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I can't stand italian clothing

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Horace, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  3. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    (Styleman @ 14 Oct. 2004, 11:15) Your a joke. I'd really like to see what you look like in your American Ralph Lauren, and Gieves and Hawkes. (A Joke, just like I said before) One who thinks that Ozwald Botang looks better than is possibly blind. Show me some inovative style in British clothing; take a single look at Gucci a/w 04-05. Is there even a comparision? No, I think not. America, do not get me started, we like to wear things under sweaters, we like to wear things under shirts, we like to wear things ten sizes too big. Sorry boss, but you aint got an argument. Whenever I see someone with a t-shirt under their shirt I feel like taking out my Purdys and oh dear....
    Your narrowmindedness and poor syntax both amaze me.
    Of indemnity and all lucidity, that visage may possess; the English Language's veracity was apparently lost en route to America. Moreover, of collateral, it is undoubtedly a matter of ancient history of whence the language originated.
     
  4. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member

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    I have to chime in here. What Jcusey wrote is correct (with one bit of additional info - Santoni uses a raised feather, don't know about Kiton.) Comparing the construction of a hand finished shoe like Edward Green RTW to a truly handmade shoe like Lattanzi or Vass is like comparing a Canali suit to an Oxxford. You might like the silhouette of the Canali better, but the Oxxford is going to cost a lot more nonetheless, because it took a whole heck of a lot more work to produce it. Whether or not a shoe is made by hand may not matter to some, but it's not fair to compare it to a machine made shoe, especially with regards to price.
     
  5. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I've one additional thing to say about this thread. I think that the board does tend to fall into group think on various things, preference for Italian style is one of them (or maybe dislike of Ralph Lauren). Now it might (likely will) be argued that this simply proves Italian superiority, and perhaps that is true. But I understand why some like Horace might make a conscious choice to go a different direction.

    Whether it be the traditional Brooks look or the Savile Row look, some may simply decide that Italian is not for them. I think the board is the better in having a vibrant group of adherents to different styles so long as they are well spoken and respectful of the differences of others. That's one of the reasons why I've been so pleased by the recent American Trad threads on Ask Andy, although I myself am no American Trad purist. Dissenting points of view are good.
     
  6. christian

    christian Senior member

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    But, the original post wasn't that well-spoken. It didn't give any reasoning or facts to support it. Instead, it was, obey this order cause ALL italian is horrible. Pip, pip. And, any following support for the original thread was never very substantial either. Instead, we found out the reasoning for this prejudice was cause 50 years ago, the person found a few Italian items he didn't like.

    Even Ben Silver includes Italian shoes and other italian items in their catalogue.
     
  7. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    This may turn into another War Between the States, gentlemen (Civil War to you Yankees). I, a long-time lover of old-fashioned traditional natural shoulder ivy-league clothing, have no trouble living with proponents of Savile Row and Jermyn Street kit. In fact, my clothing wardrobe is about 20% devoted to that style and my shoe wardrobe is over 60% English. However, I think that trying to live in peace with you pasta-lovers may not be possible. It was like when they started letting women reporters into the locker rooms after the baseball games. It is just not going to work. Someone may need to go get their own web-site. Since I am in the minority, it may have to be me.
    True, my prejudice against the Italian stuff began 45 years ago, when I first saw that dreadful stuff. However, I have tried to keep and open mind and have purchased 4-5 pairs of Italian shoes (Ferragamo and Gucci) which I came to hate (poor quality, design, everything), and 4-5 suits and sport coats (Brioni and Zegna) about which I felt similarly. I also bought some Santoni Classico spectators on e-bay this summer and was not impressed; not in the same league with AE or Aden, even. It was only in the last 3 weeks when I got two cashmere sport coats on sale at Neiman's (Kiton and Isaia) that I came across some satisfactory stuff, almost as good as Norman Hilton was overall, but with better tailoring. Actually, I have not worn either; still two hot here for the winter weight Kiton and it is so late in the summer season that I will save the Isaia for next year. I got very good prices on the cashmere sport coats, however, the retail prices were in Savile Row bespoke range, though not nearly the quality of Huntsman, Henry Poole, A&S, etc.
    However, I do not know how to deal with a defense of the Italian stuff based on arguments that they only send their most bizarre shoes, etc., because of the weird tastes of most Americans and you can find the good ones in Italy or get the good stuff made for you there. I have been to Italy 6-7 times, but never long to go through the fittings, etc., to have anything made. I think we have to judge Italian stuff based on what is available here. Although I live in a city of 4 ½ million, only the brands mentioned previously are available here. We do not even have shoes like Santoni, Gravati, Latazini here. The Italian shoes that I see at our Neiman's and Saks are 99% dreadful.
    In contrast, I like nearly all Alden models and about 1/2 of the AE. Several trips to Bennie's, and studying the pictures of the Grensons on its website, made me believe that I and 90% of the more conservative readers of this forum liked nearly all of those shoes. None are off the chart in weirdness.
    These true-life experiences have to count for something. Saying that "the best stuff" exists, but that for most of us in the USA, it is unavailable is not making a real world argument.
    Ken Pollock
     
  8. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    No, they're not. In terms of quality of design, quality of leather, quality of finishing, and attention to detail, even lowly Santoni Classico shoes are usually demonstrably superior to Alden or Allen-Edmonds. That's not intended to be a slur towards Alden or Allen-Edmonds; it's just that they don't make a product of equivalent quality to Santoni.
    That's a caricature of the argument that I was making, and not a very good caricature at that. The argument that I was making was that it's ridiculous for someone to say that Lattanzi shoes, for example, are inferior to Edward Green shoes because he saw some outlandish-looking Lattanzi shoe the last time he was in Bergdorf Goodman. The good stuff in Italian shoes is available if you're willing to seek it out and if you're willing to wait for it.
    Neiman Marcus and Saks mostly carry Gucci, Prada, and Ferragamo. The classic Gucci bit loafer is a decent product, but most of the seasonal Gucci shoes are indeed not particularly appealing. Prada is almost exclusively horrible. Ferragamo is hit or miss. The Tramezza shoes are very good. Ferragamo Studio shoes generally aren't worth the time it takes to look at them. Lavarazione Originale shoes are decent enough, if overpriced. Still, the Atlanta Neiman Marcus and Saks need not be the extent of your horizons. If you're willing to seek them out, it's easy enough to get exactly what you want from Gravati, Santoni, Martegani, Mantellassi, or Borgioli, all of whom are very good makers. And all of them are available in the United States -- the only shoes that I've ever had shipped from overseas are English shoes.
    Frankly, I'd rather see it all and hate half of it than to be presented only with what the maker knows I won't hate. The shoe designs that Alden uses are thoroughly inoffensive because Alden takes absolutely no chances. The only truly interesting shoes that I've seen from Alden have been the Alden Fan shoes from Alden of Carmel. The reason that the Paul Stuart Grenson shoes and Edward Green shoes are interesting is that they actually take some chances and don't feel the need only to put out the "classics."
    It's not unavailable if you're willing to look for it.
     
  9. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  10. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    I'll have to second this. This has often crossed my mind, as this board is often the only source of information that the members have.

    I, myself have been lusting after EG shoes but I've often wondered how reliable my information is. Regarding shoes, it is based on the opinion of two or three well spoken members of the forum. Their well researched opinion has been picked by me and other members and we have sort of converged to their preferences. I'm definetely not claiming that they are spreading disinformation but it should be kept in mind that this is their view on shoes that we are subscribing to and they constitute a really small sample of shoe enthusiastist.

    B
     
  11. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    I honestly don't know about Lattanzi. I am not a Lattanzi customer, and at the prices that they charge, it's unlikely that I ever will be. As you say, if you're going to spend more than $2000 on a pair of shoes, why not bespoke? In any event, what's available in stock is usually just a point of departure for me when I buy Italian shoes (or EG shoes, for that matter). I usually will order stock specials, where I get to specify the last, the leather, the finishing, the soles, and other design elements of the shoe. It costs a bit more, and there is no instant gratification; but you get exactly what you want. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense with Lattanzi at the price they charge, of course, but it sure does with a lot of manufacturers who price their shoes more reasonably.

    Of course not. Lattanzi has gotten a lot of good press, and they've decided to capitalize on it by jacking up the prices. They're similar in that respect to Kiton -- a Kiton suit is a thing of beauty, but is it really worth $5000?
     
  12. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member

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    [​IMG] That's for sure. Lattanzi shoes are that expensive because Mr. Lattanzi discovered that people will pay that kind of money for shoes. Though I will say, they seem to be steadily losing all their specialty store accounts, so I wonder if the prices might come back down one of these days. When is the last time you were in the New York store? When I was there in May, I saw a law of double soled Norwegians, but also some wonderful slim, chisel toe oxford styles, nearly identical in shape to Vass' U-last. They were stunning shoes I'm with Jcusey in the sense that I like experimental shoe companies - a lot of the shoes turn out ugly, but some turn out quite wonderful. I don't have to buy the ugly ones, so what's the harm?
     
  13. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  14. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member

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    No worries, I love a good debate [​IMG] It would be a boring world indeed if everyone had trhe same tastes and opinions. About the Lattanzi's - I was referring to the Lattanzi store in NY, as opposed to Bergdorf. Bergdorf's selection was rather disappointing if I remember correctly.
     
  15. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    It is disappointing; although the selection of Kiton shoes there is actually better than at the Kiton store. koji
     
  16. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member

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    Apropos Lattanzi, has anyone seen the shoes Lattanzi has made for Jil Sander this season? (Yes, they are in bed again, at least figuratively.)

    Think of working shoes/boots, think of 1930s, think of depression. Shoes that in their clumsiness and their bulbous toe box make Dr Martin's seem fit for ballroom dancing. The sole is curved to an extreme and makes the toe stick up like a piece of died toast or like shoes that in many years of wear have never seen a shoe tree. And the delicately stitched Norwegian welted double leather sole has additionally a half leather sole nailed on, like a badly done repair job from a Mr Healy joint (and to make sure you notice it, the "repair" has a different color).

    I can understand that Ms Sander wants to give an alternative, to delicately pointed and precious Berluti-type shoes. I don't know what will hurt more, the price (about $ 2200 for the shoes and $ 3000 for shell cordovan boots) are having someone wearing those shoes stepping on your toes.
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  18. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    The Lattanzi cubbyhole is located on Madison between 71st and 72nd. It's hard to find with all the Ralph Lauren stores around it. Not sure when it opened.
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Senior member

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  20. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member

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    (TimelessRider @ 17 Oct. 2004, 1:08) The Lattanzi cubbyhole is located on Madison between 71st and 72nd. It's hard to find with all the Ralph Lauren stores around it. Not sure when it opened.
    Funny, because I recently walked all the way up Madison to 72nd, and didn't see it. Must have been daydreaming about English shoes . . .
    It's on the west side of Madison. As TimelessRider writes, it really is a cubbyhole; and it's easy to miss if you're not looking for it. Or if you're daydreaming about English shoes...
     

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