Category Archives: Shoes

More Master John

Last year I wrote about legendary Toronto bootmaker Master John. Fashion journalist Nathalie Atkinson also wrote about him as part of her ‘Clearly Canadian’ series on Canadian fashion design for the Globe and Mail. We were both working on shoestrings … Continue reading

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The Devil Wears Bata — Sonja Bata 1926-2018

Nineteen years ago today I left the Bata Shoe Museum. The reasons I left came flooding back when I heard that Sonja Bata died two days ago at the age of 91. In 2006 I saw the movie The Devil … Continue reading

Posted in Other collections/museums, Shoes | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Canadian Fashion Connection – Pierre Paris

Pierre Paris was originally from the Basque region of southern France. After immigrating to Canada, he located in Vancouver and opened a boot-making business in 1907 where he specialized in making logging boots for the booming lumber trade. The company … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Greb Industries

In 1910, the Berlin Shoe Manufacturing Co. was incorporated. Two years later, Charles E. Greb and his son Erwin acquired the company. In 1916, when the city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener, the factory was renamed the Greb Shoe … Continue reading

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Fall Fashions

The most famous footwear felling of a fashion model was Naomi Campbell in blue moc-croc platforms by Vivienne Westwood in 1993, but in the 25 years since, towering platforms and heels have taken down many a model:

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Manitobah Mukluks

As a Metis (people who share European and Native ancestry) man, Sean McCormick grew up wearing mukluks – northern Canadian style moccasin boots that combine European and Native materials and decorative techniques. Mukluks developed as a traditional style of footwear … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – The Great West Felt Company

In the days before down-filled nylon and double walled synthetic rubber boots, keeping feet warm in cold, snowy weather was made possible with thick felt boots. Felt is an excellent insulator, but only when the weather stays below freezing, its … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Master John

Although ‘Master John’ sounds like some kind of fetish shop, it was actually Toronto’s glam-rock boot shop in the 1970s. Stocked with styles that rivalled Vancouver’s Fox & Fluevog, London’s Terry de Havilland or Los Angeles’ Fred Slatten, John Master … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian dress, Obscurier Couturiers, Shoes | 8 Comments

Fashion Humour…

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Fashionista – Count Alfred d’Orsay (1801-1852)

There have been many fashion leaders who never designed: Kim Kardashian, Twiggy, Madame de Pompadour, Jenny Lind, Lily Langtry, Beau Brummel, and Alfred Guillaume Gabriel – the Count d’Orsay. D’Orsay (1801 – 1852) was a French gentleman who married into … Continue reading

Posted in fashionistas, Men's fashion, Shoes | 2 Comments