Bespoke Lifestyle

When we were in the sunny, glossy environs of the Bal Harbour Sheraton Hotel, I was struck with the language around a development that the St. Regis was creating in a luxe de Luxe way. It featured a totally idiotic picture of a glamourpuss blondie in the prescribed whispy, white dress strolling through the shallow surf followed (of course) by the hunkaburning love Butler (in uniform) carrying her suitcases with his pants rolled up, but all else "right and proper". Just this side of offensive in it's stupidity. It had a 3 line sign-off with one of the lines being "bespoke lifestyle"--which is luxe de Luxe code that R. was well acquainted with. So,look what I ran across this a.m.:

Term used for custom-made suits, shirts and shoes. Journalist Peter Howarth it thus: "In brief, the elements that go into making a pukka bespoke product: you start from scratch with measuring sessions, individual patterns are created, horsehair canvasses for inside the garment are washed, softened and hand-shaped over the knee, there's a great deal of hand-making, three fittings, six to 10 weeks waiting time, 65.5 manufacturing hours and a price tag of about Pounds 2,750 for a two-piece. Personal tailoring, on the other hand, is where you take an existing garment and make a version of it, largely by machine to the customer's specifications. You can change fabrics and linings and details and in four to six weeks have a pretty special result starting at that magical Pounds 695 for a two-piece." (Tailored to a Suitable Price, Financial Times, 27 November 2004.)

Further amplification is provided by Ray A. Smith in his A Real Savile Row, Wall Street Journal, April 14-15, 2007. "William Skinner worries that customers will think that made-to-measure, which typically involves using a stock pattern that is then adjusted to fit the client's measurements and taste, is the same thing as bespoke or custom...Custom suits are made entirely from scratch - mostly by hand, in a process that can take at least two or three fittings and at least eight weeks. More than 20 measurements are taken for a besopke garment."

Very cool site>> The Digital Librarian (Shopping section)

Bespoke lifestyle--made to measure. No shortcuts. Custom fit. No alterations...cut from cloth, sewn and tailored to perfection.

We don't speak of bespoke here. No luxe de Luxe here. You need perfect weather and tropical plants for that. When it's paradise...why be content with that?

And...from the picture, bespoke bespeaks of being just like 1000 other folks with that tailor made lifestyle. Har.