Thursday, 6 December 2012

WS Foster boots for the gent

WS Foster and Sons London Bespoke boot and shoemaker offers a ready to wear Chelsea boot, the Oakley, which is the type of boot a gent needs to cope with the Winter snow and the wetness. The Oakley is made of a warm mahogany pebble grain and comes with a Dainite sole to have a good grip whilst walking the city streets.

 The "Oakley" Chelsea boot from WS Foster, just the boot for looking good in the snow. 
All photos sourced from Foster's 

Gaziano and Girling - Russian Reindeer single monks

For the day I have sampled a very beautiful single monk with a stitched apron and a split toe from the duo bespoke shoemakers  Mr. Tony Gaziano & Mr. Dean Girling ((Gaziano & Girling) from Northampton (UK). The hide of the monk looks like Russian reindeer. The colouring of the hide and colour are just mesmerising to the viewer.  
If and when I am going to commission a monk for the coming years, I would definitely go for this Norwegian split toe single monk made of Russian reindeer hide. Very elegantly executed.
Photos sourced from Gaziano and Girling

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Horace Batten - Boot and Shoemaker

I have to admit that sometimes in the quest for bespoke shoemakers, I do stumble upon artisans who for generations produced and still produce shoes but in all quietness. No fancy address, show rooms and or even advertisements. One of these artisans is a Northamptonshire (UK) based bespoke boot and shoemaker for seven generations, Horace Batten family establishment. Very discreet indeed. Now how many of the London bespoke shoe houses will produce a size 72 riding boot as shown below? I take my hat off for this family.

The size 72 riding gear have been created for the 33ft Lady Godiva puppet in celebration of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Horace Batten making a shoe for the puppet Godiva

When I saw the below button Balmoral boot, I knew I had to include the Horace Batten house on this blog. After looking and viewing the button boot from the Horace house, I concluded and decided that I need a button balmoral boot from them. I will be in contact with them, soon...very soon.

Button Balmoral boot from the Horace Batten house
Riding boots from the Batten house
Photos sourced from http://Ancient Industries blog and Horace Batten

Gaziano and Girling - Double Monk

Gaziano and Girling (the duo from Northampton) have their moments of surprising, like this bespoke double monk, a clients design, which came out beautiful. I have seen many monks, but this one is unique, as it is a semi brogued double monk. A true treasure to the shoe lover. A shoe for the next Summer and permanent staple in a gent's shoe wardrobe.

Wing tip brogue double monk from Gaziano and Girling
Photos sourced from Gaziano & Girling Tumblr

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

John Lobb - Spirit of Capitals - Boots

The venerable London bespoke boot and shoemaker John Lobb (St. James), produced a collection of shoes named the "Spirits of Capitals", the collection was born out of a challenge for the house to craft a pair of shoes that would embody a city in the world. For the day I sampled two pairs of boots from the "Spirits of Capitals", a "Moscow" Balmoral oxford laced boot and a "London" Derby country boot.

The "Moscow" Balmoral Boot made for a Russian Opera singer, the boot is in different shades of browns and texture (leather and suede). The clients initials are hand embroidered in Cyrillic letters on the heel of the Balmoral ankle boot. The joys of going bespoke, lovely boot. Though a tad too much for my liking, meaning the initials.
The side view of the "Moscow" Oxford laced Balmoral boot.
The "London" Derby boot in gold Barenia calfskin and khaki canvas.
These boots in cotton canvas and calfskin are unmistakably London.
Photos sourced from The Dandy Project

Monday, 3 December 2012

Crockett and Jones - Boots for the Winter snow and slug

I am aware that leather soled high end boots may not be appropriate for heavy snow and sluggish roads. So a gent will need a tough no non-sense taking boot for the current weather, which brings me to the two offerings made by Crockett and Jones of Northampton.

Both boots in my humble opinion will take a gent home dry and safe and they are very stylish and elegant as one expects from Crockett and Jones. So enjoy this snow tanks. The one boot comes with Dainite sole and the other with Ridgedway soles. So we will have a grip on the snow. Will we? 

Side view of the Islay boot in scotch grained calf hide
 Top view of the Islay
 Details of scotch grain and brogueing
 Dainite sole of the Islay boot

 The oil tanned Wicklow boot (Norwegian Split Toe), looks very robust

Side view of the Wicklow

Close up view of the Wicklow 
Another side view of the Wicklow
 Ridgedway sole of the Wicklow
All photos sourced from Crockett and Jones 

Dimitri Gomez - Parisian bespoke boot and shoemaker

Master Dimitri Gomez Parisian (France) bespoke boot and shoemaker and master last maker for Crockett and Jones (Northampton - UK), is a very talented shoe artisan. He produces very intriguing classical men's shoes. He offers full bespoke and MTO for his clients. 
For the day I have sampled two pairs of ankle boots, both two toned, a Chukka and a Monk boot. Enjoy.
 Master Dimitri Gomez inspecting the tree lasts
The two toned Chukka boot
 Two toned strapped Monk boot
Photos sourced from Dimitri Gomez

Crockett and Jones - Button Balmoral boot from the archives

For the day I have sampled a pair of boots from an era gone.
A button Balmoral boot directly from the Crockett and Jones archives. C and J provided the footwear worn by Mr. James Bond in the latest bond movie Sky Fall.

A Crockett and Jones Button Balmoral Boot, this is a stunning boot. Very inspirational.
Photo sourced from Dimitri Gomez

Gent's white attire formal dressing - Downton Abbey

I have just began following the TV series Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle), which depicts  the lives of the English aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post Edwardian era. My focal point being the appropriate classical, stylish gents dressing as portrayed by the TV series. 

I was impressed by the fact that Mr. Hugh Bonneville "Earl of Grantham" head of the "Crawley" house hold went to some great length to get the true sartorial white tie attire made at one Savile Row's bespoke tailors as shown below. A lot can be learned from Downton Abbey's Earl of Grantham, as how a true gent should / must dress.

For me Downton Abbey is about keeping the tradition, high standards and ....more.

This brings me to the days subject, why do men commit unforgivable sartorial sins? I am not talking of the every day Jack and Joe, for whom getting "properly" dressed will mean upgrading from jeans to a pair of baggy chinos below the buttoms and an oversized button down shirt, paired with some trainers and perhaps a tie of some sort with a Mickey Mouse motif. Nothing wrong with that, unless you are employed at Walt Disney. No, I am referring  to some men of International power who have the means and the aides to be very elegantly and sartorially dressed. But .....

Mr. Hugh Bonneville as Earl of Grantham (here being suited properly by one of Savile Row's tailors) for the Downton Abbey series. Well done Earl of Grantham.
The Earl of Grantham in a bespoke white tie suiting from one the SR tailors.
HRH Prince Philip in white attire, very correctly done as always.

The Sartorial sin of white attire committed by President Barack Obama & former USA President George W. Bush Jr. 
First, note that Mr. Barack Obama is in a white attire ensamble, however his waistecoat is a tad longer than the tail coat, that is one sartorial sin, but when paired with the second sin as shown below in the next picture, the scene is disastrous. 
White tie attire worn with a down collar shirt. Hmmm, wonder were are all those White House advisors, protocol managers etc. This is not suppose to happen. But.... not to mention that the tail coat looks a wink oversized by judging by the stance at the back of the neck.  The shirt has no studs but normal buttons. Too many sins for an evening. President Obama can definitely afford a bespoke white tie attire ensemble. 
Below is ex US President Mr. George W Bush Jr. committing the same sartorial sins as Mr. Barack Obama above.

Well, it is not only the American powerful men that commits sartorial sins but the Prime Minister of the UK, Mr. David Cameron pulled the same trick of having the waistcoat a tad longer than the tail coat, but otherwise he was looking very dapper for the occasion. 
Photos sourced from Savilerow Tumblr,NY timesGeorge W Bush White House Archives and MSNBCDaily Mail UK and The Gentleman's Gazette

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Winter boots - keeping dry and looking good (RTW)

Winter is here, the first snow fall was the first of December down here, South part of Sweden, Nordics. With Winter here comes the snow and wet weather and a gent needs some boots that can keep him warm, well dressed and looking good. For the day I sampled two of my favourite boots for kicking the wits out of the Winter period, the first sample a cordovan ankle boot from Alden (USA). I am not a fan of "codo", but "codo" is appropriate for the Nordics as the hide will keep you dry even in heavy snow and wetness as we tend to have "down" here in the Nordic.
The second boot a Grenson(UK) RTW boot, two toned and brogued. I would say both boots are country boots or when just taking a walk in the woods or for casual dressing and giving the snow a bit of a fight back. Enjoy both boots with commando soles. Enjoy & welcome to the Christmas season.
Alden Norwegian Split Toe Cordovan ankle boot from Leather Soul Hawaii
 Alden NST Boot from Alden Of Camel with commando sole
Grenson Acklam boot (Grenson and Barbour collaboration)
Commando sole of the Grenson Acklam brogued boot
Photos sourced from Alden Of Camel, Leather Soul Hawaii and Grenson

Thursday, 22 November 2012

HRH Prince of Wales (Duke Of Windsor) - perfection

HRH The Prince Of Wales later Duke of Windsor a true style icon, was always very elegantly dressed, be it formal or informal. Below depicted picture of him dressed in a Prince Of Wales (Glen Urquhart) cloth three piece suiting , complimented by a cap (in bold Glen Check plaid cloth), tie and as always a pocket square. So inspiring.

HRH Prince Of Wales in a Glen Urquhart three piece suiting.
HRH The Duke Of Windsor casually dressed - 1941, large window Glen check odd jacket, pocket square and a pair of derbys.
HRH The Duke Of Windsor in a dinner jacket (black tie ensemble), shawl collar dinner jacket, boutonniere, pocket square, what a gentleman. Perfection itself.
Photo sourced from Ovadia and sons and Pauw Mannen