Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Phil, Apr 7, 2004.
Ask and ye shall receive...
I antiqued them.
How exactly do you do that?
I really like the look of the 808. I fit comfortably into a 202 D. For those of you who have both, does the 808 fit dramatically differently? This has been covered in this forum, I'm sure, but my search skills are weak today. Thanks.
Quote I antiqued them.
How exactly do you do that?
Ditto.[/quote] Well, I use a darker brown polish (I'm partial to Weston) on the toe area..make sure it soaks in well before you buff it. Gradually, the area will darken and achieve the "antique" finish. It's worked beautiful on the one pair of C&J's I have.
I believe, if I have understood it correctly, the 888 (EG's latest last) is a re-working of the 808 to give a bit more room without losing the overall look. The last is more angular and has more room in the toe box, (circumference wise). From the top of the shoe do the sidewalls fall off straight and abruptly and not in a gentle curve. (Imagine the Cliffs of Dover: flat landscape and suddenly it falls at an angle of almost 90 degrees into the sea.) I'm not such a whiz kid with the computer, but have a look at jcusey's link. "Ladbroke" on last 808 "Fawsley" on last 888 (both styles are basically the same design). Notice how the light is caught in the angle where the top turns into the sidewalls.
I know that Tony Gaziano from Edward Green says that the 808 doesn't fit well, and he certainly knows more about this than I ever could. That being said, I have shoes in both the 808 and the 202, and the fit for me is very similar. The 808 has the elongated toe, but the overall length of the shoe is a bit longer to compensate. The dimensions of the shoe in places where my foot actually sits seem to be pretty much the same in the two lasts.
Here is a technique I have used to good effect:
1) As Tony said, most leather does not absorb much polish. You have to use polish that is MUCH darker than the color of the leather you are antiquing. For tan shoes I use a mixture of 60% black shoe cream, 30% red shoe cream and 10% tan shoe cream. I mix it up thoroughly on a paper plate, with a knife. Then I coat the shoes liberally with it. Not a consistent coat over the whole surface of the shoe though. Use your imagination. You will want to accent the high points of the shoe (toe cap, outer heel counter etc.) and put only a light coat over the area where the shoe flexes. If you go crazy there, you will have to do it over (when you wear the shoe for the first time, antiquing over the flex-points turns to ugly.) Let the shoe cream set for a few hours - I let it sit overnight.
2) Use a wax polish to strip the cream back off. I use brown Kiwi polish for tan shoes. Again, this has to be done strategically, as the solvent in the wax will take ALL the cream off very quickly if you are not careful. The idea is to use your imagination, creating a pleasing dark/light contrast. It is best if you study shoes that have already been professionally antiqued first - that way you have a good idea where they should be dark and where they should be light.
3) This is going to sound funny, but after I have coated/stripped the shoes with wax, I wrap them in plastic and pop them in the freezer for half an hour. This does something to the chemical composition of the wax I think. You can raise a much higher shine and it is a much more durable finish. And I've never had any ill effects from it. Â Remove the shoes from the freezer, let them warm back up to room temperature, and then polish with an old silk tie. The results are comparable to Berluti. With tan shoes, I get wonderful and very subtle red and green highlights using this technique. Â
A few more things. You are going to want to practice on an old pair of shoes first. If you go at a new pair of Edward Greens first thing, don't come crying to me if you mess them up Altough it is hard to ruin shoes this way - you can always strip the finish back and start over. I haven't had the guts to take acetone to my shoes yet, but I'm guessing the results would be even more stunning if you could strip most of the existing polish off. Also, you can do great things with a buffing wheel - this basically burns the leather at the high points, giving it a very dark finish.
I did these Edward Green Montford's with the aforementioned process.
The results were quite dramatic with these shoes, because, while never worn, they were probably originally made 3-4 years ago. The finish had become somewhat dull and the leather was pretty thirsty. If they were fresh from the Edward Green factory, the results would not have been the same unless I had stripped them down first.
Gosh, those are really impressive results.
I'm speechless, A. Harris. What phenomenal results..
A. Harris, thanks for taking time to write that. Awesome result.
Wow. They look incredible.
Every so often I come across things which really inspire me. I mean, where do people learn how to do stuff like this?.? I wouldn't even be aware of the possibilities without the Internet - and then it's only cos of stumbling across forums like this.
At the risk of going on, allow me to express my astonishment. You have taken a perfectly nice shoe, and turned it into a work of art. I hope Tony is taking notes.
Thanks for taking the time to share that, Andrew. Very, very nice. They're really striking, and weren't too bad before.
Just special ordered the EG Stowe, in burnt pine antique. 888 last, single leather sole. Now the waiting game begins. One question - how elongated is the toe area on the 888 last. I dont mind a bit, but too much looks funny to my eye. Thanks.
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