Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties


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Monday, February 23, 2015

Patient Patina - Why Some Things Just Require More Time To Gestate

When you get a pattern for a garment made you can have it digitally graded and sent back to you overnight. It's possible, in my own experience, to drop a pattern maker a sample on Monday and by Wednesday you can be in production for a sized garment run so long as you have all your cloth and accoutrements in place. I am sure that at places like Zara they have this process down to about 4 minutes....

With a garment such as this you can have your stock photographed and online by the end of the following week and your in the middle of selling down the collection a week later. It's not to say it's fast fashion - we can still be talking about exceptionally well made garments - but it's certainly not like what a craftsman does.

Real technicians like those who perform patina on leather shoes in workrooms across France, Italy and England are one such craft that can't be pumped to meet deadlines or sell through target rates like in the model I mentioned above.

They require time, the one true luxury good that's still out there that will never lose it's value. Time to revisit a shoe. Time to create new layers and more subtle nuances. Time to strip and time to polish. Time to strip again and start again if necessary.

On the weekend I went back over a pair of Gucci chelsea boots I was never quite happy with. For one the depth of the tonality that that I sought had never really come from the first session on these boots. It was only when I revisited them again by stripping and beginning the entire process of brush dyeing the boots again that I began to get the richness I was seeking. Suddenly the leather began to appear as though it had withstood the test of years of sun and wind and rain. That it had seen feast and famine and everything in between. Real organic ageing patina cannot be replicated, but if you wished to come close you need to employ the same resource - time. Patience and time.

If you are not willing to let them dry, don't bother. If you won't let them rest for a few days before you come back to them, don't bother. If you're not happy to strip them and start them all over again - Don't bother. And in the end you will never get the time back nor will anyone pay you the money you deserve for them. It's not about that. It's like cooking - it just brings it's own enjoyment in the act alone and the appreciation of the result.


Revisiting boots not satisfying enough on round 1 of a brown patina. Now on the second go around the boots have developed an astounding personality.

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