The new Riviera Collection by Crockett & Jones is now live and something very refreshing to see from the classic British maker. Each year shows C&J branching out further and further from their English roots, evolving from a mentality of ‘we only do it this way!’ Instead, the new ideology would appear, ‘we can do other styles and models, but in our British way.’ And that is the beauty of growth: trying new things but doing it your way keeping in tune with your ethos. And from the looks of it, they are doing a great job at it!
I want to focus less on the models this season and talk about what I find interesting: the new last, leather, and a style that is quite different from what they are traditionally used to. These are the features I find the most intriguing about this new collection, especially the pattern on the Antibes and Cannes models.
The New 393 Last
It is good to see Crockett & Jones branching out on this new Riviera Collection with a new loafer last that is very tasteful and right up my alley. Keeping traditional with a round toe, this time they elongate it a touch, creating a very sleek and sophisticated silhouette. On top of the elongation, they shallowed the toe box which gives it that sleek appeal.
With this new last and models, you can tell that everything was carefully thought out. The loafers give the appeal of a deconstructed unlined model without having to actually unline it. And that looks fits perfectly into the idea of how people dress in the South of France. But then offers the same appeal to a city boy in NYC or London, the chance to wear this loafer in the city without needing to be in a place that has a beach attached to it. The look of the Riviera with the functionality of the city. The best of both worlds.
The New Milled Calf
Along with the sleek last and cool new models, Crockett & Jones offers a new type of leather in their Riviera Collection. According to their site “Milled Calf is a new leather from C&J. It is a high-quality aniline calf leather, that is softened by “milling” in the tannery. Milling gives the leather a glove-like texture, with a slight appearance of a soft grain leather. The leather retains an excellent substance, is very durable, and is exceptionally comfortable in wear.” Reading this plays into the idea of giving that deconstructed and unlined look without actually having to deconstruct the shoe.
The new Milled calf looks incredibly soft and pliable. Like a real treat to wear on those hot summer days in the city where your feet are hot and swollen. And even better for those that like to go sockless. While high-grade calfskin feels great as a dress leather, it is not always so forgiving in those hotter months on your bare skin. A soft and supple leather such as this is sure to flex where you need it without digging into the feet. Again, these carefully thought-out details are what separate C&J from the rest!
The New Loafer Pattern
The Antibes and Cannes models carry a new look and pattern. One that I find incredibly intriguing and unique. At first glance, it looks like your typical loafer pattern. But when carefully inspecting it, the side panel disappears into the separate vamp piece whose line thought-out line placement hits exactly at the same place the side panels end giving the illusion of a flowing line from toe to heel. The Nice model has the same but is covered by its penny strap.
These are subtle details to notice but as a shoe designer myself, these are exactly the type of details that grab me and make me appreciate something new. Carefully crafter patterns is what I live for, especially when it is so subtle that no one might notice, but ends up making a world of difference to every other model out there. That’s real skill.
While this season marks a smaller-than-usual offering, I have to say that it is quite appealing overall. I would wear and own nearly all of those with the exception of the Boston in Snuff Suede as for me it is just too common. But the rest are outstanding! I simply love the new last and new designs. And I think a lot of you will too!
Make sure to visit their site to learn more: www.crockettandjones.com