Sunday, 30 June 2013

GJ Cleverley - heavy duty hide Chukka of the day

For the day I have sampled a pair of boots, a very popular and appreciated style of boots, a Chukka renditioned by the London based GJ Cleverley house. This style of boot is also known as the "Desert boot" when made of suede and a heavy rubber sole. 
This is no ordinary Chukka boot aka (Desert boot), as this is made of real heavy duty hide (Hippopotamus) with it's three eyelets and fitted with a leather sole and the distinctive Cleverley square chiseled toe last. 

The colour of the boot is also very astonishing as it brings the texture of the hide out and gives it that suede like look. This is the ultimate "Chukka boot" for the Summer, if you wish so, or for the Autumn period. Again the George Cleverley house has released a another white bunny out of their magic bag. Enjoy the Chukka boot.
Three eyelet Chukka boot made of brown "hippo" heavy hide.
Photos sourced from GJ Cleverley

Vass Laszlo - Model French Oxford Boot in exotic hide and calf leather

My visit to Vass Laszlo shoe ended up with a boot commissioning, a boot order, which was based on a prototype (only one shoe made - at the moment) and was on display. The boot model French-Oxford Boot was made of exotic hide (black) and calf leather also black on the Vass U-Last, no cap toe stitchings, just plain. My own will be based on the same model as the below depicted, but on Radica Cognac antiqued Oxblood colour calf leather and the uppers of a complementary suede colour and will do away with the 4 speed hooks. In addition get metal toe taps too. 
If I recall correctly the below depicted boot is about 1300 Euros as it is. A bargain, indeed. Overall I am glad that I at last did pay The Vass establishment a visit, it was worth it. If you are thinking of something special, do not hesitate to pay Vass Laszlo's shop a visit. No need to commission, just have a shoe talk. If you are lucky, you may run into the Master in person.

French-Oxford Boot in exotic and Calf hide (black on black)
The large gapping on the laces is due to not fastening them tightly, just needed the feel of the boot.
My boots will be made of a hide similar to the below, but the colour will be more Oxblood like hopefully. The below sample photo is from Style Forum, if I recall correctly this type of hide was used by John Lobb on some of their models, I think it was called Museum calf by Lobb. 
Photos sourced from me (The Shoe Aristo Cat)

Visiting shoemakers in Budapest - Vass Shoes - part three

Now the highlight of my Budapest visit was getting to touch and feel the Vass shoe offerings directly from the source itself. Mr. Vass Laszlo is a legend and well known shoe artisan from Budapest Hungary, who did put Hungary on the International map when it comes to classic, timeless, elegant men's shoes made by hand, not in Paris, Milan or London but Budapest. 

On the day of my arrival in Budapest, I had viewed the map incorrectly and was just about to cross the bridge to the Buda side when I realised my blunder, it was during this blunder that I came across the Vass shoe shop in the city centre. Long story short, on my first visit I was met by Mr. Rezso, a very nice & charming and elegantly dressed younger man (in his thirties, I would guess), wearing Vass shoes, need not say. We had a little chat on shoes, but had to be on my way to find my place of residence. My second visit occurred in the early morning hours, meaning at opening hours at 10:00 and I was met by two ladies, Madame Bernadett(e) (younger) and Madame Valerie (older), both very charming and helpful, they allowed me to film/take photos and discussed shoes (Vass shoes) mainly. 

I was shown the very famous lasts (The K-last, U-Last, Peter-Last etc) and the new innovated lasts. I have to admit, I was thrilled and excited to see all these well made shoes in person, now I understand some of those gents who may have only Vass made shoes in their wardrobe. One thing I noted though, was that Vass single sole is thicker than an English single sole, this was not an optical delusion, I compared to my GJ Cleverley's I was wearing. 
Furthermore the Vass shop was offering computer bags in dark brown suede and in tan colour, they simply looked astonishing. I am thinking of getting a bag from them, can not recall the actual price but about 500 Euros, a bargain in my opinion. 

Anyway, I ended up ordering a Balmoral boot in their new French Oxford Boot design (A proto type at then), no cap toe, in the new hide (museum calf called Radica Cognac, I think) which has a heavy antiqued patina in burgundish colour and suede with a brownish touch, the last a Vass U-last.
So, I have five/six weeks to wait.  I am really looking forward to the boot. Will post a blog about this boot very soon.

I will strongly recommend giving Vass a visit when visiting Budapest, the establishment was for me worth the visit. I should have done the visit years ago, but oh... better late than never.  So we cut the talk and let the pictures speak for themselves.

The visitor is greeted by these exquisite window display from the outside of the shop and the Vass Shoes Logo.

Amongst the shoes a brown suede bag, well done and executed.
Cordovan collection at Mr. Vass Laszlo's shop in Budapest

Exotic renditions by Vass
Boot renditions by Vass
A double black calf monk
Ostrich hide three tier Derby

A line up of the usual Vass suspects 

More line up.....
 Small details of the line up

Two toned - exotic and calf balmoral Derby with a stitched cap toe
An exotic single and a double monk from Vass 
Suede loafers as renditioned by Vass shoes (in blue and dark brown suede)
All photos sourced from me (The Shoe Aristo Cat)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Visiting shoemakers in Budapest - Buday shoes - part two

As I said in an earlier blog, visiting Budapest was a pleasure (however not planned) and I was not going to miss the opportunity of getting by some of the other lesser known shoe artisans. So my first visit was to enter Buday shoes of Budapest (Hungary). In the shop I was met by Madame Susanne or Zsuzsanne if I am not mistaken (apologies Madame If I missed the name), a very polite, charming knowledgeable lady when it comes to the Hungarian shoe industry and shoemakers and shoemaking.

I have to admit looking, viewing and touching, and having the shoes in my own hand changed my perception of the shoes made in Central Europe (Hungary and Austria in particular). Both countries have a long standing tradition of making good shoes.
I think the general mistake most of us make, is to compare the English made shoes, especially the English lasted shoes to other shoes made in other countries for example Hungary. I appreciated the lasts and designs of the Hungarian shoes as they are unique to the region and the artisans do respect and have paid attentions to the old traditions of shoemaking. It would be odd if they merely reproduced English designed lasted shoes. 

At Buday shoes, it was in the air, not really mentioned but their Cordovan made shoes was indeed their pride. If I recall correctly, Madame Susanne mentioned the welting on the Cordovan shoes and I was left speechless. 
Buday shoes offers different lasts such as Budapest 1928, Budapest 1939, Pilis, Mako, Velence, Frakno, Tokay, Solt, Sio, Tisza and more. If and when visiting Budapest, do not miss paying a visit to Buday shoes it is worth the time and you may end up picking a pair or two of shoes. 

Buday shoes (Budapest - Hungary) logo from outside the street 
From the window display outside of the shop
 A display of various offerings by Buday shoes
In the centre a braided leather Oxford and a Derby, far right a two toned braided brogue Derby
Two toned winged tipped Derby's, nice touch
Two Derby brogues, one in Tan and the other in Mahogany colour
Punched cap toe Oxford in burgundy and one in black calf hide
Cordovan two/three toned Derby shoes as renditioned by Buday Shoes of Budapest, note the triple welt stitching on these shoes. 
The sole details of the Buday shoes
A closer view of the Cordovan offerings in details

 Green piped edges on a tan grained three tier Derby
 A typical Hungarian lasted Oxford made of Ostrich hide, a beautiful shoe elegantly done
Some other offerings from Buday Shoes on display
 A saddle Oxford laced shoe in two tones
Photos sourced from me (The Shoe Aristo Cat)