heels

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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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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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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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

Mythbusting: Toe tape

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.

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Designer Intro: Stuart Weitzman

Recently I purchased my first pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes, I’ve always steered away in the past feeling his designs were a little too conservative for my tastes. Furthermore all his shoes are Made in Spain, as opposed to Italy and at the price they retail at I expected a little gnomish Italian man nailing together pieces of leather in the traditional manner.

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I love a chunky boot, but…

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.

The Real Deal

Following on from my post about Faking It a guide to how to get the luxe look without the price tag, I began to wonder how to quickly identify genuine luxury pieces. Have you ever found amazing bargain accessory in a charity shop only to end up walking away because of the uncertain provenance of the piece? Spotting the real deal is doesn’t have to be hard, there are already plenty of brand specific guides on the internet, especially on eBay. They offer some great advice, and I want to build on that and give you done tips which can always be relied upon regardless of the brand.

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.

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Faking it

Whole I admit I have an exceptional love for leather, sometimes its unjustifiable to splurge a triple figure sum on a luxe shoe or perhaps disagree with the use of animal products. So let’s start by playing a game, take a look at the pictures below, can you tell which is the real deal which is the imitation stuff.


A few shoes that haven’t been on the blog, can you tell which of these are real animal skin? Answers below. Hint: two are real animal skin

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Designer Intro: Schutz

This is a brand that I have only recently come across in one of my forays in TK Maxx. I first saw them about half a year ago, and now are popping up more regularly there. Immediately, the quality of the shoes impressed me, add to that the designs are always really hot and bang on trend.


I picked these up in TK Maxx for £50, they’ve got the rock chic look, but also as tall black boots quite versatile and timeless

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