Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Möttled Crüe

Last time Mr. Hare was in the Bstore they had just taken delivery of these Mottled leather loafers which I thought was a nice winter leather that I hadn't seen executed in such a way before. Since then of course I have noticed it more often. The following is what magazines call a "trend piece".
Bstore Herbert 03
Sperry Deck Shoes

Monday, November 24, 2008

What is a modernist to do?

Mr. Hare looks at a lot of shoes in order to make this blog happen. Increasingly, I am astounded at the lack of new ideas that cross my desktop. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of traditional craftsmanship and little excites me more than the subtly shifting proportions of lasts, as new perceptions of style filter in and out of  our collective psyche's.
Take these J.M. Westons designed by Michel Perry for instance. A renegade shoe man given free reign inside a traditional house. I love the way all the pieces harmoniously sweep over eachother. I love the perfectly proportioned and lovingly shaped chisel toe. That is so easy to get so wrong. I love the back curvature which is continued in the slightly cuban heel. The confident high tongue. Most of all I love the sculptural presence of the whole shoe. In traditional terms this is as modernist as it gets in November 2008.
Cut to McQueens offering at the same point of the epoch and Michel Perry's J.M.Weston looks even more sophisticated. Recently mens shoes have become so generic and so harking back, but with little research, that Mr. Hare is yearning for something modern and brilliant to happen.
The Lanvin wedge sole shoe is undoubtedly the big story of this season and as part of the entire Lanvin story it makes sense. But what is it? The last is so traditional any number of Derby interpretations could suffice. The wedge sole delivers extra comfort and diminished weight, both features that would have been highly attractive to my grandfather.
They are beautifully finished so 10/10 for that.
So to Dior for a glimpse at the future (or even the now, instead of the past). Bold colour use. Angular patterning. My Grandfather would not have worn these so that's good. Emotionally though, like the Lanvin's I am getting nothing. Like with modern art where you need to know the back story and the artist before a pile of junk takes on meaning.

Personally I am getting just as much from these $300 Mezlans.
I have never heard of Mezlan and know not where they come from but I can instantly relate to their shoes. I know more about Dior and Lanvin than I could possibly need to, yet still I have to ponder their shoes. I know what your thinking "Mr Hare,  you're just a trad freak!" If that is the case then how come these next shoes from my NBF Sruli Recht are the most interesting and exciting thing I have seen lately?
Everything about them is awesome. The sole is a seperate sculpture that was perfected before they met the uppers. They are lasted in quite a western style which should be wrong, but then when the upper is styled in such a feminine way the whole guido, hairdresser, irony thing is replaced by a challenge to your shoe sensibilities. Take away all the physical aspects of these shoes and emotionally I am looking at my favourite movie, my best song, my first kiss, my last kiss and more emotion than I could possibly afford a therapist to mine.
There is of course Miuccia. Oh Miuccia. She just gets better and better. I wouldn't buy or wear these, but I love to look at them. The whole no laces/John Varvatos thing makes me want to cull, but when Miuccia even removes the lace holes it makes me smile. These remind me of primitive cave flint tools and in terms of the near future of mens shoes I think they may be just as important. Who says both shoes have to be assymetrical and the same colour on both feet? Literally patterned or abstractly, it's all good.

Admittedly these would not look out of place in Africa or the middle east or even Shepherds Bush market, but anywhere else they are different and despite our natural inclinations, different is what we should all try to be.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

1970 Cuda 440

A thing of beauty from the petrol age.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cultural musings of a shoe man


What a cultural morning Mr. Hare has had. Firstly I was looking at the work of one Mr. Alexander Fielden on the recommendation of Mr. Sruli Recht. I thoroughly recommend you 
take a look too.
'Off the hooks' by Alexander Fielden

He is a structural genius whose shoe work knows no boundaries where materials and constructions are concerned. I only wish I could read Dutch so I could find out more about him.


So then I stumble upon The Virtual Shoe Museum which is a contemporary collection of the work of shoe designers and Artists. Some fantastic, all worth looking at.

The workboots of Ralph Fleck

From there I discovered the 'Shoes or No Shoes?' museum located in Kruishoutem, Belgium.
The Museum houses the largest, according to the Guiness book of records, ethnic shoe collection in the world. But what really interested Mr. Hare was a collection of 1200 shoes belonging to artists. These were shoes that artists had lived and worked in and had now donated as art pieces to this exhibition. Marvellous!

I am off for a walk across the heath now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sruli, Madly, Deeply.

Sruli Recht was "made to measure" in Isreal in 1979. A nomadic life has deposited him in Reykjavik where he now designs non products. Or is he playing? As he considers design "a contact sport".
Whatever he is doing, it has got Mr. Hare excited. This stuff is crazy but I like it.

When I can't distinguish between men's or women's then something magic has happened which defy's convention. Which is a good thing because convention is the death of progress.
And as we know, progress is inevitable. Only those who fear death would attempt to stand in the way of progress. 
These are called "Nurse boots" and they are available from Bblessing.
Thank you Mr. Recht. Mr. Hare salutes you.

Am I missing something?

A favourite pastime of Mr. Hare's is to build outfits and looks around the shoes I see. This is a necessary part of my shoe obsession. But with the following examples, all freshly landed in shoe emporiums of repute, Mr Hare has to admit he is struggling.
This example from Berluti for instance has me foxed. I know Berluti have an outdoor rugged offer which is seldom promoted but I am void of any cultural, stylistic or even practical connection to these.
Aaah Kenzo! Was there some 70s movie of profound influence that I missed. Is there a Sly Stone revival imminent? Is back to school chic happening?
Versace! These are just out there. Individually, all the elements of this shoe are meritable statements but let's break them down a second. The heel is Sarkoziesque, but such heel wearers generally shun attracting too much shoe attention as it brings their elevation requirements into debate. The platform sole? The high back? The buckle, with the laces? Why? The squared off body when everything else is so 70s and rounded. The colour? Milk chocolate.

It would delight me greatly to see all three of these shoes in outfits I was jealous of and I welcome suggestions from all comers, but for now Mr. Hare is stumped.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mr. Hare is 100

Forgive me for my recent absence, but I really wanted something special for my 100th post. So here it is. This summer Mr. Hare embarked on a roadtrip around Andalucia on a quest to discover the beaches of Spains southern gold coast and to experience the best Tapa's on offer.
On a diversion up to the hills of Rhonda in search of an eco Yurt camp, I stopped at this roadside tapas bar for a cold cerveza, ensalada Russa and some respite from the blazing sun, when something caught my eye.
Look at this picture. 
Can you tell what it is yet?
I pondered how fantastic a pair of woven Derby's could be on the right last, with the right styling. I instantly had them visioned in my mind and wondered how I would ever make them happen. It was at that very moment that I decided I was going to become a shoemaker.

I reached for my camera to record the moment, which I am sharing with you now.

Mr. Hare rule 6 states "...the first thing shall be the last an the last shall always be first."
So...
Then came the blog. With which I have had the opportunity to study everything else that is available and helped me to formulate my own opinion on men's shoes. Which is essentially...
Black as in attitude. Not necessarily in colour.
Next I commissioned a trading mark.
I wanted something that could be conceived as traditional but at the same time had a thoroughly modern reference point. I also wanted it to be completely descriptive and knowingly humourous.

Mr. Hare in the company of four swans.


I am very happy with the result.

So there you have it. A modern shoe company in the fine tradition was conceived on a B road in the Andalucian Mountains, nurtured in the blogosphere and will be for real in AW09.
Stay tuned for more news as it happens.

Mr. Hare - A Black Shoe Company.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Restlessness

"You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book(Lady Chatterley,
 for instance), or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are
 hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom(when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an
 innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this(or die like this) without knowing it. They work
 in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.”
Anais Nin
Just lifted this from Wahappenings. It is so how Mr. Hare is feeling right now. Thank you Sharmz! x

Monday, November 10, 2008

The great Bruce Lee...

...once said  "Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless like water. When you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.  You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.".
While you are taking that in, check out these Gucci wellies from Saks.
When the rain falls on your head, become the rain!


Similarly, Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote in Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai

"There is something to be learned from a rainstorm.
When meeting with a sudden shower,
you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road.
By doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses,
you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning,
you will not be perplexed
though you still get the same soaking.
This understanding extends to all things."

Ain't life funny?

It's funny how sometimes you can't quite put your finger on the reasons why life might be stumbling, then all of a sudden a song comes along gives you all the answers. Then, as all great music does, it lifts you out of the hole.

What's even funnier is that I came across this at LOVE blog. I realise this may only be personally poignant, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Also let's not forget why we are here. Check out the marvelous execution of a classic penny loafer without the beef roll and with white socks, as they should be.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Brilli-ant

Mr. Hare was intrigued by these fantastic leather clad accessories from Belgian designer Natalie Brilli
Balenciaga did those sculpted wingtip details this season and Mr. Hare recently spotted a Japanese chap in, imagine if you will, an entire pair of shoes clad in leather, so as to appear to be leather sculptures of shoes.
Mr. Hare considers these objects to be a great inspiration in shoe thinking.

Ms. Brilli
Look at these beautiful skull vanity cases.
Thanks to Coolhunter for hooking it up.

This October...

Mr. Hare mostly listened to...





New Porn

Mr. Hare took a little mosey over to his favorite French Shoe Porn Channel which he realised he had neglected to do so for a few weeks and was delighted to find they had had the builders in for a complete site refit, and had a whole new collection of shoe porn on show.

Enjoy!
Zilli
Berluti

John Lobb
Tom Ford
J.M. Weston
Gucci
Gucci
YSL
Zilli
Dior
Aubercy
Aubercy

Mr. Hare apologises for being caught knapping.