Designer Intros: Gina

This once more isn’t much of an intro, Gina have been around for quite some time now. It is however a designer that is quite unique and therefore is very worthwhile to mention. With it’s slightly ostentatious reputation of for producing Swarovski encrusted sandals popular with the Arab oligarchy, Gina is definitely a designer that has a divisive reputation. I’m not one for glitzy shoes all the time and much of my collection are classic styles, however with careful selection I have found Gina have some really appealing shoes.

Gina, but with subtlety.
The style that Gina is often associated with, great for the red carpet however hardly everyday wear.
Image by Garry Knight used under Commons License

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TKMaxx, unexpected hero of 2017

In the past on this blog, the wonders of TKMaxx have already be briefly covered, however this year has been a real jackpot of finds there. It seems that since Kurt Geiger’s Bicester outlet closed a lot of high end stock that needed to be offloaded have ended at TKMaxx, often at silly prices.


TKMaxx seems to be loading up on high end designer luxury recently, and often at silly money

I have seen, Prada, Stella McCartney, Gina, Moschino, D&G and even Valentino amongst others. Even better, often these finds have been in regional sites, although the chances of finding these gems are definitely improved by searching within the boundaries of the M25.

First Find

Never thought I would own a pair of Pradas, they’re legendary enough not to need discounts. So to see these in Brent Cross was pretty amazing, even better they were the yellow sticker price, at £50! Even better is that there was still the box (never seen that before!)

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Vegan Leather

So regular readers will know I have a major obsession with leather shoes, to the point that that I have avoided anything except pure leather shoes. My reasoning being that natural leather breathes and absorbs sweat, therefore improving the health of my feet. Now after some research I have learnt more about artificial leathers, and having come across a very keenly priced pair of Stella McCartney vegan leather shoes, I thought it would be worth a try to see how good high end synthetics perform.

These slingbacks by Stella McCartney are really quite something, I’ve seen high end luxury leather with worse finishes than this, I think Sergio Rossi have some of the best patent leathers and these are as good!

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Sample Sale Silliness

While it feels like only yesterday, it was a couple of months ago when my beloved Rupert Sanderson held a sample sale. Rupert always has a taste for the class, so even while many designers hire an empty shop front or warehouse, we find ourselves instead visiting the Royal Institution on Ablemarle St in the heart of Mayfair. We tread the same boards that the scientific giants of from Faraday through Rutherford to Dawkins.

The Palatial Neoclassically Styled Royal Institution of Great Britain
Image modified under Creative Commons License, original artwork by Gryffindor

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Keep Your Shoes On

Despite being incredibly busy, I have tried to find some balance in life by religiously attending salsa classes, I started with two left feet to become someone who can follow quite a technical routine. Being a heel wearer, I’ve begrudgingly had to accept flats (for some time at least), and had to relearn how to use my muscles. Over time my dance shoes have become more adventurous and I’m comfortable with a reasonably high heel, in the process I’ve learnt so much too!


Putting my feet up at salsa classes, wearing my Bloch dance shoes.

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Heel thyself

There is no denying that a night out in heels will more taxing on the muscles, it takes a lot more effort to reach the same end goals compared to flat shoes, yes it’s great as it means more calories burnt! That does come at a bit of a price though, I’m sure we have all felt that burn in our calves and thighs after a night out or a day shopping in our favourite shoes, unexpectedly the world of sports science has the answers.

What do these possibly have to do with each other? Keep reading to find out!
Image left used with permission © Rupert Sanderson 2016, image right used under Creative Commons License Credit:Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

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A Match Made in Heaven

When Dune announced that they would be launching a collaboration with my favourite designer, Rupert Sanderson, I was absolutely thrilled. Combined Dune and Rupert Sanderson make up a quarter of my shoe collection, with good reason too, both brands offer what I look for in shoes, that magical combination of beauty, comfort and (relative) value for money. Knowing Rupert, he would only put his name to something that was worthy of his name, so expectations were understandably high. While I love so many styles in this collection, I have followed my head and only permitted myself two pieces, so I would welcome anybody who owns a pair of these or Rupert’s main collection to provide opinions on this too!


Dune London’s first major collaboration, and who better to work with than Rupert Sanderson?

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I’m back! 

After many months away, I’m finally returning to post content. It has been a very busy nine months with changes in job, so since my computer failure I fell out of the habit of writing and photographing and never got back into it. Now life is more settled and days are getting longer I feel like I have the energy to do this again. Despite not posting in this time, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been learning more and more, so I have a whole new set of tips to share with the world as well as more interesting shoes to show as well!

Rather than keep an intense schedule like before, I shall be realistic and aim for a single post a week for the time being and ramps it up only if I feel that I can manage it, so apologies in advance if content isn’t as regular as before, I will aim to ensure the quality is the same if not even better than before.

In the meantime here’s a quick preview of what is to come!

Been a fun year, a visit to the United Nude flagship, and Rupert Sanderson sample sale

Broken Computer and Silly Sales

Hi guys, apologies for the lack of activity recently. Someone highly intelligent thought it would be a smart idea to leave to skylight open on the conservatory while it was raining! So unfortunately computer is slightly unwell, so I’m not going to be tapping in endless HTML and CSS on my phone and of course have no way of doing any post pro work eother so some of the following blog posts might not be as easy on the eye as the regular content. Hope to resume normal service soon!

On a more positive note, Kurt Geiger at Bicester Village are doing some amazing sales! Picked up a couple of items today, at an unbelievable price, been looking for a pair of Charlotte Olympia Kitties for ages and finally found my favourite ones there. Also couldn’t resist the Stuart Weitzmans either they were from AW15/16, not shoes I needed but still it was too good to refuse.

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Abstract Kitties by Charlotte Olympia (left) and Stuart Weitzman sandals (right) both from Kurt Geiger Bicester Village

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At £15 pounds I really could not say no to these. Its about 95% off retail price, I know they look a little tacky but to be honest they’re a pair of shoes which I don’t care if they get beat up

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The Kitties were more expensive at £79 but still the cheapest I've ever seen them at and worth it for a very special pair of flats

To platform or not

In the very distant past I have once mentioned about using platforms to reduce the pressure on your feet, the theory is strong and sound, and definitely works by reducing the pressure on your arches while giving you the boost you need. While I enjoy the benefits that platforms give, there are certain challenges that they do bring, and this time I’m going to explore what the wear and when.

Strangely we shall start with the single sole shoe, which many of my regulars will notice is quite a strong feature of my blog. Single soles do give one great advantage, they’re precise, and feel so much more natural. Anything that could throw you off balance can be felt underfoot, but equally the policies on installing tactile paving makes it agony to try to cross any road these days. There is also a natural limit to heel height on a single sole shoe, most people will struggle beyond 10-12cm of heel, even with my huge 40/41s I max out at 12cm, and I have huge respect to anybody with petite feet who wears anything with 10cms or more.

Thin soles bend and flex, which I do find more agile, but it’s agony when you step on anything, just like The Princess And The Pea, the smallest pebble can cause discomfort in the same way.

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