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Blobby Lobb: A Review of John Lobb St. James

  • Thread starter Griffindork
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dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Good grief. Just because I mentioned Steed as part of the joke, to explain again, this is from a 2012 Fresh Prince meme, where you write a long, drawn out and crazy story. In the past, people have posted a story about them sleeping with their sister or accidentally killing someone with their car. The whole point is to convince people to invest their time and read along. By the time they reach the end of the story, there's a Rickroll with a Bel Air song, at which point an astute reader would understand he's been trolled and the entire story was fabricated.

Again, it feels truly stupid to explain internet culture like this ("mom, there's this thing called distracted boyfriend"), but there you go ...

Obviously, Steed didn't tell me anything. The guys there are upstanding dudes. They would never reveal information about any of their clients, nor have I ever tried to get information out of them.

The ***** story, however, is real. It comes from a famous case about a Princeton math student.

https://nypost.com/2005/04/07/princeton-student-a-math-whiz/
 
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jrd617

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vhqzd.jpg
 
G

Griffindork

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Part 3: The Style

I view the selection of a bespoke maker as primarily stylistic. I take it for granted that any bespoke maker is going to give me something beautifully crafted and with a perfect fit. And my experience has generally been that they all come through. While the JLSJ website got me curious as the style, I didn’t really have a great sense of it, and I certainly didn’t fall in love with it, until I saw the shoes in person.

I suppose what was most striking to me when looking at the 50 or so bespoke samples that were laid out in the hotel room was that each shoe, rather than appearing to be a stylistic variation of the same bespoke last, gave the impression of being from a totally distinct foot, as if the samples were made from various different lasts for different feet. Yet at the same time each pair shared a familial resemblance in the flowing curves, some more sweeping than others but all rounded and all beautiful to my eye. Here are is a picture from the Parisian Gentleman website that shows several shoes side-by-side:

39A64414-3EF3-473F-9000-2BD7E0CF27B8.png


And here are a few of mine showing two shoes on very differently shaped lasts, one rounded and broad, the other more narrow, each viewed from two different angles:

7A2FE0B6-CB0A-43EC-95F3-231CB78DE0E2.jpeg

13FF48B0-77B3-473A-BF7D-6B9BAF5CF769.jpeg

EFE3E8FB-8D94-4078-B884-BF886FB2B330.jpeg

303AC528-6931-4693-9637-30D0A920BD92.jpeg

What jumped out at me? Certainly these didn’t speak as loudly as shoes from some other makers. And they didn’t look like anyone else’s shoes to my eye. They were both distinctive and quiet. Although they were 50 shoes of 50 different feet, there was kinship in the curves, and a shared sense of proportion regardless of shape. And the toe is always rounded. I say rounded rather than round, as sometimes the toe narrows into something closer to a point, and on other shoes the toe flattens slightly in a subtle squaring off, but the roundness always remains. Picking up a shoe, I noticed that weightlessness that seems to be shared by all bespoke shoes. At the same time, they were solid and sturdy. Burgundy drinkers refer to the wines of chambolle musigny as “the iron fist in the velvet glove”. This was that in a shoe: both delicate and airy, but solid and substantial. The leather was thick and flawless, and while these are old shoes with old leather and an old patina, one gets the sense that things don’t really change at JLSJ, particularly things like the quality of the materials.

Picking a pair with a shape that I found particularly charming, I said to my lastmaker/fitter: “these are beautiful. I love the curve and the shape. Could you do something like this for me?” His response was “we can do whatever you like, Mr. Jefferson.” I thought that was a lovely response, but I would suggest that at this point what you like isn’t almost exactly one of the fifty in front of you, it’s best to shop elsewhere.

How does one politely say “I don’t want the blobby ones my friend has”? I think my reference to shape was code to my lastmaker/fitter, who was making notes on the shoe I’d loved, and then asked about the toe, and whether the width was what I liked. No we are getting somewhere. Maybe a touch narrower. But still round. Lots of shape. Just like one of these in front of me.

With the selection made, it was time to move on to my feet.

To be cont.
 
G

Griffindork

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Part 4:

The Process

One of the things that you definitely want to do when you visit a bespoke artisan is to make sure that their process confirms to your expert expectations of what their process should be. So, I began my discussion of the process of making my shoes by DEMANDING A FITTING SHOE EVEN THOUGH JLSJ DOESNT PRODUCE A FITTING SHOE. Nah, I’m just fuckin’ wit choo. There’s no fitting shoe at JLSJ. That sounds find to me. I asked what happens if the shoe doesn’t fit properly and their response was that they either fix it or remake it if need be. That’s good enough for me.

The process is similar to other bespoke shoemakers - they trace each of your feet and take a series of measurements. Charmingly, the measurements are taken by ripping a piece of paper at various points along your foot. **** modern technology.

I could tell my lastmaker/fitter was a consummate pro because while taking my measurements, he mentioned “it must be very hard for you to find ready to wear shoes that fit you properly”. This was, of course, a lie, but one that I very much needed to hear as he no doubt realized by the presence of a wedding ring on my right hand. And now I have the irrefutable evidence from a professional that I must purchase bespoke shoes because RTW doesn’t fit me, and my wife is check-mated. There being nothing unusual with my gorgeous feet, I was told to expect a pair of shoes at some point in the future. I was told that during a visit to London in January I can stop by the shop and have a look at one last to see if I like the shape. And several days later I received a bill by email and a note that a 50% deposit had been taken from my credit card.

To be cont.
 

Texasmade

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Any upcharge for them traveling to the US?

There website says “Please note goods ordered from our representatives travelling in the Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Singapore,Taiwan and USA will be subject to a surcharge.”
 

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