New Birthday Shoes – Customised Converse

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It’s my birthday and because I am super spoilt I got these amazing customised leopard print Converse from my beloved. Since moving to Sheffield and all its hilly glouriousness I rediscovered by appreciation of a good pair of Cons. I don’t think I will ever get over my leopard print obsession and since I know some of you will be lusting after this pair I went searching for other cool leopard print trainers. This lace-less pair of KEDS Champions are really gorgeous and my top pick.

 

Winter Converse

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After musing over a winter update for my beloved Cons last post I decided to go for this pair. They are the Converse All Star Hiker in black leather with bright blue laces and I have to admit it was the laces that really sold them to me! The Hiker style is also available in brown leather with red laces. The eyelet style loops add an extra update to the classic All Star. As you can see here I got them just in time for the rotten weather, I was really grateful to have them yesterday in the torrential rain. I gave them a quick spray with leather protector and they kept my feet dry and ankles warm.  They felt a bit tighter than regular canvas Cons when I first put them on, but I wore them with thick socks and soon felt the leather giving throughout the day, I am sure they will be just as comfy as my old ones. I just have the job now of digging out all my winter jumpers, coats, boots and scarves now winter is well on its way.

Comfy Cons

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I’ve become utterly attached to my Cons this summer – before this pair I hadn’t worn any since I was a teenager and had forgotten my affection for them. As autumn draws in I’m sad they will have to be put away from the cold and rain that will surely come soon. There is hope however as Converse have introduced many new styles in darker colours, leather and harder wearing all terrain boots. If they are as comfy as the classic All Stars then they have me sold! Will let you know which ones I opt for but the leather Hiker are a firm favorite along with the Star Player. Let me know if you have tried the new styles and what you think of them?

Leopard Print Adidas Wow!

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Everyone knows I am a bit obsessed with leopard print, I really don’t think you can go wrong with it! So you can imagine how excited I was to find these leopard print Adidas trainers.

I am so made up with them, super comfy and in a really great style of classic 3 stripes. Since its getting a bit colder as we get into autumn I’d had my eye out for something that would withstand a bit of rain better than my cream Converse and these were just the ticket. Remember, leopard print is practically a neutral!

What to Wear with Nike Dunks?

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┬áNow I know these aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I have to say I lurrrve me some Nike Dunks. I got this pair last year (the exact style has sold out but there are plenty of alternatives)┬áthe thing is I’ve not really worn them as much as I’d like. I struggle to find anything to go with them other than gym kit and they aren’t really practical for the gym, so what to do? Here are some ‘slebs look cool and all but they seem to all go for a Dunks-jeans combo and we all know I don’t do jeans, alas the woes of being 5.2”. Will let you know if I figure these out or if they start gathering dust!

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(Images via coolspotters.com)

Fashion Trainers?!

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┬áI’m still not entirely convinced about trainers as a fashion item. The gym yes, but that’s my general limit. So it came as a shock to myself when instead of doing the flats to heels shuffle on the first day of London Fashion Week I found myself saying sod it and kept the trainers on. With a suit. Do I think this looks better than with heels? Nope, but I don’t think it looks bad either. Besides it was utterly horrendous weather and trying to work in the rain and cold is quite enough drama let alone throwing the whole heels-and-cobbles-debacle into the mix. I chose the Nike Free Run for the spangly bronze laces, I think the metallics dress them up a bit more. Not sure if these will ever find a place in my wardrobe besides being commuting shoes, we shall see!

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A Thought on Shoe Scuffs

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I have the tendency to have one favourite pair of shoes, I wear them and wear them until they are close to falling to pieces. Here are my most recent favourites, the red ones my last victim. Sorting out shoes for a trip to the cobblers, I started thinking about all the nicks and scuffs on my shoes. Where I might have been, what I was doing when the wounds occurred. The stories they might tell. Some I remember, others unaware. My left shoe always needs reheeling before the right, as I carry my bag on that arm and it is always over stuffed and far too heavy. I think there is something so personal about shoes, the way they mould to your feet and can alter the way you walk, act, think. To end a wistful quote from a Vogue article I recently read ‘What would life have looked like had I walked in different shoes? Would I have fallen for different men?’ Rather intriguing, don’t you think.

LFW SS14: Footwear & Millinery Exhibitions

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Deliciously dark and edgy footwear from Liam Fahy

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Quirky, fun and a little bit cheeky, footwear by Sophia Webster

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Alien-like headpieces by Maiko Takeda, would you believe they are soft to touch

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Exquisitely crafted hats and headpieces by Mich Dulce

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

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Dance Shoes, Shanks and Ferragamo

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Late Victorian shoes made by Gooch London; Shoe Galleries, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery.

If you have ever looked at historical shoes they all have one thing in common. Take these two pairs from the 1890’s what do you notice? They are floppy right? There is no arch support, they are literally like a flat shoe with a heel stuck on. The part that is missing? The shank, a piece of metal which runs from heel and along the arch to support the foot, first pioneered by Mr Salvatore Ferragamo.

“‘I discovered’, he wrote,’ that the weight of the bodies
when we are standing erect drops straight down on
the arch of the foot. I constructed my revolutionary lasts,
which supporting the arch, make the foot act like an
inverted pendulum.’

-Salvatore Ferragamo

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This X-Ray of a high heel shows the metal shank running along the arch, BBC.co.uk

Since the shank was invented, by paying attention to the anatomy of the foot, we have been able to enjoy wearing high heels – I’ve no idea how anyone every managed to walk in those antique shoes! But if you take a look at dance shoes you will notice they bear a resemblance to the historical shoes, why? Well dancers need their feet to be flexible so the last thing they want is a shank or hard sole. In fact you can usually bend most dance shoes in half! Dance shoes need soft soles which slide across the floor so suede is a popular material for ballet shoes and Latin dance shoes, where as Hip-Hop shoes require more bounce so rubber is used but with a break under the arch for flexibility.

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Dance trainer images from Dancmania

You don’t make Fame without flexible shoes!fama_el_remake

Fame image from Cinemarat

Being lucky enough to study footwear I am always pleasantly surprised with how shoes have developed, things which have changed, stayed the same and developed.

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Shoes from the past 100 years including those by Salvatore Ferragamo from 1955 and 1970, Shoe Galleries, NMAG

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My column Fancy That! for STYLE.etc magazine delves into the history of the heelless shoe this month – hint it didn’t originate with Jeffery Campbell.