While working on the muslin for my Vogue 2275 Yves Saint Laurent coat, I decided that I wanted to use pagoda shoulder pads. “Pagoda Shoulder Pads?” you say? “What are those?”
Excellent question. First, let’s talk pagoda shoulder. A pagoda shoulder, which is used pretty extensively in bespoke tailoring, but rarely seen in even high-end ready to wear, is a shoulder line that has a concave (curving inward toward the body) curve.
It gives a very elegant line, and this pattern incorporates it. Yves Saint Laurent was a tailoring genius. These days, you can find this type of shoulder line in Alexander McQueen jackets. Because of the curvature, this shoulder line requires a specific type of pad designed to support the shape. You can make your own (and I have), but I got curious and decided to do a search online. Much to my delight, I found that Bias Bespoke in New York carries these shoulder pads!
A Little Back-Story
I had visited Bias Bespoke Supply Company a bit over a year ago. They don’t have a retail operation: they are essentially a costume shop, and when I got off the elevator I faced an anteroom that had costumes from “Hamilton” and “Wicked” on display. As it turns out, the owner, Mr. Artur Allakhverdyan, has been a tailor and a costume maker for several decades. As I turned right from the costumes, I faced a busy workroom where tailors, pressers and others were working away on costumes that were obviously destined for “Hamilton.”
I was a bit nonplussed, because I had read on a big sewing site that this was a retail store (WRONG!). But Mr. Allakhverdyan came over and was so gracious and talked with me and put me at ease. He told me that the shop was online only, and he gave me his card. I didn’t have any tailoring projects in the queue at the time, but I decided that when I did, I would definitely look them up.
After searching online, and realizing that Bias Bespoke had what I wanted, I put the shoulder pads in my cart. You get a price break at 6 pairs, so I ordered 3 each of black and of white. Then I looked around the site, and I found a holy-grail item: pre-interfaced wool for under-collars. It’s expensive, but oh man, it’s good stuff! It’s sewn invisibly, not fused, so it can be manipulated beautifully. You still need to pad-stitch, of course, but this is what is used by bespoke tailors and it is good stuff!
The site has tailoring supplies, including pocketing (gold!), lots of corsetry supplies, including busks, spiral steel boning (at very good prices), buttons, hooks, including the types that are used in Chanel-style jackets, and hook tapes, lots of petersham, petersham waist banding (!), and a limited supply of lace trims, and lots more, of course. All the items seem high quality, and the prices are competitive.
Shipping is shipping. They use USPS priority mail to ship within the US and USPS to ship internationally. Their shipping prices are in accordance with the cost of USPS, and anyone who b*tches about shipping costs to me is going to get dope-slapped into next week so don’t even.
That said, I ordered on Sunday and my package arrived on Tuesday. I’m thrilled with them.
Quality of the Merchandise
Fabulous. I may need to pad up the shoulder pads a bit (this is, after all, a vintage pattern from the day of big shoulders). The under-collar fabric is also great. The hair canvas is high quality and the wool is better than most of the wools I’ve been sold for under-collars. Those are the only two products that I have ordered, but based on them I’ll order again.
The pricing is comparable to other high-quality tailoring suppliers.
Would I Recommend This Site? Will I Use It Again?
Yes and yes!