci-cashmere-jacket-1-cloth.html