Susannah Davda, Director
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Buy the books
Are you panicking about what to buy for someone this Christmas? Do they like shoes?
Here are my top 5 of the best shoe books available at the moment:
Design Museum Fifty Shoes That Changed The World gives social and cultural context to footwear, without being verbose. It emphasises the impact that shoes have had, and reminds the reader that to be interested in shoes does not mean you are lacking in intellectual capacity.
The font, images, and binding are pleasing in their minimalism. I find this book so compelling that it has been distracting me whilst I’ve been writing this blog post!
Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us is a well-researched book by the highly knowledgeable Rachelle Bergstein. With very few illustrations, the reader relies on Bergstein’s compelling prose to take us through various aspects of the past and recent history of women and their relationships with footwear.
I have been intrigued to watch the growing cult status of Christian Louboutin and his footwear. Anyone who visited the Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum in London, or at the Design Exchange in Toronto will have learnt a little more about the man behind that red sole.
This book is a permanent record of Louboutin’s life, inspirations, and some of his creations. With its faux-leather cover, this is also a beautiful object for your coffee table.
This chunky paperback was published in 1996, and therefore does not refer to the post- Sex and the City era of shoe adoration. However, it explores the history of footwear, goes into depth on subjects such as foot-binding, and footwear fetishes, and provides many beautiful images of old and new shoes to drool over. My copy which I have had for 13 years is rather well-thumbed now.
Do you know a man who obsesses over his pair of Church’s, Cheaneys or Loakes? Perhaps he would like to know more about the many processes and techniques involved in creating his fine footwear.
This book is so good, it’s used by footwear design students. It is a fascinating guide for anyone who wants to know how you get from cow to handmade shoe.
Many women think that wearing high heels means you have to put up with pain.
It has not been until now, that advances in technology have allowed us to begin to understand the reasons for this pain.
This video is certainly enlightening:
Look at those poor curled-up toes! Did you know about those two bones under your big toe joint?
The good news is that choosing high heels which properly support your feet, is easier than you might think. Read my article on pages 10-11 of The Style File to find out how.
Video source: States Chronicle
I make it my business to be aware of as many new footwear brands as possible. Wxy: a Taiwanese footwear brand, have launched a small innovative collection which excites me greatly.
The leathers used are beautifully soft, and of the highest quality. Check out that sculptural heel!
Who said black court shoes have to be boring? Imagine rocking up to the office wearing these.
For casual days when you still want to feel like an innovator, try these tan leather pumps with upcycled toe detail, and wooden heel.
These white knee-high boots with over-knee flap, also come in Tan and Black for those who want to look a little less 1960s space age.
These slip-on gibsons are made with layered leather and in this yellow colour are the stand-out shoe from this collection. They also come in Black and White. I’d be tempted by the Black if I wasn’t on my black shoe fast.
Wxy are offering free worldwide shipping this season, so now is the time to purchase.
I for one can’t wait to see next season’s Wxy designs. What do you think? Tweet me @ShoeConsultant or leave your comment below.
I was in Fenwicks on Bond Street, London, and came across a rainbow of pretty ballet pumps by Karachi-born Meher Kakalia.
At £129 per pair, these high-quality, hand-made shoes are very reasonably-priced.
Find out more about the craftsmen and craftswomen, and processes involved in making these beautiful shoes, and see more styles at http://www.meherkakalia.com/.
Having blogged about their very cute “Tricky” style in my Hot Summer Hot Footwear feature, I was invited to the Cleo B pop-up shop at Andaz Liverpool Street in London.
Nestled in this glamorous hotel, Cleo B set up shop in an ex-Masonic temple: the perfect back-drop for a collection full of mystery and decadence.
The brand were not only show-casing their fabulous new “Pixels” collection for Autumn/Winter 2013, but also had products from previous seasons for sale.
Check out these peep-shoe-boots:
…sleek but playful wedges…
…not forgetting a chic classic ballet pump, in black suede, pink nappa, & natural raffia…
…all with this adorable sole detail:
Cleo B’s footwear is made in Spain, from quality leathers and fabrics. Having visited similar factories myself, I am pleased that the fine skills of these Spanish shoe-makers are being utilised by new young brands.
These Tetris-inspired ballerinas cleverly piece together squares of metallic leathers, to give that 1980s computer-graphic look.
This ornate bootie features a surprisingly complementary pairing of contrasting textures: purple suede and lizardskin
This elegant court shoe looks super-cute with a fur pom-pom shoe-clip…
…and ultra sexy without…
…and the shoe-clips come in loads of great colours…
Accessories for Humans
Accessories for Dogs
It was lovely meeting Cleo, Biz, and the team, and finding out a little bit more about this British brand.
So what’s next for Cleo B? Will they be opening a permanent store for our delectation? They said “no”, but Cleo told me about her exciting new plans for more fabulous shoe-clips, some affordable leather Oyster card holders, and of course more beautiful footwear.
Follow me on Twitter @ShoeConsultant and I will let you know as soon as the “Pixels” collection hits the shops.
Over the past few Spring/Summer seasons, the fashion media have been helping us to realise that perspex shoes are not just for strippers.
These catwalk and designer styles help us to appreciate the beauty of perspex:
All three are appealing objects, but what happens when you put them on your feet?:
I found uglier, sweatier images, but I think you get the picture. If perspex shoes are your thing, try the following tricks:
- Wear with coloured/patterned socks – they will absorb your perspiration, and avoid that squashed foot look
- Try styles with perspex in small sections only
- Mesh is a more flattering alternative. Try the Emporio Armani or Next styles below
- For an alternative non-leather look, how about Melissa’s range of plastic shoes with comfortable linings (below)?
Now you should be ready to enter the brave world of the transparent shoe.
Let me know if you have any questions shoe-lovers!
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2013, filled with beautiful, confidence-boosting and comfortable footwear.
2013 is set to be an exciting year for The Shoe Consultant.
Watch this space for an announcement about the launch of a new e-book, which is your go-to guide to selecting fabulous shoes and outfits, when you are short of time.
I think I must have been on Father Christmas’s “nice” list this year. It also seems to me that the elves must have really done their research, because I received this beautiful Victorian brass shoe horn for Christmas. What more could a lover of shoes – and someone who hates treading down the backs of beautiful footwear – want?
If you don’t know what a shoe horn is/does, try this YouTube clip from footfitter How to use a Shoe Horn or eHow‘s simple instructions. Essentially, shoe horns help you to put your shoes on without damaging them, and the longer versions enable you to do this without bending down.
You can buy many different varieties of shoe horn on E-Bay, from antique Victorian versions like mine, to simple plastic ones. Amazon also offers a good variety including these long colourful options:
and this neat modern metal one:
Which one are you going for? I’m just off to make a special hook in my hallway where my shoe horn can hang and shine brightly.