Friday, January 30, 2009

Dress Pump

Phew! Those wide jointed shoes fitted really well and their new owner is very happy. It's satisfying getting to the end of a project; assessing your work; doing the final bits and bobs (clean, polish, socking, boxing); and, of course, being paid is good.

Already started the next pair, which again, demonstrates the interest of bespoke shoes. On first sight a pair of regular dress pumps, black patent with a satin bow. But look a bit closer and you will see that the construction is not a pump stitch. It is a regular 1/4 inch sole with a bevelled waist. Normally, a pump is a lightweight flexible shoe with a slighter construction, ideal for formal wear or house slippers. The welt and stitching are not visible. But that is not set in stone. The customer wanted a more robust shoe, so although it goes against the bespoke orthodoxy, the public gets what the public wants.

The next photo details the welted sole and bevelled waist, more usual in an Oxford or Derby shoe.

Maybe he wants to sweep a loved one round the dance floor several times, or several loved ones round the dance floor several times. Whichever way round, these shoes are going to get a pounding, hene the construction.

Finally, we went to Northampton yesterday to buy lasts and leather. As usual, we left the merchant's with more that we had planned to. We were looking for leather and lasts to make some ladies samples (more later). We found some lovely leather. We were like kids in a sweet shop.

Enough, my weekend starts here. More next week dear readers...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Difficult Feet

Hello there followers. A pair of tricky shoes here. The essence of bespoke shoemaking. There is a fine line between troublesome feet and orthopedic. This client has no specific or diagnosed problems with his feet, but they are an unusual shape. Very wide at the joint, and full around the top edge. The other thing is that feet like these change in size and shape a lot when at rest and when the full weight is on them. The only thing to do in these cases is to take the measurements; make the lasts; get the shoes ready for a try-on and then be prepared for a series of adjustments and fittings. You get there in the end, but patience is needed on both sides.

Now they are made and ready for delivery, there is an element of trepidation. Will they fit? All that work, time and energy. It's not the end of the world if they don't, but... If they don't fit, we will be able to tweak and adjust. I will let you know how we get on.

I think this shot really shows the unusual shape. Ever seen a shop bought shoe like this? That is what you get with bespoke shoes though. It's a process; an investment of time and work, both by the maker and the client. You get what you pay for I suppose. Will let you know what the customer says. Fingers crossed!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to our legion of followers. In January, I always wonder when the last time I say that will be. We are still in full 'Happy New Year' season, but, as with all things, it will end.

After a fabulous rest and holiday season spent in London with family and friends, we at carreducker are back into the world of bespoke shoes. It has been a struggle, but I suppose the first week back is always hard.

What does the year hold for us? Well, we hope it is going to be a great one.

I am going to Pitti Uomo next week in Florence, which will be very exciting. It is the place where all the buyers from around the world go to look at luxury men's clothes, shoes and accessories. So we need to be there!

We are going to New York in April and May to do our first North American handsewn shoemaking school. To coincide with this we are also planning to do some 'trunk shows' to generate further bespoke clients in the States. We will obviously be doing New York, but San Francisco is also on the list and possibly 2 other major cities.

We then have our London bespoke shoemaking school in August.

Our new Limited Edition samples are nearing readiness. We are introducing a stylishly simple wholecut and a contemporary brogued oxford shoe, both on our signature last. We are also planning to broaden the range with a new last shape, probably a chisel toe.

Our new bespoke ladies samples are being designed as I write. I am going to buy some gorgeous leathers in Italy next week, so look out for those. They are going to be wonderful and will get our lady admirers swooning (and getting their credit cards out hopefully).

The popper on my shirt just burst open as I stretched, so, unfortunately, Christmas is still being felt in all the wrong places.

That image has probably brought most of you to the end of your tethers with this, so I will stop.

The next post will be about bespoke shoes I promise. I have an interesting pair of oxfords to make (the last is challenging let's say) and a pair of dark burgundy cordovan monk shoes...mmm!