For reasons that are difficult to rationally justify, I’ve really wanted a pair of boots recently. More accurately, another pair. The black knee-highs with six-inch heels are a little impractical at times, and the brown leather ones are a bit small.
Caption: Kaichou wa Maid-sama
It’s got something to do with this picture (full-size, 5.2 MiB), I’m absolutely entranced by those かわいい white boots being worn by Aoi. (P.S. かわいい means “cute” in Japanese ^_^ )
One can’t be impulsive about such things, so I sought approval from my trusted comrades. A short while later I’d managed to goad enough of them into agreeing that it was a splendid idea. Somewhat more self-assured, I began looking for options.
Alas, there are not many options. Ebay turned up nothing, and the rest of the internet seems to be saturated by a US company called Pleaser. I shan’t speak ill of their extensive range (such as the sort-of-close Arena 2020), but let us be honest - when your heels start at 4” high, and your range includes blinged-out neon tipjars as platform soles, this is not かわいい.
I was almost ready to give up at this stage, resigned to my inevitable fate in patent pleather, when I happened upon a Chinese fashion wholesale company. Wholesale is no good, but a little investigation turned up a promising tie to a Japanese site, with just the right thing. The promise was quickly shattered when it was evident that sizing was going to be a big problem - no reasonable Japanese person needs US ladies’ size 11. It was time for the final solution: bespoke.
Actually finding a proper cobbler (or more correctly a “cordwainer”) seems unnecessarily difficult to me, but the fact is there’s a hell of a lot of shoe-repairers out there, but practically no creators. So what’s out there?
- Andrew McDonald - I’ve walked past this place many times in the uber-trendy boutique strip of Paddington. The lowest price for any custom work is $1100 AUD, maybe a little out of my league. To be honest, I really don’t like any of the current collection. I’ll gladly burn disgusting amounts of money on things I really like, but I’m not feeling the style here, it’s not the right place to make enquiries for what I want.
- Doc Cobbler - Located in Melbourne. Promising looking, but a bit light on information. The business side is there, but I wanna see more of the “art”. You can find it if you poke around, but I wasn’t greatly inspired with confidence.
- Emma the Shoemaker - For such a visually intense site, I liked how well it worked. I found exactly what I was looking for, and I really like what I saw. I’d go with this, but… she’s in Melbourne. Melbourne’s a nice place, but even I think this would be a bit excessive to make the trip there.
- Mr George Shoes - Right, now we’re talking.
Caption: Quest item received! 1x Scrap of white leather