Well, not really but Toad did send me a great book called The Gentleman’s Slipper by Fiona Dreesmann. Such a gesture simply reinforces my belief that Toad’s the real-deal, friend wise.
We share many of the same interests and also a mildly curmudgeonesque view of almost every damn thing in the world. Except daughters and granddaughters…we both shed the cranky affect when it comes to this delicate and sublime subject. Same thang, shoe-wise.
So yesterday I roll in to pick up the mail and there’s a parcel from England. Too thin to be my Cleverley shoes and thank God, too soon for their arrival and final invoice as well. Much to my great pleasure, it was this stunning book.
My views on foppish shoddings are clearly known around these parts. I’ve been accused of being a shill for Belgian Shoes even though I’ve never received anything from any supplier as a favor for writing about their goods. Conversely, Roxanne Burgess threatened to sue me unless I STOPPED writing about her goods. Sometimes a fella just can’t win for losing. Shut up.
Oh, sorry, that’s right, this is about slippers. I started thinking about Roxanne Burgess and a craving flung itself on me. Plus I’m taking a few days off from Adderall and this is the price we pay. Ok, back to slippers. “The slipper speaks of carpets and boudoirs and soft, shaded places where the wearer may relax and be themselves. Unlike our more public costumes, the slipper speaks of the real, private person” writes Julian Fellowes in the forward to Ms. Dreesmann’s book.
Fellowes goes on to tell a great story about his slipper shod second cousin Peregrine Fellowes.“…those slippers spoke of a man who is content in his own skin, of one who fears no judgment and seeks to make no judgment of others. The male slipper is not just a statement of physical comfort, but of a comfort within oneself. They tell of the man who wishes to be no one but himself. This is surely the man we would all want to be.” Indeed Lord Fellowes, indeed.
And I love the story that Ms. Dreesmann tells about her foray into the world of slippers. She wanted to make a special gift for her father’s seventieth birthday and so decided on needlepointing a pair of slippers for him. But she confesses that alas, after completing them, she didn’t have the funds to have her needlework converted into slippers. I’m sure that her father was just as proud to have, for his seventieth birthday, her loving handiwork pre-completion, as he was anything. The slippers in question are shown above.
So the book is just brimming with the oddities and eccentricities that can manifest so clearly in slippers. Every nuance and proclivity that might be conveyed shoddingly is visually evidenced herein.
I mean really. Please. Prince Rupert Lowenstein manifests a slipper led trifecta. Great shoes, beat-to-hell corduroy trousers and a single breasted peak lapelled jacket.
That’ll be me in another twenty-five years butcept I’ll have a monkey instead of a dog. A little monkey with an Alan Flusser bespoke outfit on. And a cigar. And little slippers. Monkey slippers. Lowenstein’s oldest son stitched his. Nice.
Cartier chairman Arnaud Bamberger is also noteworthy here. His needlepoint slippers are stronger than new rope.
The 14th Duke of Bedford’s slippers.
More Bedford contrivances. His wife made all of these for him.
And perhaps the greatest slipper manifestation in the book is the Sir Jackie Stewart story.
His are Cleverley and Stewart pays great respect to the shoe making legend.
Toad wrote about the book as well. Go here to read his take. Thanks again Toad. I owe you.
Onward. In Kilim.