Rome doesn’t have the menswear popularity of Milan, Florence or Naples. However there are some uncommon little gems nestled in numerous elements of town.
Some of the attention-grabbing is Atelier Bomba. Began by Cristina Bomba in 1980, it has a popularity for tremendous knitwear and unstructured tailoring.
Neither the web site nor suggestions we got actually do the place justice, nevertheless – significantly on the tailoring.
It’s a small, slim store, simply off the massive Piazza del Popolo. However the entire rear half is a working atelier, with drapey jackets, coats and trousers being made to measure.
The partitions are stacked with a shocking vary of material. A lot of it’s classic, and all of it’s uncommon however tasteful. The instance beneath is a classic hand-loomed hemp. It nearly had Milad and I ordering based mostly on the material alone.
Cristina was readily available, however the day-to-day working of Bomba is finished by her son, Michele (pictured high).
Michele is definitely a educated bespoke tailor, and makes his personal fits fully himself.
“I made a deliberate choice years in the past to not make that a part of the enterprise,” he mentioned. “The one approach to have executed it could be to outsource manufacturing, to change into a supervisor, and I didn’t need to do this.”
Michele didn’t perceive how anyone may make a bespoke garment with out the cutter, and ideally the maker, seeing the shopper. That led to a protracted dialog about practices amongst tailors and shoemakers, which might be not value reproducing right here. However I suppose would possibly make an attention-grabbing future publish.
Once we arrived at Bomba a buyer was having a pair of navy linen trousers made. He was sporting them with a black polo shirt and smooth slip-ons, and appeared very a lot the easygoing half.
The trousers appeared properly fitted. Inside, that they had an terrible lot of handwork – not all vital maybe, however most likely half and parcel of the expertise for those who like every thing being made on website.
The jacket I attempted on (beneath) had an equally spectacular quantity of handwork, and was properly styled. Although personally, I’d most likely favor a little bit of construction in a traditional DB like this. The lapel peaks had been just a little unruly with out it.
“Generally we do put just a little canvas within the jackets, only one layer of linen,” mentioned Michele, “and no shoulder pads. The items can actually be whichever mixture the shopper needs – that’s the apparent side of getting every thing made right here.”
The model of a number of the jackets was additionally just a little quirky – the jacket I attempted on had two buttons of various sizes. However once more, Michele emphasised that this was only one model, and many purchasers made extra delicate commissions.
There have been pretty craft particulars elsewhere too. The shirt/jacked pictured above had intentionally matched checks on the buttonholes, for instance, which I can’t keep in mind seeing earlier than.
We didn’t have time to strive many items – I hadn’t realised fairly how attention-grabbing the store can be, or how participating Michele and Cristina – however I think a shirt/jacket like this is perhaps extra my model. There are additionally lengthy coats, work jackets and robes.
The knitwear was equally pretty, and might need broader enchantment too.
Apparently one among Cristina’s early obsessions was a shetland knitwear that was gentle sufficient to be worn within the Roman local weather, so she labored with melange yarns to get an identical combine of colors. You possibly can see the vary within the cupboard above. They’re all very gentle and really smooth.
The opposite knit they’re identified for is super-fine merinos. (As in super-fine knitting, not the fibre itself.)
Somewhat like Umbria Verde, their manufacturing unit in Como makes use of previous English looms that the founder took aside and remade, with a view to get a finer setting. They now work at 45-gauge, which is why the items are so clear (above). Once more, significantly suited to Rome.
Bomba, though small, has historical past and connections. The household was good pals with Vittorio Solbiati, and at all times made use of their linens.
“When the corporate was being offered not too long ago, we received a name to come back and take what we needed from the inventory room,” says Michele. “That previous material had been a part of the sale, however nobody needed it.
“So we drove up in a van and stuffed it to the highest with essentially the most stunning bolts. We nonetheless have a whole lot of it at the back of the store – it’s going to take us some time to get via it.”
They’ve additionally been pivotal in retaining the character of their road, By way of dell’Oca. “After the pandemic, there have been a whole lot of empty streets right here,” says Michele. “We satisfied some pals, resembling Patrizia Fabri subsequent door, to take them. In any other case they may have simply change into vacationer locations and sandwich outlets.”
These are Fabri staw hats on the partitions – all made in just a little atelier exterior the centre. One other little Roman gem.
I’ll positively be again to see Bomba, hopefully this yr. There was a lot to discover, and Cristina and Michele had been so pretty.
Cristina specifically appeared achingly stylish regardless of the 35-degree warmth, in an white linen tunic, jewelry and sandals. She jogged my memory relatively of the equally fashionable Audie Charles at Anderson & Sheppard.
Each are additionally stuffed with enjoyable. Michele was blissful to have his portrait taken, however Cristina mentioned she’d solely accomplish that if there could possibly be some knitwear within the shot too.
The primary picture beneath is what she gave us. Then she mentioned the knitwear would look higher on the canine, and proceeded to decorate him up.
Michele watched on, arms folded, with a smile.
Bomba just isn’t low-cost, largely a results of making a lot by hand, on website. The jacket I used to be sporting price €2800, and a piece coat in linen was €1700. The cashmere knits are €570.
By way of dell’Oca 39, Rome
Pictures, Milad Abedi