Friday, October 1, 2010
Hong Kong tailor Gordon Yao (no website) strikes an unexpected balance between the conservatism of Baromon and W. W. Chan’s more progressive approach to tailoring. Yao cuts a lightweight jacket with a looser, more relaxed silhouette that is not only comfortable, but appropriate for the strictest of business environments. The chest comes with some drape, a counterpoint to the straight, extended shoulders that sit on a formidable block of padding. Sleeves and legs are relaxed and relatively full. The default waist treatment is less suppressed than the other tailors provide, but has a fuller aesthetic that is consistent with the rest of the silhouette.
Beautiful buttonholes and hand stitching are not reasons to see Gordon Yao. Instead, he uses his good eye for what will complement a customer’s body to deliver a lightweight, non-constrictive machine-made suit for less than $800 plus cloth (a price roughly comparable to the other two when cloth is included), dispensing recommendations regarding style and design with gusto at every step along the way. And since Baromon does not travel and Chan does not accept cloth from customers, prospective clients in search of a Hong Kong tailor to realize their CMT experiments on tour may find him the best and only choice.
Yao tours the United States each June and November, accompanying shirtmaker Ascot Chang. On tour, he takes measurements of one’s best-fitting garment and of the client. Digital photographs provide a third reference point for virtual consultations between trips. No fittings are offered on tour, however, so clients must take a leap of faith from measurement to delivery unless they conveniently find themselves in Hong Kong between tour dates. While the standard battery of fittings and appointments are naturally available at the company’s storefront, the results from exclusively on-tour interaction is impressive given the margin of error, but not perfect - the sleeves on my suit were delivered three quarters of an inch too long, a condition that awaits my next trip to Hong Kong for adjustment.
Gordon Yao & Co.
Shop 116, The Royal Garden Hotel
69 Mody Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2730 1545