I once ordered Charvet a custom-made pink shirt with navy blue and my salesman asked me which navy blue I was talking about, as there were 42 shades of color available in the tank. This is Charvet.
I know that elegant men dress in Savile Row in London, but if even the most dandy of the English dandies, King Edward VII of England, ordered their shirts, their buttons, scarves, gloves, ties and cufflinks on the Charvet in Paris , it must be understood that certain conventions need to be revised according to Ehistorylib. For him, the mason created a kind of high-necked shirt collar called “HRH” (His Royal Highness), the most popular of the late 19th century.
Not only the king; Jean Cocteau, JFK, Garry Cooper and Debussy were also clients. The founder, Joseph-Christophe Charvet, learned to deal with male couture clients as his father, who was Napoleon’s wardrobe conservator. Since opening the doors in 1838, the Charvet has fallen in the favor of men and never left. Maybe it’s a bit dusty in the only shop on the edge of Place Vendome in Paris. The decor still retains wood from the last refurbishment in the 80’s, but for me, that’s a quality. In times of megastores that look like nightclubs, having a workshop of common excellence that smells musty is the pinnacle of elegance. I can not wear another tie, and unlike the shops at Savile, no one says snobbishly that the play will take six months because the studio is busy tending a duke or Prince Charles.
When the Charvet family had to dispose of the company in the 1960s, then-President Charles de Gaulle panicked over the possibility of an American taking his favorite shirt shop. It was Denis Colban, a French businessman who was the largest importer of fabrics of the time, to find a national buyer for Charvet. Denis himself got the mark. His children, Jean-Claude and Anne-Marie, are still at the forefront of the business today.
On the first floor is the line of ties. On my last visit to the store, I marveled at a yellow one, and the seller refused to sell it because it did not match my skin tone. Again, I liked a brighter numerature bow tie, and he explained that it was a tie that could only be worn in a robe, pajamas, and slippers, preferably in a castle with the fireplace burning.
On the top floor, the shirts are tailor-made and there are no less than 6,000 types of fabric to choose from. The modeling has changed from 170 years to here: the rich young people of the financial market have discovered Charvet and already represent more than half of the clientele. For them, Anne-Marie created a shirt more glued to the body and long line, different from the loose pieces of grandpa. One can choose the shape of the collar, the cuffs and the length of the sleeves. And your tastes and measurements are archived for future visits. Detail: a shirt ready for a minimum price of € 290 and differs from one tailored basically by the way the button is nailed.
To the buttons: they are made of the best mother-of-pearl, Australia, taken from the top and most noble of the shell, to avoid that the back is yellowish. The buttons, after all, need to be perfectly white on the front and back, and homogeneous, opaque half-pieces. “This ensures the absence of diffraction of light and, consequently, unwanted colors in white shirts,” explains Anne-Marie. Only using a Charvet piece, without any shadow of logos and nouveau-richisme, you discover that you could not die without knowing it.
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