Archive for the ‘shoes’ Category

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The greatest summer sandals on the high street

By Lauren Bravo on May 28th, 2013

Blister plasters at the ready! The sun is out (well, it was yesterday) and we’re stocking up on sandals

We’re all wincing this week, right? The first properly sunny weekend of the year is like a siren call to get your toes out, and so we dutifully fish last year’s sandals from the bottom of the wardrobe and prepare to limp our way around town until the buggers have stretched themselves comfy again.

But once the wounds have healed it’ll all be worth it, because sandals are really great this year. From totally flat to modest block heels and wedges, from space age perspex and clear plastic straps to fully earth-mother buckled leather styles, there’s a world of casually chic padding about to be had – and flip flops have never looked so mediocre.

So free your toes from the thong and let them wiggle freely in a pair of these strappy delights.

Hedley sandals, £45 ASOS

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The perfect shade of canary yellow, the perfect single strap, the perfect mini heel - if these Hedley sandals from ASOS don't bring the sunshine out, nothing will.

Fashion Tips, Features, Nostalgia, Opinion, shoes, Trend Alert, Uncategorized, vintage

Five 90s trends we would welcome back (and three we really wouldn’t)

By Lauren Bravo on May 27th, 2013

Cropped tops and tie-dye are all over the high street – so here are five more 90s trends we’ll be welcoming back with open arms

Studded bumbag, George at ASDA

Studded bumbag, George at ASDA


For years now, bumbags have been the sole preserve of paranoid tourists in too-short slacks and giant Reeboks, denied as a bonafide fashion item for anyone with an ounce more personal style. But when I worked on a stall in Camden market, I was obliged to wear a bumbag (black leather, pockety) and I quickly came to love it.

They’re hands-free, but unlike a rucksack don’t give you the look of a world-weary tortoise, plus they’re the ultimate defense against pickpockets because it would take a pretty brazen toerag to go for an iPhone you’re carrying just above your crotch. Opt for neon, metallics or studded leather and wear with warm-bellied pride.


Skirts with shorts attached underneath

So you can do handstands without showing your knickers! And a host of more practical reasons, including standing on air vents and avoiding hot weather thigh chafing. Also, they looked pretty rad when I was six.


High ponytails Clarissa Explains It All still

There are ponytails, then there are high ponytails, then there are ponytails so high that your hair hangs down either side of your face like a spider plant. These are probably the best kinds of ponytails, because it’s almost like just having your hair down, except three inches shorter and with a big ol’ scrunchie perched on top like a cherry.

Clarissa may have explained it all, but she never taught us the secrets of the high pony. Luckily we worked it out ourselves – flip your hair forward and tie it up at the point on your head where it stops looking like a unicorn impression.


Waistcoats (especially velvet)

When I was six, my birthday party outfit of choice wasn’t a frilly pink dress. Oh no. It was a pair of black velvet trousers, a white shirt, and a little velvet waistcoat in mottled shades of burgundy and bottle green, with gold embroidery. I looked vaguely like Little Lord Fauntleroy, but I thought it was the bomb. It was also much more practical for soft play adventure parties and jostling my way to musical chairs victory.

Sweet Valley High Season 1 dvd

Sweet Valley High: The Complete First Season, Amazon

I’d happily herald a return to waistcoats, because they are the ultimate unisex fashion item. Like all the best trends they’re ultimately pointless, unless you’re especially keen to keep your kidneys warm, but they show a certain flair for dressing that can’t be achieved with a humdrum jacket. As for the velvet, I’m sure I’ll meet little resistance when I say that it truly is the fabric of kings. To quote George Costanza from Seinfeld, “if it was socially acceptable, I would drape myself in velvet.” And hopefully soon it will be.


Coffee shimmer lipstick

Our Beauty of our Youth series has already tackled Spectacular glitter and 17 Twilight Teaser lipsticks, but there was another shade gracing the grown-up kissers of the 90s that is well overdue a revival.  We called it ‘Sweet Valley High lipstick’ (we also called snogging ‘Sweet Valley High kissing’, such was the Wakefield twins’ influence).

It was not quite gold, not quite beige, but occupied a gleefully metallic spot between them on the spectrum. It was a bit reminiscent of the icing on coffee and walnut cakes, and applied just as liberally. Given we’ve worked our way through every rosy, peachy and berry shade in Boots over the last 15 years, isn’t it time we rediscovered a coffee shimmer pout? We’d have to call it ‘soya macchiato’ now, of course.


And three we really wouldn’t…

Heat-sensitive colour-changing t-shirts

Hey everyone, look where I’m sweating! You’d think just pits, but it turns out lower back and between-boob too, ain’t that grand?


‘Spice Girl’ platform trainers

They were giant, they were rubber, they came in either black and white or denim and white from Shoe Zone, and they were the only acceptable addition to your stretchy back bootcut trousers and Kappa top. A few months ago they might have made it onto the list above – but since Viva Forever flopped so resoundingly, our zig-a-zig-ah has jumped ship.



In a world where the oneside has been so thoroughly roadtested and vetoed, we simply have no need for the fleece. Carry on hikers, by all means – but the fash pack ain’t joining you.

Accessories, Fashion Tips, Features, Footwear, Opinion, Opinion peice, shoes, Trend Alert

The death of the ridicu-shoe: will unwearable heels just trot away now please?

By Lauren Bravo on May 17th, 2013

When even Victoria Beckham hangs up her heels, it might be time to come back down to earth…

Purple Coleen Fonda heels


There’s a thing in fashion, and actually in lots of other things such as water features and Mr Whippy cones, known as the ‘trickle down effect’.

Most people will tell you this is the process by which trends work their way from the catwalk down through the rungs of the fash ladder until they reach the high street, the market stall and eventually the bargain bin. But I prefer to think of it as the process by which the powers that be decide on the next big thing, and then we steadfastly ignore it for five years until we’re ready to accept it into our wardrobes and lives.

Midi skirts, for example, were pushed doggedly season after season, while we all stuck our fingers in our ears and sung “la-la-la-la-la” like an obnoxious toddler, our thighs still in chilly minis until 2011. At least they finally got their moment in the sun, though – wide-legged jeans have been supposedly ‘on their way back’ for almost a decade now, peering through the windows like an uninvited loner at the skinny party, and they’re still showing no sign of getting an invite.

So it’s in light of all this, and with a big whoop of much joy on behalf of my bunions, that I tell you stupid heels are finally going. BUH-BYE, bizzarro-stilts! So long, pain trotters! When even Victoria Beckham – the woman for whom being eight months pregnant in Westminster Abbey called for a pair of brutal six-inch stillies – is proudly showing off her flat Church’s boots on Twitter, we can confidently call time on the reign of the Ridicu-Shoe.

And ohhh, what a tedious reign it has been. Excellent for Compeed and gin distilleries, less successful for feet and female moral. What looked edgy and daring in about 2007 has now become the hallmark of the identikit, hobbling lady on every high street from here to John O-Groates. I’d like to present a graph showing the inverse relationship between average heel heights and the number of us chasing down criminals in the street to perform a citizens arrest, but I’ve been too distracted by my throbbing toes to collect the data.

Of course I’d like to stress firmly here that I am not anti-heel. No siree. I’m not heelist, or indeed heelphobic. Some of my best friends are heels. I’ve worn heels in the snow; heels on the beach. I’m the patient who once held up a trip to A&E because I didn’t want to arrive in flats.

Hobbs Millie sandal £129

Millie sandals, £129 Hobbs

But there is a big difference between the sexy, percussive stride of a really great heel and the debilitating totter of a ridicu-shoe.  For if a shoe fails to do its one, basic function – being a thing you put your foot in and walk on – then it’s not really a shoe. It’s like buying a cup with a hole in it, or a house with no roof. It’s little better than the £400 Louboutin equivalent of those yellow buckets from the Early Learning Centre we used to hold on our feet with string.

But the perfect heel is a rare and wonderful thing – and of course, different for every wearer. For some, it’s one you can dine in, dance in, then march to the kebab shop in; for others, one you can run for the bus in without any fear of stacking it down Kingsland Road (I still have the bruises); for some it’s the barely-there elevation of a half-inch pump, for others a stomper with a whacking great platform.

Personally I’ve always been obsessed with two-inchers. Not mimsy kittens, but sturdy, elegant mid-height heels with a good amount of clop that make your calves look really great. T-bars, Mary-Janes, that sort of thing. On top of a good pair of two-inches I feel powerful and important, like having my own little stage.

Topshop Molly t-bar shoes

Molly T-bar shoes, £35 Topshop

And then of course there are the flats, which finally trickled down and are now set to woosh like a lovely, soothing river into our wardrobes. Brogues have lasted the distance and been rewarded with every colour, fabric and finish under the sun, while jazz shoes, plimsolls, moccasins, proper sporty trainers and Jesus sandals are all still loafing about to help see us merrily through summer.

Just think of all the things we’ll be able to do, now that we don’t have to do it on ridicu-shoes! Maybe we’ll start running for buses when we don’t even NEED to. Maybe we’ll start running, generally. Maybe we’ll just dance harder, faster and longer, then march to the kebab shop without ever having to make foot-pavement content. Maybe giant heels will start looking edgy and daring again, rather than just default.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on the wide-legged jeans though, if I were you.

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So you want to look like… Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby

By Lauren Bravo on May 3rd, 2013

Pour yourself a mint julep and swing those pearls – thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s new release, the 1920s are roaring straight back into our wardrobes

Zelda-dress-frock-and-frillAre you a flapper? Do you flap? Not the type you do when you’ve got hot food in your mouth, but the fashion type, currently dancing its way across the silver screen again – on Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio and Isla Fisher in The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece of jazz age ennui.

Decadent, libertine and eternally gorgeous, flapper style is the smart lady’s fancy dress era of choice because it’s more original than the 80s, less polyester-flammable than the 60s and less restrictive than the 50s, all those roomy waistbands allow for far more fun at the buffet table.

In normal life, though, it’s a trickier one to integrate. Unless you work in the kind of office where kooky feather headbands are tolerated round the coffee machine, the look is a more obvious choice for evening, when you can drape yourself in sequins and hit up a speakeasy* (*Wetherspoons). It’s also not an ideal look if you’re prone to spills – pastels and muted neutrals abound, as does Daisy Buchanan’s signature summer white.

Plus there are two other big obstacles to pulling off the 20s trend, and they’re bobbing about on your chest. As Thoroughly Modern Millie showed us with her beads that wouldn’t hang straight, those drop-waisted dresses are friend to the flat-chested gal, but a couple of cup sizes can take you from the beautiful to the damned. Or at least the ‘damn, that dress be hanging off her like a valance sheet’.

But hey – we ain’t about prohibiting here. Just find an embellished deep-V instead, or flap it up with accessories. Mid-heeled T-bars and Mary Janes have a fashion ‘moment’ so often you may as well stock up now, and there’s no desk-to-dancefloor situation (we have those ALL the TIME, right?) that a sequined cape can’t solve.

We’re also rather taken with Gatsby style as bridal inspiration… but one thing at a time, yeah?

Eden bib collar necklace, £19 Accessorize

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I know, I know – you already have twelve ‘statement’ necklaces and you can barely afford the chiropractor. But look how beautiful this one is! Stick it on with a t-shirt and you’ve got downtime Daisy, the look she favoured for schlepping around the morning after all those gin gimlets.

Footwear, Gallery, shoes

Grey City shoes autumn 2012 collection

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on November 27th, 2012

Shoes and handbags are two of our favourite things to buy. Now these shoes might belong more on the feet of Lady Gaga herself than on the streets of London, but we couldn’t help but to share the autumn collection from Seattle based shoe brand Grey City.

The brainchild of longtime friends, Vikki and Kyle, Grey City’s primary goal is to take current trends, along with timeless classics, and create a fresh and relevant brand geared towards the downtown girl whose style is vast and never ending.

These shoes definitely have attitude.

Grey City 2012

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Image credit: Nordstrom.



ShinyStyle loves: Black Swarovski embellished peep-toe Elisabeth shoes by Aruna Seth

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on November 25th, 2011

Love these black satin peep toe heels with Swarovski elements and a cute bow at the back. I also love that they have the same name as me! It’s the little things… On a more serious note though, these heels are perfect for any Christmas party you have coming up!

If you’d like to extend your shoe collection, these beauties are available from Aruna Seth for £525.

Celebrity Style, Features, Gallery, shoes, Trend Alert

Top five leopard print shoes as seen on Kylie Minogue, Blake Lively and Georgia May Jagger

By Andrea Petrou on October 10th, 2011

For the past few years leopard print has clawed its way into winter collections and this season is no different. Thanks to the likes of Marc Jacobs, Prada and Burberry the print is prowling the highstreet making a mark on coats, skirts and dresses and of course shoes.

If you want to follow the trend but too afraid to go the full way then the latter is a perfect way to show off this look. Team up wedge boots, as seen on Ellie Goulding and Princess Beatrice with jeans for a casual nod to leopard print or opt for a black dress for a smarter look.

Those wishing to wear this trend at a posher event can copy Kylie Minogue and Georgia May Jagger and go for a strappy number, while court shoes adorned with this print are great for the office.

We’ve picked out our top five highstreet pairs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrity gossip, Celebrity Style, Designer collaborations, Fashion News, Footwear, shoes

Cheryl Cole has designed her own shoe line

By emilyborrett on September 15th, 2011

Cheryl Cole has made her first dainty steps into the world of fashion design, as she’s just designed her first ever shoe collection.

Cheryl, everyone’s favourite Geordie lass, is collaborating with the fashion site to create her new line of limited edition shoes – and it’ll go on sale in December. We’re usually sceptical about celebrities attempting fashion design but we might leave a space on our Christmas lists, just in case..

StylistPick’s creative officer Juliet Warkentin said: “We are thrilled to be working with Cheryl. Cheryl is the style icon and is amazingly warm, a quality that has made her the nation’s favourite. We believe that the launch will have a huge fashion impact; establishing fashion’s greatest influencer as a major force in fashion design and further democratising fashion.”

Lovely little Cheryl has remembered that her fans aren’t as rich as she is and made the collection affordable as well as glam, having overseen the entire design process herself “from concept to design and packaging”.

Girls, it’s time to start learning how to totter in our heels like Cheryl. ARE YOU READY?

Celebrity gossip, Celebrity Style, Designer collaborations, Designers, Fashion News, Footwear, shoes

The Olsen twins are becoming creative directors at Superga

By emilyborrett on September 13th, 2011

Is there anything that these twins can’t do? They’ve already got three huge fashion brands (The Row, Elizabeth & James and Olsenboye) and now they’re turning their dainty manicured hands to footwear design as they’re set to take over the creative directorship at Italian show brand Superga.

Steve Madden, who holds the North American license for the brand, said on this new merging of minds: “We do a lot of business with Mary-Kate and Ashley. They’ve become friends.”

Surprisingly, the plucky enterprising twins actually approached Superga about the project, instead of the other way round. Ashley spoke out about their new footwear plans: “We were at a meeting with Steve, and we were wearing Supergas – two years later, it kind of fell into our lap. I really don’t think there’s anything like this brand. It’s a tennis-shoe brand with 100 years under its belt. Superga is really a luxurious brand. We are really hoping to bring it back to its roots.”

We absolutely can’t wait to see what Mary-Kate and Ashley come up with for their S/S designs..

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Spotted at the GQ Men of the Year Awards: Lara Stone, Emma Watson and Daisy Lowe

By emilyborrett on September 7th, 2011

Emma Watson went for a tough/girlie look in a patent biker jacket with a cute full-skirted tartan dress. Such an adorable look

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As well as the Mercury Music Awards, last night every smooth tuxedo’d hair gelled male celebrity in the world was present for the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London. GQ may be a magazine for men written by men, but last night at the awards it was all about the girls in attendance, who outshone the boys by miles.

The very adorable Emma Watson made an appearance to remind us exactly why she’s one of our favourite fashion icons in a full-skirted tartan dress (yes, I know it sounds disgusting but in reality it wasn’t) and a patent biker jacket and it worked so, so well. Meanwhile, the beautiful Miss Lara Stone looked leggy and bronzed in a bright tangerine mini to show off her post-summer golden glow.

The Agent Provocateur model Daisy Lowe showed up with boyfriend Matt Smith on her arm looking incredibly dramatic and gothic in a floor-length lace fishtail gown with chocolately dark hair and red lipstick. Also favouring black dresses were Pixie Lott in a one-shouldered silk cocktail dress, Jameela Jamil wore a black gown with a long chiffon train and Kylie Minogue went for an uber-sexy look in a fitted corset dress.

We’re glad to say that Leona Lewis has FINALLY stopped trying to reinvent herself as the Lady Gaga of R&B in ridiculous outfits, and yesterday looked really pretty and girl-next-door-ish in a white fringed maxi dress with scarlet lips and a red clutch purse.

Check out who wore what to the GQ Men of the Year Awards in the gallery above.

Celebrity gossip, Celebrity Style, Gossip, New York Fashion Week - Gossip, shoes

Victoria Beckham is banned from wearing heels at New York Fashion Week

By emilyborrett on August 23rd, 2011

Victoria Beckham might feel a little out of her comfort zone at the upcoming New York Fashion Week, as a doctor has advised her against wearing her usual high heels at the event for health reasons.

Victoria, who has in the past confessed to not being able to live without her heels, recently suffered a slip disc after giving birth to her new baby girl Harper and has been warned by doctors to avoid stilettos and the like to stop the problem getting worse. But Dr, it’s NEW YORK FASHION WEEK! She can’t wear flats!

A source apparently close to Victoria spoke about the high-heels ban: “Victoria’s not had an easy past few weeks. But she’s a trooper and after getting the all-clear to attend Fashion Week – provided her back doesn’t significantly deteriorate – she has been advised to avoid heels. Although her heel-wearing wasn’t the cause of her back problems, stilettos don’t help her condition. Victoria has been frantically surfing the web for an acceptable pair of flats, ones which don’t make her look like a golf club.”

Mama Beckham isn’t too pleased with the prognosis, having previously expressed her hatred for wearing ballerina flats. She said: “I beyond hate ballerina flats – I can’t even walk in them.” However, she’s sucking it up and focusing on getting better for Harper and the rest of the Beckham clan.

When you get a chance, Posh, you should actually put your feet up – we can’t wait to see the new collection either.

Celebrity gossip, Celebrity Style, Designers, Gossip, shoes

Manolo Blahnik redesigned Kate Moss’ wedding shoes five times

By emilyborrett on August 23rd, 2011

Kate Moss may have looked like a floaty chiffon-clad gypsy angel on her wedding day, but apparently she was a bit of a choosy Bridezilla in the run-up to the big day as iconic shoe designer Manolo Blahnik has confessed that he had to re-design her bridal heels five times before she was happy with the result. Wowsers.

Manolo, who is one of the biggest designer shoe names around, happily created Kate a special pair of heels for her big day to wear with her Galliano gown but admits that it wasn’t the easiest job he’s ever had.

The designer told WWD: “We did them five times to get them the way she wanted. My workers are the best people. I wouldn’t be here without them. The shoes arrived the day before and there were too many jewels on the heel because of the long train, so we had women working up until midnight to change it.”

Well, we suppose if you’re one of the most famous models in Britain, not any old pair of Blahniks will do. The shoe designer, who’s been a friend of Moss’ for a long time, then went on to say how thrilled he was with her final look. “I’ve known Kate since she was a little girl. The wedding was divine. Kate has such a presence. You just have to feel it.”

Celebrity gossip, Footwear, Gossip, Models, shoes

Gisele Bundchen is scared of high heels

By emilyborrett on August 18th, 2011

Gisele Bundchen, the world’s highest-paid supermodel, will apparently no longer wear heels on the catwalk because she isn’t used to them anymore, says designer Nicolas Ghesquiere. And apparently she isn’t the only one, either, as he claims more and more models are refusing to walk in ankle-breakers.

Nicolas told NY Magazine: “The idea was to have this crazy casting with Gisele Bundchen and Amber Valletta and Carolyn Murphy and they said no for high heels. They were not used to walking in heels anymore. Gisele was worried, she would not walk in my heels.”

Well, I suppose when you’re the highest earning model in the world you can choose to be a little picky about what you will and won’t do. But come on love, you’re Gisele!

Footwear, Gallery, shoes, Trend Alert

Trend Alert: Brothel creeper shoes

By emilyborrett on August 11th, 2011

Brothel creepers were all over the catwalk this season

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They used to solely be the footwear of Camden goths and cyber-clubbers, but bizarrely brothel-creepers are the only shoe to be seen in this season if you’re a close follower of hipster fashion. We’ve seen quirky London girls Pixie Geldof and Agyness Deyn wearing them – and now even Katy Perry is getting in on the act, as she’s been spotted in a posh pair of punk-style creepers by Jeffrey Campbell.

Dolce & Gabbana’s excellently slick androgynous trend has had us all suddenly getting complete shoe-lust for creeper styles. It seems now that girly, delicate styles are out, and masculine, tough footwear is in. In the past brothel-creepers have been dauntingly unwearable, unless you’re a fifteen year-old girl in a tutu and a Marilyn Manson T-shirt. but now designers are teaming the shoe with long, tailored cigarette pants and sharp-collared blouses. They’re not all decorated with cobwebs and spiders anymore either, thanks to the likes of Asos who have created the “Monroe” creeper which comes in both patent pink and silver metallic. J’adore!

The bravest of the brave have been wearing these shoes with absolutely everything, to mixed receptions, but we think there is definitely an easy way to rock this shoe. All you need is a sharp pair of creepers (plain black ones are classic if you’re not feeling brave) with tapered trousers, a high-necked blouse and an elegant draped blazer. Just add some muted makeup with slicked-back hair and you’ve got a look fit for Fashion Week.

Check out our favourite brothel creeper shoes in the gallery above.

Features, Footwear, Gallery, shoes

Top 10 ankle boots for Autumn/Winter

By emilyborrett on August 10th, 2011

See by Chloe Fringed Buckle Ankle Boots

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These boots are expensive but worth the money if you can afford it - wear with a 90s sundress and shades for a cool New York look. They're sold at Urban Outfitters.

The one thing I’m desperate to get my hands on for the next season is a really great pair of ankle boots; I’ve been wearing the same brown leather chelseas for the past two years and they have quite literally fallen to bits. But thanks to boot-lovers like Alexa Chung, the trend is alive and well and there are some really gorgeous pairs on the high street.

What I love about ankle boots is their absolute versatility. A black patent pair or some brogue-style boots with a cuban heel can be worn during the day with a pretty tea dress or skinny jeans, but also worn with a mini-dress in the evening for a cool and youthful party look.

My absolute wishlist pair are the See by Chloe ankle boots on the Urban Outfitters site, made out of contrasting tan and dark brown leather with fringing and buckle details. Unfortunately they are incredibly expensive -so I think I’ll have to settle for a studded pair from Topshop (it’s a hard life).

Check out the gallery above for our top 10 ankle boot picks.

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