FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Sunday, September 5, 2010

At Zilli, Perfection Is All in the (Many) Details

A custom shirt is a little luxury that can make any man feel like Master of the Universe–in the hands of talented tailors, fabric can be coaxed into flattering difficult skin tones, strengthening awkward faces and camouflaging less-than-perfect figures. Think of it as a sort of sartorial sleight-of-hand.

Here at FA2L, we've been lucky enough to enjoy the work of some of the world's best shirt makers–Charvet, Luigi Borrelli and Kiton among them. Most recently, we met the custom director for French label, Zilli. He took some 2o measurements (a "difficult" customer may require 3o) while explaining that he sources fabrics from mills around the world: England, Italy and Switzerland. We chose a sky blue Italian linen. We also chose to add our monogram just below the rib cage, on the left side–hand embroidered in white, with a navy drop shadow, no less.

A month or so later, a lovely box arrived in the mail–and inside was the most beautiful shirt we've ever owned. The collar is crisp, flattering and beautifully mounted; the body is elegantly trim, with long, luxurious tails that tuck perfectly into jeans or khakis; and the monogram is impossibly chic. But then, as the company's US director says, "At Zilli, to be fantastic is a daily task." Our assessment? Mission accomplished.

Photographs by Noël Sutherland. Hair by Davide Marinelli at De Berardinis. Model: Parker at dna models. Fashion assistant: Evie Cutshaw.