01 COTTON FIBRES Son Of A Tailor uses extra-long cotton fibre, resulting in softer and more durable shirts.
SON OF A TAILOR
The building block of ensembles ranging from sofa-slouchy to smart-casual, the T-shirt is the workhorse of many closets. With working from home very much part of the new normal, hence eliminating the need to show up in a shirt daily, it looks like this basic will be put through its paces in the months to come. If you have never paid much attention to what was formerly a weekend staple, now might be the time to make sure yours fit you to, well, a tee.
Make ill-fitting tees a thing of the past with made-to-measure T-shirt brand Son of a Tailor. The Danish fashion tech start-up was launched in 2014 to address the industry’s perennial issue of overstock by focusing on individual instead of mass production. Using the company’s intuitive “Ideal Size” algorithm, every customer is able to order a bespoke T-shirt made specifically to his measurements directly through the website, no human interaction needed.
Other than t-shirts, Son of a tailor also offers polo tees and henley shirts.
Son of a Tailor’s tees are made from cotton with extra-long fibres, so the resulting fabric is resistant to twisting and warping, ensuring that it keeps its shape much longer. Fit will be pretty much guaranteed; if you’re dissatisfied with the top created from the Son of a Tailor’s unique algorithm, it’ll replace it with a new and improved one.
For founder Jess Fleischer, it’s not just about creating the perfect tee. It was clear that the antiquated fashion system was long overdue for a revolution, an issue that has become all the more apparent under the pressure of the pandemic. He says, “In relation to Covid-19, traditional fashion brands have experienced sudden changes in demand, many with a steep decline. This is painful for any business as there are fixed costs but, for fashion companies, it’s extra painful because there’s a lot of money tied to season-dependent inventory. Many have already had problems with overproduction; their rule of thumb is often ‘produce one item too many than one item too few’. Large amounts of resources go to waste, which negatively affects the environment.
“Consumer fashion has been moving towards a focus on sustainability for quite some time. Brands are increasingly focusing on more desirable, longer-lasting essentials that will, hopefully, ultimately reduce consumption.”
02 GUARANTEED The brand is so confident of its products that it offers a perfect fit guarantee.
Founded in 2005 by Australian brothers tull and Josh Price, Feit specialises in handcrafted shoes, but its recent transition to apparel carries the same focus on craftsmanship and sustainability. Cotton production typically requires large amounts of pesticides and water, which is why Feit’s t-shirts are made from undyed organic cotton. A logo sewn using edo-period sashiko embroidery adds a hand-finished touch. Aside from t-shirts, Feit offers other elevated essentials. Its terry sweatshirts are made in Japan with vintage 1920s American loopwheel machinery. Production is extremely time-consuming, with each machine only producing a few feet of fabric per day.
Often used to make soft and comfy t-shirts, cotton jersey is a knit fabric made from cotton. Go a few steps further and try a tee made from super-soft silk jersey, such as this one by Celine. A $940 t-shirt might sound like a major indulgence, but it’s hard to put a price on a piece of clothing this fluid, flattering and – especially important if your working-from-home routine includes an afternoon nap – wrinkle-resistant.
With most of the world confined to their homes, a comfortable yet versatile wardrobe has become more crucial than ever. Already on an upward trajectory before Covid-19, athleisure – which refers to comfortable clothing designed for both exercise and lounging – has unsurprisingly become even more popular. The market was valued at US$155.2 billion (S$215.81 billion) in 2018 and is projected to hit US$257.1 billion by 2026.
Italian fashion brand Loro Piana produces some of the world’s finest cashmere, but the heritage textile company’s expertise extends much further to also encompass premium wool, linen and technical fabric. Its products might seem too delicate for exercise, but the 96-year-old company’s lightweight wool offerings are actually ideal for an active lifestyle, thanks to the fibre’s naturally breathable quality. Some of its clients wear their garments for sports such as golfing or even sailing, including the LVMH-owned brand’s Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in the summer. Even Russian President Putin has been known to hit the gym in his Loro Piana silk-cashmere blend tracksuit, according to Vanity Fair magazine.
01 OPTIONS Although known for cashmere, Loro Piana also offers basics in other materials.
02 UNDERSTATED Loro Piana has always been focused on letting the quality of the fabric speak for themselves.
The Loro Piana family were wool merchants back in the 19th century
Designed for moving around with ease, a crewneck sweater made from the label’s signature Wish wool is naturally breathable and featherlight. It comes from fine fibre from selected merino sheep bred in Australia and New Zealand exclusively for Loro Piana. Layer that with a “Salt Lake” reversible hooded bomber jacket for cool evening walks in the park. Made with a silk-cotton blend, it offers lightweight protection without being stuffy.
For even more luxe options, look to the brand’s range of pieces that contain baby cashmere. An exceptionally fine and rare fibre, it comes from the white Capra hircus Mongolian goat kids, found only in the Alashan Plateau semi-desert ecoregion straddles the China-Mongolian border. Even more extraordinary, a mere 30g of fibre is collected from each kid, once in 12 months. After that, it starts producing adult cashmere, which does not have the same delicacy. Each baby cashmere fibre is about 13 microns in diameter and 15 per cent finer than the fibre of adult cashmere. The precious cashmere is woven into luxuriously soft Angel yarn, a summer version of baby cashmere used in the Girocollo Bryce crewneck sweater.
Kris Van Assche focused on versatility for Berluti’s Fall 2020 collection, showing a skillful blend of the Italian brand’s mastery in leather and innovative, contemporary style. Elegant jogging trousers in virgin wool or lambskin pair beautifully with a tailored blazer or a simple T-shirt. A virgin wool sweater with pearl rib stitch details embroidered with military-inspired insignia in fuzzy terry cloth expertly walks the line between style and comfort.
Riccardo Tisci, chief creative officer of Burberry, continues to mine the English brand’s rich heritage for inspiration, while combining it with the relaxed sporty silhouettes he’s known for. The result is both modern and classic, like this reconstructed cotton gabardine trench coat, worn over a hooded sweatshirt. It’s a look that’s literally ready for just about anything.
WASH AND WEAR
As workplace studies like the one conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business continue to prove that remote working contributes to greater productivity, working from home might be a longer-term reality for some, even when the pandemic comes under control. For those who still enjoy the sharpness of a suit, technologically driven tailoring offers smart ensembles that are as easy to wear as they are to care for.
When Z Zegna launched the Techmerino Wash & Go collection in 2018, the series of suits – which did not require dry cleaning and could be machine-washed without any deterioration to quality, comfort and performance – was quite the game changer. With dry cleaners closed during this pandemic, it almost seems the brand was somehow prescient, too. The collection is made with natural, quick-drying, high-performance merino wool fabric, so it will not start smelling musty on rainy days. It’s also thermo-regulating, which helps to keep your body temperature constant, even when you’re in a heated board meeting. And because it doesn’t contain any synthetic fibres, the garments are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
01 MODERN The range of Z Zegna suits are designed for today’s more athletic lifestyle.
02 STYLING The suits can be styled up or down, depending on your day.
Z Zegna’s Techmerino Wash & Go suits are light and breathable.
The inconvenient truth about dry cleaning is that it’s neither good for our health nor that of the planet. Many dry cleaners use a chemical solvent called perchloroethylene or PERC, a hazardous air contaminant. Post dry-cleaning, PERC becomes toxic waste, liable to seep into the earth, contaminating groundwater. The combination of PERC as well as friction inherent in the dry-cleaning process can, over time, shorten the lifespan of your garments.
It’s a good thing then that the wool fibres in Z Zegna’s Techmerino Wash & Go suits remain resilient and elastic wash after wash, thanks to a special finishing treatment developed by the company. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori continues to explore the possibilities of the unique fabric, developing a crease-free merino natural wool, which shines with tactile, textured effects in Z Zegna’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection. In the Ermenegildo Zegna main line, he and his team have also created a wrinkle-free, travel-friendly option dubbed the Packaway Suit. Featuring one canvas layer instead of three, the suit is lighter and takes up less space in the suitcase, packing away neatly in a compact pouch.
German tailoring brand Boss launched its washable suit in 2018 with a campaign featuring Singaporean Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling. The new virgin wool fabric was designed to resist pilling even after multiple washes. Launched later, the brand’s Travel Line collection is just as classic-looking, but specifically designed for frequent flyers, with features like lightweight, crease-resistant fabric, and a perforated lining for breathability. The travel-friendly tailoring also comes with functional details such as a pocket for your passport and headphone loops.
Paul Smith has gone to great lengths to prove the versatility of its charmingly named A Suit To Travel In series. At one of the brand’s presentations, freestyle biking world champion Ben Savage leapt through a series of obstacles to demonstrate the unbelievable range of motion allowed by the suit. Suitably, the range of colours on offer is also bigger than the other brands. Besides the standard black, gray and navy, they also include burgundy and teal. Made from a crease-resistant cloth crafted from a high-twist worsted wool yarn, the suits stay sharp through the day.
YURI & YURI
Now more than ever, with the boundaries between work and personal time blurring, it can become increasingly difficult to relax when it’s time to rest. Experts believe that it helps to dress up, so you’re psychologically preparing yourself for a productive workday – and the reverse is just as important. Once the day is over, putting on loungewear can help you to form a mental delineation between the different aspects of your life. It’s an emphatic reminder that it’s time to kick back and take it easy.
Yuri Choi, co-founder of spanking new menswear tailor Yuri & Yuri on Savile Row, agrees, telling The Peak, “The line between work and life for digital nomads is vague. They might have to switch between work life and daily life at any time. Dressing gowns can help to change these ambiguous boundaries.”
Yuri & Yuri’s take on the garment is the lush Astley Gown lll, which is made to order and takes two weeks to finish. The brand uses a unique fabric known as Serie Fibre, which was originally patented in Japan by Mitsubishi. “We bought the remaining quantities for our South Korean workshop. We yarn-dye and weave this fibre in house, which gives it a silk-like appearance. It’s soft to touch but the knit is durable and hard-wearing. It’s also breathable, making it ideal for all seasons. The colour locks well into the fibre, resulting in fade-resistance,” she explains.
01 CASUAL OPTIONS Besides robes, Yuri & Yuri also offers other basics such as shirts and shorts.
02 007 The brand’s co-founder Yuri Choi took influences from Sean Connery’s time as James Bond.
Yuri & Yuri is inspired by the silhouettes of the 50s and 60s, and making them more modern.
The dressing gown began life as a banyan in the 18th century. A popular garment of choice for luminaries of the day such as Sir Isaac Newton when they posed for portraits, banyans were usually made of rich fabrics like silk damask or velvet and considered a mark of refinement. Today, we like how this piece of outerwear has a dash of James Bond-esque, old Hollywood glamour, and helps to convey that its wearer takes his me time seriously – enough to dress up for it.
Says Choi, “I’ve always enjoyed opulent patterns for home wear. My aim was to create something classic and also comfortably unique.” Mission accomplished. And now, time for a rest.
As any Versace fan knows, the Italian brand knows a thing or two about opulence. This plush cotton bathrobe with a Barocco printed sleeve and wrap belt might evoke a sense of being in a luxurious Roman spa with thermal healing waters and marble columns. If you have a flashy inner self, we cannot think of a better way to channel it.
Anthony Vaccarello pays homage to Marrakech with this shawl-collar jacquard robe, which has a dressy texture and elegant black hue that make it equally appropriate when worn outdoors. Rendered in a viscose/silk blend, it’s just light enough for hot summer nights in Morocco – or Singapore. The metal charm trimmings add a touch of flair without entering costume-party territory.
Text Ben Chin