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


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.


Hope you get the point

So with the weather warming up and more importantly drying out, it’s finally time to dust off your courts, pull out those leather soles, and show off your feet. Big surprise here, I’m a massive fan of pointy shoes, it never goes out of Vogue, and I think is a very flattering style, so I’m going through a selection of similarly cut shoes in a few different styles.

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


Pop culture and popular influence

Without the help of google what do the names Marion Morehouse, Vera Ashby (Sumurun) and Lisa Fonssagrives mean to you? Most likely they’re just going to be names, forgotten by time, someones ancestors but nothing more. However all three of these women models who have an entry in The Fashion Book (2nd Ed. published 2013 by Phaidon), they were the pioneers of the term supermodel with careers spanning from the 1920s through to the 1950s. So why is it we remember the names of Jean Shrimpton (the Shrimp) and Twiggy fondly yet Morehouse, Fonssagrives and Sumurun have been consigned to the history books?

The great Lisa Fonssagrives as published in Harpers Bazaar in 1951
Public Domain image from US Library of Congress
Free Time Revolution and Youth Subculture

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

Swinging London and the Brit Invasion

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.

Knickers in a twist (again)

There is a reason I don’t read the tabloids, every day they seem to churn out the same diatribe. It seems the one thing that sells better than sex seems to be anger. Its fine to be riled up about something but is there a risk that we become so desensitized by the endless mountains that started as molehills? The current trendy rant is of course Nicola Thorp’s spat with PwC and their contractor Portico. As much as it can feel as such, just because something is right doesn’t necessarily make it the most important issue in the world.

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.

Save our soles

Taking care of your shoes will bring no end of benefits. Whether its making sure heel tips (sometimes known as taps) are well groomed, or the soles aren’t worn through, the results will improve comfort and make sure those cherished shoes will give years of good service.

Just resoled and reheeled, you can get your own soles and tips to replace them at home. It will save a fair bit in cobblers bills, especially for these cheap New Look shoes, though you’ll never get the same finish without the professional equipment.


Party Time

So to lets set the scene, it’s the weekend, your make-up is perfect, you’ve spent hours on your hair and nails, and you’ve got the perfect heels for a night out with the girls. Four hours later it’s the small hours in the morning, your feet are killing, and you are at A&E because one of your friends twisted her ankle.

The happy feeling that alcohol gives you comes from the way it messes with your brain, unfortunately it’s also that same brain that controls your coordination. Drinking too much it all too easy to turn an ankle and even worse fall and split your head open.

They were lucky the officers there are just making sure they are safe, so many nights end up in ambulances
Image by Paul Townsend used under Creative Commons License


Mythbusting: Freezing Shoes

A recent popular trend has been to stretch shoes by putting a bag of water in them and freezing it. Correctly identifying that water does expand when frozen, and when that happens it stretches out your shoes. Leather shoes are meant to stretch a little, and it’s a service most cobblers will offer, so the idea is to save a little money and do it at home.

I will always recommend using professional shoe stretching services and equipment.
Used with persmission ©Bob McInnes

However take a pair of shoes to a good cobbler, and he sometimes says he can’t do it, that’s not because he’s rude, or lazy, I’m grateful to him for being honest. The truth is some shoes aren’t suitable for stretching, and if you try to it’s most likely going to damage the shoes. Plastic, fabric, mesh are materials that have a little give but won’t retain that shape, and will also very easily crack or split, so they’re totally unsuitable for any stretching technique.



This is why I love socks, the shoes today weren’t cheap, but they are so versatile. I’m only showing you three looks and of course theres so much more that could work. These shoes will also look fantastic on their own.

Kibo Wedges by Rupert Sanderson, Bastille socks by Wolford

From the day look above, which is smart enough for me to wear for work, you could can easily carry with you everything you need to transform into an evening look, the gaiter looks like a strap that goes across the shoe, and could work barefoot too. Costume jewellery from the art deco era will compliment the design on the heel.