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The decadence of Edwardian dress


December 5, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“The Edwardian era was the last age in which the fortunate thought they could give pleasure to others by displaying their good fortune before them.”

~ James Laver

Factory visit at the Joh. Rendenbach tannery


December 4, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Interview with Esosa Imoisili from Central Cali Sosa


December 3, 2014 by Ville Raivio

VR: Your age and Occupation?
EI: I am 35 years old and I am a financial advisor for one of the larger brokerage houses in the world.

VR: Your educational background?
EI: I have a degree in Finance and Economics with a minor in accounting.
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your style enthusiasm)?
I am married and I have a daughter who is almost 2. My wife, in her own right, is very stylish. Her style is very classic. You might not pick out the individual pieces but when you she puts it together, she makes it look elegant and timeless. So, in a way, I draw inspiration from her. To make my style timeless and to convey elegance is pretty much my goal when I shop for clothing. My daughter is already developing a sense of style. It’s funny and fascinating to watch her pick out her own shoes at this age. She is not even 2 but has a strong sense of what she likes and what she abhors. I expect that, as she grows, she will have a stronger sense of her own style and hopefully will be brave enough to be herself and stay away from the whims of fashion trends.


VR: …and your parents and siblings’ reactions back when you were younger?
EI: My parents were stylish people as well. My family is Nigerian and Nigerians are, by and large, very much into fashion. My mother and father were no different. I got my interest in style from them. Watching them get dressed for a wedding, a party or even church was fascinating. Nigerians are a very colorful people and love to use them in everything, including their outfits. So, to see that on display at an early age was amazing. My sister is also very stylish. She has had blogs write about her shoe collection. So, really she is no slouch in that regard. My brother, on the other hand, is not into fashion as much. He looks at clothes more for utility than anything else. Hopefully that will change as he gets older and moves along farther in his career.


VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides classic apparel?
EI: I am an avid sports fan (mainly basketball and American football) and I am very politically active. I played basketball from elementary school all the way through my university years, so I will always love sports. I have become more politically active during the last 12 years or so because I feel as an adult you should do this. You should know where you stand on issues that affect you and be engaged enough to follow through with those views. The correlation between politics and fashion/style, in my opinion, is that people will be more willing to listen, or at least take you more seriously, on your political positions, if you look like you know what you are talking about.


VR: How did you first become interested in style, and when did you turn your eyes towards the classics? Why these instead of fashion?
EI: It started as a child, obviously. But it was more inherent at the time because I was too young to realize what I liked and how I could make it work for me. It really hit home more when I was in college. I am a kid that comes from humble beginnings. Even though my parents did not have much, they had enough to get us through. So, when I was in college, I had just enough to make it through on my own. This was due to the fact that I was on a sports and academic scholarship. I had three outfits and that was it. I had a friend, who always had great style and a great presence, and people looked up to him for it just like I did. So that’s when my love for style really started and my exploration into developing a personal style began. This is due to my observations of how people treated him differently due to his gentlemanly attitude and his style. I made a lot of mistakes at first, because that’s what you do when you’re trying to figure out what your style is. However, what I realized is that when a man explores who he is stylistically, he’s also subconsciously searching for what kind of a man he is. That’s why I feel that, when I was comfortable with who I was stylistically, I found out what kind of a man I was. I’m not saying that style was everything but it was one of the factors that helped me figure it out. Fashion cost me money because trends came and went with the season and had no staying power.


VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of the tailored look — from books, talks with salesmen or somewhere else?
EI: From magazines such as GQ and Esquire at first. Those were one of the few sources for men’s style that were really accessible when I first started my search. The Internet was not as informative or as expansive as it is now. I learned the basics from there and proceeded to try out different labels to figure what labels made me look somewhat like the guys in the magazines. It’s taken over 10 years but now I have reached the sartorial point where I can try something on and mentally note what I have to nip and tuck and how much. I think it’s easier now because my eye has been trained to notice what works for my frame. Salesmen were a no-go for me. I was always pointed towards the made to measure or bespoke route due to my size (6’9’’, 113kg). So, I had to figure out things on my own because I did not have the money to afford either of those luxuries right out of college.


VR: How did you first find Styleforum and what has kept you active over the years? When did you decide to set up a Tumblr?
EI: I found Styleforum as a referral from Glen O’Brian, the style guy from his monthly editorial in GQ magazine. At the time I was trying to ascertain what the difference in quality was between a $200 suit and a $2000 suit. To my surprise, I found that salesmen at some of the top stores (Barneys, Saks, etc.) could not definitively tell me what the difference was. So it was kismet that I found Styleforum the way I did because it answered all my questions and then some. I have been an active member for years because Styleforum, at least for now, is the best source for anything menswear. There are some passionate people on there that have created a great place for the dissemination of menswear information and inspirational outfits. I have learned a lot from there in terms of fit, construction and color co-ordination. I still have a ton more to learn but it’s great to have a place to go for information on the larger luxury brands as well as the obscure no-name ones. I have found some gems thanks to that place. This is what led to me to starting a Tumblr this year because it’s a diary for my outfits and what I put together. The primary goal of my page is to share, but also to a smaller level to chronicle what I am wearing and how I am putting outfits together. In my profession, appearance is everything. If you come across ostentatious, then you scare clients away, but if you come across well-put together and professional, then clients, to a certain degree, want to hear your ideas and what you have to say. Not saying this is universally true, but what I have found from my experiences to have merit.


VR: Which tailors or RTW makers do you favour and why?
EI: I don’t have an absolute favorite. What I have found stylistically, though, is that I favor cuts that have some structure to them. So, in terms of Italian styling, I favor the Roman cut. I find that, for my body, I need structure to smooth out certain parts and enhance other parts as well. I find that the brands that favor this style are makers like Canali, Brioni, Trussini, and Tom Ford for YSL, among others. These are the brands I own and wear. I also like mid-tier labels like Suitsupply’s Napoli cut. They make a good quality suit for a great price that, once tailored, looks like a $2,000 suit and will last you a couple years. I am definitely a fan of the Suitsupply label.


VR: Have you any particular style or cut philosophy behind your commissions?
EI: I have discussed my love of structure for a suit. I feel that, when it’s done right, it leaves a powerful impression. For my commissions, I try to toe the line between power, elegance and subtlety. I want the person who sees me in a suit to say “He looks good!” but when asked why, they cannot explain or point out a single item that makes it work. It all works harmoniously. That is what I look for when I purchase a suit or the few times I have had suits commissioned for me.


VR: Why should Keikari’s readers have a look at your site?
EI: Well, honestly, that’s up to your readers. My page is open for those who are looking for inspiration on cuts that work. I also provide inspiration for taller-than-average men who are trying to figure out what works for them. I will not say that my fits are out of this world or that my style is better than anyone else’s. What I can say is that my page conveys the triumph of a man finally finding comfort in what works stylistically. That’s the most I can promise.


VR: What is your definition of style,and who or what inspires you?
EI: The well -dressed men I see on the Internet or on the street inspire me. This is because I know that a truly well-dressed man has gone on a very long journey emotionally, financially and stylistically to get to his sweet spot, and that is one of the most admirable things I feel I can witness. It takes perseverance, money and stubbornness to break away from the herd and stick to what you like. That to me is truly style and true style inspires me. True style is timeless and comfortable and carefree, but it also looks good. That is what I aim for and that’s my wish for anyone who is on the path to figuring out who they are stylistically. To find that comfort and ease in who they are because you will always look your best when you feel that way — no matter what you are wearing.


VR: You mentioned you’re 6’9” tall — what are your style tips for men over two metres tall?
EI: Find what brands work for your body type and do not be talked into looking into an extra long. Look at a long first and see how it fits. For the most part, if it covers your bottom, fits well over your chest, covers your collar adequately and is long enough in the arms, then you have a start. Then you can start looking at the bells and whistles of the suit, like lapel size, button stance, pockets, etc.


Photos: Esosa Imoisili

Sartorial malaise


December 2, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“I am frequently asked whether I have an explanation for the truly appalling standards of dress exhibited by men (I can hardly call them gentlemen) on the streets of Britain. The slovenly, drab clothes worn by my compatriots – both young and old – cause shame to those of us who remember when the sartorial principles of the British (perhaps I mean English? – but no, the Welsh, the Scottish and the Northern Irish were our equal in this regard) were, to use the cliché (which was a cliché because it was true), the envy of the world.

I can offer the following factors by way of explanation, although (Laus Deo!) I have no expertise in the realm of social “science” (was ever a ‘discipline’ more inappropriately named?). I list them in no order of precedence.

1. The destruction of the grammar schools.
Any person – politician, sociologist, journalist or other rapscallion – who dares to talk about the collapse of ‘social mobility’ without mention of the destruction of the grammar schools (by both Labour and Conservative governments and by local authorities of both parties) is either a liar or a fool. The grammar schools allowed those from lowly backgrounds to go – with their heads held high – to the best colleges in Oxford and Cambridge. There they learnt (or, more accurately, had confirmed – for their schools had already inculcated what was best about Britain) what it meant to be a gentleman, and to dress as such.

2. The growth of the ‘celebrity culture’.
To admire those who have nothing to offer beyond the fact that they appear in glossy magazines and/or on the television (I do not think this admiration applies to those who speak on the wireless) is an idiocy which has taken root among those of limited intelligence. Such admired persons appear to spring up from the Underclass and appear to take a delight in dressing as if their chief ambition is to apply for employment in the world of refuse collection.

3. The development of the technology of communications.
The uncivilised masses appear to believe that their inadequacies can be supplied by a rigorous observation of the small screens which they hold before them as they walk our streets, sit in our restaurants and (astonishingly and dangerously) drive motor cars and pedal bicycles. Their habit inclines them to neglect their companions (how I feel for the ladies who sit, conspicuously bored, at dinner tables while their beaux stare at their telephones) and suppose that their drab, dismal clothes are in some way sufficient for those social situations for which they have the finance but, clearly, not the manners.

4. Mr Beckham.
It is, I readily concede, improper of me to introduce the name of an individual into this list of improprieties. To the gentleman himself, I apologise. Nevertheless, I have observed that many British men (and not only those who are of the younger generations) rely on this particular sportsman (footballer?) to supply them with inspiration for their own dress. And his inspiration is not in any way beneficial. His standard of dress seems to change frequently, perhaps in response to matters commercial, and is neither consistent nor useful for those who have no mind of their own.

Of course, I will stand accused – in the light of my innocent observations – of partiality and of that most hideous of modern ‘crimes’, elitism. To such critics, I say, “Well done! You have accurately divined my position.” I am, indeed, partial to proper standards of dress – see my Ten Commandments – and I have been taught to aspire to membership of the elite. Those men who do not share my views can continue to throng our pavements in those rags which pass for ‘fashion items’ (if they are expensive) or ‘bargains’ (if they are cheap). The rest of us – few though we be – will continue to attempt to adorn our nation in the formal, the well-cut and the traditional. Whatever our other faults, at least we know what constitutes proper dress for a British gentleman.”

~ the (world) critic Francis Bown

Interview with Frederik Andersen from A.W. Bauer


November 27, 2014 by Ville Raivio

VR: Your age and occupation?
FA: I’m 39 years old and I’m the head cutter and co-owner of A.W. Bauer bespoke tailors. My title says head cutter, but nowadays my schedule includes much more than that. Apart from pattern making, cutting, fittings and leading the daily work at the workshop, I focus my energy on the creative vision of the company and interesting collaborations. On top of that I star in the Swedish version of Great English sewing bee, judging the performances of the contesters.

VR: Your educational background?
FA: I got my basic training by working as a tailor at the different theaters in Stockholm, from where I proceeded to becoming an apprentice at A.W. Bauer. First as trouser maker and coat maker, and then moving onto cutting and pattern making, all first at A.W. Bauer and later during a period at Henry Poole’s in London.

VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your tailoring enthusiasm)?
FA: Since tailoring is such a big part of my life and always in my thoughts, my wife and three kids evidently get very much involved. My kids have spent so much time with me in the workshop during the years, creating dresses for dolls from leftovers or just playing, it’s practically a second home for them. They have grown to share my satisfaction in creating things from scratch by hand and both are most likely the only kids in the world who dress their dolls in custom made outfits of cashmere fabrics from Loro Piana.

VR: …and your parent’s and siblings’ reactions back in the days when you began?
FA: Back when I started my training, my parents, especially my father, were worried about me joining a trade with no future. They really couldn’t see how you could make a living of it and, looking back now, I understand that it must have looked like a dead end. At that time most tailors really were dinosaurs. But in the recent years they have accepted that there is a growing demand for the service that I provide and nowadays they are really supportive and proud of what I’ve accomplished.


VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides tailoring?
FA: I guess you could say that I turned my one big hobby into my work. However, I am very passionate about a lot of things. Within sports I get my exercise from playing tennis and running, during the long Swedish winters I go skiing in the mountains and ice-skating on frozen lakes as much as possible. I am a big admirer of furniture design and architecture. I don’t watch TV and I can’t remember the last time I went to see a movie, but I love books and music. I read a lot and I always carry a book with me, I used to play in a band but now it’s been reduced to Spotify being the dearest app on my phone.

VR: How did you first become interested in clothing, and when did you turn your eyes towards classic style? Why classics instead of fashion?
FA: I started sewing at the age of 6 with my mother’s sewing machine. At the age of 14, I was altering secondhand suits for friends and myself, so basically I’ve always been interested in clothing and the making of clothes. As for, classic versus fashion, I don’t really see the contradiction. To me, it’s always been important to stay up to date, gathering influences from the fashion world but of course not to follow trends.

VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of tailoring– from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
FA: We have a big library consisting of old tailoring books from where we source inspiration of different cuts and silhouettes. Besides that, I have always had a habit of gluing myself to craftsmen more experienced than I, draining their knowledge.


VR: How would you describe your dress and the philosophy behind your own style?
FA: I stick to a clean-cut Scandinavian silhouette, always wearing suits while working, A.W. Bauer suits, of course. Consciously calmly dressed, because in my line of work the client is at the center. For me, less is more.

VR: How did you first join Bauer as head cutter, and what goals did you set for yourself in the beginning? How have you been received so far?
FA: My way to becoming the head cutter and co-owner has didn’t come overnight. I had to learn it the hard way. Bauer was a respected company but pretty outdated and dusty at the time I came onboard. The tailors who owned the company were getting old and in the mood to take on a new apprentice. They actually were in the process of closing down for good. But from the first time I visited the workshop, I knew that this was my dream. I made up my mind and basically forced my way in, persuaded them with whiskey and genuine interest in the handcraft. I worked for several years as coat-, vest- and trouser maker before starting my training as cutter. At that point I realized that we had to update the image of A.W. Bauer in order to attract the next generation of customers. My dear friend and fellow tailor, Martin Ekolin, and I bought the company, aiming to put Bauer back on the map and recognized among the world’s best tailors. It has taken us years of hard work and determination. But it’s surprising what you can accomplish when you follow your passion and make no compromises.


VR: Why should my readers visit AW Bauer in Stockholm?
FA:I would like to think that our 150 years of heritage and passion towards the handcraft make a difference. This is the real deal.


VR: Who or what inspires you?
FA: Surprisingly few within the fashion industry or among other bespoke tailors inspire me. I always get the feeling that everybody is running in the same direction as opposed to doing their own thing. What really excites me are the entrepreneurs who believe so much in their own ideas that they make things happen.

VR: What’s your definition of style?
FA:Style comes from within. It’s about that perfect balance between your personality and what you wear. The keywords are confidence and harmony.


VR: Finally, how would you describe the house style of A W Bauer & Co.’s bespoke clothing?
FA: Raised on the pure lines of Scandinavian design we lean towards a contemporary clean cut silhouette. However, based on our curiosity in every person’s unique style, we, a few years ago, decided to take the definition of Bespoke tailoring one step further. By abandoning the idea of a permanent House Style, and instead letting personality, lifestyle and individual fashion preferences form the outcome of each suit, all pieces we create are truly unique. All suits are cut and handmade in our workshop in Stockholm. A process demanding a minimum of 60 hours.


Photos: Jens Beck/A.W. Bauer

Gaziano meets shell cordovan


November 26, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“Cordovan! It’s big in the USA but used for all the wrong reasons. It has a treatment on top of it which, in my mind, makes it look like rubber, and it cannot breathe that well either. Cordovan is 3 to 4 mm thick which causes countless headaches to shoemakers. Cordovan also looks too rustic for everyday shoes. But customers keep ordering it in oxfords and full brogues. If it is suitable for anything, it would be a chukka boot or plain derby with a rubber sole, and that’s it.”

~ Tony Gaziano’s word on the horse’s ass

Washing at lower temperatures to save the world


November 24, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Most shirts have a washing tag with a recommendation of a 40°C washing temperature, but some of us adamantly wash at 60°C for thoroughness and OCD-friendly tendencies. K. Laitala and H. Mollan Jensen from Norway have kindly researched if washing laundry at lower degrees, to save water heating expenses and energy, will clean as well as doing so at higher temperatures. Their concrete abstract affirmingly states: “…this confirms that modern detergents are suitable for wash at 30°C, and the soil removal will in most cases be satisfactory for household use instead of the more common wash at 40°C.”

Kindly wash at 40°C or less to save the world.

Interview with Aleksandar Cvetkovic


November 23, 2014 by Ville Raivio

VR: Your age and occupation?
AC: I am 21 years old and the Editorial Assistant for a luxury men’s lifestyle magazine.

VR: Your educational background?
AC: I attended an ordinary State School in Hertfordshire, which I loved. I have always taken pride in my work and I learned to appreciate the value of working hard from a young age. I applied to Oxford University to study English Language and Literature, and succeeded in being the first student from my school to ever succeed in winning a place as an English undergraduate. I attended Oxford for three years, specialising in Medieval Literature. I graduated earlier this year and then was lucky enough to move straight into the world of work.


VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your style enthusiasm)?
AC: Nope.

VR: …and your parents and siblings’ reactions back when you were younger?
AC: My parents were sceptical for a long time about my obsession with tailoring and sartorial style, and were concerned for a time that I wouldn’t be able to find a job or a sensible career in the industry, but fortunately I’ve been able to prove them wrong, and they have both since admitted that I was right to follow my heart and pursue a career in the luxury menswear world. I’m an only child, so no siblings to contend with, fortunately. My girlfriend (of the past two years) has always been very supportive and indeed is extremely enthusiastic when it comes to my love of tailoring; she enjoys the way I dress and equally enjoys helping me to plan outfits and my wardrobe in general. She is always willing to talk through my thoughts on dress and clothing.

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VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides classic apparel?
AC: I have a passion for literature (particularly medieval literature, obviously), so I tend to read a lot of Old and Middle English literature and history. I also love the theatre and have performed in amateur dramatics societies for many years; I’ve been fortunate enough to perform with some great people in great theatres – particularly at University, where I played Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon and Count Carl Magnus-Malcolm in A Little Night Music amongst other hugely fun characters.

VR: How did you first become interested in style, and when did you turn your eyes towards the classics? Why these instead of fashion?
AC: My love of tailoring came about as a result of my love of Jazz music. I’ve loved the freedom and expressiveness of Jazz ever since I was very young, and as I got older and engaged with the world of Jazz more and more, I started to become interested in the elegant, polished tailoring of many famous early Jazz artists. The Jazz Age itself struck me as such an extraordinarily opulent, elegant era and I fell in love with the way that people dressed in the early twentieth century. And for men, this of course meant wearing well-tailored suits – and that was it.

I bought my first suit at the age of thirteen and it was a black and white chalkstripe double-breasted with very broad peaked lapels and a low gorge. It was the perfect modern take on a ’20s gangster suit, and I totally fell in the love with the way it made me feel when I wore it. I find a great pleasure in looking elegant and well turned-out, and that all started with this love of Jazz-Age style and tailoring. As I came to better understand classical men’s style during my teenage years, I realised that the reason the famous style icons of the past always looked so immaculate was because their clothing was well-made and well conceived, and they cared about how they looked and what they wore. This is something that consequently I have always wanted to emulate. I’m not interested in poorly made or cheap products that don’t have any allure behind them, or in mass-market fashion fads – for me, the things that are really beautiful are the things that are timelessly stylish and well made.

VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of the trade — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
AC: I started my sartorial style site The Student Tailor whilst still an undergraduate (hence the name) because I knew that I wanted to connect with the luxury menswear industry and learn more about its make-up, about fine tailoring, shoemaking, shirts and so forth. I have built my own blog to a position whereby I’m lucky enough to visit and meet with a lot of different craftsmen – so I learn a lot simply by asking them how they work and what they do. It all gets written down in the blog, so readers can learn about luxury manufacturing and craft in the same way I do.

And of course I’ve learned a lot about how to dress, and about how luxury products are made by reading style books, guides, other blogs and websites – and through spending years developing my own sense of personal style. When I look back to how I dressed during Sixth Form, to how I dress now – you’d never know it was the same person. I had no idea about how to fit a suit, what colours, patterns and textures work together, no idea about good shoes. I’ve learned about the trade simply through my own personal journey – my own quest to be a better dresser.

VR: Please describe how your blog was born and what goals you set for yourself in the beginning. How have you been received so far?
AC: My blog came into being just over a year ago now. I offered to write some blog posts for London tailors, at the start of the university summer holidays, and wrote them two pieces. They loved the pieces but declined to publish them because they were in the process of reworking their social media. They did, however, suggest that the writing was good and that I should consider starting my own blog. I had wanted to find a way to engage more closely with the world of luxury menswear for some time, so I decided that it was a good idea, and that was that!

I just wanted to share my passion for sartorial style and classical men’s dress – I love the glamour and elegance associated with gentlemen’s dress and I love writing, so writing about my love for tailoring was a pretty logical thing to to do, really!

Now that the blog is established, I’m enjoying working on it very much, so I want it to keep growing; I’m visiting more and more artisans and being welcomed into more and more wonderful industries and workshops – all of which share my passion for quality and old-school elegance, and it’s just a lovely thing to be able to do and it’s lovely to be able to share this journey with readers and, offer them an insight into the lives and loves of bespoke craftsmen. I’ve visited several British tailors now, including some really prestigious names like Edward Sexton and Gieves & Hawkes, and I’ve even been around the Italian shoemakers, and had a tour of Liverano & Liverano – and I’d just like to be able to keep doing more of the same as the blog develops.

Its been hard work to drive the blog to the point its reached in only a year, but its been an extremely satisfying to watch the blog grow. I am very fortunate that many readers send lovely messages complimenting me on the blog and it’s very reassuring to hear that people enjoy reading it – I’ve had a number of readers stop me in the street and very kindly compliment the blog, and a number of tailors have also stopped me on the street to chat, or have even welcomed me into their workrooms to show me what they do. It’s an extremely flattering and generous thing to do, and it’s hugely exciting when it does happen because gaining an insight into the world of menswear was one of my main objectives when starting the blog.

When I create the editorial schedule for my blog, which I do every couple of months or so, I focus on how I can offer readers a balance; I try to have one bespoke project on-the-go at any one time, so readers can follow and learn about the creation of a particular bespoke or luxury British product, and learn about the in-depth process of creating bespoke products. I like to keep a constant flow of style advice and style discussion pieces available, so that readers can continue to think about their personal dress and personal style, and equally I like to offer regular industry insights; visiting shops, factories, offering interviews, etc., to try and give readers exclusive looks behind the scenes at the luxury menswear industry.

The schedule also allows me to track my progress and think about what to focus on; at the moment I feel that the blog is quite tailoring-heavy, and I’ve got quite a few features about different tailors coming up, so I’ve scheduled to write some style advice pieces and focus on a couple of accessories brands; hopefully a hatters and a tie manufacturer. So it’s just about offering readers a balance, really, in the hope that I will offer something of interest to every reader.

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VR: Have you any particular style or cut philosophy behind your commissions?
AC: I have always loved the Jazz-Age tailoring and the very strong Art Deco style that evolved in tailored menswear during the 1920s and ’30s – because obviously, as I mentioned above, it was the clothing worn by the famous Jazz Singers of the Roaring ’20s that got me into classic style in the first place.

During the ’20s and ’30s a passion for expressive, colourful tailoring and menswear exploded onto the world-screen for the first time; the world had just emerged from the repression of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and out from under the shadow of the Great War. For the first time people were able to relax, experiment and enjoy looking and feeling good. The result for men’s tailoring was that everything became richly coloured and structured – strong roped shoulders, hourglass waists, big peaked lapels, broad chests, double-breasted cuts and waistcoats, flowing pleated trousers – huge chunky overcoats, big fedora hats, colourful ties, pocket handkerchiefs, fine silks, correspondent shoes – it all happens during the Jazz Age.

This sense of expressive and masculine style has always appealed to me, and when I design my bespoke commissions and dress in tailoring on a day-to-day basis, I spend a lot of time trying to capture this sense of optimism and flamboyance. I look through archival material, read about the 1920s and ’30s trends, and study the shapes, cuts, cloths and patterns used in Art Deco menswear, before choosing how I want my suits cut and styled.

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VR: Why should Keikari’s readers have a look at your site?
AC: I hope above all that Keikari’s readers would find my site engaging. It’s a site which focuses on and offers in-depth insights into classic, sartorial and tailored style – the site aims to give readers in-depth and exclusive insights into all areas of the luxury menswear industry, and some inspiring style advice all in one place.

The whole point of the site is to share my deeply-rooted passion for sartorial style, so the blog is a place for readers who want to engage (as I do) in the world of sartorial style; good shoes, fine tailoring, beautiful suits and lovely accessories. We all love these things – so Thestudenttailor is a place for readers to go and enjoy reading about a young guy’s friendly and unfussy approach to masculine elegance and sartorial style, and hopefully learn something new along the way.

I try to make the site as relaxed as possible, I don’t spend time being negative or criticising products or brands – I write without bias and always look for the good in someone’s work; so it’s a site full of what I hope are useful recommendations, as well as thought-provoking profiles of craftsmen and artisanal luxury men’s products.

I also have a section on the site entitled ‘commentary’ which offers my insights into current happenings in the luxury menswear world, allowing readers to engage in a ongoing conversation about the future of menswear and classic style – something that we are all passionate about keeping alive.

I get a lot of feedback from readers who say that they enjoy my writing because it’s warm and friendly in tone and I do try to offer content that is engaging rather than stilted or stuffy, so I would love it if readers of Keikari could take a look and hopefully enjoy reading what they find on The Student Tailor.

VR: Who or what inspires you?
AC: People who are expressive; people who appreciate aesthetics and art and who somehow channel artistic expression in their own lives. I love poetry, fashion, theatre, expressionist art and literature; those things in society which paint intense portraits of human feeling and creativity.

The ability to connect with our own feelings, and with the deepest, most powerful aspects of human emotion – good or bad – is what I personally believe defines humanity. Those individuals who understand and value their own emotions and channel them artistically; whether painters, tailors, architects or philanthropists – are the people that inspire me.


VR: What’s your definition of style?
AC: Style is the art of feeling truly comfortable with who you are. Masculine style icons throughout history have always been confident and secure in their sense of dress, their deportment, their manners, their taste, their character. Being true to yourself in all areas of life and having the bravery to be comfortable with your personal taste is the key to developing a sense of style which is natural and elegant, rather than forced or pretentious.

The Politicization of Tasseled Loafers


November 20, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Neil A. Lewis thought about tassel shoes back in November 1993. His story tells tales about the semantics of tassel loafers, once a garment of every man, which had been taken over by lawyers of ill ilk as well as lobby men. The regular cast of tasseled men in times past is also mentioned, and the model’s history to boot.

It is finished


November 20, 2014 by Ville Raivio

The close reader remembers that I’ve been working on my first book. Klassikko: jokaisen miehen tyylikirja will be the first Finnish-language style book for men with a focus on the classics. It is the culmination of my first ten years spent learning as much as I can, first to amuse myself, then for teaching others about my passion. The text is finished now, and the book is only missing photos, which are on the works, and layout, still missing many shots. Hopefully it will come out in January and reach all men with an interest in living well, whether out of revenge or love for aesthetics, and the beatiful life. My publisher, Tammi/Bonnier, and I also hope to sell the translation and publishing rights internationally. I have collected the best classic works available and made sure The Classic won’t be just another copy-paste or GQ-pastiche more. Several of the texts I’ve translated for Keikari’s international version already to offer something that’s missing from the strange and wonderful world of menswear. Should the kind reader work in publishing on any corner of the Earth, please get in touch.

Copyright © 2013 Ville Raivio

Only a beautiful life is worth living.

"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell