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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by nutcracker, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have just come across this Japanese shoe site which carries an extensive interview with Shoji Kawaguchi (Marquess):

    http://shoes.bamboo-creation.jp/bespoke/marquess/

    I haven’t checked out the site in detail, but they seem to have quite a few interesting articles and interviews. (Look up the site in google Chrome to get an automatic translation; although some of the English names, translated into Japanese and back into English again, can come out quite peculiar. “Cleobury” is Cleverley and “Jonrobu” is John Lobb.)

    Shoji-san’s smile, as they say in London, really “warms the cockles of your heart”.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  2. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ]


    Yup, nice article indeed! Looks like a new online magazine dedicated to shoes!
     
  3. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    JAPAN SHOES EXPO 21015 10/28~11/10

    I`ve read things about it before, but this event is happening right now at ISETAN MEN`S Shoes` Floor. The event brings together only Japanese shoemakers and manufacturers . Should be quite interesting for anyone who can make it... Aside from YOHEI FUKUDA and MARQUESS, Nao Yokoo is a English trained newcomer in the bespoke scene. Maybe worth checking out


    LIST OF EXHIBITORS:

    bibliotek
    COLUMBUS
    DAITA KIMURA
    Desertic
    ENTOAN
    HIROSHI TSUBOUCHI
    H?KATSUKAWA
    JOJO
    JOLI
    Kids Love Gaite
    MADRAS
    makoto taguchi
    Marquess
    MIHARA YASUHIRO

    Nao Yokoo
    Otsuka
    PERFETTO
    REGAL
    Salon
    SCOTCH GRAIN
    SNTORII
    SPINGLE MOVE
    SUN/kakke
    UNION IMPERIAL
    YOHEI FUKUDA
    吉見鉄平(シューズパタンナー)
    康澤民(製甲職人)
     
  4. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    CLEMATIS by Takano Keitaro

    3-Eyelet Chukka Boots
    Brown Shark Skin

    I wanted a leather that had a rough, natural texture, so Takano san recommended this brown shark hide. Suits very well with his lovely Chukka design.

    This pair is made on Clematis`s MTO system, based on Clematis`s house last, but customised to my feet. Handsewn welted. The outsole is machine stitched, but like other Japanese 9/10 handmade shoes I`ve seen around, stitching and detailing visible on the welt is very good and hard to distinguish from full-stitched sole. The decorative sole is a pleasant bonus! (He usually puts more effort on full handmade soles though)

    [​IMG]
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    5 people like this.
  5. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ah, the Top-Sider bottom, for non-skid sailing!

    And waterproof uppers, to boot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  6. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Correct. Very minuscule toe spring on complete shoes. The advantages of having a little toe spring is probably accepted by most shoemakers, but several high end Japanese shoemakers I know make shoes with no toe spring at all.
     
  7. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    ^^^Glad to see that you are boosting this thread again Nutcracker! Awesome shoes you've posted, and that event at Isetan seems awesome. A shame I won't arrive in Tokyo until the 15th. If anyone visits, pics please!!
     
    2 people like this.
  8. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    What practical advantage is that actually? Sure it looks good, but toe spring is there for a reason too.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    For the Okuyama single monk, it appears that the heel has been lifted too high for the last, probably to accommodate that cuban heel. The result is ball/thread line not touching the ground, aka bad fit.

    I think those are bespoke sample shoes made to demonstrate their pattern/shoemaking and finishing skills and not designed to be worn. They do show off those pretty slanted heels, cuban heels, and sometimes menswear stilettos.
     
  10. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    I swear no one does a chiseled toe like Marquess...just look at that contour!
     
  11. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, in the end, they are bespoke samples and not meant for actual feet (made impossibly thin).
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  12. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    I don't think that the heel is especially high, but he has extended the upper part of the heel up against the uppers a bit to give the impression of a higher heel. Still a low toe spring though, but as is mentioned likely due to them being samples. Would be aweful to walk in those, I mean a very low toe spring can work but you have to have the ball area touch ground first to some extent.

    Quote:
    Regarding low toe spring, I've reacted several times to Stefano Bemers shoes, which aren't just samples, which seem to have extremely low toe spring and an almost floating ball area, doesn't seem good at all. Here's a couple of examples:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    FWIW, I cannot think of a single rationale for low toe spring except the aesthetics of the thing. And that's all in the eye of an often uninformed or misinformed beholder.

    When the treadline of the shoe does not correspond to the treadline/joint of the foot, it is a slow disaster in the making. And, as a general principle, poor practices.

    I do not know who the maker is (I don't want to know), I simply saw this post and was tempted to look at the pretty pictures. But chogall is correct, the the heel has been built up higher than the last was designed for. And that violates everything we know about the mechanics of the foot and the principles of good shoemaking.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    3 people like this.
  14. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    It could work back in the days for some British Sir who had shoes made with super thin soles and zero toe spring to show off that they were so wealthy that they didn't have to walk more than from the dinner table out to the reception room for a glass of cognac. Problem is that the look from those days have lived on until today, when likely no one lives the life as people did back then, and walk a lot more in their shoes and not just on carpet indoors. Personally I don't like high toe spring, but not super low ones either. A good balance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, there are historical examples. And you are correct...in my opinion...when you say it was mostly for show.

    That said, I think a certain amount of it was simply a lack of understanding of foot anatomy and bio-mechanics. There are other aspects of footwear from that time that seem relatively "wrong-headed" and bizarre for exactly the same reasons.

    The odd thing is that, theoretically, the lower the heel the more toe spring is wanted. It facilitates the ease of walking in stiff shoes, and over the long term, ameliorates excessive wrinkling and creasing.

    And while I have nothing but first hand experience to corroborate this...it is my opinion that toe spring also tends to create tensions that serve to draw the heel in and tighten the topline. It certainly works that way with pull-on boots that have heel stiffeners with little or no "cupping" to them.

    If the last is made correctly however (and the maker respects the last), no toe spring at all is required to make sure that the ball of the foot is resting on ground where it should be resting. And that's a health issue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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  16. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Here are more of our store`s bespoke J-shoes for your eyes

    MAIN D`OR by Eiji Murata
    Adelaide Oxfords
    Brown Baby Calf

    A lovely pair of shoes by Eiji Murata. Hard to get hold of (bespoke shoemaking is not his primary job), and takes a long time to complete (close to 2 years for these), the result was nonetheless spectacular. Though I keep these in stores as display samples, they are indeed made for my feet. I selected Japanese baby calf (by definition much younger than European standard baby calf) for its great luster. Baby calf however is prone to creases.

    Hollowed Shoetrees by Ide Yosuke.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    3 people like this.
  17. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Below are some of the pictures I took when I received my MAIN D`OR pair (the same one above) a while ago at Murata-san`s atelier

    [​IMG]
    Brown baby calf (looks darker under a cloudy day). Baby calf was a nightmare to work with, according to Murata-san. Coupled with English style hollowed trees

    [​IMG]
    After 2 trial shoes (the second one with 1 month trial time), the fitting is damn near perfect!

    [​IMG]
    Murata-san checking the fit

    [​IMG]
    Looking good!

    [​IMG]
    The lasts are being marked immediately. The second pair (a black derby) should fit even better! (still waiting after 18 months)

    Murata-san is legendary among fellow Japanese shoemakers for his obsessive attention to making and finish. Here are some closeup pics of the Making

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    and some more from other Bespoke pairs that I acquired from him.

    [​IMG]
    Crazy Bevelled Waist finish

    [​IMG]
    Not meant for walking, but lovely. Murata-san gave it a mirror gloss inspired by Japanese lacquer


    Here are other pics I snapped from his shoes in the making

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Sole Stitching!

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    Sole Stitching! I believe this one is even tighter than the one above

    [​IMG]
    Sole Stitching!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    9 people like this.
  18. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    DWFII: Yes you might be correct on that some of it had to do with lack of knowledge when it comes to health etc, I wouldn't know.

    When it comes to good comfort my experience is that the old saying "a pencil under the toe, a penny under the heel" (or something like that) is quite perfect, at least the toe part, when also taking into account the looks.


    Nutcracker: He's not doing shoes full time? Didn't know that, quite impressing to have reached that level on something done on the side (or has he worked full time with it before?). What does he have for a regular job?
    He do have a thing for finishing right, almost to the extent that you can't see the actual work because of all the shine :) But looks nice, and even if I don't personally am all for the build up on top of the heels it's some nice workmanship, and the sole stitching of course looks very well too.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Let me just ask you one thing...just to give you something to think about...where "under the toe?"

    Under the toe of the foot? Or under the toe of the shoe? At the forward end of the toe stiffener? Or under the toe at the outside edge of the welt? Under the toe of a Traditionally sized last or under the toe of an extended toed last?

    --
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  20. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It looks like at least one of these makers would say "none of the above," which does tell you something.
     

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