Updated: May 9
In case you are wondering what has been happening at The Suitstainable Man for the past few weeks, we bring good news to you today!
Since the start of the year, we have been working more closely with Arkhé Collection in refining and streamlining its aesthetic archetypes (house styles, if you will), as well as the level of make for its products.
After a rigorous fine-tuning process, we are delighted to finally present you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to all Arkhé Collection products we carry at TSM thus far, including the collaboration pieces both teams have worked together on designing.
Most, if not all Arkhé Collection pieces fall under two broad aesthetic archetypes — Type I and Type II.
Featuring a traditional, Eastern-inspired silhouette, Type I pieces are characterized by their voluminous, flowy cut. Not all garments necessitate the role of highlighting the wearer's physique, functioning as contemporary suits of armor. This archetype is more concerned with the interactions between the wearer and the garment, taking into account the many movements one would (specifically) make while wearing the piece.
Take the Arkhé Chino - Type 1 as an example. One design rationale for replacing the back seat darts with a yoke that is integrated into the back pockets is to distribute the stress induced on the trousers when sitting down more evenly. Elsewhere, the Plexippus Cape includes a concave-shaped side opening feature that enhances accessibility for the wearer's hands, not to mention the fact that it adds an additional asymmetric flair when the skirt is wrapped around the shoulders.
Other past examples of Type I pieces include the Liling Overshirt, which is now made upon request, with more items well on their way.
Type II, on the other hand, is the tailored, classic 'menswear' look. Both Arkhé Collection and ourselves initiated our sartorial journey in the English bespoke tailoring realm — it is only natural that part of our designs is reflective of this aesthetic and sub-culture.
The prime example of a piece that falls under the Type II design ethos is our Silk Dupion Jacket. While being innovative and boundary-pushing in the choice of material, the Silk Dupion Jackets are still 'traditional' in the sense of their silhouettes. Design details are, in comparison, even more discrete and secluded for this archetype; with the notable examples of the crescent-shaped collar and the calligraphy-inspired out-breast pocket.
Suffice to say, we have been extremely selective when it comes to bringing forth new Type II pieces. Expect upcoming items to continue to be carefully curated while refreshing for your wardrobe.
Arkhé Collection takes pride in its products' innovative designs, alongside the craftsmanship involved in their making. To say they are constantly challenging themselves by incorporating more handwork in their garments is no overstatement.
Nevertheless, more handwork equals more time required by the tailor to bring life to the garment. And that can only mean the pieces are more expensive to make. For this reason, Arkhé Collection is now offering two lines of products — the Green Line and the Red Line.
The Green Line is the newer, more economical offering. As always, we are fully appreciative of patrons and enthusiasts who still want to support Arkhé Collection's work despite not requiring or being ready for the finest craftsmanship. The line is here for this purpose.
The pieces, while not made by a single ex-Savile Row tailor, are still made in a reputable workshop by artisans with years of experience in making bespoke garments. Placing high importance on the garments' shape and form, the patterns are still developed jointly by designer Dennis Tian, Arkhé Collection's in-house cutter, and myself (for collaboration pieces). Good-quality trimmings, such as YKK zippers alongside natural horn and corozo buttons, are still employed to guarantee a desirable level of durability.
Going forward, most of the Green Line products will be offered through the pre-ordering model, akin to our initial Liling Overshirt run; or alternatively as RTW for selected models.
The Red Line is what our existing patrons and readers would be more familiar with. Pieces including the Arkhé Chino - Type I, the Silk Dupion Jackets, and the Plexippus Cape all fall under this category. To put it simply, all of these pieces contain design features and technical details which cannot be easily translatable into a Green Line product — they can only be executed by an experienced master tailor.
At this level, we insist on incorporating as much handwork as possible; not to mention we are using the highest quality fabrics and trimmings, such as RiRi zippers. Being predominantly made-to-measure products, there is also a level of customization provided in selected pieces, including the size and occasionally the choice of cloth.
Now, you may have noticed the prices for these three items have gone up since their respective initial launch. This is because they were offered at a near (and, at times, lower than) production cost price.
Finally, due to the extreme time-intensiveness for the making, certain items can only be offered once a month, going forward. There may be a waiting list at times and we do apologize for the inconvenience. Please reach out to us in advance to ensure your Red Line garment is made and delivered on time.
It is important to note that the archetypes and the levels of finishing aren't mutually exclusive, meaning there could be a Type II Green Line item or a Type I Red Line item, and vice versa. The idea is that regardless of the make, our patrons would still be able to experience the two aesthetic archetypes.
That's about it for now. If you have any questions regarding the archetypes or the makes, do comment below or send us a message.
Photography and Videography: Arkhé Collection and Hanson Leatherby