BOOK RELEASE NEWS

It is with great excitement that I can announce I am now a published author!

If you enjoy reading my blog posts and tweets, I know you’ll love all of the essential footwear facts and tips in Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women.

The wonderful Samantha Clarke of Zukuri UnLtd and I combined our expertise to write this life-changing e-book. This is the first in a series of books which combine our expertise in clothing and footwear, to help you skilfully create your signature look with ease.

After hearing the cries of women frustrated by the contents of their wardrobes, we decided it was time to take matters into our own hands. We believe in the power of women joining forces to help other women like you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So just what does it take to find that star outfit for a night out with your friends, or that super important client meeting? We want to help you avoid those “I’ve got nothing to wear” moments. This book reveals our signature formula, honed by our own personal techniques and rituals, to give you the core knowledge and skills to select what works for you. We guarantee that by reading our book, and following our methods, you will empower yourself to dress and feel fabulous.

Outfits in Minutes provides in-depth insights into footwear shapes and meanings, a new approach to dressing for your style, and practical advice for wearing and combining colours.

In this compact guide packed full of clever formulas and techniques, we take you on a journey of learning and discovery, to help you achieve the ultimate goal of creating flattering outfits which represent you at your best.

Arm yourself with this book to save yourself time in the morning, and ensure you always leave the house with a smile on your face, and a confident stride.

Life’s too short to be wasting it in front of your wardrobe. Get started now, and pull together your outfits in minutes.

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER

Buy Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women for only £1.99/U.S. $2.99. Hurry, as this offer expires on Sunday 1st February at 4pm GMT*

If you enjoy Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women, I’d be really grateful if you could take the time to write a review on Amazon.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about it too.

Thank you!

 

*Normal price £3.99/$5.98
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WOMEN, FASHION, POWER, SHOES

I spent an afternoon at the Women Fashion Power exhibition at London’s Design Museum, and was fascinated to learn more about how our clothing and position in society have been so entangled.

From corsetry to suffragette uniforms to 1980s club-wear, we follow the journey of women’s complex relationship with clothing which enhances, conceals or empowers.

I couldn’t help but share some of the footwear styles, which stood out either because of their beauty, shockingness, or cultural significance.

Intricate femininity

1920s

1920s – beaded and sequinned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optimistic yellow x art deco

1920s - yellow satin

1920s – yellow satin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilitarian meets reptile

1941 - snakeskin

1941 – snakeskin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disco does ornate

1970s - lurex brocade platforms

1970s – lurex brocade platforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty power dressing 

1980s - yellow leather PJ Shoes

1980s – yellow leather PJ Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girly street

1988 - Art of Puma

1988 – Art of Puma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workwear for the recession

1990s - Dr. Martens

1990s – Dr. Martens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over-the-top luxury

2014 - Isolde by Christian Louboutin

2014 – Isolde by Christian Louboutin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antique inspiration

1999 - Silk ottoman fabric with crystal buckle by Manolo Blahnik

1999 – Silk ottoman fabric with crystal buckle by Manolo Blahnik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artist

2007-08 - Watercolour, ink, pencil by Manolo Blahnik

2007-08 – Watercolour, ink, pencil by Manolo Blahnik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Westwood

2013 - Vivienne Westwood Red Label

2013 – Vivienne Westwood Red Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend taking a couple of hours to see this exhibition for yourself, before it closes on April 26th 2015.

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EXTREME SHOE TRENDS: NOT JUST FOR GIRLS

In the Mexican city of Matehuala in 2009, a footwear phenomenon like no other began.

In recent years, Tribal Guarachero music has become popular in Mexico and parts of the U.S. A mash-up of traditional pre-Hispanic folk influences and electro, with Cumbia basslines: if you can’t imagine how that sounds, look up Erick Rincon.

Male dance troupes were competing to out-perform each other to the new sounds of Tribal music. First came their matching outfits, then they decided to work on their boots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning with small elongations of classic cowboy boot styles, the competitive nature of these young men led to longer and longer curled up toes.

Made from plastic piping and foam, leather, and screws to hold them together, Botas Tribaleras or Botas Picudas (literally translated as beaked boots), became the footwear style of choice for male Tribal Guarachero dancers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skinny jeans are worn to contrast with the dramatic boots. This trend gives the men a definite peacock-like strut. Well, could you walk any differently in them?

Apparently this style is attractive to women: “girls wouldn’t dance with you if you weren’t wearing pointy boots“. What would you say to a man who swaggered up to you in a pair?

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SHOES FOR NECKS

How much do you love shoes?

Do you think this is defined by how many pairs you own, how much you spend on footwear, or how many minutes of the day you spend thinking about them? Perhaps you have other ways of proving your love for shoes: do tell!

Another way to display this obsession is to purchase a shoe to wear around your neck. Have I gone mad over the holiday period? Nope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Maison Martin Margiela necklace is made from beautifully soft calf leather, with a black cotton bow. It has the look of a luxe sneaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It also comes in black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blingiest version in metallic lemon has a detailed oxford brogue pattern.

So, do you love shoes this much?

 

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MORE FUN THAN HEELYS

Since Heelys have gone out of fashion, they have left a gap in the market for shoes that you (or your kids) can really have fun in.

Skechers are launching Game Kicks in February: these trainers incorporate a light and sound memory game on the uppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What really got me thinking about fun with footwear was the book I gave my brother for Christmas, which contained useless inventions from the past.

The one that caught my eye – along with a design for a spring-loaded device for preventing the toes of shoes from curling up with wear – was this invention for a rotating heel.

Although this heel was designed to be rotated in increments to ensure even wear on the heel tip, I think someone should design footwear that lets you spin on your heels just for fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you fancy reading more about these nutty inventions, this is the wonderful book:

Let me know your ideas for fun footwear inventions in the comments or on Twitter @shoeconsultant

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THE SHOE CAPITAL

In the centre of England lies a city which was once a major player in the British shoe manufacturing industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the mid 1800s, the industrial revolution brought methods of mass manufacture to shoe-making. Leicester was one of the Midlands cities to benefit from this industrialisation, and its fine selection of factories produced footwear until the factories began to close in the late 20th century.

Leicester is clearly proud of its heritage, as the West End of the city recently received some shoe-themed banners and murals.

In my opinion, Narborough Road looks better for this footwear face-lift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t the stylised illustrations cute?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just off the main road, you can find the old Equity shoe factory, which is now residential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a modern feminist, and a shoe-lover, I was drawn to this blue plaque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a truly detailed history of Leicester’s footwear manufacturing industry, have a look at British History Online.

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LIKE YOU PARTIED HARD…

As we’re in the thick of the party season, the evening streets are full of raucous joy, and the odd minor incident.

Have you ever danced so hard that your heel broke? Me too.

I wonder if the Maison Martin Margiela designers had such breakages in mind when they designed these beauties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The court shoe is a classic look, with just a hint of what the film censors call “mild peril”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The T-bar is both elegant and sexy. Chisel and squared-off toes are set to come back on-trend next year, so invest now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite how it looks, this boot is comfortable and easy-to-wear. Look at that rich, soft brown leather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A real investment item: every wardrobe needs a pair of black knee-high boots. Why not make yours this conversation-starting pair?

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GO TO THE PARTY

Nordic looks are a huge trend in interiors, knitwear, and…..shoes!

Emma Go produce lovely feminine footwear, designed in Denmark and manufactured in Alicante in Spain.

For those of you not in-the-know, Alicante has long been a centre for excellence in women’s footwear manufacture. The numerous factories in Elda and Elche pride themselves on using fine leathers, to produce shoes which display the skills of the craftspeople who make them.

If you want to look special and be comfortable in styles which you can wear way beyond Christmas party season, these Emma Go options will work hard for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red is such a fun colour to wear around Christmas time. It reminds us of Father Christmas, brightens up an outfit, and is sexy all at once. The sparkly heart is cute with a touch of bling. They also come in light gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For lovers of high heels, who want to be able to dance all night, a chunky platform and heel are essential. The socks with sandals trend lets you keep your tootsies free of frost-bite this year, so go ahead and wear these with opaque tights or socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to avoid cliché party season colours, these pink metallic oxfords are seriously cute, with a touch of festive shine. Being flat lace-ups they are not only on-trend, but excellent for avoiding the perils of blistered feet. Also available in light gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The colour-blocking trend is executed in a new way on this T-bar sandal, with blue suede, bronze and beige leathers. The textural mixing makes this block-heeled style truly special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a more subtle take on Santa red and white, these coral suede, white leather and gold glitter flats are adorable. Try them with a 1950s style circular skirt.

 

Now I’ll leave you to the tricky decision of which style to go for.

Enjoy the parties!

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WEDDING SHOES AT THE V&A

I spent an enlightening hour or so at the V&A Museum this weekend. The Wedding Dresses exhibition displays a fine selection of the good, bad and rather ugly from 1775-2014.

As you can imagine, my eyes were drawn to the more interesting bridal footwear.

This pair of bridal sandals, made from satin and metallic kid leather, stood out as being the most beautifully constructed pair from this exhibition. The delicate diamanté buckles set off those intricately-interlaced straps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do admire the skills of the pattern-cutter who worked on these uppers. I’ve just spent a good few minutes trying to work out how all the pieces go together and failed.

They were made by the excellently-named Jack Jacobus Ltd in 1935, and worn by a certain Hilary Lyme Murdoch on her wedding day.

If historical shoes are your thing, you can actually find quite a lot of footwear images from the V&A collections on their website.

 

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THAT BOOT

Oh my, the Burberry boot of the season comes in five colour-ways.

Each boot is hand-painted, and made in soft, supple deerskin. Slippers on a stiletto heel anyone?

Who could resist this cool silver colour-way, to make you the centre of attention throughout party season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a girly girl, try the combination of soft lilac, with purple, blue, green and black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more earthy, retro tones, the taupe colourway looks to be inspired by a 1970s palette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want the softness and that heel, but prefer a more minimalist look, they also come in plain black and ivory.

Which is your favourite?

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