It’s All About The Rhinestones

 

The Superlatives have had about 12 suits custom tailored over the years. Of those, about half are rhinestone studded. Amongst all of them though, there is one jacket that hands down, beats them all.

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The inspiration of this rhinestone beauty came from a 1970’s piece designed and tailored by Manuel for Freddie Hart.

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It is special because it is one of the first creations to come out of Manuel’s new shop just after he left Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. Freddie was one of the earliest customers to come through the door and he ordered up this jacket, which originally came with a matching set of pants. I can’t imagine the statement THAT made. Bruce Williams (of the comedy team of Williams and Ree) bought the jacket years later from Freddie and took it back to Manuel to have it re-fitted and his own name sewn on the inside pocket.

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This jacket is Manuel’s strong statement in evolution of style breaking away from the cowboy motif associated with his old boss towards a more glamorous, elegant look. It’s just impossible not to be dazzled by the exquisite multi-colored paisleys swimming in resplendent gold vines and sparkling rhinestones.

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I fell in love with it years ago when I first saw it in Marty’s collection. When it came time for us to suit up in a new rhinestone look, Marty asked what I wanted and without hesitation, I immediately pointed to Manuel’s masterpiece and said, “That!”

 

So, the order went in to Jaime’s Custom Tailoring and Western Wear in North Hollywood to begin stitching my dream jacket. If you’re not familiar with Jaime, he perfected his custom tailoring skills right alongside Manuel in Nudie’s old shop.

 

The day finally came when I got the call to drive up to Marty’s office where Jaime was waiting for the final fitting. The entire band had new clothes to check, but in my case,…it fit like a glove… flawless! When I first put it on I knew I had the ultimate clotheshorse wardrobe weapon, and it never fails to stop people cold.

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Here’s myself with Jaime on fitting day.

 

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As an interesting side note, it seems I wasn’t the only person that loves this design. Chris Isaak was visiting Jaime’s shop while my jacket was being sewn, and it caught his eye. He ordered his own version and I was able to shoot this image on a later visit to Jaime’s just before he picked his up.

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Before you know it… Chris appeared in this suit not long after.

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You just can’t keep a good design down…

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As a postscript, let me include some close-ups of our other rhinestone designs along with the nicknames we gave each one of them.

All of these suits were made by Jaime’s Custom Tailoring and Western Wear in North Hollywood CA.

This one we call “Black & Pink”

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Followed by “Teal”

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We call this one, “Del Reeves”

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“Black & Blue”

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“Sparky”

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And last but certainly not least is “Lavender,”  the second most stunning design

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15 Responses to It’s All About The Rhinestones

  • Nice- great pictures- love them all!

    • I love them all and want them all…lol. Wow you look very handsome and I love the boot choice in the first picture. Thank you so much for sharing with us!!!!! You are the handsome Harry just as Marty says you are.

  • love them all and you look good in anything

    • Thanks for sharing Harry as you know i’m such a big fan of the “threads” and the history .I was aware of the Freddie Hart design but did not know
      Williams owns the jacket . Jaime is such a nice man and enjoy stopping in to see him as he always takes the time to show me what he has been working on.

  • Always loved the sparkle suits. They were half the fun of the music. Porter Wagner wouldn’t have been Porter without the suits. Watched his show just to see what he was wearing. Have loved seeing you guys even though Marty has really toned it down. Hope to see you in Wisconsin this summer. Erla Mae Clearmont

  • Hello Harry!

    Love these stage clothes. Killer. Always dreamed of owning one of Manuel’s jackets. You got that right when you wardrobe weapon. Had a black velvet Yves St. Laurent tailored jacket in the 80’s when I played in a couple working bands. The go to jacket. Ha! Love your playing, drummer here as well,and the Band. Never miss the show on RFDTV! Solid country. Saw you a few times and got to chat at the Bluegrass Festival in Woodstown, NJ.

    Rock on Harry. Regards, Michael

  • Nice insight into tradition and your viewpoints, Harry. Like your travel photos, this is something that you see up close in your professional life that we fans enjoy following and sharing with you. Thanks!

  • You look awesome in all your outfits.

  • Love the jackets.

  • aMAZING JOB ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL SUITS. BEING THE NICE, TALL DRINK OF WATER THAT YOU ARE-YOU LOOK HANDSOME IN ANYTHING. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THE STORY OF THOSE INCREDIBLE SUITS WITH ALL OF US. HUGS FROM INDIANA.

  • gorgerous!! Love the color , better than Chris’s.. Hope you put your handsome Harry tie to rest that I made for you, from Baton Rouge.. Thanks for posting !!

  • I love all the rhinestone suits and jackets! Could I borrow one some time? 😉

  • All jackets are absolutely stunning … have always loved the rhinestone suits that were worn in the 50’s & 60’s. Sad that this part of country music has pretty much faded away – thanks for bringing it back. You all look so great in your stage wear on Marty’s show & in concert. These guys sure do one heck of a job on making them for all of you. It has to be very tedious & labor intensive work – good for them. 🙂 And you are right Harry, long live the rhinestone (& sequin too!) 🙂

  • Love all the suits Harry, but favorite is still the Lavender, but of course the white boots make them all better

  • These jackets are all so beautiful, Harry!! Thanks for sharing this story.

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