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Foster & Son/Henry Maxwell: Official Affiliate Thread - Page 20

post #286 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post

This is a website giving streetviews of various London shopping streets in this case Jermyn St http://www.streetsensation.co.uk/stjames/jer_nth1.htm

Perhaps under John Bray It should say "closing down since 1978" and for Lewin "sale on for 364 days a year"

That's excellent. John Bray will be missed though, now confirmed closing down (so they were right - in a way...). Foster & Son

post #287 of 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterandSon View Post

That's excellent. John Bray will be missed though, now confirmed closing down (so they were right - in a way...). Foster & Son

I saw that the other day and did not believe it given that they have had a similar sign in the window for as long as I can remember.
post #288 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post

I saw that the other day and did not believe it given that they have had a similar sign in the window for as long as I can remember.

It's really true this time!
post #289 of 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post

This is a website giving streetviews of various London shopping streets in this case Jermyn St http://www.streetsensation.co.uk/stjames/jer_nth1.htm

Perhaps under John Bray It should say "closing down since 1978" and for Lewin "sale on for 364 days a year"

Wish Lewin still made shirts like they did 25 years ago...
post #290 of 1064

Frank,

 

Thanks for posting the pictures.  A nice reminder of my recent visit.  The surprise for me was the Jermyn St was what I had pictured Savile Row to be like.  Small older shops on a narrow street all bunched together. Present day Savile Row is more open and "corporate" than I had imagined.  As it was my first time in London the arcades were a pleasant surprise.  Can't remember which one (Burlington?) has great macarons as well as vintage Omega watches.  Could have hung out there all day :)  Hope I can make it over again.

 

Beau

post #291 of 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterandSon View Post

RogerP, our pleasure. We'll take some more tomorrow and post on the weekend. I take it that showing some of the interesting pubs might be an idea? Foster & Son

I found posting pictures of your "neighbors" a very classy thing to do. I appreciate that you respect your work not only as a business but also your peers and their contributions to your trade. This is a business quality that deserves recognition.
post #292 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaur View Post
 

Frank,

 

Thanks for posting the pictures.  A nice reminder of my recent visit.  The surprise for me was the Jermyn St was what I had pictured Savile Row to be like.  Small older shops on a narrow street all bunched together. Present day Savile Row is more open and "corporate" than I had imagined.  As it was my first time in London the arcades were a pleasant surprise.  Can't remember which one (Burlington?) has great macarons as well as vintage Omega watches.  Could have hung out there all day :)  Hope I can make it over again.

 

Beau

 

Beau, you're right Jermyn Street still has an artisan feel and isn't at all corporate. Burlington Arcade is something else, very glitzy. I enjoy both but know exactly what you mean. One of these days I'll let you know what used to go on in the storage spaces above the Burlington Arcade shops! Looking forward to seeing you next time you're in London. Frank

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DpprDr View Post


I found posting pictures of your "neighbors" a very classy thing to do. I appreciate that you respect your work not only as a business but also your peers and their contributions to your trade. This is a business quality that deserves recognition.

 

DpprDr, very kind words and true. We do respect the other shoemakers in Jermyn Street and it's one of those areas where you will find that respect is mutual. Most of the shoemakers (maybe all) have experienced the ups and downs of business life and still continue to make great shoes. More power to them (and us of course). Frank

post #293 of 1064
Foster, are there friends or merely competition among the miniscule world of London cordwainers? Do you ever get together and laugh at the smelly feet of celeb customers and the folly that is man?
post #294 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

Foster, are there friends or merely competition among the miniscule world of London cordwainers? Do you ever get together and laugh at the smelly feet of celeb customers and the folly that is man?

VRaivio, lol'd lots at that. Genuine friends actually -.people tend to get on because they share a passion and I've not come across celeb customers with smelly feet (but there's sure to be a first time). I think it is a true sign of wisdom to recognise the follies of human existence as one's own, especially over a pint at the Chequers where the John Bray guys are partivularly good value (as well as being good guys).
post #295 of 1064
Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures of Jermyn Street, my wife tells me ' you only know one street in London! ' LOL

I get off at Green Park and walk staring towards Jermyn Street whenever I am in the city, passing by Davidoff all the way down to JL.

I will pass by your shop this Saturday to check out the marvellous patina on your shoes.
post #296 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhad19620 View Post

Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures of Jermyn Street, my wife tells me ' you only know one street in London! ' LOL

I get off at Green Park and walk staring towards Jermyn Street whenever I am in the city, passing by Davidoff all the way down to JL.

I will pass by your shop this Saturday to check out the marvellous patina on your shoes.

 

Farhad19620,

 

Make sure you pop in and have a chat with the guys if you get the time, we'd love to see you.

 

Foster & Son

post #297 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredAstaire1899 View Post
 

I must say what a thrill it is to have such a prestigious, long-standing and knowledgeable source added to Styleforum.  Welcome!

 

As you mention exclusive access to the WS Foster and Son/Henry Maxwell archive, I must ask about Fred Astaire.  

 

Is is possible to reveal some of the little details he specified, like the shades of suede, lines, waist, heel height and preferences in fit?  I've dreamt of reading his order sheets!

 

If you made a ready to wear version of his brown suede Oxfords with a similar shaped last (but adjusted for mainstream) I'd definitely be in.  While one person's wishes may be impracticable for RTW, if I ever make it to London I'd certainly purchase such a shoe as a Bespoke customer.

 

Kindest Regards,

Peter.

 

FredAstaire1899,

 

Sorry it's taken us such a long time to respond. We have a little more information from our archives but unfortunately they're pre-computer and searching them takes an unfeasible amount of time.

 

We have a full brogue co-respondent that is the same in every detail as the shoe that appeared on our postcard. We can't show you a photograph of it just at the moment as it's away from the shop right now (we may, emphasis on the may, have a rtw shoe made in exactly the same style, it's one of a number of things we're looking at). I do however have a few pictures of a semi-brogue co-respondent from the same era and entries in our order book for 1959 and 1996 for the great man. I will try to match the entries to patterns as soon as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

Foster & Son

post #298 of 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by FosterandSon View Post
 

 

FredAstaire1899,

 

Sorry it's taken us such a long time to respond. We have a little more information from our archives but unfortunately they're pre-computer and searching them takes an unfeasible amount of time.

 

We have a full brogue co-respondent that is the same in every detail as the shoe that appeared on our postcard. We can't show you a photograph of it just at the moment as it's away from the shop right now (we may, emphasis on the may, have a rtw shoe made in exactly the same style, it's one of a number of things we're looking at). I do however have a few pictures of a semi-brogue co-respondent from the same era and entries in our order book for 1959 and 1996 for the great man. I will try to match the entries to patterns as soon as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

Foster & Son

 

Dear Foster & Son,

 

Many thanks for the information, it is much appreciated.  Until I saw the 2079 order, I was confused about a 1996 order, as Fred passed away in '87.  1996 seems to say a pair of slippers. Fred was particularly fond of the correspondent style in the 30's, although he continued to sport them throughout his movie career.  The 1930's asymmetric tubular lasts are my personal preference, reminiscent of art deco!

 

This brings up a related point, how were traditional dancing/ evening shoes made before they could be fully cemented/ blake stitched?  I ask this as Fred often appeared in scenes wearing visibly welted shoes (close up shots), and would transition to the dance scenes.  However, pictures of the dance shoes show no sole protruding from the edge of the upper, like a modern cemented formal shoe.  They possibly could have used a blake machine from the early 20th century onwards, and thus on Fred's shoes.

post #299 of 1064
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredAstaire1899 View Post
 

 

Dear Foster & Son,

 

Many thanks for the information, it is much appreciated.  Until I saw the 2079 order, I was confused about a 1996 order, as Fred passed away in '87.  1996 seems to say a pair of slippers. Fred was particularly fond of the correspondent style in the 30's, although he continued to sport them throughout his movie career.  The 1930's asymmetric tubular lasts are my personal preference, reminiscent of art deco!

 

This brings up a related point, how were traditional dancing/ evening shoes made before they could be fully cemented/ blake stitched?  I ask this as Fred often appeared in scenes wearing visibly welted shoes (close up shots), and would transition to the dance scenes.  However, pictures of the dance shoes show no sole protruding from the edge of the upper, like a modern cemented formal shoe.  They possibly could have used a blake machine from the early 20th century onwards, and thus on Fred's shoes.

 

FredAstaire1899,

 

You raise a number of very interesting questions. Our first thought on the dancing shoes is the same as yours but we'll ask Terry Moore about this, he should certainly know. Do you have a close up shot of the dancing shoes to post here, it would certainly help us to find out?

 

The full brogue co-respondents are stunning shoes and when they come back we'll be sure to get some very high quality images to post.

 

We really appreciate your interest.

 

Best,

 

Foster & Son

post #300 of 1064

Dear Foster and Son,

 

Here is a link to a pair of Fred's dancing shoes http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2012/04/fred-astaires-dancing-shoes.html and an expanded picture http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/.a/6a01156f47abbe970c0167654108e4970b-pi .

 

Another interesting point, given Prince Albert slippers have even thinner soles than formal shoes, how were the soles originally secured to the upper?  Perhaps the soles were/still are too thin to support a stitch to the upper?

 

Kind Regards.

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