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Henri Urban pockets, Sartoria Vergallo

30 March 2012

These are shots from the inside of an old jacket made by the French bespoke tailor Henri Urban. A customer of Gianni at Sartoria Vergallo brought it in to show him and to see if he could copy the design, particularly the embroidered initials. I photographed it last year while in Varese visiting Gianni.

The 45-degree slant on the three in-breast pockets is interesting. It’s more practical, in one respect, in that this is the angle you naturally put your hand into jacket. Some cycling and motorcycling jackets have their hip pockets cut in a similar way, because the angle is exaggerated when you’re bent over either machine.

On the other hand, it is not that practical in terms of storing large or particularly long objects. My full-length wallet would butt up against the side seams and, when packed with stuff, would form a bulge on the outside less easily disguised within the drape.

The inside hip pocket (below), again with embroidery showing the name of the tailor, is in line with innovations produced by French bespoke tailors. This open-mouthed pocket is a very easy way to slide cards in and out, and Camps de Luca in Paris achieves a similar effect with a tear-drop shaped pocket.

Most tailors, certainly the English, will dislike the ostentation of the initials and tailor’s brand. But you can’t deny the quality of the workmanship around the pockets and buttonhole, something that Urban again has in common with my French tailor, Cifonelli. (See jacket here.)

I do like original ideas. Even if I don’t want to take them up. Gianni is apparently also making a camouflage suit jacket for Lapo Elkann, to go with his new camouflage Ferrari.