Showing posts with label shoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shoes. Show all posts

Friday, 29 July 2011

Leather Lust Object No.10 - Chomping at the Bit

A closer look at the Alan McAfee for Neiman Marcus vintage snaffle bit slip-ons I wore in my recent homage ensemble

The first time I ever wore these, I went out dancing until 3am. I think one can see why:

Similarly, it may come as no surprise that in its heyday, Alan McAfee took bespoke commissions for Fred Astaire, amongst a great many other of the well heeled. An example is retained in the currently dormant fashion collection at The Victoria and Albert Museum. The company,which began in the 19th century,  had an extensive history, as the forvms explain:

In an earlier era, Alan McAfee based its bespoke operation in Dover Street, London, with the ready-to-wear models sold in the US made by Church's and other manufacturers. At one time Church sold relabeled Church shoes as McAfee in cities with competitive retail accounts. The first account would have Church, the second would stock McAfee. Thus, in San Francisco Cable Car Clothiers stocked one brand and Bullock & Jones might stock the same shoe with the other brand. I forget which had which. The dovetail toplift (heel bottom) insert is generically known as a "McAfee Heel" regardless of shoe brand. McAfee later, in the US anyway, used a label that had "London, Paris, New York" without the polo player logo.
McAfee floundered in the late 1980s and tried to raise its profile with Oliver Sweeney as a design director in the early 1990s or so. It didn't save the firm from failing and being bought out by Church's. Church's then used the name on a line of shoes apparently made by Cheaney.

My pair, being made for the American market, is most certainly not made in London. That doesn't take away from how enjoyable they are to own, give or take the adjustment to my protuberances this pair requires

Now, my other pair of McAfees, going by the mod styling and interior logo, are from the London operation. But that is an entry for another day

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Leather Lust Object No.7 - Lobb Return

Plain toe double monkstraps by John Lobb, via Details

   There's something rather modish about an unembellished monkstrap shoe, which traditionally incorporates a cap toe and, occasionally, broguing details. Perhaps John Lobb is on (to) something - these may in fact be the most perfect monks for skinny denim and an overdyed Oxford shirt seen yet

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Leather Lust Object No.5 - A Success Story

   I'm in pain

   I don't know if it's that exquisite kind of pain that fashionable women will sometimes talk about after a few hours of suffering the constraints of a lust object on their feet. But I will admit that my first few wears of these vintage bespoke John Lobb dress shoes did include me subsuming my discomfort at a slightly too small insole by telling myself, "This is what you wanted, you vainglorious bastard!"

   Of course, if I really wanted pain, I'd not stop at my feet; I'd have run off to the nearest poorly lit basement in Soho or its newly minted Dirty East London cousin Dalston, asked for a custom leather daddy ensemble to go with these heels and, by special request, have some of the spikes placed on the inside of the outfit. Then I'd have gone out dancing. I like to insist on a complete experience

   Never trust anyone that tells you, "Blisters are part of the fun." Oh, there is certainly a powerful attraction to being at eye level with the top shelf at the newsagent, but it is moderated by the pressing need to take the heels off and run hither to the cobbler to arrange a good stretching. If you know what I mean

   But those are merely the positives. The negatives are a newfound difficulty to complete toe touch exercises and a nascent proclivity for boot cut trousers. The latter is more trying because it's apparent that good ones are rare birds on the eBay

   All in all, I am going to have fun with these. The original owner seemed to as well; the collection he liquidated included over a dozen of similarly lasted 1960s - '70s "Mod Lobb" delights in styles such as cognac lizard with horsebit, a number of black alligators, dark brown ostrich, off white suede and sky blue leather correspondent, and calf with that most Scottish of footwear adornments, a buckle. On such profligacies alone, this may be the sort of fellow that they write limited edition autobiographies about to outrage and delight the various species of aesthete that abound

   If you'd like to partake in a similarly new perspective of the world from the bottom up, these are for sale. I'm a touch surprised that such heels have been less common since the 1970s - surely an extra two inches is most men's poorly hidden desire?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Leather Lust Object No.3

Henry Maxwell bespoke leather and suede brogue detailed loafers