The Story of Gabriele's replicas

As a tailor (cutter-fitter) I have been making period uniform and costume reproductions for more than twenty years (since 1997), mainly for historical re-enactments, TV documentaries (ARTE’s “L’Histoire en Cuisine”, RAI’s “La Macchina del Tempo”) and movies.
In 2007 I was hired as Male Costume Head Cutter for the movie: “The Nutcracker”, directed by Andrej Konchalovsky and shot in Budapest. Under the direction of Costume Designer Louise Stjernsward, I developed the patterns for all the male costumes (actors and extras alike), and cut and fitted all those for the main characters, from John Turturro (starring as the Rat King), to the “Nutcracker”, and all the uniforms of the “Rat Army”.

I then perfected my own professional knowledge and skills working in 2009 under the direction of Mr. Keith Levett, head of the Livery Department at the renowned tailors "Henry Poole" in Savile Row, London, by appointment of Her Majesty the Queen.

Thanks to these varied and highly qualified working experiences, and through my own constant study and research, I acquired an in-depth knowledge of both period and contemporary pattern drafting, cutting and sewing, as well as the evolution of male fashion from ancient times to the present day, though my specialty are military uniforms of the 18th and 19th centuries. 
Specifically, I made a thorough study of the early drafting and cutting systems of the 19th century, and although these cannot be used today as they were intended at the time, they gave me a clear insight and a technical understanding of period cutting. This “feel” for the period to be recreated is what I always strive to infuse into my own cutting patterns.
I also had the chance of personally examining many original uniforms and civilian extant garments from late-17th to mid-19th century preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the London Museum, the Armémuseum of Stockholm, the Musée de l'Emperi at Salon de Provence and the Museo del Risorgimento of Milan, and others in public or private collections. 
I was also appointed to make a professional survey and expertise of Napoleon’s original uniforms preserved in the Sens and Fontainebleau museums (see photo here at right), in order to make faithful, identical replicas to be worn by the actor impersonating Napoleon at various bicentennial events all over Europe.
It is this first-hand knowledge of period costume that enables me to create the most accurate and faithful replicas you can find anywhere, but also to adapt them to the modern figure and stance, as well as to the needs of quick and even bulk production required by the movie industry, or the reenactment and living history enthusiasts, while still preserving the “flavour” and "style" of the specific period portrayed. 

As my work as a professional tailor was sparked by my interest in uniforms and historical reenactment, I have been involved since 18 years of age in this hobby, and active until quite recently.

My first experience was within the Risorgimento period, after which I was one of the brave few fellows who started up Napoleonic reenactment in Italy in 1989. Together with other friends, I founded the Italian Royal Guard and 5th Line, and later on the 1st light infantry. 

In a second phase my interest shifted to the 18th century and I recreated the Gardes Françaises of the Seven Years War period.

Later on I also had a big part in the birth of the light company of the Black Watch regiment of the Napoleonic period. For both these groups I made all the uniforms and equipment.

At the same time, together with my friends, the Martignoni's brothers, I created the Polytechnique, a group devoted to the study and promotion of Napoleonic reneactment, whose acrivity culminated in a 5 session course intended for the instruction and training of NCOs of various units.

In 2012 I was charged with the organisation of a reenactment of the battle of Bunker Hill, 1775, as a promo event for the launch of the new PC game "Assassin's Creed III" within Lucca's "Comics & Games".

For this event I called for and coordinated reenactors from various groups, which I also partly dressed up with bulk-produced redcoats and hats. I also wrote the script and directed the stage of the actual scene which was performed in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd (you can watch a video of this event in the costuming & consulting services section).

In addition to my work as a period tailor, I am also a drill instructor, group trainer and event promoter. I can provide expert consultancy for drill and tactics of many eras, and also help in the training of extras for movies and TV docs. In this job I can put to use my own experience as an officer and instructor of reenactors, and also as a drill corporal in the modern Italian army, where I served for one year in the 3rd Bersaglieri.   

I am a tailor cutter-fitter who has been making period costumes for more than ten years, mainly for historical re-enactments, TV documentaries (ARTE’s “L’Histoire en Cuisine”, RAI’s “La Macchina del Tempo”) and movies.

My last relevant job was in 2007 as Male Costume Head Cutter for the movie: “The Nutcracker”, directed by Andrej Konchalovsky and shot in Budapest. Under the direction of Costume Designer Louise Stjernsward, I developed the patterns for all the male costumes, both actors and extras, and cut and fitted all the costumes for the main characters, from John Turturro (starring as the Rat King), the “Nutcracker”, Gielgud, Max, etc., to all the uniforms of the “Rat Army”.

I have got an in-depth knowledge of both period and contemporary pattern drafting and cutting, as well as of the evolution of male fashion from ancient times to the present day, though my specialty are military uniforms.

I made a thorough study into the evolution of early drafting and cutting systems of the 18th and 19th centuries, and although these cannot be really used today as they were, they gave me a clear insight and a technical understanding of period cutting. This “feel” for the period to be recreated is what I always strive to translate into my own patterns.

I also had the chance of personally examining many original uniforms and items of clothing from late-17th to mid-19th century preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the London Museum, the Armémuseum of Stockholm, the Musée de l'Emperi at Salon de Provence and the Museo del Risorgimento of Milan, in addition to many other period clothes in private collections.

Recently, I was appointed to make a survey and official expertise of Napoleon’s original uniforms preserved in the Sens and Fontainebleau museums, of which I made identical replicas to be worn by the actor impersonating Napoleon at various bicentennial events all over Europe.

This first-hand knowledge of period costume enables me to create accurate and faithful replicas, but also to adapt them to the needs of quick and mass production required by the movie industry, while still preserving the “flavour” of the period portrayed.

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