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Saturday, 3 February 2007

Anatomy of a Letter @ FT



Two-tone mix

and a palace shoe-fitting

By Richard Carreño
Published: February 3 2007 02:00 Last updated: February 3 2007 02:00

From Mr Richard Carreño.
Sir, As with most fashions, hardly anything is new. Your review of wearing two "different" shoes at the same time ("Walking all over fashion", FT Weekend, January 20/21) reminds me of an Easter Sunday, many years ago, when I showed up at Mass wearing one black shoe and one brown one - otherwise they were identical cap-toe lace-ups.
It was my habit, then as now, to order shoes in multiples. It was not my practice to sport differing colours. (That was a consequence, I suppose, of not enough early morning coffee.)
Was I alone in adopting the two-tone look? Hardly. I had occasion soon after that Easter morning to speak to the late, great Eric Lobb, then managing director of Lobb bootmakers in St James's, about my footwear faux pas. Think nothing of it, he declared. He was renowned for the brown-black look in St James's - all quite deliberately, as well.

Lobb said the attraction of various combinations of black and brown were firmly established in the 1920s. Lobb himself said he even wore the two-tone combination once when he was commanded by the Duke of Edinburgh for a shoe-fitting at Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip thought nothing of it. The year? 1976.
Richard Carreño,
Philadelphia, PA 19103, US



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