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.
The inspiration of this rhinestone beauty came from a 1970’s piece designed and tailored by Manuel for Freddie Hart.
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.
This jacket is Manuel’s strong statement in the 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.
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 was sent 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.
Here’s myself with Jaime on “fitting day.”
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.
Before you know it… Chris appeared in this suit not long after.
You just can’t keep a good design down…
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”
Followed by “Teal”
We call this one, “Del Reeves”
“Black & Blue”
And last but certainly not least is “Lavender,” the second most stunning design
Long live the rhinestones.