Oh hello Autumn, how I’ve longed for you. Controversial I realise, but I adore the end of summer. For me it doesn't mean the last of anything, but the beginning of something very special indeed. Blackberrying (or Brambling as we grew up calling it) is the ripe sign of autumn being close, and each year (they are getting speedier) I am excited at the thought of richly toned fabrics and thicker cashmeres and wools in my wardrobe. Before we get to the woolly jumper stage, my shoes are the first things to change. Gone are sandals—past the first week of September is a no-no (and actually I never wear them to meetings—just seems a little too casual, although trainers can be fine, oddly) and in are lace ups—how very ‘back to school’ it all feels, and how intoxicating.
This season Crockett & Jones have excelled themselves with a perfect capsule of footwear to cover all bases, and dare I say it, this is my favourite collection yet. I think it seems the most fashion-forward, which is exciting, and what I love about the designs is that they still feel so fitting for the brand, they haven’t sold out, but developed naturally with shoes to transcend trends and tastes.
If I could have just one pair this year, it would be the Emily in Burgundy Cavalry Calf with a city sole. She is beautiful, and a monk style (so called as they were worn by monks centuries ago as protective footwear to resemble their more traditional sandals). Infinitely flattering—something to do with the elongation of the toe and the sleek form makes a monk style elegant on both men and women, these must be worn with smart attire—I would say a suit—and could take a heavier fabric so perhaps tweed, wool or cashmere.
Hang on…I’m more than coveting the Amy in Black Cavalry Calf with tartan laces—modish with leather trousers or black tights and a dress for those times when smart shoes are called for but comfort is essential. If I wore ripped jeans they’d be best friends with these, as there’s something of the ‘punk’ about them—the tartan, no doubt—I can see Vivienne Westwood in a pair. The burgundy are softer, and would be kinder with berry colours or blue jeans perhaps. But the black have the edge…I’m suddenly imagining them with a kilt—I have a fabulous DAKS number I’ve just remembered packed away in my winter wardrobe—its time to shine is nearly here once more.
C&J have introduced a new super-light Vibram Cleated sole, which is a miracle, using a blown rubber technique (just don't ask me how they do it), which means it looks pleasingly chunky, but weighs almost nothing so you can stomp the pavements for hours in blissful comfort (they pack well too for business travel)
The Cora in Black Calf is probably the most classic (although those tartan laces give it an edge), I loved the Ivory version and these simply get better with the years, remaining true best friends if you treat them kindly—enduring style at its finest. And finally, Bonnie, my old favourite, the Chelsea boot. Now in a lovely, vibrant light Polo Brown Calf Suede—these are for the weekends, whatever they may throw at you, wear with everything—even with a summer dress when those chillier evenings kick in but you’re not quite ready for tights. Ask me in January and I’ll be longing for Summer, but for now, bring on the chill.