Winter: the cold heightens our senses and sharpens our instincts for comfort and self-preservation. No other time of year are we so acutely aware of our skin than when it is startled to gooseflesh by the biting cold... Neither is there anything so supremely satisfying as the transition from outside to the indoors, and the resulting ticklish, tingling feeling of our flesh once again relaxing. It is precisely this contrast that makes the season so exciting... that and the pleasure of culling heat from all of its sources; drawing it from elements imbued with innate warmth and insulating ourselves with these cozy materials, scents and fabrics, wherever we go.
There is something undeniably reassuring about the visceral scent and touch of leather and suede. Coclico’s vegetable-tanned materials possess the strength and femininity that we desire from our boots, and the comforting snugness required for the wintry weather. From this season’s collection, the style that communicates this ethos best is the Maud ankle boot. Its slightly taller shaft, exposed welt, layered rubber sole and solid wood block heel provide the toughness for everyday wear while also being elegant enough to dress up. Alternatively, the Nora chelsea boot in charcoal grey suede with tan leather sole and heel radiates Grenson’s progressive heritage style, with the resiliency to match.
By this time of year, layering has become a sixth sense and there’s nothing more complementary to our voluminous mode of dressing than a statement jewelry piece. The season’s turtlenecks are elevating necklines, drawing attention to our throats and accentuating our jaw lines. Therefore, a pair of dangling earrings is particularly flattering. Brass metals especially seem internally illuminated by a golden flame: as in the faintly musical shape of the Petite Verne, or the swooping arc of the Farias earrings, with their dalmatian jasper dropped globes - both from Quarry. Additionally, the thick linen braid, heavy brass bell and burst of fringe of Erin Considine’s Thick Bell necklace would be perfectly at home nestled amidst a sumptuous knit sweater or the creamy folds of Lauren Manoogian’s Wide Scarf in white.
Lastly, what is more evocative than scent? Apoteker Tepe’s Karasu eau de perfume and roll-on perfume oil is designed to impart the experience of a Japanese incense ritual, providing its wearer with an aura of wood, smoke and cardamom. It’s the sort of earthy, otherworldly and spicy fragrance that penetrates the brisk winter air and magically transports you, wafted along an olfactory cloud as it unfurls then dissipates its complex and smoky notes.
So, as we arrive at the apex of winter, instead of bracing yourself for the months ahead, luxuriate in the gratification derived from the season’s offerings, as we intend to: enjoying the remainder of the season in a perpetual sensual cocoon of your own creation.
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Summertime is a season of cravings. Not just for its bountiful offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nor for the plethora of sweetly satisfying and cooling treats that elicit 'screams' and smiles of child-like delight from even the most mature of us. The particular kind of hunger to which I am referring is aesthetic:
After enduring the overcast seasons content with a uniform complementary to the shades of the sky - mostly gray and black – the warmer weather stirs up an appetite that can only be satiated by an infusion of colour. A vibrant pop of red, yellow or blue in the form of a relaxed, beachy Vayarta loafer allows us to repose seaside, relax on a patio or tread the city... all the while channeling the chill attitude of Mexican surf culture from which the brand derives its inspiration.
White in all of its variations is versatile but especially impactful juxtaposed against suntanned skin. It can be bright and dynamic like the Apteros from Ancient Greek Sandals; soft and subtly textured as interpreted through Colico's Aneme wedge; and oh-so-creamy as in Chie Mihara's Fou sandal. All are equally delicious while also being a 'cool' and easy alternative neutral to black.
Is there a colour more expressive than pink? Blushing, heat-flushed and radiant skin is a symptom of the season. The Sophie sandal from Maryam Nassir Zadeh is shiny, happy and sweet in bubblegum patent. A Bronze Age’s vibrant magenta Massa babouche – custom-dyed and handcrafted in Morocco – elicits festive and exotic daydreams of faraway places.
Don't suppress the yen for colour. Just as our bodies communicate their need for nourishment when we are lacking important vitamins - so too do our eyes, minds and spirits let us know when they need refueling. Like the daylight, colour can be a powerful mood-lifter and energizer. So listen to your instincts and indulge in the hues of the season.
Clogs: An Ode to the Arborous
From orthopedic to high-fashion, Dutch 'klomp' to Japanese 'geta' -our associations with clogs run the entire footwear spectrum. Functionally touted for their shock-absorbent quality, which is good for posture, aesthetically the wooden soles are innately sculptural. If you have worn a pair recently or grown up with them in your wardrobe, you also understand the undeniablesensual experience of the smooth,natural in-soles. It's a feeling of being grounded and supportedsimultaneously. For some itmay also rousea nostalgia for the feeling of treading barefoot onold hardwood floors: cool in the summer, but imbued with an inherent warmth and comfortness year-round.
Rooted and modern.
This spring marks our second season with the Finnish clog designer, Terhi Polkki. Handcrafted in Finland by skilled tradesmen, these vegetable-tanned leather sandals and mules have all the trademarks of the traditional shoe, but are updated with a distinctly Finnish fashion touch. Their low kitten heel is set far back for a sweet but angular and modern profile, while their simple uppers are versatile and timelessina classic palette from light tan to rich cognac and black.
Earthy and elevated.
The Harlen clog from Coclico. A closed-toe sling-back upper in a trio of subtly different textures of white leather enwraps the foot and floats like clouds above the breathtaking wooden sole. A chunky medium-brown wedge showcases the natural unique wood grain and is a sculptural beauty on its own. This shoe is definitely not your average clog. Also from Coclico, the Aneme mule, Tares sandal and Juniper sling-back aren't clogs in the literal sense, but all of these styles are imbued with the beauty of their forest-elements, in various shades and geometries.
Another of our favourite New York designers, Rachel Comey, hasincorporated wood in the minimalist designs of the Lyell wedge and Tulip sandal. With their raw edges, the leather uppers disappear into an exposed natural tan sole for a clean and understated look that perfectly compliments their arborous elements.
You can view all of our SS16 clogs and clog-inspired styles here.
A season in flux
As Spring seduces Winter into submission, we are caught in the romantic crossfire. Spring's wiles of sunshine flirtations and warmth inspire a lust for colour and change that is at times irresistible. Like the beginnings of any courtship, this transitional time of year is an equally exciting and confusing whirlwind that can make dressing in the morning an especially challenging time.However, scouring the shelves in full bloom with fresh spring and summer styles and shades our hearts can't help but flutter...
And so it goes,with the season in flux, we are embracing an approach to dressing that is equally paradoxical but inspired by a variety of shoe styles. The playful mixing of masculine and feminine silhouettes is one such expression that wewholeheartedly love to explore in ourday-to-day wardrobe choices. A flowing linen or cotton maxi dress is paired with Dieppa Restrepo's black Leon loafer or Mace oxford, updated with their new tan exposed leather welt. Alternatively, on a lighter and brighter but equally impressive note, the same soft and elegant shape on top but with Grenson's Clara loafer or Emily brogue oxford in white-on-white. On the opposite end of the spectrum, boyish cuts on top such as a simple button-down or t-shirt andloose, distressed denim jeansare balanced with the feminine, form-hugging Martiniano High Glove in a lovely peachy-nude hue or the funbubblegum-pink patent Sophie sandal from Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
Rather than feel entrapped or dizzied by the season in limbo, think of it as an excuse to embrace the best of both worldsand be playful!We've spent the past several months swathed in layers of wool and coddled our feet in socks and boots. Now it's time to awaken our senses from hibernation and reintroduce themto the elements. Pamper your pieds and welcomechange!
Introducing: Apoteker Tepe
January 5th, 2016
Be it painting, prose, film or any myriad of artistic manifestation, the medium of the artist’s expression is intentional. It speaks for itself, usually eluding the ability to cross over into other art forms. In the process of re-interpretation some element is often lost or compromised.
The exceptionality of Apoteker Tepe’s fragrances begins with their ability to waft through several artistic boundaries, unconstrained by time or distance.
Although the name literally means “the apothecary on the hill” in the Turkish language, the scents are as exotic and elusive as their English conversion. Established in 2014 by Holladay Saltz, the independent Harlem-based apothecary conjures tales out of atypical and obscure ingredients. The result is a reflection of Saltz’s experience working for the New York-based perfumery Le Labo combined with her own innate and persistent curiosity for the olfactory and wealth of cultural knowledge.
The Illuminations collection is comprised of four scents that together build a classic epic in an unexpected sensual way. Individually, each fragrance is its own uniquely inspired aromatic chapter in one heroic tale.
The beginnings are ambiguous. Both despairing and hopeful, After the Flood’s base earthiness is lightened by water lily and patchouli. It is designed to encapsulate the protagonist’s banishment and restoration simultaneously, specifically influenced by the titular Rimbaud poem.
Its successor is Anabasis, the literal and literary translations of which are: an uphill trek through a country’s interior from the coast as historically and famously documented in ancient Greece; and interpreted in turn-of-the-century French poetry. Anabasis is bright and herbal, coniferous and uplifted by the inclusion of Japanese Shiso leaf.
The Holy Mountain is the next in the series, epitomizing the battle of feats against all odds. Its mystic blend of smoky Lapsang Souchong tea with a selection of woods and resins references its namesake’s monastic history and the psychedelic cinematic world of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film of the same name.
The story reaches its transcendent conclusion with Peradam, the name of which refers to something that only exhibits itself to those who seek it. Incarnated as a fragrance, it reveals itself as a medley of aptly unique ingredients including Orris butter and Mysore sandalwood for an elevated sensual experience.
From beginning to end, each perfume in the Illuminations collection is impressive in their intellectual artistry. The only missing element is the wearer, to continue the story with their individual inspired journey through everyday life.
October 6th, 2015 by Sami
We are thrilled to share that Umeboshi will be unveiling a new look early November. To compliment our recent renovation in store, our website as well as our branding will be receiving a complete overhaul. We appreciate your patience as we create the new Umeboshi image.
Sincerely, The Umeboshi Team
New Arrivals: Terhi Polkki
April 13th, 2015 by Sami
As the exclusive Canadian retailer, we at Umeboshi are ecstatic to welcome Terhi Polkki clogs into the shop!
Made of vegetable-tanned leather uppers and lightweight silver birch soles, four-year-old Finnish clog brand Terhi Polkki proves that sustainable fashion can also be fun and stylish. Traditionally handmade in Portugal and Finland, a high production standard and an acute attention to detail are what make Terhi Polkki shoes stand apart in comfort and design.
Here's a behind the scenes look at the production of these stunning clogs.
They say September is the new January, and here in the shop, we couldn’t agree more. For us, autumn marks a fresh start and a new season, bringing in exciting collections from old favourites, and new obsessions. This autumn we are so thrilled to announce the arrival of Chiyome.
Founded by designer Anna Lynett Moss two years ago, Chiyome goes beyond being a fashion brand and extends into philosophies of need and impact. Influenced by her Japanese heritage, Moss combines minimalist principles and modern aesthetic to create a uniquely sculptural, yet organic collection. Approaching the creation of her brand, Moss asked herself ‘What is essential?’ and moving forward, maintained a thoughtful perspective in answering that question.
Along with sourcing from minority-owned local businesses in NYC and surrounding areas, Chiyome’s business model includes a passionate advocacy for the strengthening of the social climate in New York. Their ethical practices include the development of a work program for the survivors of human trafficking in New York City, setting a new standard for the socially conscious fashion business. Through this program they have actualized jobs and societal roles for the city’s most neglected, and in-need.
For Nocturne, her Fall 2014 collection, Moss was inspired by humbled silence. The moments before chaos, where a deep breath and the sound of your own heartbeat form a delicate balance between hard and soft, rigid and relaxed. A carefully restrained palette, minimal hardware and subtlety in material shifts, give each bag a quality of calm and quiet, encouraging the wearer to speak up, and have their own voice heard.
It is through her thoughtful consideration of each detail that Moss has seemed to answer her own self-addressed question. Having the essentials, is to fill your needs, as well as the needs of others.