Thursday, 20 April 2017

Artefact London: Made-to-Measure Tailoring

Artefact London is a relative newcomer to the tailoring scene, but judging from the suit they've just made for me, they've hit the ground running. Founded by young entrepreneur, Tatyana Kozhevnikova, whose enthusiasm for tailoring is infectious, Artefact London focuses unashamedly on made to measure (MTM), as opposed to bespoke tailoring. The thinking behind this boils down to a balance between value for money and the quality and fit of the final product.

The completed suit from Artefact London

So great is Tatyana's belief that MTM represents good value, that she offered to make me a lightweight wool suit, confident that I would be very happy with the result - and I have to report that I am. She is very clear and honest about the key differences between MTM and bespoke, pointing out that the "pattern [was] made on a computer and laser cut...buttonholes [were] machine stitched and the floating canvas made with help of a machine, but shaped and attached by hand". A bespoke suit may have more hand stitching and more time would be spent on fittings and detail, but she points out that this additional care comes at a cost and argues that an excellent MTM suit can be made at a fraction of the cost of bespoke.


One of the most important aspects of having a suit made is how well the tailor works with the client, interpreting and gently guiding their wishes and expectations. Tatyana is excellent at this and long discussions ended up with a suit that precisely echoes my aims, but included a number of suggestions from her.


The system is flexible enough to allow multiple and often minute changes to the block, allowing the client almost exactly what they requite in terms of fit, shape and design. I asked for roped shoulders, a slightly fuller cut to the trousers and a double-breasted coat. All were delivered as I expected,


In measuring a client, Tatyana tells me, she will "look at your posture: stooping, erect or leaning forward, do you have a curve to your back or perhaps a dropped shoulder, or prominent blades? I look at the position of your arms relative to your body to eliminate any creasing around the bicep area. These are all the things that you cannot gauge with linear measurements, but will have a great impact on the fit".

Images Paul Harries

My conclusion? The suit is excellent and I'm more than happy with it - it fitted well with out any alterations. A similar suit made bespoke might cost four or five times as much. To anyone aware of the details of tailoring, the additional little touches and flourishes of a fully bespoke suit would be important enough to merit the extra cost and care. However, it would take an experienced eye to be able to see the difference between a well-made MTM suit and a bespoke one.


The pure bespoke experience is one that I'll treasure and everyone who can afford one should try it at least once. However, in terms of pure value for money (so unromantic I know) the well-made MTM suit is hard to beat. The fitting process revolves around a pre-existing block (rather than a bespoke pattern) and CAD is used to create the pattern. There is much more flexibility in the MTM process than I'd expected and it was possible to include all the little touches I wanted in the suit in terms of details like cut, lapel shape, button configuration and so on.


Having a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tailor who can guide the client as well as Tatyana does helps the process along and I'd recommend that you try Artefact London, who are based in New Bond Street, London, studio to discuss your needs.

Cloth light tan Prince of Wales check from Holland & Sherry's Cool*Breeze range in pure wool worsted. Prices from £960 for a two-piece suit. Shirts, overcoats, morning and evening wear also available.

The suit was provided for this review by Artefact London. I received no financial compensation for this review. All views expressed are my own unless otherwise stated.

6 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

An(other) extremely sharp suit! One cannot go wrong with a double-breasted model.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

Snapper said...

Grey Fox,

Is there any way please of finding the cost of bespoke shirts on their website ?

Thank you,
Snapper

21-4-17

Grey Fox said...

Thanks H-U!

I'm not sure snapper - get in touch with Tatyana and she will help.

GF

joe said...

Hi – Artefact looks great from your review! I've read this and your one for Edit suits – what would be your opinion on the best made-to-measure tailors in this sort of low to mid range price range? Do you have any experience with beggars run as well?

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Grey Fox,

I thought the suit looked very smart but greatly enhanced by your choice of shirt and tie featured in most of the photographs.
As I am looking for long pointed collars,I would appreciateif you could tell me stockists of the shirt featured.
Thank you.

Ian de Palma

Grey Fox said...

Hello Ian, the long collared shirt was a collaboration with TriplStitched Shirts that I did a year or two ago - contact them and they may be able to help.

GF

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