Associated with the moneyed pockets of bankers and lawyers, bespoke tailoring is often dismissed by most as an indulgent luxury and therefore unnecessary or inaccessible. But as Shahrin Bahar explains, its not just the Wall Street types who are flocking to his atelier in Bangsar, Malaysia.
Bringing a fresh approach to men’s suiting with modern cuts and half-lined suits constructed out of lightweight Italian yarns, Bahar is taking the time-honored art of tailoring to a younger generation. “It’s all about combining the sartorial flair of suiting with the casualness of streetwear”, explains Bahar. And he should know.
After studying Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion, Bahar interned with German design house Burlington to hone his tailoring skills before turning down a Masters position at Central St Martins to work with streetwear brand Puma on the Alexander McQueen line. Then, after a short stint as a lecturer in local design schools in Malaysia, Bahar was picked up by Club 21 in Singapore to design the men’s DKNY JEANS range where he learned about the technicalities of denim washes and finishings. In fact, the current SS2012 menswear range available in DKNY JEANS stores is designed by Bahar.
It is this wealth of experience that informs and moulds his burgeoning bespoke suiting service for the growing local market. “Guys today want to dress up but don’t want a jacket that will impede their way of life”, suggests Bahar. So his jackets, inspired by the insouciance of Italian menswear, are characterised by light canvassing and soft shoulders. “Feel free to roll them up and throw them in the back of your car or in your bag”, Bahar enthuses. It’s all about the attitude.
Yet the question remains: what’s wrong with buying a suit off-the-rack? Bahar explains it best, “ready-to-wear is measured off an anatomically ideal fit model, whereas a bespoke suit is designed for your own unique body shape”. To use the much maligned but apt cliché, it fits like a glove. A bespoke glove that is.
However, with several fittings and measurements, you’ll have to wait several weeks for your suit. There’s no instant gratification of walking into a store and picking up something straight away. But if you’re willing to invest the time, you’ll be rewarded with a quality handmade suit that will last a lifetime. And with all pieces made in Malaysia, not only do you support a local designer and the local economy, the prices are also a lot friendlier compared to the Italian suiting giants.
For an appointment with Bahar in his bachelor-pad styled loft (complete with a rooftop garden), send an email to [email protected]