There are a lot of things that made Naples, or as the Italian call it…Napoli world-famous; from history, people, cuisine, culture, and fashion. But there’s also one thing that made this region in Italy world famous for sartorial enthusiast around the world: Neapolitan classic sartorial art. The birthplace of the famous spalla camicia and a number of world-famous sartorial houses, Naples is a must-visit Mecca of everyone who appreciates fine tailoring craftsmanship. The Italians, forever blessed with unparalleled talent in creating beautiful things, honor the integrity of their family’s name to heart, that that when a maestro of a certain sartorial house passed the mantle to the next kin, those who bear it would be expected to carry on with the same spirit and decorum. The young Luigi Dalcuore was 16 years old in 1966 when he decided to became a tailor. The young man who later established Sartoria Dalcuore came up late to the tailoring scene, as per norm at that time; nascent apprentice would take their apprenticeship at a much younger age. But after awhile, the soon-to-be maestro thank his luck when a renowned Neapolitan tailor Del Luca agreed to accept him, and that is how his journey begun.
“It’s passion”, said Luigi simply when I asked him what drives him. I’ve been a fan of his works for quite sometimes now, that I’m not passing a rare chance to interview the maestro when he came to the Archie store for his premiere trunkshow in Jakarta. Seeing the maestro in front of me is like a dream come true. He came along his daughter; Cristina Dalcuore and her husband, Damiano Annunziato (by the way, I’m also a huge fan of Damiano). Both of them has plunged into the Dalcuore family business and together, and the trio have traveled far and wide around the globe to fulfill appointments with numerous client of great repute from various global cities like New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong, and more.
“Man should be discreet, he should not be excessive and in good proportion when it comes to dressing”, he said as he described how men should dress. The maestro appear very laidback with his crisp-white jacket embellished with a simple lapel pin in a shape of a ladybug, along with what appears like a brown tobacco linen trousers and a pair of sneakers. The maestro doesn’t appear flashy nor imposing like one would imagine the owner of a world-class sartorial house would look like, yet it already speaks a volume of his personal worth – a true reflection of what Dalcuore philosophy is all about.
“It just came naturally” he claimed, that he’d prefer to see men dressed in a certain way and not just “blindly following trends.”
As I listened more to the maestro describing his preferences for a way of dressing and modesty in men, I felt a *tiny* bit of doubt about the way I dress at that time. Thinking about impressing a man that that has been my idol for long, I neither want to appear too rigid nor too laidback, so I skip the spreadaway collar plus tie combo; I avoid wearing the good ol’ shirt underneath a linen jacket that I frequently wear to beat Jakarta’s humidity; and instead, I chose a silk floral shirt with a white double breasted jacket, brown trousers and a bright blue loafers that I thought was not too flashy at first; but now I felt that maybe I am? So I asked him whether the way I dress would pass his standard. I felt a bit anxious as Cristina translated my question. The maestro and Damiano chuckle a little bit, but then tell him that I look good.
Needless to say, I felt really relieved. And very happy – I mean, It’s not everyday that a maestro would approve your choice of attire.
Supple, light and unrestrictive to the person who wears it. Those are three words to describe Dalcuore’s tailoring and those are the hallmark that makes Sartoria Dalcuore gain its International reputation. Dalcuore jacket are typically soft and unstructured – without padding. As you wear it, the jacket would just fell softly on your shoulder first, and the rest would soon follows through on your person like a jigsaw fits into its place, or as the maestro described it: “soft to wrap the person’s line and portion.”
I had a really good talk with the maestro, his daughter and his son-in-law. And before I hit the stop button on my recorder, I asked him one last question: After everything you’ve been through, what’s next for you, I asked him. The maestro just sit back and answer with a simple word…”I want to bring Naples influence to the world.”
Michael Judah Sumbayak adalah pengajar di Vibiz LearningCenter (VbLC) untuk entrepreneurship dan branding. Seorang penggemar jas dan kopi hitam. Follow instagram nya di @michaeljudahsumbek