Friday, 31 May 2013

The Duchess of Windsor's shoes and travel case

For ending the month of May 2013, I have sampled a pair of shoes and a Louis Vuitton travel trunk that once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor (Mrs. Wallis Simpson). I understand that the shoe was designed by Mr. Andrew Geller, bought at Harvey Nichols in London's Knightsbridge in the 1950's.
The depicted shoes are brocade peep-toe high heels with leather embellishment, and intricate floral embroidery and gold cross straps, so I doubt that they came cheap. I'm not into ladies shoes, but ....the below depicted does hint the artisans shoe craft and respect for the trade. This shoes are about sixty years old, and still looking good and elegant to me. Hope the lady readers do not lynch me for my humble opinion.

An Andrew Geller shoe for The late Duchess of Windsor (Mrs. Simpson)
A Louis Vuitton travel trunk with inscription "The Duchess of Windsor" on it. Now this piece does not come cheap even today. Have to say the Duchess knew how to spend it in style and with grace.
Photos sourced from the Tumblr

Bestetti black tassel loafer for the day

As the Summer is slowly showing it's true colours and the warmth is felt allover the place and everyone around is enjoying what the Summer brings, warmth. My thoughts during this time have been around on the below depicted Master Bestetti creation of a loafer, a tassel loafer in black hide. I know most gents prefer their loafers in suede, but...I do not see why not to pair this black calf loafer with a light weight cloth Summer suiting and then this highly polished pair of loafers, add Gammarelli socks and a Spring/Summer coloured paisley pocket square to the suit jacket and top it off with a Panama hat. 
I have in mind two tassel loafers, that must be made in calf hide and one of them is the below as renditioned by Master Bestetti.

Black calf raised apron tassel loafer 

Photos sourced from Master Bestetti

Shoji Kawaguchi aka Marquess a brown crocodile shoe for a lady

For the day I am taking a "little" break from the gent's shoes and pay tribute to the ladies, therefore I have sampled a lady's shoe in crocodile with ribbon laces as renditioned by Japanese bespoke shoemaker Shoji Kawaguchi aka "Marquess". The below depicted shoe has the tiny little details that makes me go: WoW!!!! What a beautiful shoe. This is a tribute to the ladies, hope you will enjoy as I did.

Brown crocodile three tier ribbon laced lady shoe with a nice rounded toe last. Elegant and feminine. 
 Viewing the back of the shoe, ...the curves, the roundness, proportions, contours and silhouette of this shoe, just so female like. Look at the two different scaling of the hide. Left side rather small scaled and the right side large scaled hide. The heel. Hmmmm fascinating, lovely.
All photos sourced from the The Marquess

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Koji Suzuki (Spigola) Lazy man's shoe rendition

For closing the day, I have again sampled a side gusset punched cap toe Oxford with "faux laces" - "Lazy Man's shoe" as renditioned by Japanese Master Koji Suzuki. Need not say that Master Suzuki is a master of making the most amazing renditions of shoes, simple, elegant and classic, yet paying much attention to the tiny details and with great respect to the shoemaking art. 
Now the below "Lazy Man's shoe" because of the side gussets and the false laces, is a classical punched cap toe with a chisel square, the colour an espresso brown (nothing special about that), but the overall look and feel of this shoe makes it distinctive and unique, only the connoisseurs and real shoe lovers will and can appreciate this rendition. Naturally bespoke, where less is more. Very nice, indeed.

Master Koji Suzuki's rendition of a "Lazy Man's" shoe, with a punched cap toe and side gussets paired with faux laces.
Photos sourced from The Shoe Realist

Yutaka Seigaku - model Carina in purplish blue

I sampled the below shoe from Master Yutaka Seigaku aka "Il Corno Blu". What I like about the shoe is the design, a single eyelet Derby, silk ribbon laced, square chisel toe and the purplish blue colouring. It has the elements of a court shoe, but.....I could settle for this shoe as a compliment to a Dinner suit, instead of Opera pumps. Give this creation a military shine worthy HRH Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary The Second of England. I am dead sure not an eyebrow will be lifted, as these are just perfect for an Aristocratic gent to a Dinner suiting event. 

Model Carina a one eyelet Derby, square chisel toe, silk ribbon laced
Photo sourced from The Shoe Realist

Bestetti three eyelet Derby the "Foster" from Novecento line

The day's sampled three eyelet Derby is from Master Riccardo Freccia Bestetti, who does not need any introduction on this blog. The below depicted Derby called the "Foster" is from the Novecento Line, very well renditioned with the unusual brogue on the vamp, dashed and splashed with a toe medallion. The topping is the well done antique polishing or patina. Just simple and elegant. 
Three eyelet Derby "Foster", round toe last and medallion from Master Bestetti
Photos sourced from Master Bestetti

Vintage elegantly dressed black gents......

For quite some time I have been thinking of these two vintage photos of these gents looking very elegant and classic in their outfits which are also timeless. The photos depicts well cut clothing, the jackets are soft shouldered, the trousers high risen on the waist. The shirt sleeve length just perfectly done, then to top it all, walking sticks, a boater hat and a Homborg. Dapper, elegant, classic & timeless. Oh, forgot the well polished punched cap toe shoes or Balmoral boots and the perfect length of the cuffed trousers.

Viewing these photos, I can not imagine anything but that the clothing is "bespoke" and commissioned not ready to wear, thus the perfect fit and elegant look. A time when men took pride in their looks before stepping out of their doors. 
 The second photo below depicts a standing gent and one sitting. Standing gent wearing a three piece, two button single breasted suit, white or creamed shirt. Again here the trousers are high in waist, jacket very trimmed. Elegantly polished cap toe Oxfords. Sitting gent also three piece suit, crisp white shirt and a stripped tie, an elegant hat that could be a Homborg or Lord's hat, he is also wearing a well polished Oxford laced shoe. Simply elegant and timeless attire.
Photos sourced from The Sartorialist, I believe.

GJ Cleverley the "Churchill" in Polo suede

I have a few times explained that I favour the side gussets for their practicality. I know many gents who loathe the side gussets especially when paired with "faux laces" and resembling an Oxford shoe, or it be a full brogue, cap toe etc-etc. But I do like them and have a few of these creations.

For the day, I have sampled a GJ Cleverley, faux laced full austerity / blind brogue with side gussets made of Polo suede aka "The Churchill". WOW! 

Now, some may say I am biased when it comes to GJ Cleverley, no I am not. They do produce wonderful shoes and for me their shoes fit from go, no need to break them in for days on end. In February of this year, I was thinking of commissioning the "Churchill" but ended up with the Aidan and the Jack in burgundy (seen next to the Clifford) and then topped it off with the Peter in black, which I am looking forward to receive at any moment from now. 

The "Churchill" (austerity brogue) with "faux" laces and a side gussets in Polo suede.
Photos sourced from Leather Soul Hawaii

Nature's own patina design - Dracula simia / Orchis simia - inspirational

For the day I have given the shoe talk a break and rather concentrated on natural raw nature's wonders of setting colours and making it's own unique art. Below it is pictures of an Orchid type that mimics a monkey and very well done. These lovely creations are from Latin America, mainly Ecuador and Peru. Cool, hmmmmm.. at first thought it was some hoax, but not my dear readers, these are the real deal. Fascinating.

Dracula simia / gigas or Orchis simia - Monkey orchid or Dracula orchid 
Photos sourced from Kuriositas

Monday, 27 May 2013

Swims rubber galoshes - shoe protection

It has been pouring the last few days and that is when I thought of shoe protection accessory's and I am not talking about polishing the shoes but something simple and straight forward as the rubber galoshes offered by Swims. A nice touch from the Norwegian producers of this very practical accessory that comes in different colours and not just the boring black and brown to give a dash and splash and protection to your loved and cherished shoes. I will be heading off to get at least three colourful pairs of this magnificent product to add to my arsenal gear of shoe protection. It is worth the investment. 
A gent in a dinner jacket, patent shoes that are protected by purple rubber galoshes and still looking good and stylish. 
Photos sourced from Urbane Menswear, Swims and AAAC

GJ Cleverley - The exotic single monk

For today I have sampled a beautiful rendition of a single strap monk from the London based GJ Cleverley establishment. The last two years or so, a trend prevailed, which was  getting "monks" in double straps or more, a trend which was "fashion like" and was getting a tad too much. So I was pleased to see a simple single strap monk in exotic hide commissioned by gent from The Cleverley's. The gent went back to basics of a single strap, but highlighted the shoe by choosing an exotic hide, a GJ Cleverley suspicious square chisel toe and a beautiful colour to the shoe to compliment the Summer. 
The beauty of this monk lies within the tiny microscopic details. Take the hide, the scaling of the hide gets smaller towards the cap toe, whilst large/larger at vamp and back (heel) part. The polishing, where the scales  join, the colour is different, thus highlighting the scales. The buckle colour blends perfectly well with the rest of the colour shades of the shoe. Stunning beautiful. 

Exotic: yes, classic: yes, timeless: yes, stylish: yes, elegant: yes. 
 A bespoke GJ Cleverley single strap monk in an exotic hide
Photos sourced from GJ Cleverley

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Great Gatsby period cars

Today will venture into something which I have never tried before, write/depict  about cars, which for the day are from the Great Gatsby era. Now all is hype about the "Great Gatsby", a period which depicts the American society (New York) after the First World War and prior to the Depression of 1929. But what is it that fascinates people about the "The Great Gatsby", not sure, but I suppose the glamour, excentricity, fabulous and nonchalant life, easy living of the rich. I am peep looking at the cars of the time, real machines, well made and worth the glamour of the period. The Great Gatsby period is also known as the "Jazz Era". How surprising.....

It is a very odd period, as "The Great Gatsby" is about the prohibition period of the USA, whereby everyone is trying to evade the law and make a bit or much of living from bootlegging alcohol and other unscrupulous illegal activities, never-the-less this novel has become one of USA's contender in classic literature and a ranked among the best and greatest works of American literature. A few motion pictures were made from this American classic novel and again a revival of the period is again made into a movie, thus the hype in 2013.

The cars depicted below are from a "Classic Car Show" from Helsingborg, Sweden held at the Sofiero Park in 2010/2011. Most of the cars are "classic" vintage cars and European built. All are either Danish or Swedish owned. Anyway, we all do get the picture. If I were the arranger, would time and period and get the people to dress like wise to depict the given period. For the "Gatsby" I would have the gents, dressed in "white/of white" linen suits, boater hats, co- respondent/spectator shoes, boating blazers, sleek hair and more. But .... we look at the cars for the day. The clothing and shoes, next time. 
Enjoy! Have a pleasant weekend.
 All photos sourced from me