Welcome to another instalment of my Catch Up Series with one of my long time clients and great friend John. I made John’s first suit about 6 and half years ago, and together we have created an amazing wardrobe that has carried John through his work days to weekend, across all four seasons and even his wedding day.
Here is a little insight into John, what he does and how he likes to dress. I hope you enjoy.
1. Tell us about what you do for work and perhaps the most exciting thing that has happened in the last couple of months.
I am an Anatomical Pathologist, which is a type of specialist medical doctor. It’s a “behind the scenes” job, as I don’t have direct contact with patients. My area is known as ‘histopathology’, which involves the examination of biopsy and major surgical specimens from patients to diagnose diseases by looking at the cells under the microscope. I work closely with surgeons and oncologists to make sure patients have the right diagnosis, so they receive the best treatment.
Every day is exciting as I never know what kind of diagnostic problems I’ll be solving on any given day. It’s somewhat like detective work! Getting called into the surgical theatre by a surgeon and being asked to make a diagnosis whilst the patient is still being operated on is always a highlight of the day. Especially knowing that I’ve helped the patient, even though I will never get to meet them!
2. How would you describe your general style and what do you wear on a daily basis?
I am not sure what “classic” means anymore, maybe it’s an aspiration rather than a particular style. I’m inspired by the slow movement towards an ideal in menswear. I draw inspiration from books like “True Style” by Bruce Boyer, documentaries like “O’Mast” and “I Colori di Antonio” by Kid Dandy as well as my southern Italian heritage to create my own style that I think works for me, in Melbourne, at this time.
I probably dress in a slightly more casual way on a daily basis because of my work. Usually dark denim, boots, patterned shirt and a jacket. On the weekends, I need very little excuse to throw on a tie and a suit for most occasions – when your formal clothes fit well, there is no need for comfort wear.
3. You always look so dapper. Why is dressing up important to you?
So many of Bruce Boyer’s maxims come to mind here. “Dressing decently should be a matter of politeness”, “Real style is never a matter of right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself. On purpose” and “Clothes are social tools, like language, manners and a sense of humour”. I feel that learning to dress is a constant process. Tailored clothing, by definition, is not one size or style fits all. Rather it is created through a process of collaboration. Guided and finetuned by your tailor, the garment becomes more of a personal expression of yourself.
4. How many Carl Navè pieces do you own, and which is your favourite and why?
Not enough! Well, a few. I have a three-piece, single breasted French navy-blue suit with high peaked lapels and a double-breasted waistcoat. A three-piece, single breasted charcoal Prince of Wales with peaked lapels and double-breasted waistcoat with shawl collar. A single-breasted grey flannel suit with notched lapels. A medium grey three-piece suit with notched lapels. Two black tuxedos with satin lapels, one peaked and the other shawl. Two double breasted sports jackets, lined and unlined. The single-breasted cashmere/wool blend sports jacket pictured. That’s without mentioning all the shirts!
It is hard to pick a favourite, because they all represent a learning experience, with countless visits to Carl’s studio, discussions about fabric, colours, textures and construction. I am proud of them all!
Photo series: Johns wears Made-to-Measure Filarte grey herringbone sports jackets with French navy blue trousers from Vitale Barberis Canonico; pale blue cotton shirt with emerald Shantung silk tie.