Every once in a while I can't help but engage in an indulgence of one sort or another. This time, I sought out for an extravagance(1) of a sartorial kind.
Running an advertisement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a Mr. Daswani from Hong Kong offers tailor made suits in the best Saville Row tradition for an affordable price. Sure enough, a variety of major international newspapers (among them The Economist and the venerable New York Times) ran articles on the fine clothes by Raja Fashions, praising both quality and service. Having made quite good experiences with my tailor in Singapore, I made an appointment with Mr. Daswani's emissaries who are currently residing in Frankfurt.
Unlike my tailor in Singapore, Dayani's (100 Orchard Rd), it is not necessary to pay a visit to Hong Kong to come to enjoy Mr. Raja's craftsmanship, although this might be the perfect excuse for a trip to the former british crown colony. Raja Fashions tailors are routinely touring Europe and North America and will be in a city nearby every three months.
Sure enough, my soon-to-be new tailors reside in Frankfurts Hilton Hotel. Raja Fashion advertises a total of 20,000 different fabrics to choose from and yes, a good portion of the suite is covered with sample books. The look-out onto Frankfurts CBD is magnificent on this sunny autumn morning while the two gentlemen take my measures carefully and with a professional swiftness, noting every bodily imperfection that needs to be hidden by the suits.
Although the notion of tailor-made clothes might still convey a certain (financial) loftiness that is really not my native habitat, rest assured that in todays globalising world services like this become available to the proverbial everyman like myself for the price of what could be considered a nice, short vacation abroad. I especially commend Raja Fashions pricing system which could not be any easier. Included in the price for your suits are shipping costs as well as a lifelong guarantee for changes. You just call up Raja Fashion when they tour a city near you again if you wish to have changes made.
The ineptitude of my domestic bank in transferring the money within a reasonable amount of time stands in a sharp contrast to the swiftness with which the (one might think, equally complicated) process of manufacturing a highly customised suit in Hong Kong and ship it to the customer anywhere in the world is conducted. This has got to be Germany.
(1) Yes, the question whether or not things considered quite mundane for a Westerner (like owning and regularly driving a car) already constitutes an indulgence that strains our planetary resources when looked from a global perspective, remains to be addressed.