March 14, 2023 FDCI

Classic Rendering

Dhruv Vaish’s three-month long stay in Naples learning from the best tailoring geniuses can be seen reflecting in the timeless fits.

By Asmita Aggarwal

It is a brand that is almost 73 years old, started by Dhruv Vaish’s grandfather and that business is still booming in Delhi’s most frequented markets. However, the third generation in men’s tailoring Dhruv wanted to branch out to cater to the designer segment infused with detailing and technology. He embarked on a trip to Naples, where Neapolitan tailoring dates to a culturally rich 700 years. In the 14th century of Italy’s tailoring association, Confraternita dell’arte dei Giubbonai e Cositori (brotherhood of the jacket makers and tailors) they were famous for crafting ready-to-wear men’s garments, made in Naples, and worn by the most affluent across the continent.

Neapolitan tailoring is exact and remarkable, if you see a jacket closely, the attention even on the armhole, where the focus is to give you freedom of movement, without hampering the front of the suit. This is fully done by hand like most of the processes here, and it is impossible to do this with a machine. Vaish was fascinated by the “collar hug”, or in Italian comme l’abbraccio ’e n’amico which is like the embrace of a friend—easy and supple.

These finer nuances were learnt over a period of many months that Vaish spent in Italy in 2019 before the world changed due to Covid. “Italians know best, the techniques of using just the hand took over 100 hours to make a jacket and you can see this reflecting in the fit and resulting elegance. I think they want to limit machine usage so barely just once or twice is allowed,” he says.

Bespoke sensibilities, concentrating on sartorial aspects, it is said that Italian tailors are so perceptive of a client’s body, that they get the fit right the first time just by correct sizing and cut. The Neapolitan suit coat exudes a light structure and will have a small lining inside, to make sure it fits like a second skin. “Naples is classic, they don’t like to change a lot, and the discerning few who admire their craft still prefer hand tailored sophistication, which I want to bring to my brand. The time spent there equipped me with the skills I can execute and pass on too,” he adds.

With the surge in social media, fashion unfortunately he believes has become more of a one-time use, but in menswear acceptance has grown in terms of both colours and shapes. Besides bolder hues like magenta, rose pink, emerald green, they have moved on from ash grey and charcoal. Men are also less insecure, the gender divide is narrowing, even though Vaish adds, comfort is still the deciding factor. “I myself wear what is toned down, not flamboyant or flashy, and that’s what I offer my consumer too. Of course, with edgy but subtle detailing,” he confesses.

FDCIXLFW showcasing he decided to take risks, push boundaries and admits even if you see YSL, his clothes are a restrained reflection of his personality. Techniques are the mainstay this season, from faggoting, mixing curves and straight lines, used layering as well as quilting. “I have never done shine, but this time we did it in bits to see how it is perceived,” he says. The shapes are away from the body, loose pants, bombers, hoodies, shackets, bold prints, long drapes, pocket detailing, fitted jackets, minus any embroideries or embellishments, in linen-wools and satin weaves. “Men are smart shoppers, almost calculated and only ten per cent value trends, timeless is language we pursue,” he explains.

Naples taught Vaish how delicate hand processes can never be replicated or copied even if you try to, there is a culture of aspiring for perfection, taking pride in the end result. “If I can mirror even ten percent of what I absorbed there, it will be a success for me,” he concludes.

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