Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. Hare's gone soft...

Maybe it is because I have been sitting on a scorching hot Goan beach for the last couple of weeks or maybe because I am concentrating hard on the SS10 Mr. Hare collection but I have been paying very close attention to how you make a formal summer shoe in lighter, softer materials without compromising elegance. Or should elegant male shoes even be the consideration in Spring Summer? Once you go soft, it seems the whole beautiful shoe thing seems to go out the window. It is really interesting when you look at how other designers deal with the issue.NDC have what are essentially Derby espadrils which are probably the most comfortable thing in the world, but can really only be rocked as a knowing casual statement. Summer shoes are largely unstructured and the main reason for my quandry.


Veronique Branquinho, as do most fashion shoe companies of late, roots for the soft classic approach executed in alternative fabrications. Notice the super thin soles and almost cut and sew construction. these shoes are almost garment looking.

Like the world needs another boat shoe variation right now but here Marc Jacobs does the other summer go to fabric, suede. make any style in suede for some instant summer appeal.

I mentioned these "Desperdrils" from Hermes before. Like the NDC Derby's I started with, these shoes are unprecious and address the functional needs of a summer shoe in a new way but feel very throw away.

Ann Demeulemeester's Armish collection. It's out there but it does look like a shoe and something you could invest some time in and call part of your wardrobe.

These are from Damir Doma at Oki-ni. I first saw these back at LFW. There is not a lot of SS consideration here other than in the choice of coloured animal print but they illustrate my point about the removal of structure. How many casual shoes command such presence?

Here is where things start to get weird. Our italian continental cousins must have pondered my quandry greatly over the years. Italians don't slouch and where they live is predominantly hot.
Sometimes they attempt slouchy though and the results are often unique to say the least. These spat like soft boots from Fessura available at Luisaviaroma go somewhere most other shoes don't. But would you be cutting a dash or merely cutting your chances.

There is something about the slouchiness of these badboys from Collection Privee? also from Luisaviaroma, that I quite like. they have taken the prevailing mocc style du jour and invested it with character. These shoes look like a Hemmingway-esque summer companion. I am thinking Rum and Cigars, some sailing perhaps and tales of senoritas under the stars. I certainly wasn't getting all that from the Marc Jacobs ones.

Marsell! Luisviaroma again. Them cats is crazy! But it's made from a fine skin and it's a sort of boxing boot with eclectic detailing and enough room for possibilities yet discovered by their eventual wearer. Still not what Mr. Hare is looking for but...

So I guess this is why high tops are so hot right now. They are light and comfortable. They are a whole realm of creative possibilities for everyone to explore and they can have as much or as little structure as required without becoming formal. These Rafs have it all.
Now this is talking to Mr. Hares sensibilities in a direct way. Soper soft skins are comfortable and breathable but still retain a lot of presence. There is nothing slouchy about these ankle boots from Officine Creative (Luisviaroma).

I kind of like these sandals from Bruno Bordese because like the Collection Privee moccs they seem companionable. They are not feminine or precious but they do their simple job in a creative understated way.

Of everything in this post, these boots from Alberto Fasciani are talking to me the most in terms of what a summer shoe should attempt to be. Structure, style real shoe materials, details, colour, construction character and presence. Let's start the romance.

3 comments:

Kalle said...

How about perforated leather derbys? In white or off-white. That would be my choice for a more formal type of summer shoe.

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Clint said...

Great wrap-up of some of the more interesting designs this season.

The NDC espadrilles and B. Bordese sandals will be going onto my summer wishlist.