Tommy e Giulio Caraceni is without doubt one of the nice tailors in Italy, but it surely’s truthful to say they’re in a technique of transition.
The store is run by Andrea Caraceni, grandson of Tommy. His father retired final 12 months, and now when within the store you’re greeted by contrasting generations: the younger Andrea and some youthful tailors, and the older era represented by grasp cutter Carlo Tonini (prime picture), who stands on the central chopping board instructing these round him.
Caraceni additionally moved just lately – solely a bit manner geographically, however maybe additional philosophically.
They’re now on the bottom ground – which is uncommon for tailors on the continent – and on the nook of a block. The home windows are giant, the door open; Caraceni of Rome now seems like someplace you may simply wander into.
This was a acutely aware resolution from Andrea, who additionally organized the shop on this spirit of openness. The tailors upstairs are in a single giant house, slightly than the little interconnecting rooms you normally discover. And the place most tailors have the chopping tables hidden away, right here they’re on the bottom ground, making it unattainable to be unaware of the craft occurring.
“That is the important thing drawback with bespoke as we speak,” says Andrea (under). “If folks understood the work concerned, they might additionally perceive the worth of it, why it’s costly and why it takes so lengthy.”
Some transient background might be helpful right here.
There are three important bespoke tailors as we speak with the identify Caraceni. The founder was Domenico Caraceni, who arrange in Rome in 1926. As he turned profitable and expanded, his brother Augusto arrange a department in Paris, and the youngest brother Galliano arrange in Naples.
Each closed after the Second World Warfare, and the household subsequently cut up aside after the dying of Domenico. Augusto began his personal enterprise in Milan, changing into the most important and best-known Caraceni as we speak: A Caraceni, lined beforehand right here.
And Galliano began his personal enterprise in Rome, together with his sons Tommaso (Tommy) and Giuiio. That is the smaller operation we’re overlaying as we speak.
Lastly there’s my tailor, Ferdinando Caraceni. That is the smallest of the lot, and was arrange by Domenico’s head cutter. It’s run as we speak by Ferdinando’s daughter, Nicoletta, in Milan.
I used to be sporting a jacket made by Ferdinando Caraceni once I visited Andrea in Rome, and he was to see it.
Apparently he is aware of Carlo and Massimiliano Andreacchio, who run A Caraceni as we speak (the husband and son of Augusto’s granddaughter, Rita) however doesn’t know Nicoletta or her work.
Andrea’s conclusion was that my jacket was related in some methods to what T&G Caraceni provide, which is a bit more conventional than A Caraceni.
“I believe over time they’ve tailored a bit extra to fashions, maybe in size of jacket or width of lapel,” he says. “Whereas we’ve stayed extra with that authentic reduce from the Thirties and Nineteen Forties.
(That is me making an attempt on a T&G Caraceni jacket under.)
The variations are fairly small, notably given any shopper can specify a selected size or lapel width. All of the Caraceni clan appeared to do the same conservative reduce, with a powerful padded shoulder line however light-weight physique.
In truth, the most important distinction to me between what Andrea and his colleagues had been sporting and my jacket, gave the impression to be that the shoulders had rather less padding, the road a bit extra pure.
And there was minimal roping on the sleevehead – as you possibly can see within the picture of Andrea, Carlo and myself under.
Regardless of Andrea’s modernisations, to be at Caraceni in Rome is to be surrounded by historical past.
Their most well-known shopper – a minimum of amongst menswear fans – appears to be like down from a few images on the wall: Gianni Agnelli. The becoming rooms, in the meantime, are bedecked with such images, from Hollywood names to native celebrities like Mario D’Urso and Valentino.
“My father at all times had these within the becoming rooms – I assume displaying you had been in good firm,” says Andrea. “However I moved a few of them out into the entrance of the store, so different guests see the heritage.”
The custom of candid images within the becoming rooms began with Domenico Caraceni, and also you see it on the partitions at A Caraceni as effectively. Seeing them once more right here, it jogged my memory how one can date those from the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties as a result of the prints from that interval all have time and date stamps on them.
One other facet of this historical past is the archive of fabric Tommy and Giulio constructed up. “Once we moved, this was the toughest factor,” says Andrea. “There was a lot of it, all in various levels of each situation and of style!”
The staff sorted via all of it, removed what wasn’t usable and introduced one of the best examples into the entrance of the store.
As is commonly the case with classic fabric, the lengths on show are important for his or her robustness. The flannels are tightly woven, heavy however not essentially thick – simply dense, which provides them an exquisite hand.
The jacketings, in contrast, are extra open and spongey, however nonetheless furry. The factor all of them have in widespread is the sensation that they’re constructed to final.
(Sadly the cloths are solely obtainable to Caraceni prospects. Which is comprehensible actually – it’s one thing they’ve constructed up and is a pleasant promoting level.)
Like the opposite branches of Caraceni, Andrea doesn’t do trunk reveals. All of them emphasise the significance of each them and the cutter seeing a buyer in individual.
Essentially the most Andrea will do is journey to see one notably good buyer: he will probably be in London quickly, for instance, to see a longtime buyer who has ordered 20 items of tailoring. (“I actually hope they don’t want any adjustments!”)
Nevertheless, any readers in Rome or that go to the town have a tailor value visiting that’s each storied and forward-looking.
“This night I’ll go to see my buddy Valentino at his present on the Spanish Steps,” says Andrea. “I believe each tailor ought to pay attention to this stuff – it’s my era’s job to take tailoring ahead, to make everybody perceive its craft and its fashion.”
Bespoke fits begin at €4500 together with VAT. TommyeGiulioCaraceni.com
Images: Milad Abedi