Entries Tagged as 'UK'

June sales picks

 

(not) watching the England/Italy Euro 2012 game presented itself as the perfect opportunity to look through the June sales again, and dig out some of my fantasy buys.

My budget right now extends to eBay and very little else (though that includes a bitchin pair of grey suede classic pumps from Topshop and a new addition to my vintage Escada collection). But in online browsing land, budgets are an irrelevance.

So with reality briefly suspended, I went shopping on FarFetch – a shoe-lover’s dream for its vast variety of source stores.

I have decided a 25% saving on these cracking (and practically low) Margiela ankle boots is a great deal. Was £598.67, now £449.00. Totes barg. Jazzy glitter, non?
martin margiela June sales picks
If you’re a little loose up top, it’s fun to accessorise with something perfectly sensible, nay, square below. The Acne loafer with massive tassel from the the ss12 collection can deliver that.

You’re loud, a little louche, prone to spots of bad behaviour and occasional nudity? No-one will see this sensible everyday shoe coming, and at £276.00 down from £460.00 (40% off) they’re a sensible price too.
acne loafer June sales picks
Likewise, if you’re prone to being far too freaking sensible, a smashing bright pair of heels can really set off a dull outfit/personality. Plus, they’re a seriously easy way to get involved in the whole colour-blocking thing that will not go away (possibly due to being lots of fun). Just the other day in Sephora on Times Square a shopkeep told me that my fluro pink shift dress made their day. They may have been trying to sell me their wares, but as that colour makes mine, I don’t see why it can’t make other people’s day too.

Stella perspex-heeled two-tone satin sandals. Was £565, now £339 40% off at Net-a-porter.
stella mccartney June sales picks

The Kat Maconie beacon

 

tumblr m1pdbxTSCC1rn6pf4o1 1280 680x906 The Kat Maconie beacon

When I am lost, and I feel I’ve lost my way, Kat Maconie is a beacon. Her straightforward designs with a touch of heavy metal hardware bring me right back to what I love – chunky heels, black and gold.

I’m sure blush is the colour du jour – pastel is a trend and all.

But I care little for trends. I know that a pair of these Silvias in black will last me long after the demise of the pastel trend. Plus, have you seen the weather? It’s black leather season.

These babes are 240 quid from Kat Maconie’s online store.

I hate to share this, but there’s also some Kat Maconie heels on sale on The Outnet for 151 pounds.

Photo from Kat Maconie.

Fast, gooey, St Valentine’s day bake

 

I’m not a Valentines Dayist, but since I have these heart-shaped ramekins (thanks to Miss Woolly), a block of extraordinary chocolate and a rather fast pudding recipe, I have whipped up a St Valentine’s bake.

le creuset pots 1 680x566 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

As with all baking, it’s no surprise that the quality of your ingredients makes all the difference.

This chocolate from Belgium is blisteringly fancy. It’s dark, bitter and expensive. Well I think it is, it was a gift, along with a long strip of handmade vanilla bean marshmallow. Amazing they both are.

carre chocolate 680x510 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

Chocolate St Valentine’s day puds:
125 grams dark chocolate of the most amazing quality
125 grams unsalted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons of spelt flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, grease your ramekins – heart-shaped or not.

Melt the butter and choc in a bowl over a simmering pan.

Whisk eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla together, then whisk in chocolate mixture.

Pour into your ramekins, which I place on one large baking tray, then into the oven for 10-12 mins.

They’re done once the top is just set. Don’t be tempted to leave them longer or you won’t get the dark, gooey middle.

Serve with saucy love.

three chocolate puddings 680x510 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

Budget don’t brag in the winter sales

 

I have a very strict sales buying strategy. I never loose my head and buy something I wouldn’t normally buy just because it’s reduced.

My philosophy is basically that it’s not a matter of what great discounts I can nab, and brag about, it’s about how I can improve my existing wardrobe with well-priced pieces I really want.

Anna Dello Russo said that when shopping during sales, you should not buy randomly, you should choose your favourite pieces, stick to a budget and you should only buy materpieces.

I don’t know if my budget will stretch to masterpieces, but she’s a woman after my own heart when it comes to budgeting, and being selective.

Last year in the winter sales I bought the Surface To Air wedge sandals in tan, which I wore all summer and then again on winter holidays chasing the sun.

I’ll always love them, and the tan leather is gaining a nice patina as the shoes wear in.

My sales picks for the winter sales are quiet strict. They are a pair of very sensible black heels for work, a pair of fun bright Surface To Air wedge sandals in red which will be perfect this summer and an everyday pair of black boots.

I can’t afford the black Acne pistols that I’ve been hankering for for years, as they’re 390 quid. But these Surface To Air numbers are quite similar, and at 210 Euros, I can still buy my bus fare.

acne heel sales 680x451 Budget dont brag in the winter sales

Melrose patent black heels, 164 quid from Acne

p16298 1 680x629 Budget dont brag in the winter sales

Surface To Air buckle sandal in red, 155 Euros

p16614 2 680x538 Budget dont brag in the winter sales

Surface To Air Paul Boots VI 210 Euros

How my head works with YSL sandals

 

170739 in dl How my head works with YSL sandals

So these YSL brogue/wedge/sandals are on sale right now, down to £472 on net-a-porter. But that’s not why I have to talk about them.

This is in aid of an insight into my mind.

I was at a dinner, standing around in a perfectly adequate pair of classic red suede courts – my wedding shoes in fact – but I could not stop thinking about these sandal/brogue/wedges and how improved my conversation would be were I to be wearing them.

No one would notice them, they’d be sneaking around down low in the dark, under my long black skirts. But they’d be there. And I’d know.

They’d be lurking about being a bright shoe/sandal/work horse of an accessory, and I’d know their magnificence was powering my every nuanced word. People would tilt their heads and laugh gaily at my wit, and it would be all thanks to this shoe.

I believe the conversation was adequate – something about the invention of the modern diesel engine and the rivalry between Italian motor manufacturers etc.

But there’s every possibility it could have been improved.

Emanuelle Alt at Burberry

 

This is the time of year you’ll find me on my knees in front of someone super famous and tres fashion. Yup, fashion week means I’m out hunting the who’s who of feet. I walk around eyes cast down, not to avoid eye contact, but to see who’s feet I should creep up on next.

Here are Emanuelle Alt’s lovely little lace booties at Burberry’s ss12 show. Her style is, as you well know, wild, and I love the way she counters simple denim jeans and a blazer (both quite masculine) with something as feminine as a lace boot.

DSCN1134 680x510 Emanuelle Alt at Burberry

Emily Lamb and Design Collective Scotland

 

scotland shoe crop 680x551 Emily Lamb and Design Collective Scotland

Emily Lamb and the Scotland Design Collective came down to London for London Fashion Week to, like everyone else, pick up some buyers and make a name for themselves.

Emily has just graduated, and has a delicate sensibility and a wearable style that many male shoe designers lack. Her shoes are graphic, well-balanced and made with combinations of soft suede and here, some clear perspex.

Emily’s just at the beginning of her shoe career, so wish her luck.

Dominique Lucas’ shoe accessories

 

shoe accessories 2 680x528 Dominique Lucas shoe accessories

Dominique Lucas brought her Masters project to London Fashion Week, and isn’t it great? She has designed a series of brass and salmon hide shoe accessories that strap on to your existing heels.

The severe point, delicate chain curtains, salmon hide texture and brass spikes manage to cancel out any immediate facial contortion I do when confronted with the phrase “shoe accessory”.

Dominique’s pieces are 100 quid wholesale, which may make them 280 retail. It’s likely if you have 100quid for a nice pair of heels and another 280 for these striking accessories that you’d spend it on a 380 pair of shoes in the first place.

Her pieces also rely on you wanting to wear an ankle strap, as that and a kind of stirrup are how the pieces are attached to the shoe. My long-standing view is that an ankle strap cuts off and unnecessarily shortens your leg. If you’re not Erin O’Connor or a giraffe, then you need every inch of leg you can get. If you’re a tall bugger, heed not my concern.

I hope Dominique can either find a way to produce her accessories at a lower price point or that she hooks up with some other young designer like Emily Lamb, to create shoes that have this kind of detail built in. Otherwise, they will only be available to a wealthy elite, and they’re not noted for being creative enough to add such a clever accessory to a shoe.

shoe accessories 680x522 Dominique Lucas shoe accessories

Moroccan boots

 

IMG 2355 680x510 Moroccan boots

I spotted these Cobra Society woven boots at the London Fashion Week exhibition. They’re displaying here for the first time. The fabric is woven in Morocco, although it could easily be confused for Navaho. The boots are also made in Morocco, where I have been told by many other makers, the workmanship is some of the best in the world.

This is just the second collection from Cobra Society, and has plenty of the bright colour, especially yellow, that is seen across the ss12 palette.

I have a slightly crazed penchant for not just a cowboy boot, but a navaho-style fabric. It makes me a feel like a wild Mad Max extra and not at all a London commuter who mainly marches the pavements, battles only tube crowds and works in air conditioned comfort.

Erdem in shoe form

 

erdem shoes 339x451 Erdem in shoe form

Beautiful and ready to buy now for autumn, from Matches or Luisa Via Roma.

erdem kirkwood shoes 339x451 Erdem in shoe form