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Crockett & Jones introduces 'A Patented Evening'

Step correctly into the festive season with Crockett & Jones’ eveningwear collection.

Evening-wear, or black-tie, events symbolise the epitome of social refinement, and while in recent times the parameters of what’s acceptable have been stretched in the name of Fashion, the dress code's stringency requests that every attending guest is impeccably attired and in perfect form. When it comes to footwear, the rules are resolute: one should wear a patent leather shoe or a velvet slipper. Don’t even think about a sneaker…

To coincide with the countdown to the festive season, the Northampton-based shoemaker Crockett & Jones has unveiled two of its newest creations, the Alex, a black patent black leather Oxford, and the Albert, a black velvet slipper with embroidered Christmas motifs. Since 1879, Crockett & Jones, which is still a family-owned business, has provided men with an utterly comprehensive offering of finely-made shoes and boots, and its evening-wear offering is no different.

The Alex has in recent years become a signature model of Crockett & Jones, most notably because of its patronage by Daniel Craig as 007 in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Whilst it played a fine counterpart to Craig’s (slightly too tight) Tom Ford suits, this season marks the first time it has ever been rendered in black patent leather for evening-wear attire. We have no doubts that Bond would approve, too.

Originating in 18th century France and named after ‘patente’, the word for a glossy surface, patent leather became the preferred material for formal footwear in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its ability to add sophistication and shine to finely crafted shoes has made it a staple in Crockett & Jones’ catalogue, emphasising the material's exceptional merits for making a style statement.

The Alex is an arresting design due to it being a whole-cut Oxford, as opposed to a toe-cap or brogue, as it requires exceptional craftsmanship and pattern cutting. Within the Oxford family, the whole-cut reigns supreme; it is the most formal expression to date with a refined and clean image, and combined with evening-wear, it makes for an extremely smart and well-presented look. For dramatisation, the team at Crockett have used the brand’s 348 last, which is renowned for its chiselled toe that adds sharpness to the profile. It’s finished with flat leather laces and a leather sole.

The Albert has consistently ranked among Crockett & Jones' most coveted evening shoe styles. Its opulent material, with its sumptuously soft texture, lends an aura of luxury and sophistication to this slip-on design, rendering it an ideal selection for both formal and semi-formal events. These shoes seamlessly complement evening attire and smart casual ensembles, particularly with smoking jackets. To infuse a touch of novelty into the festive season, they showcase a playful Christmas tree and train motif reminiscent of Crockett's own Polar Express, so to speak. Who says formalwear can't be fun?

As the festive season swiftly approaches, consider investing in the attire to accompany you to these special events. After all, dressing appropriately conveys respect, good manners, and an understanding of social conventions, and the better you dress, the worse you can behave. (Pro tip: don't forget to invest in the right over-the-calf black silk socks as well).

Shop Crockett & Jones' Alex shoe here.

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