A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Monday, November 24, 2014

Carmina Shell Cordovan - The Cognac Wingtip Shoe

I have expressed my admiration of Carmina and the excellent work the company does with shell cordovan. As far as I know, Carmina uses shell cordovan leather from the Horween company, which is the same leather that you'll find on any of Alden's shell cordovan offerings, as well as C&J's shell cordovan offerings available under the Ralph Lauren Polo brand. However, Carmina has created an impressive niche for itself in the shell cordovan market due to the quality and craftsmanship of the shoes.

With all of that mind, I was surprised to come across a pair of Carmina's wingtips in their beautiful "cognac" shell cordovan leather as I was thrifting on the upper east side of Manhattan (I found these in a high-end consignment shop that shall remain nameless). The shoes are an EU 11E, which I believe would correspond to a US 12. I've put the shoes up for sale on eBay, so any of our big-footed brethren can find the auction here.

For now, enjoy some pictures of Carmina's wonderful cognac shell cordovan leather.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

John Lobb Spruces Up Its Classic Footwear (NYTimes)

An interesting article in The New York Times regarding the recent appointment of Paula Gerbase, a London-based fashion designer, as the first artistic director for John Lobb. This would be the RTW branch of the venerable shoemaker, currently owned by Herrmes, not the bespoke family-owned operation. One generally approaches these "evolutionary" appointments with some trepidation why exactly do the models needs sprucing up), although based on some of the images of the models shown, as well as the comments made  in the article, it sounds like Ms. Gerbase is drawing inspiration from the archives and perhaps simply revitalizing the color palette. In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing some of her creations :-)


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Back In Plaid: The Return of the Colorful Brioni

I posted around this time last year about the colorful brown Brioni jacket that I had picked up that spring and which I had hoped to wear last fall (you can view the original post here). Unfortunately, it always takes me a while to get around to these things, and it actually took me about a year to get this to a tailor. I took the jacket to Wilfred's in Manhattan, who I've been using for some time now for tailoring work that goes beyond a basic hem or sleeve alteration. If I recall correctly, the jacket was a bit tight around my stomach, and the sleeves needed to be shortened. I would need to check the invoice because I may be confusing this jacket with another article of clothing, but it may have also been shortened by about 3/4 of an inch.

[As an aside, I'm happy to say that I've generally been pleased with Wilfred's work. I'm usually comfortable waiting a week or two for the finished product, which may be an issue for others. On average, I'd say most work takes about a week. If there's any additional tweaking, that should probably take another 2-3 days. On average, I usually am able to get the piece back in about a week. I have found that, while Wilfred et al have their own preferences regarding trouser break, sleeve length, etc., they are happy to do whatever you like.]

There was an interesting discussion about the jacket at Ask Andy (you can find the original thread here), and I found most of the comments interesting and helpful when thinking about what I was hoping to alter and how it would look when I got it back. I'm a notoriously poor photographer, so I'm never quite sure how much of the commentary is due to the terrible images that I usually post (the images included here are not much better). Certainly, the jacket is quite colorful, but I was looking for a multi-hued brown tweed or check for some time, and the Brioni jacket fit the bill perfectly. While comments regarding the low button stance were probably on point  as well, I did not find it sinfully so and I was willing to live with that because I thought the fabric was unique. I still also find the darting at the front of the jacket to be less of a distraction than others.

In any event, I thought it was only fair to post new images for those who took the time to discuss the appearance of the jacket last year. As always, I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the images (as well as my rumpled business casual appearance, the direct result of a long afternoon spent with 5 toddlers), as well as my poor posture (as it seems that my "relaxed" position includes a slightly stooped right shoulder), but I hope they succeed in giving some idea as to how the jacket looks on me now (one year and about 20 pounds later).