It looks severe when looking down at your feet, but when you look at yourself in a mirror it looks great. I wouldn't call it severe at all really. Even the chiseled last isn't nearly as chiseled as many other makers. I would say it is perfect between the classic and chiseled last. Depending on the styling or is really hard to tell the different between the classic and riva, IMO. At the trunk show Philip even had to look closely and compare some models to determine. Mind you these shoes pictured are also on the riva.
They do an amazing job. I've walked a bit in them and how they crease definitely makes them look more cordovan.
Interesting.... the fine creases look more like calf than shell; but, I'm not an expert and photos can be deceiving. I wonder if the processing of the shell affects how the creases form. Do you know the source of the shell?