Casely-Hayford's Seven Hole boot
Just over one year ago, I fell head over heels for Casely-Hayford's Paragon boot. Every once in a while you encounter a collection that encapsulates your dream wardrobe. Now, Casely-Hayford have a habit of producing such a collection and their A Darker Shade of Black for AW10, left me contemplating a life of crime to posses it all. Drawn to everything, I was particularly taken with the design duo's update on John Moore's most iconic boot; a twelve hole construction, goodyear welted toe strap boot. As it was lust at first sight, I should have snapped them up the moment my bleary eyes focused on them but after much dithering, the limited run production slipped through my wanting fingers. I thought all was lost and that my feet would never forgive me. However, for AW11 the father and son design team managed to create a new love, even stronger than the first. Having learnt my lesson, I snapped them up at the earliest opportunity. The addition of these boots to my ever growing shoe collection will provide a welcome respite for my well worn Lodger's Kudu brogued boots (stay tuned for a restoration post) that have pounded so many pavements over the years. I now have a new favourite and I'm excited to road test them for London Fashion Week...
The boots worn with trousers by Tim Soar and red socks from Uniqlo.
John Moore first designed the ‘toe strap’ boot with the Desborough factory in 1986, before changing manufacturer in 1987. The original design was a seven eyelet boot, Goodyear welted and with a Northampton appearance. It fused elements of punk/seditionaries, Skinhead styling and traditional British work boots. The Toe strap became a cult boot. Here it has been reimagined by Casely-Hayford who have used the same maker to update the boots for a new generation. The boots showcase the duality that drives the brand. With each of their six seasons, the design duo begin with the desire to capture, play and experiment with the duality of English Sartorialism and British Anarchy. It is an ever intriguing house that encourages change whilst being grounded in tradition. Here, they combining styling from the punk and skinhead scene, with a traditional British work boot shape whilst many of the features from Moore’s original design remain.
The boots are seven hole construction with a goodyear welted heavy duty sole. Brogue detailing at the ankle, on the heel-strap, and around toe cap are accentuated by the protruding toe-strap, all of which give this iconic boot its nickname and a distinctive look.
Having declared my intent on adding them to my collection, the only difficulty lay in choosing between black or chestnut. They are equally beautifully. If I had my way I would double team them but life is not a fantasy. As you can see, after much deliberation and soul searching, I opted for black. I could not be happier with my choice which is a good thing because my work colleague Andrew, also seduced by the charms of the design chose chestnut. I'm pushing for visiting rights. I've found my (near identical) boot twin. Fame and fortune await...right...right?
Andrew sporting the boots in Chestnut