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.
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
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.
This is a post from one my archives, I hope you will it’s an interesting technique that is worth exploring.
The term foot binding, will always be associated with the horrific and tortuous procedure historically performed on Chinese women prior to the 20th Century. You might argue we put ourselves through similar tortures forcing our feet to shape of a heeled shoe, it’s true but we do it through choice, and we can liberate our feet whenever we choose. Now ironically it’s a form of foot binding that is supposed to help.
According to Marie Helvin, taping together toes three and four (counted from your big toe) will stop you from suffering in your heels. I can report having tried it, it does indeed seem to work. Why I’m not totally sure, but my weight seems to be more evenly spread, without the tape I feel my feet rolling outwards, instead when taped the weight is more towards the ball of my big toe.
My Elbas are really easy to wear, but the tape means I can stand in one spot a lot longer. It does only make sense with closed toe shoes, but still works even when the vamp is really low cut.
You love those chunky boots don’t you? The ones which have served you so well through the past few winters. Do you wish that you could have the same comfort without suffocating your feet through the summer? While pretty shoes are hot now, you can still be pretty in a chunky heel.
While sample sales are often older designs being sold, Rupert Sanderson does keep classic lines going as well as refreshing seasonal designs with new finishes. Earlier this year I picked up these from the sample sales, the Ravenna is quite a retro look, with the velvet it reminds me of the glamour of the inter-war years. Best is they’re amazing under this season’s wide legged trousers! They’re currently available in a burgundy velvet at the Rupert Sanderson Bicester Outlet.
The Velvet Ravennas are just feel so luxuriant, they’re super cute with a little platform they’re a very wearable shoe that can be dressed up and down.
For 2016-17 floral patterns are also still going strong, a little switch from before is that they are inspired by interior styling. The key is a slighly kitschy look, think bohemian embroidered fabrics, or slightly hippy prints rather than the neater prints. Its a twist on the classic, but nonetheless florals are going strong, and I think they look even better with a chunkier heel. These looks are very now and should see good service through AW16/17.
This is so typically Erdem, still a smaller designer right now but he’s going to be very hot this season. Even better a lot of his shoes part of a collaboration with the great Nicholas Kirkwood
The classic option, ever present is the classic stacked heel sandal, with or without platform, they will always make a good strong choice especially for a more casual wedding, a garden party or a BBQ. There are few things less elegant than that sinking feeling as your heels dig in, not a problem with these chunky heels. Personally I prefer the single sole look, it’s defininitely more elegant for a summer evening and won’t compete with lighter fabrics.
These lavender python skin sandals are by Coach, perhaps a little bright if but you can always find a similar shoe in nude.
Summer doesn’t mean you have to abandon the chunky boot for flop flops, you can carry on in comfort with a chunky summer shoe. The trick with chunky heels is to avoid swathes of cow’s leather. Fabrics such as velvet or satin print are great, or get sandals which have that au naturelle look.
We have six shoes for you today, from high street to luxe by YSL, Rupert Sanderson, Dune, Charlotte Olympia and Chinese Laundry, can you tell which is which? Hint: followers of my blog will have seen all of these shoes featured here and there
Public Domain image from US Library of Congress
Prior to the 1950s leisure time was rare, as such clothing was primarily driven by function, with the exception of the wealthy and aristrocratic who had the time and money to enjoy high fashion. Models and icons such as Marylin Monroe and Twiggy captured the imagination of the growing and aspirational middle classes in Europe and America, and it would soon become the most lucrative market to exploit. The 1950s was a period when people of the world were looking forward to peace and prosperity, in the West capitalism was bringing bigger and better things for less cost, meanwhile Communist countries were looking for inward stablilty with Khrushchev denouncing Stalin and Mao having just untified China under the Communist Party. It meant that in America and Europe we didn’t need to invest heavily in defence, and could enjoy the technology gained during the Second World War to allow machines to replace manpower, thus was born the concept of free-time, and disposable income. And what better way to get us to buy more than to turn models and screen sirens into icons, someone that we can aspire to?
As less time was taken up by household chores the first to become freed from drugery were the youth, without the resposibility of children of their own the youth were spending money on themselves, and finding their own contemporary role models. Breaking from the still aristocratic establisment, and they found in Marylin Monroe and Elvis to inspiring yet ordinary people, who were not born into high society but carved out a name for themselves based on talent. Naturally seeing the popularity of these people, the establishment knew that change had to happen for them to cash in, and for the next two decades this would remain the case.
Two peoples heroes of the time, normal people living the dream. Just like the Duchess of Cambridge today.
Public Domain Images
Similar changes to society were happening in the UK too, the Mods and Swinging London on once side, and the Beatles, and the Rockers on the other. Just as Elvis inspired a generation of Americans, it too was through music that youth in Britain expressed their rebelliousness, and naturally people wanted to express themselves by dressing as their heroes did. In the same way that the music was designed to shock, so were the clothes, out went drab, dowdy, heavy tailored pieces and in it’s place came simple more androgynous shapes, dominated by colour and showing ever more skin.
A classic Carnaby Street scene which defined the vibrancy of Swinging London
Public Domain image from The National Archives
Mary Quant Dress in 1969, hemlines progressed rapidly up the leg, and the shape has become considrably less constructed.
Used under Creative Commons License from Dutch National Archives
Just as Anna Wintour is the most powerful person in fashion today, her predecessor, Diana Vreeland was the one the pick up on the revolution happening in London and the UK. Who could be better to represent this shift society than the people at the eye of the storm, thus Mary Quant became the designer of the period, an Twiggy and the Shrimp the faces to represent it, all of which was imported alongside the Beatles, and the Stones to the States during the Brit Invasion. I was a cutting edge move in the 1960s, but nowadays it is normal to blur the borders between models, movies and music.
Modern icons have captured the imagination of today’s generation, just like Twiggy did in the 1960s.
Images used under Creative Commons License courtesey from left: Andrea and Tim Wilson, LGEPR, Eva Rinaldi
Today it seems the Kardashian family has an exceptional ability to connect with the most lucrative market in the fashion industry. So like it or not for the time being the Kardashians are here to stay because as talentless as they are, you must admit they have this magical ability to capture the attention of a certain demographic, and will remain at the top of the A-list until the next icon, I just feel sorry for them because they like many other celebs are actually being exploited.
To me this seems to be a really convenient tactic to distract from the bigger issues going at the same time, what about yesterday’s corruption summit? The one that just happened have it’s agenda severly watered down? Or what about the fallout after Snowden leaked those NSA documents? Or the way The Sun and The Times tried to whitewash the Hillsborough inquest verdict? We don’t need to look much further than who actually owns the newspapers, these people (and they are mostly individuals) do it to line their own pockets.
Anyhow, regarding this whole shoegate affair I do wonder where this takes us? Well heels are clearly an aesthetic item of clothing, but so are ties, hosiery, suits and other items considered de riguer in a corporate environment. If you take the issue of comfort and practicality all the way, perhaps we should just all turn up in our pyjamas or onsies.
So this could be the future of business wear? Actually maybe not such a bad idea.
Image by Vicki Burton used under Creative Commons License
There are really two schools of thought to this, being comfortable is important because you don’t want those clothes to be distracting you from work, it allows you to be at ease and focus, I do tend to write these blogs in my underwear, or in bed even (come on who hasn’t, laptops were made for this). On the other hand though being dressy can instill a degree of pride in what one is doing, so could increase the quality of the work that way. Interestingly, as much as I love my fashion, I honestly feel that I would be quite at ease if the way we dressed didn’t matter.
From a Distance
Before even looking into more detail, luxury shoes and bags have a certain presence to it. Shoes have a certain elegance and sleekness to them, bags tend to have good structure even after years of service. Leathers and fabrics will have a depth to their colour.
The Riviera Bag (left) was Made in England during the 1960s, 50 years down the line it’s structurally solid, zips and clasps all still work. Here pictured with Paris 105 by Yves Saint Laurent. The unbranded Snakeskin piece (right hand image) is likely to have been made in Germany in the 60s or 70s, and likewise still in exceptionally good condition.
This is a typical breakdown of viewership, lead by the UK followed by a mix of English-speaking countries.