Walking the fine line between tradition and progress, between the boundaries defined by modern-day sartorial figures, can be perceived as the challenge for any brand today. Mastering that path not only upholds the craftsmanship of traditional tailors, but also earns the respect of those that are willing to invest in bespoke clothing. The bar for contemporary tailors is high, having a very particular house cut can keep out customers looking for either a stereotypical British or Italian style, too much leniency and you are perceived as bland. High-end luxury and certain elements that openly tout wealth may work for certain markets, but most sartorial enthusiasts are more impressed by thoughtful details.
While I have been to Warsaw a couple of times in recent years (and are fortunate enough to love a native of the city that embodies proud hospitality) I had not visited the shop known beyond Poland’s borders: Zaremba Bespoke
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An illustration for @zarembabespoke website – the Company History section, featuring their old shop in Warsaw. Their new website is live and features my illustrations in their menu. #illustration #zaremba #mensfashion #bespoketailoring #bespoke #tailoring #design #tailor #architecture #warsaw
Illustrated by Jonny (Who also did some truly amazing sketches for Zaremba’s website), the picture above shows their old workshop. The past is not only the ‘How’ for Zaremba, but also the ‘Why’. Reinventing generations of prestigious bespoke tailoring, giving new meaning to the name can be seen as a motivation to also claim the respect of customers. Whether the shift towards more Italian elements (light fabrics, non lined jackets which seem to be very popular at Zaremba) is due to the men behind or in front of the counter is up for debate. Bernhard Roetzel in his book ‘Der Gentleman nach Maß’ also affirms the Italian influence. Nonetheless, they manage to please many different tastes and cover an impressive range of styles, all without compromising authenticity, character and heritage (Measured by their success and reputation today). Bespoke, rightfully and respectfully, is done in a Warsaw workshop, while subsequent made-to-measure and ready-to-wear options are made in cooperation with Italian manufacturers.
While I do not have the means to experience the bespoke or made to measure process, I recommend Szymon’s articles on Zaremba for an informed and well-written insight. I did however have the pleasure of trying the first ready to wear piece that Zaremba produced and it is an example of the unique elements within tailoring today. This is my own first impression and opinion of the jacket, if you are interested in how Zaremba would describe it, take a look at their website. Obviously inspired by classic field jackets and still sporting some features of military heritage, it is an item for the educated wearer. Labels can be removed, the length and room allows for a suit jacket to be worn underneath and the entirely green, unlined cotton construction is less functional than British or American artificial fabric would be (Or the Barbour style wax coating). Much like belted coats in soft cashmere fabrics (which we have seen at Pitti for example), these designs are playing with classic influences, while adding luxurious twists and combinations with the suit & tie wardrobe. While jackets, pants and shirts are already available in the RTW line up, this prominently featured debut is a bold statement.
An aspect that always impresses me about the culture of clothing in Poland is the rich history of fabrics, colouring procedures and artisan producers that were vanished by the events of the 20th century. Before, the kingdoms and territories east of Italy were centres for all kinds of arts (Just think of the influence Austrian and Hungarian shoemaking had for example) and while it is no easy task to bring back the knowledge of the past it is worthwhile for those who care about quality beyond the usual names. Made in Poland can be an appreciated origin (And for the bespoke Zaremba commissions that applies), which is why one of the most interesting ideas for the future might be Polish fabrics or leathers or any other kind of resource that builds upon the tradition of polish craftsmanship. If, and hopefully by now you are, interested in reading more about the people around this tailoring house, I can recommend an article by The Rake (whose writings are crafted like impeccable, effortless suits) as well as the following post by The Sartorial Journal.
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For various historical and romantic associations, Savile Row is still very much considered the world’s preeminent epicentre of bespoke craftsmanship – which it undoubtedly is in actuality – with figures such as David Gandy renowned for his custom at Henry Poole and Thom Sweeney, and Jonathan Edwards more so at Edward Sexton and Kent, Haste & Lachter. However, by the same token, it is refreshing to see these denizens of The Row venture outside the confines of their penchants for British tailoring, and instead commission who are perhaps lesser known artisans, and in doing so, popularising their work amongst their international following. Thus, we were particularly intrigued when earlier in the year our friend Jonathan – renowned for his highly select patronage of both London's and Napoli's most iconic houses – announced that he had commissioned pieces from Polish house, Zaremba – whose workmanship and unique aesthetic he has subsequently sung praises of. True to his rakishly unconventional taste, Jonathan commissioned a double breasted ensemble in white flannel – a sartorial marvel that few other than Tom Wolfe would think to wear. Befittingly, Jonathan debuted the ensemble – complete with a cream roll neck – at The Rake’s 50th Issue party in London, and was photographed by long-term collaborator and photographer extraordinaire, Jamie Ferguson, at the suitably Art Deco era hotel – The Beaumont in Mayfair, London. @zarembabespoke @milanstylelive @thebeaumontldn 📷 by @jkf_man . . . . #thesartorialjournal #sartorialjournal #VSCOCam #Luxury #Shirts #Suit #MensFashion #MensWear #MensStyle #MaleFashion #Dapper #MenWithClass #Gentleman #MenWith #Style #MenWithStyle #Fashion #Bespoke #OutFit #StreetStyle #FashionBlogger #Fashion #sartorial #GQ #PhotoOfTheDay #trends #OOTD #Passion #InstaStyle #sprezzatura