Musella Dembech tailor
 
While in Milan earlier in the year I had a chance to catch up with Gianfrancesco Musella-Dembech, whose family run a small bespoke operation in Milan.

Mother, father and son all work in the same room, which is also part of their appartment. Although they also use an external trouser maker, this is the hub of activity. Patterns are being cut on one table by Gianfrancesco (the son), while mother and father work on a jacket behind him. 

The three are wonderfully welcoming and have a good number of yarns to tell, given that the father, Francesco Musella (above) has been intertwined with several aspects of the story of north Italian tailoring.
 

Musella Dembech bespoke

 
Let’s unwind a little of that story. Francesco worked as a cutter for the tailoring houses of Baratta, Giuseppe Colovito and Donnini e Caraceni. In this case that Caraceni is Augusto, and although we know his name, Francesco reminds us that Mario Donnini was just as important in the Donnini e Caraceni partnership. Indeed for Francesco, Donnini was the master: perhaps the most important cutter in the whole north-Italian tradition. Gianni Agnelli was a Donnini customer on San Babila, and Francesco is particularly proud of his work for Agnelli while he was there.

As for Giuseppe Colovito, he ran a separate atelier in Milan, and was an heir to Cesare Tosi – again, one of the most important and often forgotten names in Milanese tailoring. Baratta, meanwhile, was a key influence and a name that was bought out by the Campagna family along with Domenico Caraceni.
 

Musella Dembech2 Musella Dembech

 
The Musella family’s style today is rooted in the north-Italian cut of all these names, with a few idiosyncratic details such as two broad rows of stitching across the top of patched chest pockets. The structure is lighter than other Milanese tailors, but the style is not Neapolitan, despite suggestions elsewhere. Other things that distinguish it are: a carefully worked shoulder, that sits close all round and is slightly forward of most cuts; a full sleeve with an egg-shaped crown; unflapped pockets on suits; high-waisted trousers with two pleats; 5cm turn-ups; and curved rear trouser pockets.

Francesco has been key in the development of his son as a cutter, helping him develop his first patterns and still supervising all his work today. Gianfrancesco, on the other hand, has been very effective at spreading the name of the family firm. They have a popular website-cum-blog with regular updates on work, and have received a lot of attention online (particularly for polo-collared sweaters developed by the aunt).

If you like the style, they’re certainly worth visiting in Milan. Two-piece suits start at €4500.
 

Musella Dembech milan

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous

What is the starting price for a 2 piece with them?

Scott

This is a really interesting article. Everywhere one looks in Italy these small bespoke makers appear. You’re doing a superb job of shining a light on this fascinating and amazingly talented group of people. The Italians seem to have an inborn sense of style and wonderful taste. When this is combined with a high level tailoring skill the combination is just outstanding, producing clothes of beauty and timeless elegance.

Rob O

Thanks Simon. I am currently having a couple of jackets made by Gianfrancesco and his charming family. The house cut is excellent and they are a joy to work with. The fit and finish of their soft-shoulder style is up there with the best in my view. The prices certainly make the additional flight/hotel costs from the UK to Milan worthwhile.

Robb

Beautiful post, I always follow their work with great interest. .this is just pure tailoring art.

Alex

Thanks, Simon, for going into the history of the family. The son’s tie seems to be a nice shantung green. Which leads to my three relatively quick questions:

1. I have a shantung necktie and a twill repp necktie that I bought in 2011 from Drake’s that are 7cm in width. Is that width too narrow/skinny for classic menswear? I know 8cm to 9cm are fine, but what about 7cm? Should I get rid of my 7cm ties?

2. What textures/materials of ties complement cotton suits? Would a grenadine tie be too formal? Your post praising cotton suits mentioned grenadine being paired with cotton.

3. Is wearing a shantung necktie limited to summer, and a wool tie to fall/winter?

Thanks so much.

Hristo

I have a sport jacket made by Gianfrancesco Musella and I am very happy with the result.
Especially the fit on the back was better than the fit of other bespoke jackets that I own.
I can highly recommend him.
And the communication with him is really easy because Gianfrancesco is fluent in English and you can discuss with him everything in detail.

Jerrell

Hello Simon,

Going back to your post about flannel suits – do you think the reputation of Fox is warranted? Is your dove gray A&S flannel from them?

Fool in jungle

Dear Simon,

Somewhere on your website is the instruction not to worry about irrelevance of a question because you will see to it’s proper place; nowhere can I find in the archive or otherwise where my problem has appeared. Yesterday in a store suddenly a button shot like a rocket from the middle of my RTW wool odd jacket in a one-and-a-half meter trajectory to the floor in front of me. I was caught completely by surprise. If I had any reason, too tight fit, loose thread, whatever, I would have been more cautious. I picked up the button and identified at once its earlier position as the upper of two buttons, the button I always close. My problem is how to resew it. I see the thread disappears in the cloth. I’m in the wilderness, far from its label New & Lingwood, far from any trustworthy tailor. I’m afraid to let my girlfriend sew it. What must I know?