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Fall Perfection by Deux Souliers

Fall perfection can manifest itself in many things: crisp, freshly harvested apples, rustling golden leaves, darkening reflections in the ponds, relief from the stifling summer heat… Feel free to insert your own favorite fall perfection meme. When it comes to fashion and shoes, however, my idea of fall perfection is this laced Semi-heel #3 by Deux Souliers:

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Semi-heel #3 by Deux Souliers.

Deux Souliers, your Made in Spain, based in Barcelona purveyor of daily avant-garde likes to name its shoes like musical pieces. Makes perfect sense, actually. Each Deux Souliers shoe has its own unique melody.

The Semi-heel#3 is a fall composition. The description says “brown and navy“, but, actually, it is a harmony of mustard yellow, deep, cool green, and golden caramel colors. The “semi-heel” measures 5 cm (2″), which makes a great practical choice for those famous autumn walks. The cow leather comes in three different textures: from suede-like on toe cap, back and heel, to polished mature leather of the sides, and to western-style medium grain leather of the eyelet flap.

This fall perfection#3 is only available in Deux SouliersSample Market, which means that it will go to a lucky European size 36. The price is accordingly awesome. I love my feet, but boy oh boy, do I often wish that I had the sample size. Life would be so perfect.

Happy fall tunes with Deux Souliers!

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English Touch, Spanish Soul In Madrid


English touch tends to fare extremely well in Spanish fashion, often blossoming into things of remarkable beauty. The cross-channel magic was on full display in the Spring-Summer 2017 collection by Ulises Mérida, presented on September 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, which is wrapping up today.

Ulises Mérida, the designer with the enigmatic first name hails from Toledo – an equally enigmatic town with a long and riveting history. The first things of his new collection to catch my eye were the shoes:

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Woven metallic sheen leather bluchers by Angel Infantes for Ulises Mérida SS17 backstage at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.

The gorgeous, woven leather “bluchers” in metallic silver and purplish blue were designed by Ulises Mérida in collaboration with a highly distinguished Spanish dress shoes maker Angel Infantes.

Bluchers are casual, masculine style lace-up shoes with open lacing – meaning that the eyelet flaps are a continuation of the upper part of the shoe as opposed to being a separate detail stitched over and across, like they would be in an Oxford, a dressier formal shoe. Ulises Mérida paired the bluchers with asymetric dresses, flowing tunics, and classic crop pants in gauzy, shimmering fabrics.

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Ulises Mérida SS17 at the MBFW Madrid. Photo: Vogue Spain.

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Ulises Mérida SS17 at the MBFW Madrid. Photo: Vogue Spain.

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Ulises Mérida SS17 at the MBFW Madrid. Photo: Vogue Spain.

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Woven leather bluchers Angel Infantes by Ulises Mérida SS17 at the MBFW Madrid. Photo: Vogue Spain.

The shoes were not the only eye-catching accessory. The over-sized irregularly shaped leather clutches also stood out:

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Ulises Mérida SS17 at the MBFW Madrid. Photo: Vogue Spain.

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Stunning oversized jewelry imitating sea-washed glass was designed by Kiko Contreras.

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The bluchers, explains the designer, symbolized comfort and practicality that English fashions are noted for. Blucher is an informal shoe, originally created for the countryside, but with a nod to propriety – a feature that is seldom absent from English design. (Unless the lack of propriety is the actual point of the exercise, then it’s no holds barred). Spanish shoe designers embrace the practicality and propriety mantra, but make it their own by softening and relaxing the look, while also infusing it with a uniquely Spanish artistic sensibility. This is done through sumptuous leather finishes, a brighter color palette, and ingenious craftsmanship, like the woven leather technique used by Angel Infantes (and other Spanish shoe brands, most notably Pons Quintana and Farrutx).

Here are some other Made in Spain bluchers that I love:

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Doverblucher with metallic reptile print leather detailing by Ana Matt.

Ana Matt is a young, but accomplished Spanish designer who takes the English touch further than anyone else in Spain. Her take on the classic English footwear designs is gutsy and glamorous, Elton John style.

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Marine blue suede bluchers with white contrast trim and grosgrain laces by Uttu Shoes.

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Star“, metallic leather blucher by Uttu Shoes.

 

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Raffia bluchers by Las Bailarinas Shoes (see post here).

These last bluchers are no longer made, as Las Bailarinas Shoes, very unfortunately, seems to have close down. I’m kicking myself for not ordering them back when they were still available.  They are simply exquisite. This is a classic example of Spanish designers making good English design their own, and how! It is a total fantasy shoe, yet absolutely real and wearable. I hope that someone will take up the torch from Las Bailarinas and make these delicate, lacy bluchers again.

Uttu Shoes is relatively new (at least to me). I hope that the company will go on happily making their great suede bluchers with grosgrain ribbon laces. I definitely want to get a pair (my size is currently out on their website). They are polished, but not formal, very versatile, not outright sporty, but not too girly either, being originally a masculine shoe. In short, it’s relaxed urban chic, my favorite style.

As for Angel Infantes and Ulises Mérida, of all the great fashion collections presented this past week at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid their Spring-Summer 2017 collection is hands down my favorite. The cool, mystical blues and soft, warm whites whisk you away on an imaginary sea voyage from the stormy northern seas to the clear waters of the Mediterranean. At the end you emerge softened, with a mind washed clean of heavy thoughts, like a piece of glass mellowed by the tides. English touch, Spanish soul – another winning fashion story Made in Spain.

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Namesake Castañers

What better way to celebrate Spanishoegallery Blog‘s third birthday than with my new namesake Castañers! The textile collection blew me away  when it came out (see post here). That’s what I call classic Castañer magic: taking ordinary ingredients and making something extraordinary out of them. My namesake “Ann” espadrille is a prime example: the tender pastels of the fabric seem to have come out of an Impressionist painting. The combination of “apple foam” pink and jade green is simply irresistible.

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Ann” espadrille by Castañer, bought on Farfetch.

namesake Castañers

 

namesake Castañers

They  are completely flat, which was new for me: I usually prefer at least a slight wedge. However, walking in the “Ann” espadrilles is really comfortable. They have a thin rubber sole that does a good cushioning job. Even though flat, the espadrilles shape the foot really nicely. It is not an easy thing when all you have is a piece of textile, a jute sole and a couple of laces. Somehow they manage to keep the signature Castañer elongated shape. The woven upper is soft, but substantial. It is also flexible, as you can see from the picture. The green laces are not decorative – they are really necessary to keep the espadrilles in place. I wouldn’t go running in them on hard ground, but you could do ballet in them if you wanted to:)

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“Ann” espadrille by Castañer, bought on Farfetch.

What do you think of my namesake Castañers?

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The Great Weave of Pons Quintana

When I think of Pons Quintana I think of their woven shoes and bags. The “Great Weave” is Pons Quintana‘s specialty and most spectacular design feature. Impeccable execution and brilliant use of color make the shoes (and the bags) a mesmerizing sight.  Woven shoes and accessories are also a real pleasure to wear and to touch. The braided texture gives them extra pliability and airiness, while maintaining its shape. Three years of writing about Pons Quintana and my heart still flutters when I see these:

 

 

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Available at YOOX. Click on the picture for more details.

great weave

Available at YOOX. Click on the picture for more details.

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A multi-color woven “scrunchy” ballerina by Pons Quintana.

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Large weave tote in electric blue by Pons Quintana. Available from the Pons Quintana webshop.

Watch this cool video demonstrating Pons Quintana‘s signature leather braiding technique:
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Magda Pons-Quintana Palliser and her father, Santiago Pons Quintana, owners of the Pons Quintana brand from Menorca.

Pons Quintana remains one of my all time favorite Spanish shoes and accessories brands. I own a pair of their woven ballerinas, a woven clutch bag (hoping to get a bigger woven bag at some point), and their smooth leather winter boots, which are also absolutely spectacular and about to go into their third season.

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Pons Quintana‘s online shop gets sold out very fast, especially of the woven designs. Whatever is left shows up on YOOX (see images above), but the lion’s share stays in Europe to satisfy the demands of the core clientele of shops and boutiques in different European countries. It is understandable: you cannot have a huge output if you want to maintain the hand-crafted quality that Pons Quintana and many other Spanish brands pride themselves on. Which only makes me crave more Pons Quintana. Three years after starting this blog I remain a huge fan of Pons Quintana‘s “Great Weave”!

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Santo-Domingo, Dominican Republic, a good few years ago
Ann Mailsi – the blogger
Me
Calgary Stampede, Alberta
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario
On the Trans-Canada highway
Southampton, Ontario
Where i’m based
A letter from Fuente Vaqueros, Andalucia
Tia Vicentica
Tia Margarita
A letter from Alberto
What inspires me
Spanish theme always
Tattoo obsessed policeman! Yo-hoo!
sasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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