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.

Outfit: What’s Pearl Been Wearing to Work?

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Wanted: One hulk to come carry a 7ft mirror home for me? Any takers??

I am getting settled into my new job and apartment however I have one major complain, total lack of full length mirrors at home and at work! I found the most amazing mirrors in TK Maxx but they don’t deliver so looks like I need to put some thought into the procurement of a mirror or work out a timer/tripod option. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I can release my crazy onto my new colleagues and get them to take outfit snaps for me. Hopefully I can get the mirror issue sorted ASAP and get back to blogging properly, until then here are some Instagrams taken at odd angles but you get the jist, right? Since the weather has been seriously dreadful there isn’t much excitement to show, heels, the wet and hills do not make a good match. There’s been tartan, tartan and more tartan. A new addition are these black velvet trousers, I got them on sale at Yoox.com and they are amazing if slightly high maintenance – no sitting cross legged as it leaves a mark, no getting even one rain drop on you as it leaves a mark… le sigh, but they look fabulous which is the main thing.

Currently gearing up for LFW which will be short and intense this season, I am just doing the weekend so packing a lot into that time, but looking forward to it as ever!

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.

That Perfect Inch-of-Sock-Reveal-between-the-Cuff Ratio

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This photograph pleases me immensely. Why is it so satisfying? It is a prime example of a perfect fashion ratio. Exactly enough shoe-sock-cuff in the constraints of an Instagram. The fact that it involves a turn-up is all the more appealing. I know there is a strong divide between sock lovers and haters, but I just can’t look at a naked ankle with the same fondness. It is all about the socks. Even with a peep-toe? Especially with a peep-toe, if they are sheer and show a pop of colourful nail varnish more the merrier. Always with heels, of course, I will never be a flats girl no matter how hard I try.

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I thought perhaps socks were having a moment, a little fashion rebellion as they crept in the back door, smattering the pages of Vogue in a subtle way. Alas only the exact, fashion trend correct socks are allowed. White, pastel, frilled, nod to school days socks. Most definitely not tiger striped odd socks, clashed with tartan and red shoes. Defiantly. The Christmas sock, why not? Since the once ridiculed Xmas jumper is now, so bad its good chic.

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That’s it, my week in socks. Long may they reign.

LFW SS14: Ready to Roll

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It’s that time of year again, London Fashion Week for the Spring /┬á Summer 2014 collections. Seeing what we will be wearing next summer just as autumn hits here! The weather forecast isn’t looking promising but lets hope it holds off as sensible shoes weren’t made for LFW! My gold glitter boots were from TK Maxx, they are a similar shape to the Ash Spiral – I know a few bloggers have done glitter DIY’s on plain boots. If you like the look of glitter but don’t want a full on, in your face look. Try a glitter heel like the Clarks Sarong Curtain sandals.

Stay tuned for all the show highlights and street style, here we go x

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.

Autumn / Winter 2013 Wish List!

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Rick Owens runway via Style.com, Rick Owens tunic, Michale Kors leggings, Eugina Kim bobble hat – all from Net-a-Porter.com, Sheepskin boots from UGG Australia.

Like most people I tend to have to ‘versions’ of my wardrobe, the going out fancy and they staying at home scruffy. Because of my dogs I go for comfort when I’m at home, slouchy sweaters, plaid shirts, leggings and Ugg boots. Up North we are starting to feel the chill in the air during the evenings signaling autumn will be here soon, all the new season stock is starting to arrive in the shops too. I won’t go on about how ridiculous the retail fashion cycle is but as I am sure you know finding winter clothes when you actually need them is never easy, you always need to be one step ahead. For me there are always two winter essentials, new boots and a new coat. Last years Cardi UGG Australia boots took a bit of a hammering so this year I really wanted something more sturdy, but still soft and flexible enough to be comfortable wearing around the house. I chose these pale grey Baily Button Triplet from UGG Australia which will go well with my winter staple colours of black and grey. In my mind I look like I just stomped off a Rick Owens runway, in reality I look like I forgot to get dressed, but hey at least I will be warm as I sit hidden under an oversized hoodie.

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As for my respectable-adult-leaving-the-house-look you all know I have to be drooling over the new season Vivienne Westwood. I haven’t seen much of the new collections in store yet but this Gold Label runway look basically sums up how I want my AW13 to be, torn silk skirts, oversized knit sweaters, clompy boots and capes. For the office the smart new Harris coat in baby pink is calling to me, as is this incredible printed pencil skirt. I love a good statement necklace and this chunky collar with semi-precious stones is divine. My current tartan everyday bag is starting to look a bit abused so I also have my eye on a nice roomy new one, this embossed tartan tote is rather lust worthy.

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All images / products Vivienne Westwood.co.uk

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Whatcha got, whatcha got, lemme see, lemme see, sniff, sniff, sniff!!! Han approves of new shoes so long as he gets to jump around in the tissue paper.

Project Walk-In Wardrobe

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After weeks, long weeks which seem like years I’m coming closer to finally have my walk-in wardrobe finished. I can’t wait to show you the finished thing including my dream shoe wall! Here are some shots of the whole process: starting with my crazy mess, the first stage of construction was the wooden frame, this was then covered with plaster board and skimmed over. Next went in the Billy bookcases and some shelves, followed by a paint job. The electrics need finishing and the whole room repainting then we are good to go. Hopefully the last few bits won’t take too long and I can spend many happy hours filling it!

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I couldn’t resist trying out just one pair of shoes on my lovely shelves. These are SS13 Vivienne Westwood ankle boots but I think they will be really great for AW too. I particularly like an ankle boot with a calf length skirt, I think awkward proportions really compliment each other. These are a sample but if you are on the look out for something similar these Lollipop Papas boots would be fabulous I also have my eye on these incredible Love Moschino wedges – both of these boots have a tiny heart detail in the design which I think is adorable.

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Not Quite Snow Boots

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Snow in March, snow in March and what looks to be snow continuing into April. For a change we have been quite lucky up North and have just had constant blusters with nothing settling. I have to confess I really love it, its like movie snow! All the pretty flakes and none of the trudging through sludge, ruining my shoes. Which means I can revel in my snow-movie outfits of flowing capes and towering high heeled boots just like Carrie Bradshaw! My favourite look at the moment is tall boots and knee length dresses. These Vivienne Westwood boots are surprisingly comfortable for such a high stiletto, I adore them.

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