Final Gaziano & Girling slip-on shoes
Previously on The Rake we have covered the entire making of these shoes, from conception to construction. Here we present the final model, a beautiful pair of slip-ons, both classic and contemporary, with the versatility to be worn with both a pearl-grey flannel suit and a beaten-up pair of Levi’s.
Gaziano & Girling bespoke slip-ons
The bespoke commission was inspired by a pair of hatchgrain shoes that sit in the Gaziano & Girling showroom on Savile Row. The desire was to combine the beautiful textured leather with a marvel of bespoke technique: the one-piece shoe. Not a whole cut, which has a seam along the back of the heel, but a single piece of leather without a seam. (Have a look at that shot of the back of the shoe.)
Lasting such a shoe is incredibly difficult. Given that the pattern is round and the shoe not, there is a huge excess of leather around the waist of the shoe as the sides of the upper are pulled together. Reducing these to a smooth surface is quite a technique, and is amazing that no sign of that excess remains on the finished shoe.
You can see how much the leather has been stretched by the hatchgrain pattern on the band that sits on top of the shoe. As this band has not undergone any pressure, it retains the strong pattern of the original leather. Elsewhere it has been almost stretched out entirely, particularly on the toe and heel.
As you would expect from any Gaziano & Girling shoe, the bottom is almost as lovely as the top, with a sharply sculpted waist echoing the arrow shape of the painted sole. The result, as with any bespoke, is a much more delicate looking shoe – viewed from the top or front, the middle of the shoe appears to shrink dramatically, with the sole itself disappearing. Parallels could be drawn with the line through the waist on a bespoke suit.
For those that don’t know, Gaziano & Girling is a unique English shoe company. Founded in 2006 by Tony Gaziano & Dean Girling, it has become the most innovative shoemaker in England, combining handcrafting and manufacturing skills to put itself at the top of both the bespoke and benchmade industries.
For more examples of the work, check out the G&G Tumblr account.
Catch up on the making of a pair of Gaziano & Girling bespoke shoes: