Posts Tagged ‘men’s fashion

06
Oct
11

World’s Best…Hand-Made Shoes!

John Lobb, London

He is the king of shoemakers and the shoemaker for kings: John Lobb. In 1866 he opened his store in London in St. James Street. He has become the most famous shoemaker with the most famous clients – and the highest prices.

His pumps go for 2363 Euro, while his polo shoes start at 5200 Euro. What you pay for is what you get, though, and what you get is the Rolls-Royce of shoes. The farmer turned shoemaker (thanks to an accident which left him unfit for farm work), who, after distinguishing himself in 1863 as “Royal Warrant”, began working for the English Monarch shortly thereafter. His most famous early client, Prince Edward (later Edward VII), sported Lobb leather riding boots. Today, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh continue the relationship between the English Majesty and Lobb footwear.

Aubercy, Paris

These are shoes that one must have if one is at all interested in the fine art of shoemaking. Aubercy, the shoemaker for the French nobility, provides luxury for the foot that no one can beat – an investment that will last your life long.

Since 1935, Aubercy has been located in the rue 34 and has been combining Italian creativity and English quality. These shoes are extremely fashionable yet extremely precise, a rarity in la mode. Initially, Aubercy shoes were only for males until the 70’s when female models were introduced. Countless models made of countless types of leather are available in more than 50 colors. Class and style are at the bed of each shoe made exclusively of leather. In 1995, the head of the company, Xavier Aubercy, insured the long-time survival of Aubercy by placing an enhanced importance on craftsmanship. An astonishing 390 individual steps go into the production of a single pair of Aubercy shoes which more or less explains the exorbitance of their price: somewhere between 1000 and 2000 Euro.

 Axel Himer, Baden-Baden

Axel Himer is often regarded as the best shoe manufacturer in Germany: customers who completely put their trust (and feet) in Himer are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franz Beckenbauer and racing driver Giancarlo Fisichella. A pair of handcrafted shoes from Himer start from around €2000 but as they are perfectly handcrafted in buffalo, calf or lamb leather to accurate measurements of customer’s feet and have an average life of around 20 years, it’s certainly money well spent.

Markus Scheer, Vienna

Those who travel long journeys should know a good shoemaker. Markus Scheer, currently in its sixth generation, belongs to the best.

In 1816, Johann Scheer began the Scheer dynasty in Vienna. From the start, the Scheer name enjoyed success in the shoe business. The Austrian Monarchy, including Chancellor Franz Joseph and the Archduke of Vienna, all had their shoes made by none other than Scheer. Soon Scheer won himself the title of “Royal Shoemaker” and quickly thereafter he was making shoes for the heads of state in Germany and Greece. Today, the highest of personalities from all realms wear the Scheer name, making these shoes truly timeless. The most radical model in their current line is a pair of loafers made exclusively from zebra fur, quite a jump for an Austrian company. The price for a pair of Scheer shoes is high, normally around 2500 Euro. It’s not uncommon, however, for a pair to last 25 to 30 years, making this quite a sound investment.

E. Vogel, New York

Traditionally, hand-made shoes are at home in Europe, above all Austria and England. E. Vogel strides against this current, however, and truly understands the art of the hand-made shoe.

The Vogel name is in its fourth generation thanks in most part to intense dedication, and of course “the best materials and the most brilliant workers”, as the bosses Dean Vogel and his cousin Jack Lynch have been heard to say. With a going rate of between 700 and 900 Euro, it is even quite affordable to profit from Vogel’s dedication to shoemaking which is now in its 128th year of successful operation. Most attractive are their leather-riding boots which are worn by the American national riding team. Many other teams around the world, not just the Americans, sport the comfort of Vogel, as well.

Berluti, Paris

Since 1895, the Italian-based family-owned male shoemaker has produced unparalleled comfort, elegance, and depth of color in his shoes.

It is the leather that gives Berluti shoes their quality, which are made of Venetian leather with its extraordinarily deep, yet light characteristic. On account of this fine leather, Berluti shoes give off a color and shine that makes them truly unique, making the female shoemaker’s statement believable: “Every shoe is a work of art.” Everyone who wears Baluti shoes becomes a part of the shoe, grows with the shoe. Since the 20’s Berluti has impressed the world with its product, even the Duke of Windsor found them “Nice and Naughty”. Following the duke in prominence are James de Rothschild, Yul Brynner, Robert de Niro and Gerard Depardieu, who all decided for Berluti shoes. The production alone is a testament to the quality of the shoe, as each shoe goes through 250 rigorous steps before seeing its first step on the street. Such passion has its price: a pair of Berluti’s start between 2,500 and 3,000 Euro.

Foster & Son, London

A good shoe needs time: 5 to 6 months to be exact. In the end, the leather has to come into its form. Only then can one be sure of the shoe’s final shape and size.

This is the motto of Foster & Son, one of the world’s most famous shoemakers, dating back to 1840 in London. The beginnings of the Foster household were infamous, seeing the destruction of an entire factory and the tragic death of Charles’ wife, which all resulted from a surprise air raid during WWI. The widowed shoemaker continued his business in St. James producing confectionary shoes and other leather products in addition to standard-soled shoes. In 1999, Foster merged with Henry Maxwell, which proved a total success. Today, customers come from all over the world (80 countries) for the elegance, comfort, and quality of Foster shoes, ranging from billionaires to shoe connoisseurs. In the end, 100 hours go into the production of a Foster pair of shoes. This has its price: 2000 Euro to be exact.

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30
Sep
11

The Measure of A Man by J J Lee

Mr. J.J. Lee is a Vancouver based fashion journalist and media expert on topics sartorial. He can be heard on CBC Radio every Monday afternoon discussing themes as diverse as Play-off Hockey beards, Harris Tweed and Fashion Week. His own tale is interesting and inspirational; I hope to pick up a copy of his newly released memoir/social history of suits called The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit.

Publisher McClelland describes the book this way:

Taking as its starting point a son’s decision to alter his late father’s last remaining suit for himself, this is a deeply moving and brilliantly crafted story of fathers and sons, of fitting in and standing out — and discovering what it means to be your own man.

For years, journalist and amateur tailor JJ Lee tried to ignore the navy suit that hung at the back of his closet — his late father’s last suit. When he decides to finally make the suit his own, little does he know he is about to embark on a journey into his own past.

As JJ moves across the surface of the suit, he reveals the heartbreaking tale of his father, a charismatic but luckless restaurateur whose demons brought tumult upon his family. He also recounts the year he spent as an apprentice tailor at Modernize Tailors, the last of Vancouver’s legendary Chinatown tailors, where he learns invaluable lessons about life from his octogenarian master tailor. Woven throughout these two personal strands are entertaining stories from the social history of the man’s suit, the surprising battleground where the war between generations has long been fought.With wit, bracing honesty, and great narrative verve, JJ takes us from the French Revolution to the Zoot Suit Riots, from the Japanese Salaryman to Mad Men, from Oscar Wilde in short pants to Marlon Brando in a T-shirt, and from the rareified rooms of Savile Row to a rundown shop in Chinatown. A book that will forever change the way you think about the maxim “the clothes make the man,” this is a universal story of love and forgiveness and breaking with the past. 

07
Oct
10

Men’s Autumn Essentials

As the air turns crisp but not yet cold and the temperature can vary widely in the course of a day, our clothes also transition and have a spirit and and a texture all their own. We always say that fall clothes are the meat of our wardrobe, the spine of our closets and  the best we own!

This season men will need transitional pieces as everything comes out of the storage: sweaters, flannel shirts, coats and wool scarves.

Men’s Autumn Essentials List:

SWEATERS – Embrace the warmth!

 

In most places, it’s sweater season. Men need several, especially in smoothly knit wools. Cashmere is best because it is light, not bulky and warm enough for cool days but not so warm that you can’t survive the Indian-summer sun.  For a relaxed but dressy look,wear a V-neck, a cardigan or a polo sweater with a shirt and a tie at the office. A turtleneck will keep you wed but arm, lengthen your neck and create a chic look.

JACKETS – Explore and experiment

 

Opt for a waist length outer jacket in either gabardine or tweed. Tailored jackets are great for layering with elements from the casual wardrobe as well. For example, a tweed jacket can be combined just as well with a plaid flannel shirt and jeans as with a cashmere sweater, dress shirt and suit trousers. Casual jackets are also a part of the mix: leather or suede jackets – key fall fashion pieces – are effectively layered, sometimes even with shirts and ties.  Depending on their lifestyle, many men prefer the nylon jacket with a fleece lining for in-between seasons: it repels rain, provides good insulation but will not overheat.

 

PANTS –  Essential essentials

If you were to pair down your wardrobe to the absolute minimum this fall, the three essentials trousers would be flat front gray wool pants, khakis and dark-wash classic jeans. A good pair of gray wool flannel pants can cary a man from business to casual situations. Plan to purchase more pants than jackets as pants tend to wear out faster. Stock up on khakis (also called chinos) in darker color for fall- you can wear them almost everywhere and combine them with almost everything! Comfortable, stylish and practical, a good pair of dark, well fitted jeans can take you from casual Friday to the weekend and IF the office dress code allows it, right to Monday morning.


BOOTS – Dressy yet Casual

Buy a pair  in the best quality you can afford, that combines well your pants and outfits. Avoid the styles that are too dressy or the styles that are too rugged and casual. Black will give you more flexibility, but dark brown will add more chic to your look. Don’t forget the matching belt!

15
Sep
10

Style Fiesta!!

Two of my favourite Sartorialist pictures ever capture how denim is worn… Italian style!  Enjoy the style fiesta right from the streets of Italy!

(photos from The Sartorialist)