Originally Posted by Fuuma
I don't like English shoes
I'm glad RJ is talking about Massaro though, which I guess you could consider English but the designs are anything but. I tried bumping the thread a couple weeks ago but no one cares about that very nice brand.
I would like to comment on Massarro
’s pret a chausse
r range, unfortunately I have never seen them in the flesh and the few pictures on the website are so ‘artistically’ photographed (i.e. pitch-black) that one can hardly see any specifics.
What little I can make out, I would say, they are stylistically very English indeed. Just as John Lobb, Paris (bespoke) or Dimitri Gomez is ‘English’ and Berluti or Corthay is not. There are some stylistic tweaks and refinements that indicate a French accent, but the language is English nevertheless. Close-cut welts and ‘Fishtail’ painted waists are so, so English, as is the manufacturer of these shoes.
The most wonderful ‘English’ shoes I have ever seen in my life were made by the French firm Hellstern (which existed from about 1880 – 1965). Initially a ladies’ shoemaker (like Massarro), they ventured at a later point into men’s shoes as well. And just as Lobb and Maxwell had branches in Paris, Hellstern had a branch in London (which must have closed in the late 50s).
The Hellstern shoe that I came across (sadly ruined by various ‘repairs’ from incompetent cobblers) showed the Prince of Wales plumes and the twin-headed Russian eagle and declared proudly “By appointment to the Prince of Wales and Archduke *** Romanoff “. Initially I was thinking of Charles, then the penny dropped: ‘OMG, that PoW was Edward’.