Tailor's Progress: The Story of a Famous Union and the Men Who Made It

Tailor's Progress: The Story of a Famous Union and the Men Who Made It

Tailor's Progress: The Story of a Famous Union and the Men Who Made It

Tailor's Progress: The Story of a Famous Union and the Men Who Made It

Excerpt

The world's oldest trade is tailoring. As soon as Eve ate of the apple and sensed the possibilities of modesty she began to worry about clothes. For once social science and sacred writ see eye to eye: dress originated in the game of sexual coyness and attraction. In the balmy air of Paradise Eve was not afraid of catching cold. The fig-leaf apron is the symbol and the source of style.

In His anger at Eve's provocative demureness, so sketchily suggested, the good Lord Himself became the first cloakmaker. "Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Then He deported them from Eden for having lost their innocence, a loss which with Freudian astuteness He identified with the beginning of knowledge—and of trouble. Ever since then mankind has had to clothe itself for seasonal protection as well as for allure, for utility as well as style. And men have had to make their garments in the sweat of their brow. The problems of style, of season and of laboring conditions —or, more fundamentally, the problems of vanity, of man's struggle with nature and his struggle in society—are still the major problems of the needle trades.

That is why in literature, from the Bible to Sartor Resartus, the tailoring trade appears as the most absurdly human of all crafts. It is really more than a craft. When the plumber fixes the kitchen sink, that's that. But when the tailor fits a garment he must fit not only the figure of his customer but also the hidden man—his romantic illusions and his secret anxieties about his . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.