French tailoring.

Last night, I was watching Jean Gabin going through another man’s wardrobe, he was playing Maigret of course, so the indiscretion was work related, it was done in fine style, with the utmost calm, actually, everything Jean Gabin does is so wonderfully calm, so composed and tranquil, as if his entire being was a neverending stream of contemplation, and while he was inspecting the clothes of one of his suspects, Jean Desailly’s, as of course I was watching Maigret tend un piège from 1958, he uncovered the label of one of the suits, some fine tailoring by – no, not by Prada or Brioni or Zegna, but by Bernheim & Fils – a tailor whose shop was on rue de la Boétie. This scene struck me, but why? The wardrobe belonged to some Parisian interior architect, these were the 1950s, our times’ fashion victims weren’t even born yet, of course this man had his suits tailor made. Suddenly, I felt very poor, poor in style, my suits are all mass produced bullshit, however prestigious the labels, and while I continued watching Maigret meddling in this guy’s life, I felt like putting on my white Charvet shirt, the only thing in my wardrobe that might have a chance to find a fellow counterpart in that fine French murderer’s wardrobe.


7 thoughts on “French tailoring.

  1. I understand you so well Jan. I happen to have a few suits and jackets from good houses but they are all mass produced and far too expensive for what they are in my opinion. Many years ago I was at the Ralph Lauren store in Chicago. I happened upon a beautiful navy jacket that was wickedly expensive, but luckily for me on sale.. I snapped it up and left quite happily. When I came back to try it on after the alterations they could not find it. Their loss was my gain. I’m happy to say I now have a bespoke navy cashmere jacket handmade by one of their tailors. I don’t wear it too often but hope I never gain too much weight so I can wear it forever. One day I would like to go to London and have a bespoke suit made at Anderson & Sheppard and shoes from George Cleverly. I’m also dying for that topcoat Daniel Day-Lewis wore in Phantom Thread, also made by A & S. I don’t know of the fine establishment you have referenced but I will begin my reconnaissance now via google. Perhaps we are destined to meet up for a fine tailoring field trip one day.

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    1. I think Bernheim & Fils is a fictional tailor. Love the sound of the name though, some fine Jewish tailoring. When I think what I‘ve spent on all these Jil Sander jackets… At least they‘re of fine quality, but everything Polo Ralph Lauren is from Asia and sold at least for a hundredfold, we all paid for Mr Lauren’s splendid Long Island estate including its fine furnishing and car park. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your reply Jan. This all makes good sense. The tailor name reminds me of Brunschwig & Fils the fabric house. As for Mr. Lauren, he’s a magician like Walt Disney. They both created an imaginary world that many flock to. I try to only buy their Purple Label made in Italy. I buy very little but try to acquire things that age well and are timeless.

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