Month: October 2012 (page 2 of 4)

Traditional Shoes: The perfect Brogue! Her Highland heart’s attire!

Brogues say everything about a person… a classicist… a modernist: both, Gangnam, all and more – they’re going viral!!

Nick Garrett

Traditional Shoes: The perfect Brogue! Her Highland heart’s attire!

The traditional Brogue is a heavy Gaelic classical shoe (a lighter version was also know as the ‘Ghillie’ or Ghillie Brogue).

It is a crafted shoe that is made from strong, untanned leather with decorative punched holes, mostly worn in Scotland and Ireland though now a much prized, newly discovered Gangnam fashion icon.

But it was in the seventies that the Skinheads adopted this traditional shoe along with the Loafer and Smooth as part of their take on fashion and ironic noble English dress.

The scoop is, the best priced English made Traditional Shoes in London can be found at:

‘Mens Traditional Shoes’ 171 Camberwell Rd, London SE5  +44 2077034179

“Ghillie” brogues were originally designed for, funnily enough, Ghillies & gamekeepers as footwear that would drain away water easily when tramping through bogs.
When and how they became dress items we do not know.


Brogue can also refer to Oxford shoes that have fringe or wing tips. The term Brogue is derived from the Gaelic word for shoe – bróg. Brogueing refers to a pattern of decorative punched holes along a shoe’s seams.

Photo: Brogues just have it!

Here are old photos showing Ghillie Brogues worn both with and without buckles by pipers:

HIGHLAND HERITAGE: Dance and marching

A 1950’s Anderson catalogue shows three styles of shoes worn with Evening Dress, Mary Janes, slip on loafers, and ghillies, all black, all with decorative buckles. Here are closeups of two of the three Evening styles. Ghillies are not shown or mentioned in connexion with Day Dress. This is the earliest catalogue I have that uses the word “ghillies”.

At some point, perhaps originally amongst pipers, ghillie brogues migrated out of the ballroom and back to Day Dress. The Army to this day wears ordinary brogues with kilt hose as seen in the photo above.


Despite being globally renowned as an English trend, brogues were originally made for Irish and Scottish farm workers.  They were made individually by cobblers, and featured perforated holes allowing water to drain away when the wearer crossed wet ground.

Dress brogues’ slight heel made a distinct sound when tapped, ideal for formal Gaelic dances.  These traditional shoes made their way into the fashion scene when the patterns made by the holes appeared on ladies’ shoes as decoration.

Marlene Dietrich’s signature style has become a timeless classic.  Both she and Katharine Hepburn were known for their daring masculine fashion choices, encompassing feminine glamour in a tailored way.

George Cleverly, famous for his footwear creations for men, made the first women’s brogues after being challenged by British model Twiggy to design her a pair of flats.

Used to being stunned by sumptuous heels at the Academy Awards, fashionistas and journalists alike were shocked by Ellen DeGeneres’s break from tradition when she wore brogues at the Oscars.

Brogues made a huge comeback in the 00s, when tailored styles hit the catwalk once more.  They are Alexa Chung’s shoe of choice.

There’s a lot of debate about the perfect brogue..

A full-brogue has extensive brogueing on the toe, side and heel. A half-brogue is a shoe with a straight toe-cap and extensive brogueing. Half-brogues and full brogues almost always have a punched “medallion” decoration on the toe. Brogues have a front Oxford style or an open front Derby style. Derbys have eyelet tabs stitched on the top of the vamp.

These shoes have inspired a new generation of designers to think in the ornamentation that could only really originate in Scotland or Ireland/UK… let’s face it!

Originally made from an un-tanned leather, the shoes, often retain their original brown colour.  The design soon made its way into the world of fashion when the patterns began appearing as decoration on ladies shoes which were worn for formal dances. These patterns were then seen on men’s shoes and different forms developed into what we can find today.

The popularity of brogues isn’t restricted to just British either. The shoes were modified into the American full winged variety (See below), were highly favored in the United States in the early 1930’s and well into the post-war era. For the girls brogues made the ideal dancing shoe due to the introduction of the small and perfectly formed ‘kitten’ heel. They were endorsed by the likes of style icons such as American singer Pattie Smith, Katharine Hepburn and Twiggy, all known for their infamous 60’s ‘mod’ style.

Above Kitten heels. The height, shape & placement of the kitten heel tap style shoe.

Above:  The modern Gangnam Ghillie Brogue looking the total part



The three styles of Brogues are

A half-brogue is a shoe with a straight toe-cap


Above the American full winged Brogue

Oxford Brogue below

Are brogues addictive?  See this conversation on mum’s net… classic!!

Brogues- black patent or black leather?

(23 Posts)

mrsmoscow Fri 05-Oct-12 17:58:30

Am eyeing up some brogues in Clarks and not sure whether patent would be a bit OTT for my lifestyle! Taking kids to the park etc.

Any thoughts?

gindrinker Fri 05-Oct-12 18:06:46

Are they the hamble? I’ve ordered the tan ones.
I love tan leather, it goes with everything.
Patent makes things fun!

Itsgottabebags Fri 05-Oct-12 18:16:25

Leather. I got some black and white patent/or patent effect ones about six months ago and the toes looked horrible after one week with scratched/peeling.

They weren’t by Clarkes though

mrsmoscow Fri 05-Oct-12 18:34:55

They are hamble! Nice aren’t they!

Hmmm heart saying patent – head saying leather…..

gindrinker Fri 05-Oct-12 18:52:50

Right I’ve retrieved them from my neighbour.
They are lovely, good quality and will stop me wearing converse all the time.
I’m rocking them with skinnies rolled up to ankle grazer levels.
They’ll go with dresses too I think.
There’s a 20% off code knocking about.

Damien Hirst condemned for killing 9,000 butterflies

Damien Hirst condemned for killing 9,000 butterflies in Tate show

The artist Damien Hirst has come under fire after it emerged that more than 9,000 butterflies died as part of an art work in his latest exhibition.

Damien Hirst condemned for killing 9,000 butterflies in Tate show

Damien Hirst Photo: REX FEATURES


Roya Nikkah

By , Arts Correspondent

7:50AM BST 04 Oct 2012

Comments5 Comments


Even by Damien Hirst’s standards it was an unusual artwork – two windowless rooms swirling with live butterflies.

Visitors to the exhibit at the Tate Modern in London observed the insects close-up as they flew, rested, and fed on bowls of fruit.

But whilst the work, In and Out of Love, was praised by many art critics when it featured in the gallery’s Hirst retrospective earlier this year, it has now landed the artist in a row with the RSPCA.

Figures obtained from the Tate reveal that more than 9,000 butterflies died during the 23 weeks that the exhibition was open.

Each week it was replenished with approximately 400 live butterflies to replace those that died – some of them trodden underfoot, others injured when they landed on visitors’ clothing and were brushed off.


A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “In this so-called ‘art exhibition’, butterflies are forced to exist in the artificial environment of a closed room for their entire lives.

“There would be national outcry if the exhibition involved any other animal, such as a dog. Just because it is butterflies, that does not mean they do not deserve to be treated with kindness.”

The exhibit used butterflies of the Owl and Heliconius species, which come from tropical regions and live for up to nine months in the wild. Those used in the exhibition are believed to have survived for between a few hours and several days.

Visitors saw the butterfly pupae pinned to white canvases while adults specimens flew freely around the rooms, feeding on flowers and sugar water as well as fruit.

The Tate’s description of In and Out of Love said “the themes of life and death as well as beauty and horror are highlighted, dualities that are prevalent in much of the artist’s work”.

Defending the use of the creatures, a Tate spokesman said: “The butterflies used in this [Hirst] work were all sourced from reputable UK butterfly houses and were selected from varieties known to thrive in the conditions created.

“The butterflies lived out the final stage of their natural life cycle inside this room. Approximately 400 butterflies were introduced to the exhibition over the course of each week, with many enjoying longer lifespans than in the wild due to the high quality of this environment.”

Many of Hirst’s most famous works feature dead animals. Among those on display at the Tate Modern were Mother and Child Divided, a cow and a calf sliced in half and displayed in glass tanks filled with formaldehyde, which won the Turner prize in 1995.

The exhibition also included The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a shark suspended in formaldehyde, and For the Love of God, a human skull covered in more than 8,500 diamonds.

The Tate previously faced accusations of animal neglect in 2009 when an exhibition at Tate Modern by Cildo Meireles, a Brazilian artist, featured a series of fish tank installations, resulting in the deaths of 12 fish.

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: “Damien Hirst’s quest to be edgy is as boring as it is callous. It does not matter whether Hirst killed the animals himself or sat by while thousands of them were massacred for his own unjustifiable amusement.

“Butterflies are beautiful parts of nature and should be enjoyed in the wild instead of destroyed for something predictable and unimaginative.”

Dr Martin Warren, the chief executive of Butterfly Conservation said: “It is very sad to hear of the death of so many butterflies. Butterfly Conservation is concerned that this work represents a throwaway approach to living creatures and encourages a lack of respect for the environment.”

Tate Modern’s show was the first major retrospective of Hirst’s work to be held in Britain, and was one of the most popular exhibitions in the museum’s history, attracting nearly 3,000 visitors a day.

Spanning more than two decades of Hirst’s work, it included pieces from his infamous 1988 Freeze show which hailed a new era of conceptual art and brought attention to the Young British Artists movement.

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