Yearly Archives: 2012

The Shoes I Wore 2012

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I thought it would be cool to take a look at what shoes I’ve worn over the last year. Some pairs I only wore once, others pretty much daily! My least worn shoes are the Louboutins, in fact the two pairs you see here are no longer with me. My inflammatory arthritis just got too bad and I could no longer wear them without being in pain. But hey when Christian Louboutin himself says “I try to make heels as comfortable as they can be, but my priority is design, beauty, sexiness. Comfort’s not my focus” you start to think maybe he’s a bit of a douche bag. I still have my toffee round toe Loubies but seems like their comfort was a bit of an accident! As always the comfiest shoes by far for me are Vivienne Westwood. This year I have worn to death my gold ‘animal toe courts’ and black ‘Bondage’ boots.

It will also be known as the year I finally trashed my red ‘Mary janes’, after 7 or so years of wearing them in all sorts of weather a torrential down pour in Northampton finally stained the toes forever. High street brand of choice goes to Zara for really well made shoes at cheapy prices, my purple and red sandals were a bargain at £30! The big shoe trend this year has been the wedge sneaker, I still have a hilarious tale of woe on that front – I was sent a pair, for review, only to be sent a pair with a 2cm heel difference, hmmm. So failing on that front the closets I got to the sporty trend were the Y3 ‘Torsion’ heels and the Vivienne Westwood ‘Tracey trainers’ who found themselves on loan for the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition.

How many pairs of new shoes did I get this year? I dread to think but two pairs which made a huge impact on my collection were the vintage VW ‘Elevated platforms’ and the vintage red ‘Heart Buckle’ stillettos – bartered for whilst running around a hospital car park trying to get reception on my Blackberry, with a iffy email account and my even iffier French! I wasn’t entirely sure until they came what I had bought. Those are the highs, what about the lows? Well this year I wore a fair few pairs of flat shoes, my trusty Chanel ballet pumps took a back seat as I stomped around in Air Step furry boots, VW ‘Roman 3-Strap’ sandals, VW ‘Pirate boots‘ and even a pair of Keds.

What other shoes are memorable this year? Well I can’t go without mentioning my burnt gold LK Bennett pointy stilettos. A serious bargain from TK Maxx these saw me through February’s London Fashion Week and many more occasions. The brand itself being thrown into the limlight thanks to mega fan Kate Middleton and I can see why she relies on them for style and comfort. I am not sure I could truly call a favourite pair but if I had to I would say the red VW  ‘Animal toe Mules’ take a top seat. Why? I really have no idea, they are a funny looking shoe and for years I hated the style. I wouldn’t even have tried them on if not for me being at a private sale type thing and they were there in my size. I originally wanted the regular court shoe (and still do) but figured I might as well give them a try. I did and I fell in love with them. The only pair of red ‘Animal toe courts’ they had left were in a size up, so I took them home for my mum – and yes I have tried stuffing them with insoles and parading around the house in them, and no I can’t get away with it ha ha! But they are definitely on my ‘save up for’ list.

There you have it, a year in shoes. Up next a year of my favourite outfits.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Cinderella Stories

Christian Louboutin

Versace

Two designers interpretation of the Cinderella fairy tale for the Harrods windows. Christian Louboutin used cream lace over tulle studded with sparkling Swarovski crystals and applique butterflies (top). Versace went for a modern pointed stiletto in clear PVC, accents of metallic pick used on the heel and the brand logo. Both houses choose court shoes in their design. Accompanying a shimmering full skirted strapless gown. On the street outside a huge clock face is projected, the hands almost at 12 midnight.

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Walt Disney (courtesy Disney)

The Cinderella story we are all most familiar with today is likely to be the Walt Disney version, where the handsome Prince rescues Cinderella from her cruel step-mother and awful step-sisters. The presence of the glass slipper is pivotal to the story, had the girl not lost her slipper, the Prince would have had no means of finding her again. The fact that the slippers are crafted from glass makes no sense, a real pair of glass shoes could never be worn, the material would be unmoulding preventing the foot from flexing and of course it would be dangerous, at risk of shattering. Why is the the slipper being made from glass important to the story? The material itself is not at all malleable and  prevents the anyone but the true owner from fitting into the shoe – securing the Prince finding it’s rightful owner. The unrealistic nature of the shoe also lends further magic to the fairytale. The tale itself however can be traced back for many years and across many countries. The main theme of the lost shoe is retained however the shoe comes in the form of leather sandals, fur shoes and even gold slippers.

Maison Martin Margiela (courtesy of MaisonMartinMargiela.com)

Throughout my childhood I often wondered what a real pair of glass slippers would look like. Maison Martin Margiela created a beautiful glass version, purely for show of course. For all practical purposes a material such as transparent perspex would work giving a similar illusion to glass. Only trouble is when you mention a perspex shoe most people will recall the traditional stripper shoe! High fashion has created many stylish variations such as my personal favourite Prada SS10 and the recent reinvention of the Maison Martin Margiela perspex wedge for H&M. So perhaps we can all be modern day Cinderella’s.

Pole dancing shoes (courtesy hotstrippershoes.com)

Boxing Day Sales Buys & a Mini Rant

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Look 1: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Loden Dangerous Animal jumper’; VW GL ‘Gablel Union Jack trousers’; VW vintage elevated court shoes

Look 2: VW GL ‘Fur Bolero’; VW GL ‘Money vest’ top; VW GL kilt, VW GL ‘Sack’ boots – with attractive bruised knees from ice skating

I snapped these photos just after getting back from the sales with my swag. I only took them to show some friends on facebook since they were heckling me (love you guys) and wasn’t going to put the outfits up on the blog until I had time to go outside and take some decent photos. Then I got a bit annoyed with the pressure bloggers are being put under lately, pressure to produce photos which are magazine quality. I started this blog with a pocket camera, taking self portraits in the bathroom mirror at work so I’m pretty sure my photo quality wasn’t the main selling point. Sure I love having time to create gorgeous outfits with lovely back drops, but I don’t write this blog full time, I have a job to do, on top of being sick a lot of the time and don’t always have time to set up photos, let alone find someone to help me do it. So I am flipping the V at the blog snobs because it goes against the fundamental purpose of blogs – the freedom to post whatever the hell you like!

I found the sales a bit rubbish this year – good on one hand since I don’t need the temptation but not particularly exciting. I’d had a few things from Vivienne Westwood on my wish list and was surprised to see them go to 50% right away. Since it was such a big discount I picked up the things I really wanted rather than wait until the final mark downs. My favourite thing by far are the union jack print trousers, they are just so wearable and of course I had to have something in the money print – the ‘vest’ is actually a long sleeve hi-low top. On the practical side (cough, cough) I got the ‘Animal’ jumper – always need more jumpers, and the bolero which is going to be perfect over sleeveless dresses. I have been swooning over the LOVE necklace all summer and was delighted to get this, the crystals are a very pale green which is a nice touch. Huge kiss to my mum for aiding and abetting the VW addiction- she is just as bad as me I swear!

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Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and so treats in the sale!

Wearable Art: Milly J Customised Shoes

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Last week I went to visit Northampton Shoe Museum. The Museum is one of the largest collections of shoes in Europe and covers the entire ground floor. There are two permanent exhibition rooms, a changing exhibition space and the ‘Shoe Lounge’. The lounge is an a gallery which also boasts comfortable couches so you can have a coffee surrounded by fabulous shoes. The show space in the gallery at the moment is filled with the awe inspiring creations of Milly J, from shoe sculptures to wearable art, they are a thing to behold. I particularly liked the pink wedge ankle boots and the court shoes covered in orange slices. Enjoy!

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Sneaking Into Fashion Exhibition

Here are some of the images from the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition curated by Tory Turk on behalf of Javari.co.uk. The pop-up exhibition looked at how the trainer has become part of our culture and featured some rare designs. I loaned a pair of my trainers to the exhibition, can you guess which pair is mine? The Vivienne Westwood ‘Tracey trainers’. The exhibition was staged in at Convent Garden, the cases set amongst the walk ways – taking the gallery outside of the museum. It was a great way to get people who wouldn’t usually visit such an exhibition interacting and learning.  Many famous pairs were featured including shoe designs from Nike, Adidas, Isabel Marant and Vivienne Westwood. You can take virtual tour of the highlights and find out more info on the shoes at Javari.

Outfit: If You Like it Buy Two

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Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Mao’ jacket, ‘Pinch’ dress, ‘Bag’ boots and duffel bag

Just a quickie phone snap of one of my favourite outfits at the moment. I was lucky enough to be invited to a private sale for Vivienne Westwood Gold label and Red Carpet collections (thanks Mika for the reminder) and of course I picked out the two most casual things in the entire shop! Much as I was longing for the stunning floor length gowns and sequin cocktail dresses I don’t have much need of them in my life. That didn’t stop me and my friends going wild and getting dressed up, I was even in a wedding dress at one point (evidence is on my facebook page!)

I have worn both the dress and jacket to death since I got them. The dress is a grey knit with silver and gold threads running through it so it can be dressed up or down. I wore it without a jacket, with black suede court shoes for a party last week. It has raw edges and have already started to unravel on the hems, I think it looks really cool. The Mao jacket is the same cut as the Chinese print one I got earlier in the summer. It is such a great shape, you can wear a belt over it too which I like. I’m rather tempted to put pins and badges all over this jacket, but the material wouldn’t take them being removed, they will have to stay there if I do, best give it some thought.

Street Style: Men in Knits

Couldn’t resist sharing these two fabulous young men looking super stylish in Knitwear. I often find knits get bad press, boring old jumpers worn out of necessity rather than for sartorial pleasure. Especially with menswear there isn’t always too much choice, either plain black or novelty Christmas fun. All good in their own way but why not make a splash, be a little daring? Vivienne Westwood is the Queen of edgy knitwear, her Gold Label collection show casing deconstruction, raw edging and asymmetry. The guys above are both wearing pieces of Gold Label. If you want something a little more classic the Vivienne Westwood MAN collection offers fine tailoring and very wearable pieces. Gary Barlow, voted one of GQ’s best dressed men is a fan amongst others.

Vivienne Westwood MAN, wool tweed jacket, burgundy sweater, orb logo beanie hat all available from Jules B

The MAN collection is designed by Andreas Kronthaler, Vivienne Westwood’s husband of 19 years. Just like his wife, Andreas is the perfect person to advertise his wears. The poster boy wears traditional suiting just as well as he rocks a kilt, it is all about having fun as much as looking good.

Andreas Kronthaler

Christmas Gifts Made Easy

I have to say I am pretty much a last minute shopper. Unless I see something which would make the absolute perfect gift, I find myself sat a week before Christmas without any gifts, no cards wrote out and I haven’t even began to think about food. So here I am with presents still needed and a whole lack of desire to head out into town whilst it’s so busy. I bring to you the cheats guide to Christmas:

1. GiftGen – This is a cool little website which lets you enter gift requirements such as age, sex, price range and interests. Then it generates a list of suitable gifts. I think it is brilliant, especially when you have people you don’t know all that well such as distant relatives or partners family to buy for.

2. Christmas Shopping List app - There are tons of fun and useful Xmas apps to entertain yourself with such as the Santa Photo Booth. But one really useful app is the simple shopping list, which lets you keep score of who you have to buy for and your budget. Yes you could use a pen and paper or your memo but I’ve borrowed my mums iPad and I’m enjoying the novelty!

3. Gift Wrapping Services – Personally I really quite like wrapping gifts, but after the 5th pair of slippers it can become monotonous. So many stores these days from M&S to Amazon offer free gift wrapping which you may as well take advantage of to save you time and money.

4. Delivery – One thing I always fail on are the Xmas postage dates. Every year I totally forget and the people I won’t be seeing in person end up with their gift sometime in the new year. We don’t even have a post office in our town any more which is beyond inconvenient! Fear not Parcelforce is here to help. You can book online delivery where they even come and pick the parcels up from your house. Absolute lifesaver!!!

There you have it, easy peasy, leaving you more time for merry making.

Do you have any tips to share?

Mulberry Wishlist

This photo is from my blog, taken three years ago, how time flies! These pants and top are long gone, but the Mulberry clutch and scarf and still firm favourites in my wardrobe. I admit, I find the term ‘investment buy’ a bit of a cop out we use to justify blowing our budgets, but there is truth in it. I felt in love with this gorgeous raspberry clutch, with it’s gunmetal postman’s lock clasp. The burnt orange scarf complimenting it perfectly. They are easy pieces which I can wear with numerous vintage dresses or a simple shirt and trousers. I still get excited when I pull them out to wear and hope I will do for many years to come!

I think Mulberry has some gorgeous products, we have a lovely shop here in Manchester but the last time I went for a fondle was in Harrods whilst I was in London. They have a nice selection on the Harrods website too, above are my top picks. For a large, everyday bag I really like the Del Ray. The snakeskin is sumptuous and so versatile, I like the black but the greeny-gold would be top choice, it is so unusual.  I also like the fun side to the brand this season was all about big furry monsters, very Wild Things. Details like the quirky turtle clasps make such a unique touch, it is cute without loosing elegance. If I was going for another clutch I would choose the Clemmie. In the dusky pink it is such a modern bag, with a great shape too. It is the kind of colour which will modernise a winter wardrobe, imagine the ducky pink with berry’s and browns, so chic. Mulberry have even more fabulous scarves, so many patterns and styles to choose from. You know I am a big fan of an oversized scarf, I wear them all year round. This multicolour on really called out to me, as did the animal print ones especially the zebra.  The little friendship bracelets caught my eye too, these would make perfect stocking fillers (hint, hint). The pink with gold peace charm is my favourite, but they also have a key hole charm perfect for a loved one.

I really like to learn about how things are made, this little video shows the construction of a Del Ray bag, I thought it was fascinating.

Are you a Mulberry fan?

Beauty: Winter Make-Up Bag Updates

I do love discovering new make-up products, even more so in winter when I like to slap it on like there is no tomorrow. So what have I been buying as we get well  into the festive season? The first thing I bought was this YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in ’17′. I actually got this in September but totally forgot about it as I was given the Bobbi Brown ‘Old Hollywood’ red a few days later which is perfect. The YSL colour is just as lovely but a tiny bit more orange, whilst still being blue toned. The fabulously decadent chunky gold tube also appealed to my magpie eye. This is one I need to keep out and actually get around to wearing. The other lipstick I bought is Chanel’s new Rogue Allure Velvet in L’Impatiente a rich matt plum colour. The Chanel matt lipsticks are surprisingly moisturising for a matt and very easy to wear unlike some brands I have tried (*side-eyes Mac*). This lippie along with the nail varnish Malice appear in the Chanel Christmas 2012 campaign. Malice is a glimmering blood red with hits of plum. I have been wearing it with the OPI real gold top-coat which looks stunning.

After becoming obsessed with Bobbi Brown in the summer I’ve been back a few times, coming away with something new each visit. The first thing I went back for was a mascara but I want to talk about the mascaras in depth so will come back to that in a separate post. One of the products I really can’t get enough of are the Long-wear cream eye shadows. They are amazing, they don’t budge one bit and come in the most fabulous colours. The first one I tried was a nude colour called ‘Shore’ which I wore over the summer with the limited edition Sparkle eye shadow ‘Bone’. They gave a pretty nude look with a hint of silver sparkle. For winter I wanted something still on the nude side but a little more dramatic. I picked up the cream shadow in Cement which is a slightly beige-grey colour and the Sparkle eye shadow in Taupe. Together they give a mushroomy colour with a hint of golden shimmer.

One eye shadow I couldn’t resist was the Metallic long-wear cream shadow in Starry Night, it is jam packed with gorgeous blue and purple shimmer! You can wear it as a subtle wash or build up the colour for an intense smoky eye. One tip I can give with the Metallic is to apply it alone over an eye shadow base, I use Urban Decay Primer Potion. Use a brush and let each coat dry before applying another for a smooth finish. I found applying over too wet a base – over eye cream or trying to build up too fast resulted in an uneven, clumpy finish.

There you have it my new season must haves. Do you have a favorite make up product this season? Got you eye on anything with a sparkle?