September 16, 2009

Send-Return: My email interview with Douglas Coupland on David Wilkes and bespoke tailoring

If you can spend your cash on designer ready-made suits, ask yourself, “Why?” Off-the-racks, no matter how expensive, are made to accommodate differently shaped men. That can mean extra fabric adding unneccesary bulk to your frame.

David Wilkes of David Wilkes Bespoke in Gastown will cut out the fat by personally hand making a suit for you. On the money for value side, his suits should literally last a lifetime. On the style side, you receive unique fabric, a perfect fit, and understated luxury.

Douglas Coupland has become a fan of Wilkes and agreed to an e-mail interview about his recent plunge into bespoke clothing.

FASHION MONDAY:Where are you and from what are you receiving and transmitting this reply?

Scotland. MacBook Pro 17".

What made you turn to a bespoke tailor like David Wilkes?

I hate clothes shopping and off-the-rack is so insanely boring. There had to be a better way.

What are your thoughts about people turning to fitted and tailored suits/clothing this season?

Don't understand the question. Is this a trend?

(Not a new thing but becoming more and more mainstream, ie regular guys want a tailored look)

Most people I know in Europe are a mix of Muji (a Japanese retailer with a minimal, no-waste, no-logo aesthetic) and bespoke. I think Vancouver's just catching up a bit late in the game. But at least,we are catching on.

How have people responded?

People always notice when you dress better than you used to.

What would be your must-have...what should a man get from a bespoke tailor?

A really good suit that, once they're wearing it, they don't have to think about.

It was Yumi Eto and Sharon Young (pattern drafter at Acr'teryx) who are close life-long friends who put me onto David. What's been interesting for me was watching the way their creative juices flowed when we visited David's Studio. They really, really care about quality and technique and have opened my eyes.
Nighty night.

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