If The Shoe Consultant was giving out awards, Miu Miu would win the prize for inspiring but wearable designer footwear. Season after season, Miu Miu never fails to charm and delight its customers.

The majority of the AW14 footwear collection is as sweet as always, but one print stands out as being more edgy than the norm.






These seemingly innocent pointed-toed mary-janes have a 1960s-style print, which at closer glance reveals a gun motif. The imagery reminds me of the James Bond Gun Barrel Sequence.









If you like your Miu Mius heeled, and your pistol-print blue-based, you might prefer the pointed stiletto version.







For sneaker lovers, the metal toe-cap look slip-on is the comfortable way to sport this look.

BUT…should gun imagery be played with in this way? Is this just a harmless, fun print, or is it highly controversial when many of us would prefer to discourage gun use?

Have your say in the comments or tweet me @shoeconsultant

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It was with great sadness that I received the news that the great actress Lauren Bacall passed away this week.

My father had a big crush on Ms Bacall from a young age, and he introduced me to her films. This led to me reading her autobiographies when I was a teenager.

This post is The Shoe Consultant’s tribute to the most beautiful actress ever to have graced our screens…and of course it’s about her shoes.

Lauren Bacall made espadrilles sexy:












































and flats, sandals, peep-toes and wedges:
































































She even had her own lasts at Ferragamo’s:

ferragamo 2

















Lauren: may you rest in peace, and may a little of your sultry glamour rub off on each of us.

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When you think of furry shoes, do you think of Uggs? How about the furry Miu Miu heels from Autumn/Winter 2009? Who could forget Celine’s “furkenstocks” and big-bird yellow stilettos?

To bring the animal out in you this season, try these Simone Rocha sheep-skin mary janes with added bling:

















Warning: do not wear these if there’s even a sniff of rain in the atmosphere.

Wet fur = gross-looking, heavy squelching shoes.


For something more or less slippery depending on how you look at it, the snake version may tickle your fancy:








I do find it hard to resist a fancy flat. How about you?

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Some people get excited at sale time, but for me it’s new season products, beautifully merchandised on shelves (not sale racks) that get my heart pumping.

It is around this time of year when I sniff new season products in the air, and start to plan my Autumn wardrobe.

Clarks have upped their game for a few seasons now, and you can expect to find not only comfortable, but really stylish options from this great British brand.

These are a few of the highlights of AW14:

Blues Melody









This shoe boot offers a new twist on the classic fringe loafer. Wear with a trouser suit, or knee-length skirt. The sturdy block heel adds height without the wobble.









The three textures of leather on this brogue give it a luxurious look which belies its price-tag. This style comes with two sets of laces: standard, or ribbon for a feminine twist.









This flatform Gibson style combines an Autumnal “ox-blood” coloured suede with a pretty patent leather. A more casual style which would stylishly and comfortably take you shopping, or out for lunch at the weekend. These are also available from a Size 2.

Blissful Bee









Who can resist a sexy red shoe? The mid-height is not only on-trend, but will take you out for the evening, without the need to stash flats in your bag.









For those who can’t control their black shoe obsession, this high-shine Oxford works well as a wedge version of a men’s classic. Wear with your favourite wrap dress for a 1970s feel.



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& 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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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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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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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 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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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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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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