Nino Corvato: Bespoke Trousers – The Finished Trousers.
Well, this has been a long time coming….
Nino finished these trousers for me in March 2015 and a combination of weight loss, distractions and forgetfulness have seen the finished article only being posted now. But the delay in writing the article has meant I can see things, now, that I may not have seen so clearly, then, in relation to fit and design. The first article is here (Nino Corvato 1). Second article is here (Nino Corvato 2). Profile on Nino is here (Nino Corvato profile).
In short, very good. The couple of things I’d change in the fit are down to issues caused by myself.
Firstly, I lost a 5/6 kilo’s in between the final fitting with Nino and by the time the trousers were delivered (about 6 weeks later, I think). This being the weight I put on during a month split between Bolivia and NY, eating badly. So we had to take the waist in by a significant amount (about 8cm) which I said I expected anyway, in the second article. I just hadn’t thought we’d have to take in so much. Taking in a few centimetres shouldn’t affect much else in the trousers, but taking in so much usually creates other problems. Instead of taking cloth purely from the rear centre seam, we took some from both there and some from each hip seam, to balance out the total amount taken (we, being Bijan and I. He advised, I made the changes). This worked well, generally speaking, but it has meant that the pockets don’t sit perfectly flat now, although they’re not far off. Still it’s not a bad result, given how much had to be taken in.
That aside, the fit is good elsewhere, I have plenty of room for my thighs and, like my Ambrosi trousers, I hardly feel like I’m wearing them. When I go back to NY, I’ll take the trousers with me and see if Nino doesn’t mind taking up the rear bias a little (so the trousers hang more cleanly at the back, down to the floor) and maybe see if he can tidy up the pockets. Again, this would have been done at the second fitting, had we had one. I’ve made this mistake (rushing/cutting fittings) with Anna Matuozzo, Ambrosi, Leonard Logsdail and Nino and I’ve finally learned my lesson. Don’t have anything made unless you have plenty of time for fittings. It doesn’t end in disaster, just a sub-optimal fit, which you notice every damn time you wear the shirt/jacket/trousers/shoes.
I got the cloth wrong. Actually, that’s not fair. I got the pattern wrong. The cloth is very nice.
The rusty base colour of the cloth is great, the colours of the checks are great, the cloth doesn’t feel heavy to wear and breathes very well. I can wear these trousers for a good 8 months of the year. But the check is just too big for me to pull off successfully. If I was 6.6″ then the proportions would start to look balanced, maybe, in a jacket. But at 5.10′ and with a big lower body (for my size) the checks just accentuate everything and make me look wider and heavier than I am. If I could have the choice again, I wouldn’t mind the same design, but in a much much smaller check, ideally with an overcheck, to make the appearance of width disappear. I’m still kicking myself over this 2 years on. That said, when worn with a jacket, it becomes a lot less obvious (the jacket covers my seat) and I still love wearing the trousers. It’s just a shame that they could have looked so much better if I’d had the foresight to see the issue coming.
I’d have chosen a single pleat over double. At the time, I was convinced that I needed a double pleat to give me enough room in my seat and thighs. I’ve since learned, through experience, that a single pleat is more than enough to give me plenty of room, but maintain a slim, clean silhouette. My Ambrosi’s are comfortable and nonrestrictive, with only the one pleat. The same goes for some other ready to wear trousers I’ve picked up since, from M. Bardelli in Milan. The double pleat adds too much visual bulk and gives the unnecessary appearance of width to the front of the trousers.
I’d also change the trousers to a slimmer cut, tapering down to my preferred cuff width of 18/19 cm (these are 21cm).
For a number of reasons, the quality is superb. There is a lot of handwork which goes into Nino’s suits (which is in fitting with his Sicilian roots) and this is seen in the hand-sewn button holes, bar tacks securing some fasteners, through the curtain (the cotton cloth which sits between you and the actual trouser cloth, around the waist, and in several other places, including a number of seems which others machine stitch, but Nino hand stitches to give a softness that machines can’t create.
The pattern matching is hard on cloth like this. As stated in the earlier articles on these trousers, most tailors will line up the vertical lines and some horizontal, but Nino has lined up almost every vertical and horizontal line. This all comes down to when the cloth is cut (Nino) and is then finalised when they are put together (his team). It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, in that if the puzzle pieces are cut accurately to begin with, it’s then just a matter of making sure the right pieces go together (not to diminish the skill involved in sewing, it’s an art in itself).
It’s also a big achievement that they could put the trousers together so quickly (48 hours) and be almost finished by that point.
Looking back through the things I’d change in these trousers, they’re all down to preferences I requested or mistakes made on my part (including putting on the weight in the lead up to the commission). And although I’d change a number of things for next time (pattern, pleats, slimmer cut) I still love wearing the trousers.
Most of all, getting to know Nino has been a real pleasure. New York is fortunate to have himself and Len’ (Logsdail) there as they’re two of the worlds finest, though Nino is certainly less well known to the public. Which is strange, given he’s made suits for Presidents and a number of the world’s A-List. He’s a thoroughly decent man with a passion for tailoring that has clearly never left him and he’s a pleasure to spend time with. I just with I could get to NY more often.