Posts Tagged ‘London


London’s Great Dane

It’s hardly surprising that Camilla Skovgaard is kicking arse in the world of shoe design today, since she shares her Danish heritage with the likes of design geniuses Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen and Mssrs Bang and Olufsen.

Beginning your design career in Paris as an apprentice in couture with Balmain can’t have been a bad start either. But it was her move to Dubai, to work for a fashion house at the tender age of 20 when her love-affair with shoes really started. Witnessing first hand the resulting disasters when bad shoes were paired with the most beautiful couture outfits . . . “it was the lack of taste in women’s shoes that I saw in Dubai that initially set me on the footwear path. I gradually came to recognise the crucial importance of the right shoes if the final look is to make any sense” . . . she was galvanised into moving to London to learn the art of shoe design at London’s esteemed school for cobblers – Cordwainers.

Her BA Hons was followed by an MA at London’s Art School, working with Matthew Williamson as shoe designer, winning a number of prestigious awards along the way. Her first collection was snapped up by SAKS 5th Avenue before she’d even graduated!

In 2007 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholar Award for contributions to excellence of modern and traditional British craftsmanship. Collections for Matthew Williamson and Pucci followed.

Edgy embellished glads

Edgy embellished glads

And today her contribution remains excellent, modern and traditional in the sense that her designs are a juxtaposition of hyper-sexy (with funky fetish influences) and sporty (wearable craftsmanship supported by technical function and attention to detail).

Silver chain embellished strap and signature corrugated rubber sole

Silver chain embellished strap and signature corrugated rubber sole

Her collections regularly receive the highest accolades from the world’s most revered critics and titles – she has more column inches to her name than the highest of her gravity defying heels – but it is perhaps her commitment to consistently delivering high levels of quality (she still designs all her collections and oversees product development and production in Italy and China), class and impeccable fit that differentiate her from many of her peers.

Boots of architectural genius, fit for any city dash

Boots of architectural genius, fit for any city dash

Oh – that, and the fact that her signature black rubber soles are the perfect antidote to stressful city life. With these little darlings on your feet, its like running for the bus in your sneakers – but a whole lot more chichi!

You can find Camilla’s shoes at Harvey Nichols, Paul and Joe and at West London’s hottest new concept boutique The Convenience Store as well as online at Camilla Skovgaard.


Spoilt for Choice

It’s that time of year again.  The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the British summer’s been and gone – all 16 days of it – and we’re already suffering from Christmas creep!

So hurrah for the new Autumn, Winter 09 season.

Autumn/Winter 09 Knitwear

Autumn/Winter 09 Knitwear

Textured, snuggly, sloppy and sleek knits to lust after; coats in a multitude of guises; hot, hot, hot accessories and the most intoxicating footwear I’ve seen forever!

With such an amazing array of fabulous fashion trends on offer this season, where does one begin to choose iconic new footwear staples?  From the department store meccas to the quirky shoe boutiques across the capital, acres of stunning shoe and boot displays are heaving with a mix of lusciously sexy opulence (mouth-watering colours, sumptuous textures, delicious intricacy) and edgy full-on ‘gloth’ drama (buckles, studs, distressed leather) a la Marilyn Manson.


Kurt Geiger's 'Skittle' boots

Kurt Geiger's 'Skittle' boots

Boots are everywhere and with a plethora of designs from ankle-biting shoeboots through to lady-garden grazing thigh-highs, and everything in between, its hard to imagine owning any outfit that won’t pair beautifully with one of this season’s trends.

With my particular passion for boots, I’ve already discovered how brilliantly my recessionista wardrobe can be stretched with the addition of one pair of shoeboots . . . soft dove grey with towering heels from Kurt Geiger and my long sought-after Fiorentini+Baker biker boots.


Eternitys from Fiorentini + Baker

Okay, so the biker boots have been on my wish-list ever since ‘im indoors bought the male version about 3 years ago.  At the time it seemed so wrong to be sporting ‘his and hers’ – just a little too ‘Posh and Becks’ – but now he’s moved on to John Varvatos Converse and rebonded with a particularly beaten-up old pair of Belstaffs, I feel I can now legitimately possess my very own pair of F+B ‘Eternitys’.


Celebs do F+B 'Eternitys'

Celebs do F+B 'Eternitys'

And yes, they may be a little last season, or the season before, or even the one before that, but as they brilliantly transcend most other classic biker boots in their very existence years after launching, and since they help me carry off ‘left-bank effortless casual chic’ or ‘stormtrooper goth’ as my father referred to me the other day, (he may remember stormtroopers, but I’m not entirely sure he knows what a goth is!)  I think they are THE best choice for Autumn/Winter 09.




Poste Mistress London . . .

Imagine an old-fashioned sweet emporium – all candy-striped paper bags, Stepford Wives’ smiles and a surge of childish pleasure washing over you -and substitute the jars brimming with pink sugar mice, bonbons and shiny red gobstoppers with displays of gorgeously kitsch footwear and boudoir-inspired decor and you’ve got POSTE MISTRESS.

Poste Mistress London

Poste Mistress London

Owned by British high street shoe giant ‘Office‘ and sibling to its big brother ‘Poste the hugely successful shoe shop for boys launched by ‘Office’ in 2000; Poste Mistress is a thriving community for its own shoes, housed heel-to-toe with some of the world’s most iconic and eclectic labels such as Miu Miu, Cacharel, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Fiorentini + Baker and Converse.

pmistressShoesBLocated in Covent Garden’s Monmouth Street, home to many of London’s most stylish and quirkiest shops, Poste Mistress’ lush velvet furnishings, laid-back posh powder room vibe and delightful (despite the smiles, unlike the Stepford Wives in every way) staff all help to make it one of the most covetable shoe-shopping experiences you can find in the metropolis. Think Doris Day meets Amy Winehouse . . . and you’ll get the picture.
Poste Mistress doesn’t yet have its own online presence for shoes, but you can view a very limited range at Office.


Too Hot to Trot

As I sprinted through the shoe department of Selfridges on my way to the food hall – ok, I admit it was a bit of a detour on what was supposed to be a mercy-dash to feed an army of hungry friends . . . but every girl needs a regular shoe fix, right? – I was halted in my tracks by the most heavenly looking pair of shoes.

geisha-print1Not just any shoes I might add – although it’s hard to describe many of the shoes in Selfridges as ‘just shoes’ – but the most achingly hot, hot, hot, deliciously different, geisha-print Jonathan Kelsey pair that would look totally at home on any red carpet. I can’t imagine where I would wear them, all pink, and white and cutesy and totally impractical, but lets face it, when shoes look this good who thinks about practicalities. They could quite easily languish in the packaging forever . . . a Pandora’s box of girliness for grown-ups to be relished in moments of glumness or despair, but OMG, wouldn’t they make you feel better about life!
Heralded as the British ‘Louboutin,’ Jonathan Kelsey is whipping up a storm with his new Spring 09 collection. Ok, so he comes with masterful credentials for one so young, having trained with ‘the Choo’ himself, as well as doing seasons with Gina and Cacharel and successfully collaborating with Mulberry and Emilio Pucci, but with his unmistakably sexy and intelligent designs (inspired by cult films such as Edward Scissorhands allegedly!) he couldn’t fail to leave a lasting impression. Feast your eyes on just a few of his creations below, or check out the entire range at






Glamourama at London’s Liberty

1For me, a Londoner, I simply love all the chatter about shoes on ShoeTube. Yet sometimes I feel a little like an outsider . . . we just don’t have many of the same shoe shops this side of the pond. However, all feelings of exclusion and inadequacy are banished when I consider the incomparable ‘shoe heaven’ that is Liberty, in London’s Regent Street. Not so much a department store, but an institution.
2Perhaps even more legendary is the building itself . . . a prominent Tudor-style Grade 2 listed construction (which for those not in the know means having special architectural or historic interest).

Today, the store’s interior still retains its original Tudor Revival detailing: carved wooden balconies and staircases, decorative lifts and a labyrinth of small rooms arranged around an atrium lit by glazed roofs.

It is within this divine setting that the new Liberty shoe boutique, or ‘house of heels’ as its referred to within the inner sanctum, recently opened its doors to resounding celebration. The exquisitely presented shoes from designers such as YSL, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Ann Demeulemeester, Commes des Garcons and Giuseppe Zanotti are displayed as pieces of art in their own right. Each vertiginous heel or embellished flat a shrine to gorgeousness, and a poetic reminder that shoes can look beautiful either on or off.

Redolent of a stately home, with grand masters (faux I presume) hanging on the walls, the ‘house of heels’ Garden room is a tropical paradise; the Boudoir, a seductive bedchamber furnished with a sumptuous 4 poster; and the Piano Room, with its red velvet chaise longue, the height of decadence befitting a bygone era when everyone dressed for dinner and men were chivalrous.

31This is where the crème de la crème reside . . . Prada, Mui Mui, D&G, Georgina Goodman, Marni and our very own Burberry and Viv (Westwood). Uniquely, they are presented in/on some amazingly eclectic antiques. . . a Chinese lacquered cabinet, a pre-war Cadbury’s chocolate display case, a Chesterfield sofa and a black baby grand.

The glamour doesn’t stop there. In the true spirit of Liberty, ‘house of heels’ showcases some of the newest, coolest shoe designers, as well as exclusives from shoe-gods such as Nicholas Kirkwood and Rupert Sanderson. The latter being acclaimed for his stunningly well crafted designs and perhaps less so, for the naming of all his shoes after types of daffodil

And if that isn’t enough to fuel your inspiration, you get a mini stately home visit thrown in to boot!


Bad-Ass Cinderalla Slippers

When I shop for shoes, I don’t pick them based on style or name brand. I look for shoes from fairytales.

Growing up, I was obsessed with one pair in particular and it carried on into my adulthood. What are these shoes you ask? Well its Cinderella’s glass slippers, of course. Ok, it’s a bit far fetched, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming. I mean, who wouldn’t want shoes that may lead you to that prince charming. And you have to admit, they are bad-ass.

I never could find anything remotely similar to the slippers, but then again I always knew I wouldn’t . I mean who makes shoes out of glass.

Those suckers would shatter on any given drunken night out.

So I settled for the next best thing- a pair of strappy gold heels I got in London for £30 .

If I couldn’t get glass, I figure gold is the next best thing. My shoes first caught my eye as I walked pasted Shellys on Oxford Street. I stopped dead in my tracks as they were calling my name to buy them. With only one pair left, I was doubtful that they would look right on my feet. You can never tell with shoes. Just because they look pretty in the store, doesn’t mean they will look good on you.

So I said to myself if they look good, I’ll buy them. When I put these badboys on, they fit me like a glove. They didn’t pinch my toes and weren’t too tight. They fit me so perfectly that I was beginning to think they were meant for my feet alone.

So in the end, I guess I did find my very own form of the glass slipper.

So what if I don’t get a prince at the end of the night to sweep me off my feet.

What I did get was a bitching pair of shoes that transform me into a goddess. Who needs a man when you have a great pair of shoes?


Finding Comfort in London

A couple of months back, on a whim, I flew to London, where I’d lived for a couple of years before coming to Boston. I brought only two pairs of shoes: one pair of the most comfortable flat pull on vintage and a pair of fabulous rose-colored suede pumps with a three inch heel. I hadn’t found the right place to wear the heels here in Boston, where I generally dress on the classic, preppy side of the line; but in London, I knew I’d be allowed to unleash the ferocity of my pink pumps without anyone so much as batting an eyelash.

I felt pretty good about my fashion choice as I set out on the Tube to meet my friend Ben for lunch. Girls on the subway were all funked out, with asymmetrical haircuts, chunky jewelry, and the most amazing, brightly colored shoes. And also, Ben happens to be six-foot-three, so wearing a heel seemed like the obvious choice. It even seemed wise, at the moment.

My mistake became clear, though, as Ben whisked me through Leicester Square, past the lions at Trafalgar Square, up the mall, past the ICA and through St. James’ Park. I’d forgotten how much longer Ben’s gait is than mine and how fast I had to go to keep up with him. As we made our way toward Tottenham Court Road, I spotted a row of shoe stores and fell into the doorway of the first one we came to, called Office.

“Shoes! Oh, flat shoes! I have to stop!”I called from the shoe store, as Ben got carried along in the current of shoppers hurrying up the pavement. ducked in and slipped on the first thing that caught my eye: flat, red ankle boots with the perfectly appropriate name of Perky. They were on sale, and they were heaven. I felt like I was gliding for the rest of the day.

I haven’t worn the boots since coming back to Boston –for some reason it was fine to look a little like Peter Pan in London in a way that I just can’t bring myself to here; but I do keep them at the front of the closet, where they await another trip across the Atlantic.

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April 2020