DOES THIS PUT YOU OFF ILL-FITTING HEELS?

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

 

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WXY TAIWAN

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.

Fighter W $515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leathers used are beautifully soft, and of the highest quality. Check out that sculptural heel!

W Key $390

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who said black court shoes have to be boring? Imagine rocking up to the office wearing these.

Area III $290

 

 

 

 

 

 

For casual days when you still want to feel like an innovator, try these tan leather pumps with upcycled toe detail, and wooden heel.

General X $650

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Yellow Queen $515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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MEHER KAKALIA – EMBROIDERED PUMPS

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.

Meher Kakalia

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/.

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CLEO B POP-UP SHOP

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.

The Setting

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.

Previous Seasons

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.

Pixels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and styles…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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ON PERSPEX SHOES

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:

Sophia Webster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Louboutin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simone Rocha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All three are appealing objects, but what happens when you put them on your feet?:

Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Kardashian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nasty Gal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)?

Emporio Armani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa Glam x Karl Lagerfeld

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you should be ready to enter the brave world of the transparent shoe.

Let me know if you have any questions shoe-lovers!

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SHOE MATHEMATICS

& Other Stories £55

 

 

 

 

          +

 

 

 

 

 

     = perfection

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HAPPY SHOE YEAR!

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.

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THE BEST GIFT FOR A SHOE LOVER

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.

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NURTURE YOUR FOOTWEAR

When I was growing up, my mother made my siblings and I clean our shoes regularly. When I left home, despite beginning my footwear career, I seldom gave my collection any TLC. This may have been partly because I bought and E-bayed pairs so frequently, and rarely wore any one pair enough times to remove the fresh-from-the-box factory polish. The rest of it was laziness, and an abundance of hangovers.

Since the recession set in, there have been many articles written about shoe repair and maintenance. This one in The Guardian explains the reasons why people are caring for their existing shoe collection. When money is tight, the war-time phrase “Make Do and Mend” is a useful motto to adhere to.

There is a growing trend for YouTube videos and blogs, demonstrating how to get a particular polished look on your shoes. Many of these are aimed towards men, but women would also benefit from taking a little time to nurture their footwear. The Shoe Snob‘s technique takes 2-3 hours to carry out. This one is for the truly dedicated!

Leather is a natural material, and just like the skin on your body, it can dry and crack if not moisturised. Shoe creams and polishes are essentially moisturisers for leather. Using them prolongs the life of your footwear, and makes you look super-smart in the process. It is also possible to customise your footwear using polish of a different colour from the leather, built up over a number of applications.

With the holidays a-coming, perhaps you don’t fancy giving The Gift of Shoesto your loved one. Maybe you want to give him or her a luxurious shoe care kit. There are some very exciting products with adorable packaging on the market this year. Here are some of my favourites:

Woly £29.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the attractive vintage-style “Woly” logo, these essential products and their matching tin have a place in the most stylish of homes.

 

The After Care Company £45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For gentlemen or ladies with shoes in a variety of colours, this elegant black gift box from the Italian company contains one neutral shoe polish, one black polish, one brown, one dark brown, one maroon, and one navy blue polish.

 

Turms £200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those with a larger present-budget, and for the most discerning of recipients, is this example of impeccable craftsmanship in the form of a shoe care kit. Made in Italy by a family of artisans, this hand-stitched leather case contains a cotton cloth, wooden shoe horn, 2 x 30ml polish tins (black and neutral), a medium size brush and a small hard bristle brush.

 

Ugg £23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your lover loves their Uggs, give them this kit. With a sheepskin water & stain repellent, cleaner & conditioner, freshener, and cleaning brush in a branded display box, this kit is a great deal cheaper than a brand new pair!

Loake £96.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A gentleman of a certain calibre will know the name “Loake” as being one of the great Northamptonshire footwear manufacturers. He may also have a certain penchant for dark wood boxes containing all he needs for making his shoes the most magnificently gleaming pair in the board room. Need I say more?

Shoe Polish Tin & Kit £12.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The contents are simple: just a black polish, 2 brushes, and a cleaning cloth, but the tin is so attractive, you’ll want to keep all of your future polish purchases in there too.

Hunter £12.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the weather gets cold, and the ground gets muddy, the Hunter wellies come out to play. Keep them in tip-top condition with Hunter’s own cleaning set.

Leather Love Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The packaging used for this kit is exquisitely feminine. My tip: go to Leather Love‘s website, and call one of their stockists to see if this product is in stock, or telephone Leather Love themselves for help.

 

Now, I’m off to clean my shoes. How about you?

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WHY I AM A STYLE CHAMELEON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working in the fashion industry, I come across people who have developed a rather extreme personal style. Often, these clothing-obsessives switch from one extreme to another, so for example they will wear nothing but 1960s “Mod” looks for 2 years, and then only 1950s pin-up-style outfits for the next 18 months. I cannot help but admire the slavish way they adhere to their selected style and its restrictions, but my question is: don’t they have days when they just want to blend in or be comfortable?

I was recently on holiday in North Africa, and became very aware of the way myself, and other tourists were dressed. I had read in my guidebook how revealing large amounts of flesh would attract long stares from local men, as they are used to women covering their bodies. I dressed accordingly, in linen trousers and thin cotton shirts with T-shirts underneath, and felt cool and comfortable. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I actually found myself staring at foreigners with cleavage or too much leg showing, as they really did stand out amongst the modestly-dressed majority. It was important to me in that situation not to offend anyone’s religious beliefs, or make myself look immodest. Luckily pretty sandals are the norm, so I didn’t have to compromise on my footwear selection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tattoos are having a fashion moment, with some London creatives now becoming serial tattooees, but will their tattoos complement the years of style choices they have ahead of them in life? “Psychobilly”-styled brides are becoming more commonplace, but would you let tattoos on your arms, back or chest dictate the style and cut of your ultimate dress? As a lover of shoes, and someone who delights in trying new styles of footwear, I would be cautious of having a tattoo on my foot or ankle, in case it did not complement a sandal I badly wanted to wear at some point in the future.

Having spent the early part of this year landscaping my garden, I appreciate the need for having a set of old clothes you really don’t care about. We should not feel pressurised to always be style-queens. It’s acceptable to let your standards slip when you pop out for a pint of milk, or are on your way somewhere, where you know you’re going to get really dirty!

I was thinking that sometimes I don’t make enough of an effort with my style. My workplace dress-code is casual, and although I dress up anyway, there is no pressure to do so. I was reassured that my style does make an impact, by a friend of mine who commented on my chosen outfit for attending greyhound racing. She was surprised to see me wearing jeans. I realised that evening that I would have been over-dressed in anything else: I had made the right decision as a style chameleon.

Dressing appropriately will help you to feel comfortable in any situation. I am not saying that I never want to stand out, but why be the most unusually-dressed person in the room, when you could dress like your elegant/fashionable/sophisticated/comfortable/beautiful self?

Are you a style chameleon? Let me know what you think by commenting here, or tweeting me @ShoeConsultant

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