Black Tie with a Twist
Proudly presenting The Suitstainable Man's first-ever curated collection, featuring a selection of pieces centered around Black Tie while being a continuation of what we have launched so far.
This project began as a conversation with Mickael Korausch, the man behind La Bowtique; aka the go-to person for all matters related to black tie within the sartorial community.
When Mickael first saw our Silk Dupion Jacket - The Notch in Bluebell, he immediately noticed the resemblance between our piece and dinner jackets of the 50s. This is an age of radical change in eveningwear when men started to don alternative assembles to black tuxedos for black tie occasions. 'It is what you would imagine they wear on cruise boats during vacations, essentially,' as Mickael stated.
It comes naturally that our collection retains this adventurous and modernist spirit, pushing the boundaries where it is tasteful, practical, and sensible; while creating pieces that uphold the timeless character we interminably insist upon.
The first entry to this collection is the Silk Dupion Bow Tie in black. Matte, subtle, yet visually vibrant up close, our silk dupion cloth makes up an exquisite small knot. This allows the wing to appear ever so slightly larger.
The Bow Tie is, of course, handcut and stitched in London by Mickael himself. Featured as the Medium Classic model throughout this series of stills, it can also be made into existing shapes La Bowtique has to offer; complimenting different face shapes and personalities.
Our standard made-to-order size accommodates collar sizes between 15" and 19". For sizes above and below, simply fill in your measurement on the product page.
Accompanying the Bow Tie is the Silk Dupion Cummerbund in black, also by La Bowtique.
Taking a twist of the classic 5-pleat model with the choice of material, we have also unlined the cummerbund to reduce its volume. Functionally speaking, it still serves its primary purposes of providing a clean line around the waist and holding small objects, like ticket stubs. The cummerbund also comes with adjustable elastic straps, for a comfortable fit. Lastly, it is finished with a three-hook metal fastening for extra security.
Hand-stitch techniques are applied throughout the making of the cummerbund, with details visibly present along the edges of the back of the side panels. We have refrained from showcasing any stitching on the front panel for an immaculate appearance.
As a made-to-measure product, our Silk Dupion Cummerbund is handmade to your waist size. Kindly fill in your measurement on the product page for a precise fit.
Last but certainly not least is our latest version of the Silk Dupion Jacket — The Peak. This is a model we have worked diligently with Arkhé Collection for well over a year, fine-tuning every possible detail one could imagine. The end result is this technical and artistic marvel that we consider the bona fide embodiment of the spirit of refinement, sophistication, and moderation associated with black tie.
Starting off with the design language of the collar and the lapel. Featuring the same hand-attached, crescent-shaped collar seen on The Notch variant, The Peak likewise sports a lower gorge. This allows for a wider lapel which, in turn, mitigates the amount of negative space around the lower part of the jacket.
Tremendous efforts were also put into perfecting the angle of the peak — It is sharp but by no means an overkill. Upon a close examination, you can find the peak to be pointing directly toward the shoulder sleevehead, bringing visual attention back to the wearer's shoulders.
Speaking of the sleevehead, we have refrained from using any wadding. Although this is common among various more structure-oriented English tailoring schools, we feel that it would deviate from the notion of moderation we envisioned for a silk dupion black-tie jacket. Instead, we opted for a small, slightly roped sleevehead that can only be achieved by extending the lightweight, hand-padded wool canvas from the shoulder.
Another outstanding feature is the higher waist point, which sits about 3cm higher than the natural waist. This is not to be confused with the buttoning point of your jacket. Rather, this refers to the turning point where the bottom of the chest meets the top of the skirt.
Traditionally speaking, the dinner jacket is derived from the tailcoat, which features a smaller chest and an extended skirt.
Now, it might make little sense to incorporate this quintessential English tailoring element into contemporary suiting cuts, seeing trousers come with an ever-lower waistline. Having said that, it is quite fitting in this particular occasion where a cummerbund is present, as it gives an illusion of a higher waist.
With the waist point just meeting the top of our cummerbund, the Silk Dupion Jacket effectively enjoys a resemblance to the sophisticated proportions of a tailcoat. Simply put, it serves to give the impression of a longer leg line.
Needless to say, the aforementioned design details are only a fraction of what we have compacted into our Silk Dupion Jacket.
Other points of technical excellence previously featured in The Notch, including the Edwardian shoulders, hand-attached lining and internal pockets, higher back collar stand, calligraphy-inspired chest welted pocket, and more are also incorporated in this version.
Most importantly, the jacket is also handmade by the same ex-Savile Row-trained master cutter, featuring more than 80 hours of handwork.
We are offering The Peak as a made-to-measure item. Our standard color options include Cream (as worn by Linus), Emerald Green (as worn by Mickael), Bluebell (as shown on The Notch), and Black. Kindly fill in your measurements on the product page or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also able to offer in-person consultation to London-based audiences.
For readers and patrons who are looking for alternatives, we have a total selection of 210 color choices. Likewise, we are able to provide a bespoke level of attention in searching for any particular button preferences you may have. For instance, Mickael has opted for fabric-matching covered buttons while Linus has paired his with mother-of-pearl buttons with gold rims. Again, kindly get in touch with us for more information.
At the start of this article, we highlighted that contemporary black tie needs to be tasteful, practical, and sensible. We feel that because of the prevailing association denoted by the traditional tuxedo - depicting an imagery where the matching set can only be worn in limited ways and on limited occasions - black tie became an attire few outside the sartorial community would realistically own.
This self-faced Silk Dupion Jacket, meanwhile, sits exactly at the crossroad of being just formal enough to function as a dinner jacket and easy enough to be donned in laid-back situations.
Here, for instance, Linus wears his Cream Silk Dupion Jacket with a lilac micro-check shirt with a silk neckerchief. He rounds up his outfit with his ecru cavalry-twill trousers, lilac socks, and mocha brown suede penny loafers.
Finally, you may also want to check out the Plexippus Cape, which both Linus and Mickael are sporting over their respective Silk Dupion Jackets here.
Photography by Hanson Leatherby and The Suitstainable Man team. Special thanks to our dear friend Mickael for handmaking our beautiful bowties and cummerbunds, and for modeling.