Ginza Stylist – Koji Ukai


 
Kenichi Yoshino has assumed that his fashion style should be like as follows:
1) I am stout, so the stylist will probably recommend double breasted suits.
2) I have got suntanned skin, so the stylist will show me plain dark color textile for my suits order.
3) I can trust white shirts; nothing is going wrong with it.
4) I am a man of the sea, so should wear a navy blazer.
5) I love the sea, so I must look good in summer colors.
 
However, the results turned out to be different; Kenichi’s color group is the autumn in which he looks most attractive. Also, the fashion type for Kenichi was found as the Naturals after consultation with the stylist, Koji Ukai. While Ukai was measuring the body size of his client, he said to Yoshino, “You are sensitive, caring, and gentle personality in nature. Also, your position as an editor makes you wear dignity. I suggest that you should wear clothing where fine lightness, brightness, and dignity, are all mixed.”
 
採寸が始まる
採寸が始まる
 
Ukai didn’t say any words when he was measuring his client’s feet, but he silently convinced himself, “I see, OK…”. And then, Ukai saw Kenichi off with smile.
 
After that night, Ukai has started the work as a tailor. He sat on the chair, drew design for suits, shirts, and ties, for his client. Sometimes he spent the night to figure out the combination of the color, line of suits, form of shirt, and design of shoes, repeating the trial and error over and over. And then, he was hanging around fabric wholesalers, seeking for the best match for his clients. The search is not limited to the domestic stores in Japan, but he visits overseas shops when necessary.
 
Now I will tell you the story of backstage dressing room at Ginza Stylist. We have visited a tailor studio in Tokyo metropolitan area. There were full of high grade textiles displayed on the floor, such as Dormeuil in France, Loro Piana in Italy, and HOLLAND & SHERRY from England. These are strong weapons for Ginza Stylist, who keeps rigid network with craftsmen. Ukai orders suits, jackets, trousers, and shirts to be made only by the craftsmen he can implicit endorsement as the top class. Even leather processing experts have been involved in the network to make belts or shoes. He maintains the network with many craftsmen, so that he can handle any requests for the custom-made fashion crowning individuality. Although the network was a top secret of Ginza Stylist, we were fortunate to have such special opportunity to take a look inside of his business.
 
一枚の布から
一枚の布から
一枚の布から
 
Naoki Fukuda is a fitter for suits making. He has studied and trained his skill at tailors in Italy. After returning to his home country, Japan, he has been working for famous tailors in Ginza, Tokyo, where he makes suits for VIPs in Japan for many years.
 
What surprised me was the textile pattern, glen check, officially called as glenurquhart check. Also, it has another naming of the Prince of Wales Check as Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, often worn the suits with this pattern when he was a young Prince. The story goes back to just before the World War I. The textile combining complicated patterns, such as glen check with hairline, tend to cause misalignment on its seam joint of patterns. This could be not so serious matter in a pattern order made, but it is not allowable in a full order made as it undergoes the tacking process before finishing. The tailor must have three dimensional image of client’s figure even from cutting process, so that the patterns can exactly meets at seam joints. Even misalignment as hairbreadth is not allowed. The pattern of glen check is tricky. If you are a tailor and commit to the work first time, you would never choose this pattern. Still, Koji Ukai brought the textile of glen check in Fukuda’s studio.
 
The fact reveals that Fukuda is such a skilled master. He just cut and cut the textile without any hesitation and a pair of scissors does not stop working in his hand. It looks like a Sushi chef cutting a thin slice of flatfish. The same speed rate applies when he cut the cloth in curving line from the straight line. We were taking photos of his cutting, gazing at Fukui’s hand. The work was as astonishing as we could stop breathing.
 
究極の技、よく見ると逆手の断裁
 
Naoki Fukuda fitted the suits with pinning to Kenichi Yoshino on the tacking day. Ukai said, “His coller line should be more close to his breast.” “Let trim the bottom of the jacket 5 mm shorter.” Yoshino seemed nervous being helped his fitting by two experts. “Can you move around, please.” said Ukai. “We need to check the form of the suits when you walk or sit, and how you feel them too.” Naoki Fukuda removed the collar and sleeves of suits, and then micro adjustment in unit of millimeter continued.
 
仮縫いの微調整
仮縫いの微調整

 
“Please don’t wear white shirts with this suits.” Ukai said with a smile. “I am making the shirts with well fitted color and shape to you.” Fukuda left the salon Ginza Staylist after packing the parts of the suits carefully.
 
“Well, it wasn’t a double breasted jacket.” Kenichi murmured. Ukai just quietly smiled when he heard it.

 


 

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