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.
I’ve noticed in recent years there have been a number of articles about how shoes aren’t fitting properly and perhaps average shoe sizes are going up, and doing a lot of vintage shopping perhaps I’ve noticed a third observation. So with this too-big-too-small trend in modern day, it seems apt to call it Cinderella syndrome.
Now first I’ll start by saying I’ve always believed I took an UK 8, and always been under the impression that translated to a European 41 and a 10.5 in the US. Apparently that isn’t totally correct, and according to the Society of Shoefitters actually, UK7=EU41, now this was in an article in the Daily Mail which means one should take this information with a good shovel of salt, the one thing I can take from this article is to forget UK sizes and know my European size which is 40.5 (give or take ½ a size each way).
These are an example of how oversized shoes come. These Ted Bakers were labelled as 41/8 but I challenge someone who is actually fits this shoe. It’s a good 2cm too long, which is why there is that patch to improve fit.
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
Since the arrival of the Ugg we have seen a number of shoes gain favour, we have had Crocs, Birkenstocks, and even when talking about heeled shoes it has been chunky block heels and clogs. Celine’s chunky heel has become somewhat iconic of this era, and while appearing comfy have ultimately received mixed reviews. As a hardcore stiletto junkie I have tried to cling onto the my spiky shoes, well if you read the Standard pretty shoes are having their resurgence, with fashion show front rows being lined (quite rightly) with stiletto toting editors.
With flares seeing their return from the cold the whole appeal for a more delicate shoe is quite the natural direction, the weight of these massive bell bottoms when paired with a clunky design makes you look like a bottom heavy hangover from a 70’s disco. On the other hand stilettos are a perfect counter to all that fabric of the trouser, pick a intricate design or a print that you can flash a little with each step.
Wolford Gent Trousers (These are a few years old, Wolford tend to ignore trends and just do what they do best), and YSL Classic Paris 105 in Leopard Print Suede
Recently I’ve been repeatedly reminded of an era of true glamour and elegance, everything from the weather, to fellow bloggers, to local shop openings have reminded me of why I love the late 1950s and early 60s. It was an era of lasting icons, where fame and reputation didn’t last 15 minutes and also marked the beginning of a new youth counterculture which defined the latter part of the 20th Century.
It’s funny how little things can trigger things in ones mind, walking in the soft winter sun around Knightsbridge, it takes your mind to an old money fantasy, it was the jet age, Paris or Milan, St Tropez or Portofino was a matter of hours away. It carried the likes of Jackie O, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Deneuve round the world uniting the best of both sides of the Atlantic.