Myrqvist for The Rake: An obbligato dress shoe

The Rake is delighted to join forces with Swedish shoemaker Myrqvist who have crafted a quite outstanding black patent opera pump. In time for the flurry of black tie events, this rare formal shoe is the epitome of classic elegance.

Opera pumps, as American author and designer Alan Flusser states: “Are the only men’s shoes to enter the 21st century pretty much exactly as they left the 19th”. Originated in the Regency era, and becoming popular in Victorian times (particularly at decadent opera houses) the style is considered the last vestige of a men’s court shoe.

Regularly donned by royalty and state dignitaries attending white tie events, the opera pump for so long reflected the English haute-bourgeoisie. However, the youth-driven counterculture movement of the 1960s somewhat alienated white tie, thus contributing to its decline. Black tie became the default eveningwear for more formal events, and as a result less traditional shoes such as the Oxford were favoured.


    Freddie Anderson


    November 2021


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