I was very lucky the other evening to be allowed to attend a private Q&A with Gilbert and George at the White Cube Masons Yard hosted by Louis Vuitton, surrounded by works from their current Urethra Postcard Art Exhibition. Gilbert & George are great orators and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I had seen the exhibition two weeks before which sets at an equal standing the themes of national pride, immigration, work, sex and the universality of London, through the medium of collected postcards.
These themes reminded me of another artist I had chanced upon lately on my recent trip to Paris. One evening I passed Gallerie Oliver Robert in the Marais and my eye caught the work of Julien Beneyton. Despite the gallery being closed, the kind attendent let me in for a closer look and I was pleasantly mesmerised by Mr. Beneyton's work which I share with you here.
The work captures the seemingly mundane and everyday in a way that makes the subject suddenly multi-layered, faceted, dimensional...choose your own word for complex. I have been to many of the places depicted in his work and the intensity of Cligancourt Market, Amsterdam's Red light district or the Bronx as I remember them are there in the pictures. Both Gilbert & George and Julien Beneyton's exhibitions are on until February 19th 2011. See them both if you can.
For me, having those rare kicks was always what it was about. My Jordan IIIs in white and snake with the royal blue sole I copped from Global Sports in Shepherds Bush, of which I have never bumped into another pair, remain my all times for that reason.
On that note, Mr. Hare made seven pairs of these black Eel skin Onyx loafers available from Oki-ni. This morning there are only 4 pairs left. Not bad considering they only went up last night about 5pmGMT.
Similarly, let me introduce the Fangio. I wanted to make an Opanca soled shoe which is a process where the outer sole is stamped in a big industrial machine like a car door and then the rest of the shoe is attached to it. You will see a few variations of the Fangio popping up in various stores around the world this season, but this one in butter beige Tuscan suede with the flagrant bouquet is the first. Just three pairs left at Colette.
These are both so rare, they are not even on my website.
Throughout January I have been on the road promoting the empire for AW11 (more on that soon) and it gave me the opportunity to visit a couple of stores who have received early deliveries of SS11.
I genuinely still can't believe Mr. Hare shoes sell in some of the stores they do.
Here is the Onyx Loafer in Eel with it's own spotlit box in L'Eclaireur, Boissy d'Anglais. They made it look so special I didn't even realise it was one of mine.
Also in L'Eclaireur, The Onyx Wholecut.
This is the Goat Camus in Colette. I love how the shrunken goat leather takes on an entirely different pattern on every shoe as the lasting process flattens the natural texture in some areas and not in others. Every pair is completely different.
The Exquisite Shoehorn in Colette.
Check these out! Tan suede king Tubby's!! A rare beast I only saw for the first time myself when they landed at Dover Street Market. I want some. You won't even find these on my website. There are various one off King Tubby versions around the world including white ones, vachetta and suede ones at Gravity Pope in Canada and of course the King Tubby Specials.
I never shot the studs on the back of the Burroughs before because on the samples they were the wrong size and crooked. This didn't deter all the brave retailers who bought them though. The production Burroughs however, are perfect. I love this shoe. It is made from the softest Nappa leather so it is like wearing a dance shoe in terms of comfort, but it has a vachetta toe cap which will always keep the toe formal and proper. The toecap is deconstructed, as in it is not connected to the body. What at first sight just looks like a normal black shoe is in fact a wealth of technical and design details experimenting with comfort, aesthetics and a little bit of punk.
The Onyx Soir and Onyx Whole-cuts at Dover Street Market. The Onyx Soir has a seam down the toe. One side has patent leather and the instep of the shoe is in high shine leather. This was to give the shoe a more faceted effect. When light hits each side it reflects differently. Then there is the suede wally closure so this elegant evening shoe will fit men with high arches who normally shun oxford closures.
Just a man with a passion for shoes who feels let down by a shoe industry that doesn't really seem to care. Mine is not to give space to the negatives, but to champion the positives and find others who share my desire.