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Bespoke shirtmaker Sean O’Flynn


October 30, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Sean O’Flynn – Bespoke Shirtmaker from Art and Design Films on Vimeo.

A Fred Astaire style collection


October 30, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Yeahfredastaire is a nice little collection of style on the shoulders of song’n’dance man Fred Astaire. These closer to 1,000 photos have ample scope of both the formal and informal side of Astaire in colour, and in black and white.

Hardy Amies in Quote


October 26, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“The sight of the clothes worn on the streets today provokes fascinating thoughts. Marcifully, you can say, there is less gentility. No one seems to be attempting to be something grander than they are. Anoraks, trousers and white running shoes abound on both sexes. It it remorsely non-upper class. This does not make for classlessness. It only shows the differences into high relief. It throws up the relation of fashion to manners. It is rude to the citizens of London, Paris and New York to be ill-dressed. It is particularly rude to dress squalidly at the opera, theatre or concert hall. It is rude to your fellow public and rude to the performers. If you can pay £100 for a ticket at Covent Garden, you can afford a dark suit. Marks&Spencer’s have three-button-coated suits for £150.”

~ Hardy Amies in The Englishman’s Suit (1992)

The Milanese three-way suit


October 26, 2014 by Ville Raivio

The origins of Steve Jobs’s black turtlenecks


October 20, 2014 by Ville Raivio

“On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony’s chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signatures styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. ‘I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple,’ Jobs recalled.

Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create its uniform. It was a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest. So Jobs called Issey Miyake and asked him to design a vest for Apple, Jobs recalled, ‘I came back with some samples and told everyone it would great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.’

In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. ‘So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.’ Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. ‘That’s what I wear,’ he said. ‘I have enough to last for the rest of my life.’”

~ from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Made to order boots from Gaziano&Girling


October 18, 2014 by Ville Raivio

After four months of waiting, a parcel arrived from Kettering, bearing fine boons from the house of Gaziano&Girling. These made to order boots are a co-operation project between Keikari and G&G, the Thorpe model with a few tweaks in the form of brass eyelets, storm welt, Ridgeway rubber soles, white welt stitching, all made on the lovely GG06 round toe last for casual wear. I have written the same several times already, but there’s no higher rush for a writer than quoting himself, so I must add that GG06 is underrated.





It is G&G’s finest last and I remain undecided if it’s also the finest British round toe last as Edward Green’s 202 is still in business. The Thorpe pair below also takes advantage of the new and interesting hatch grain calf leather from the A&A Crack x Horween co-operation, re-coloured in Kettering to vintage rioja shade. A very dark, nearly black burgundy, this colour is painfully difficult to photograph and my poor old Eos lost the battle. Picture number six best captures the colour, suffice it to say that it’s an eggplant shade on steroids.





Each boot weighs some 850 grams thanks to the sturdy Ridgeway sole units, with an unmatched grip on wet surfaces. While the hatch is a man-made grain, it looks natural and all follicles are there for the Asperger-inclined eyes to see. I chose brass eyelets for nice patina and to avoid shoe lace scars on the upper leather. The white welt stitching harkens back to 1930s, when most men’s shoes, even the black ones, were still usually sewn in white to better show off meticulous hand-stitching.





I have sworn to myself that I will vomit if I ever again read about pig bristles used to sew pie-crust shoe aprons, so I shall not mention this method. These Norwegian boots do have a split toe and personality sewn and folded carefully, and one hidden seam for looks. While G&G has no RTW boot last so far, the round toe model fits the style well, even with chunky soles. It’s a close-sculpted one even in wide fit.





The boot is lined with first-grade calf in a nearly-matching shade to the uppers, and has a bellows tongue for wintry use. The counter and toe have strong leather stiffeners that won’t bend much at all. The former one extends nearly 10 cm towards the arch, though there is no additional arch support. Then there’s the smell. The boots smell lovely and, combined with the wooden shoe trees, the aroma is fragrange-worthy. I trust someone will become rich if the scent is reproduced, bottled and sold to the iGent throng that lives online.





Finally, the shoe trees are closer to sculptures than regular tools of the trade. They are easy to pull off and slide in, also smooth, curvy, soft, and smell like a wood should. A finger-sized hole is drilled in the middle to better evaporation. The large box also included a large flannel buffing cloth and shoe bags along with a polish jar in the wrong colour. Oh well.



Bespoke shoemaker Norman Vilalta


October 17, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Norman Vilalta. Bespoke from Häns on Vimeo.

For the Splendidly Dressed Man, Web Sites to Match


October 13, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Ginia Bellafante’s article on the then-new Styleforum and Askandyaboutclothes for The New York Times on September 28, 2004, might just be the first magazine post to spill the beans of iGents. The second millennium of our epoch brought no pandemoniums but the birth of men’s classic style forums, where much lore was shared, practical thoughts thrown about, information gathered, and much bickering born. The article is an artifact on how we lived.

A video history of the tuxedo or dinner jacket


October 10, 2014 by Ville Raivio

CBS shares a swell clip on the story of the dinner jacket (or tuxedo across the pond) with some choice interviews over at the Poole workshop, whose archives do not lie:

“In 1865, The Prince of Wales ordered a blue silk smoking jacket lined with silk, with silk collar and cuffs”, and gave birth to a new attitude in evening dress.



October 8, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Skolyx, Swedish for shoe luxury, is a Swedish shoe and apparel care webstore. The company was founded by E. Jansson in 2012 after he noticed that the country had very few domestic webstores for shoe care goods. Most men favoured European virtual shops for their range and prices. Skolyx began with a range of polishes, creams and brushes from the French powerhouse Saphir, but has branched out to offer shoes from Yanko as well as their own range of cedar hanger and shoe trees, belts and watch straps. Next in line are Skolyx handkerchiefs and ties made in Italy, to be added later this Autumn. The company has chosen thorough customer care and swell price-quality deals as their main edges over the rest.


When I ask why Keikari’s readers should try Skolyx, Mr Jansson tells me that “There is, of course, a couple of other companies in Europe providing shoe care accessories and are very good at that. What we feel is our biggest strength is that, since we are quite a small company, we can offer a really good customer service (please feel free to try it with an e-mail) and also offer a range of interesting products besides the shoe care products. We always encourage our customers to contact us if they feel that one can get a better deal somewhere else — just let us know and we will see what we can do to offer you an even better total solution for your shoe care, clothing care and accessory needs.”

Copyright © 2013 Ville Raivio

Only a beautiful life is worth living.

"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell