Thursday, July 25, 2013

Central European style: Budapest shoemakers

This summer I was in Budapest for work and of course took the opportunity to explore one of the pillars of Central European style - Budapest shoemakers. I visited three stores (Vass, Rosznyai, Buday) and saw the shop displays of Istvan Toth and Attila Shoes. They are all located within a 10 minute walking distance of each other on or near the primary shopping artery of Vaci utca in central Budapest.

Vass has two stores actually on Haris Koz, off of Vaci utca, a smaller one and a new one that opened up further down the street. Vass shoes start at 550 USD (125,000 HUF) and shipping to US is about 30 USD. If you wish to do made-to-order and customize certain aspects (like leather and sole), expect delivery to take about five weeks. I ended up ordering a brown calf MTO Norweger in the Peter last.

Rozsnyai is also on Haris Koz between the two Vass stores and was started by the father of the family. Ready-to-wear starts at about 400 EUR, 500 EUR for made-to-measure. Shipping outside of Hungary is available as well. I like their version of the classic Budapester model, which you can see on their website under the classic shoes section (Budapester 09). Their 2012 price list helpfully shows the base prices and upcharges for types of leather (including elephant, crocodile and cordovan). If I remember correctly, they also do made-to-measure belts.

Buday, also on Haris Koz, had the most contemporary looking designs in terms of boldness of color and welting. If you like experimenting with welting, you'll be happy to hear of their ability to make English and several styles of goiser welting.

I didn't have a chance to visit the Attila shop, but it looks like they offer RTW and MTO with seven different last options, five sole options, and an extensive leather selection (including eel and salmon!).

Additional links
- Styleforum Vass thread
- Styleforum thread on Vienna, Budapest and Warsaw
- De Pied en Cap thread on Istvan Toth
- Gentleman's Gazette post on Warsaw's craftsmen

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Burberry London Men's Collection SS14

A nice example of using bright, primary colors ... in a restrained way.

Suiting up: Thinking is required!

As far as I can tell, Boris Johnson is a fairly popular mayor of one of the world's largest cities. He was reelected to his post last year as mayor of London. He is seen here posing on Savile Row to celebrate the recent SS14 London Men's Collection and is interviewed for the occasion. Knowing his history, he starts by lavishing praise on London as having invented the modern suit.

Yet seconds later Johnson says "I don't give a monkey's what I look like" and asserts that the success of the suit is precisely the lack of thought needed to wear it well. Very quotable stuff but as you might guess I disagree. There is a difference between simply wearing a suit and wearing it well. If you wish to a wear a suit well, you have to put some thought into it.

A suit doesn't negate the thought process. Instead, a suit, especially a great, well-fitting suit, is quite thought-provoking.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Fabric roundup

Scabal tweed

Testa shirtings

Zegna windowpane summer jacketing

Taylor & Lodge jacketing with Drapers gabardine and Taylor & Lodge country twist