SLICK FLATS

& Other Stories always create easy-to-wear but interesting and affordable footwear.

This season, the style which caught my eye first, was this petrol-effect gibson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can see these complementing a beautifully-fitted women’s tuxedo: an eye-catching evening look.

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YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO TIE YOUR SHOES

The title of this post may have prompted indignant snorts from you, but not only is it very likely to be the truth, but you can’t deny it caught your attention.

I am a big fan of TED talks, as I find them both informative and captivating. The TED Women talks are of particular interest to me and I urge you to check them out.

Anyway, I thought I would search “shoes” on the TED talks website, and see what came up. What I did not expect was Terry Moore teaching me how to tie my shoes.


 
 
Terry hasn’t been the only person to advocate this system. Ian’s Shoelace Site also recommends it. Actually if you enjoy customising your footwear, Ian has loads of ideas for fancy lacing methods.

You’re never too old to learn how to tie your shoe-laces.

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SALE SHOES TO TAKE YOU INTO AUTUMN

I was idly browsing the Luisa Via Roma website, when I came across this 5 eye gibson in 5 different colourways….all half price!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The optical illusion of “is it a heel or is it a wedge?” creates interest in an otherwise simple silhouette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The off white or pink striped options lend themselves more to high and late summer, but they will still look fresh next spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nautical is never off-trend: it’s a classic look for warmer months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black will last the longest: wear these until your feet demand boots in October, and bring them back out of hiding in March.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The black and pink cow print offers the most playful look. This is also the only colourway with a leather toe cap.

All of these styles are made in Italy, and have luxurious and breathable nappa leather linings.

At the time of going to press there were many sizes left in all colours, but now I’ve told you all I suggest you hurry to nab your pair!

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CUSTOMISE YOUR SANDALS

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your very own monogram on your sandals? Imagine how lovely it would be to have your new initials on your wedding shoes.

How about choosing the leathers and colours of your sandals?

Here are a few ways to customise your summer footwear this season:

K Jacques


K Jacques let you decide which straps you would like in each of a wide selection of leathers and colours, including luxurious python, and dressy metallics.

What better way is there to ensure that your sandals are unique?

Ancient Greek Sandals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a wide selection of styles and colours, including flat, wedge and platform sandals; Ancient Greek Sandals offer you the chance to have up to 3 initials “hot stamped” on to your footwear.

This service would add a special touch to a gift.

Cafe Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cafe Press let you upload your own graphics, to customise flip-flops.

Wouldn’t these be great for a hen party spa visit?

Havaianas

Havaianas let you pick the strap and base colour of your flip-flops, and adorn them with gems and trinkets.

So go forth and customise!

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MCQUEEN HARDWARE

The Alexander McQueen brand is well known for extreme footwear such as the infamous 10″heeled “armadillo” booties.

Thankfully, the styles available to the general populous are still edgy, but much more wearable than the catwalk versions.

This season is all about metal detailing:

 

 

 

 

A simple black leather pump which brings a whole new meaning to the term “steel toe-cap”. Wear these with your tailored cropped trousers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This “armadillo sandal” is the toned-down little sister of the original. The chain faux-welt and 4″ banana heel provide wearable glam for summer evenings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a more subtle take on McQueen hardware, try this pale nude court. The heel is the epitomy of elegance, and the silver toe-cap gives a little edge. A good one for weddings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or try the sexy red suede and gold version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a tougher look is your thing, these biker boots would make a great contrast to your floral tea dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For lovers of the signature McQueen emblem, try this blue suede peep-toe with the Swarovski-encrusted skull. The cornflower colour stands out without being garish.

How extreme will you go?

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ARTWORK FOR FEET

Far across the pond in Potsdam, New York, there lives a highly-skilled illustrator with a love of shoes.

Catherine LaPointe has a BFA in Illustration, and has illustrated numerous books. She also shares her talents by painting beautiful artwork on footwear.

In Ms LaPointe’s Etsy shop, you can see the variety of her work on shoes. She will even take commissions for bespoke art, which is great for special occasions (hem hem, brides-to-be).

 

 

 

 

This style is called “A Congress of Ravens”. I love its simplicity and the perceived movement of the birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monarch is Catherine’s butterfly artwork, which delicately wraps around the toes of points or round-toed flats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vintage Floral looks divine on these grey heels, but you can always send your own footwear to receive the LaPointe treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If flowers are your thing, try the classic Vintage Rose, which has an almost gothic look on a black shoe.

 

 

 

 

What could be prettier for summer occasions than this lily illustration, which spills decadently on to the foot bed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great way to avoid those awkward “she’s wearing the same shoes as me” moments.

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GUATEMALAN SUMMER

I recently came across the brand Ix Style, and couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Ix means “water” in Mayan, and this sandal business was launched to give children in Guatemala and elsewhere clean water.

The beautiful footwear is handcrafted by Guatemalan artisans, who are ethically treated, and paid properly for their work.

Many children have no option but to trek long distances to collect water which is often unclean. This takes time away from their education. For every pair that is purchased, Ix Style donate clean drinking water to children. This not only helps them to thrive, but also frees up their time so they can attend school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This traditional Mayan multi-coloured option is bright and beautiful for summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The navy colour is more muted, and complements the raw colour of the woven leather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The white offers an easy-to-wear neutral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try the neon trend with the yellow version.

 

The huarache sandal style is on-trend now, and set to stay thanks to the launch of the Nike version.

Ix Style also offer kids sandals, which are mini versions of the adults’.

 

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SLEEK SNEAKS

Despite being born in the U.K., and never having lived across the pond, the word “sneakers” seems to be popping into my vocabulary more and more. Alas poor “trainers”, is your end almost nigh?

Perhaps this switch is in part because the kinds of trainers I like are generally not for training purposes, and are much better suited to…well…sneaking.

I wouldn’t dream of getting deliberately sweaty in these beautifully made leather styles by Feit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The queen of trainers: these “greige” veg-tanned suede lace-up low-tops are designed to be worn without socks. The leather linings provide plenty of breathability and comfort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These hi-tops remind me of the classic white boots of the figure skater. They give a street look when worn with the leather laces as pictured (no visible bows please!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the most natural-looking “sand” hue, these seamless slip-ons represent the ultimate in sophisticated sports-chic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In some workplaces, you could even get away with the smarter black version with your tailored trousers.

Good-looking, comfortable footwear, made to last by true craftspeople.

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A RAINBOW OF SLIPPERS

I was strolling down Marylebone High Street in London a few weeks ago, when I came across the most appealing kids boutique: Rachel Riley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband and his friend started making comments about “that bird from Countdown”, but in fact this is the other Rachel Riley, who began her namesake children’s label in 1993.

The beautiful array of children’s slippers in store stuck in my head, so I knew I had to return.

 

The slippers are handmade in France, using the traditional stitch and turn method.

Linings are made from soft kid skin, and the uppers are mostly made from calf skin. The soft soles are made from pig skin, but a hard sole can be added by a local shoe repairer at an extra cost.

The delightful selection includes matte leathers in an array of colours just daring you to match them to flower girl or bridesmaid outfits.

You can also find pretty patents, fun hair-on leopard prints, neons and glitter options.

 

…sandals and elastic slip ons…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and sweet T Bars and lace-ups: ideal for Christenings and naming ceremonies. The matching outfits are also adorable.

 

All of the slippers come nested in tissue paper, in these appealing little boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next time you’re near Marylebone High Street, Pont St Belgravia, or even Madison Avenue NYC, pop in to the Rachel Riley shop and feast your eyes. Be prepared to walk out with gifts for your favourite little people.

Rachel Riley also offer clothing and slippers in ladies sizes, so you can treat yourself too.

 

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NEXT BIG U.K. TREND

If you have been to the U.S.A. recently, you might have noticed that the shops are full of a certain kind of shoe.

Did you see the array of colours available in footwear made from woven elastic strips?

David Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

This selection is from New Jersey-based footwear brand Bernie Mev, and these flats and wedges are selling like hot cakes across the pond.

A large part of the attraction comes from how comfortable these shoes are (believe me, I’ve tried them on). Not only are the soles cushioned, but the elastic uppers hug your foot.

Perhaps the popularity of such comfortable shoes is also in part influenced by the “normcore” trend: a movement towards dressing to fit in.

Although they are available from many shoe shops and department stores in the U.S.A., Bernie Mev shoes are hard to come by over here in Blighty.

Get ahead of the crowd, and try one of these options:

Demure

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try them in pewter, in a simple flat pump style.

 

Hallie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about this mary jane style in bronze? The platform and wedge mean you get extra height, with no pain. The peep toe gives a little ventilation for the spring and summer.

 

Comfi

 

 

 

 

 

 

This version is both girly in pink, and sporty with the curvy, flexible sole.

 

Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These sandals would be good for holiday, as they’re lightweight, comfy and cool.

 

You may think Bernie Mev footwear looks unusual, but in a few months they’ll take off in the U.K.

Will you be a trend leader or follower? Let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter @shoeconsultant

 

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