His tailor shop is below street level, in an underground strip mall, which gives Mr. Arabpour’s cramped business the appearance of only being open “late-night.” Burly men file in with their entourage, and he, elfin in comparison, reaches up to greet them with three kisses.
This is the sum of the action in Final Fitting, a portrait of the 80-year-old Arabpour, tailor to the stars of Iranian politics and religion for 58 years. Director Reza Haeri bounces back and forth from Mr. Arabpour’s reception area to his back room, where he cuts fabric and muses on everything from garment construction to his famous clientele to why one should not wear trousers to prayer (plumber’s crack!).
Mr. Arabpour has outfitted everyone from the late Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution, to popular former president Mohammad Khatami and current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. You get the impression he treated them all as he does in the film: jumping up to wrap his arms around a man’s waist, faceplanting into his belly, reading the tape, and shaking his head, muttering, “God preserve me.”