Thursday, May 7, 2009
Drape, the cutting system invented by Frederick Scholte, is one of the usual elements of the soft tailoring style offered by firms such as London's Anderson & Sheppard and Mariano Rubinacci of Naples. The drape cut is used to make jackets that are more relaxed looking than the more structured, military look of other well-known firms such as London's Huntsman.
Perhaps the most successful tailor on Savile Row in the twentieth century, Scholte's Aha! moment came in the 1930's when he admired the effect of the tightly belted, very full overcoats of London's Brigade of Guards officers. Scholte spent several years evolving a system that evoked that look in suit jackets with extra folds of fabric over the shoulders. The small vertical folds of cloth seen next to the armholes in Luciano Barbera's jacket in the photograph are the descendents of his invention.
Soft tailoring has other elements such as hand sewn shoulders without padding and light-weight canvas and not all soft tailoring products are cut with drape. But it is arguably the word thrown around most often as typical of the soft tailoring genre.