Monday, 23 November 2009

Shoes and Music #1 in a series - New Model Army

Last night at my friend Jess's house in Stokie, we were talking about old bands we loved. Jess recounted a tale of being stuck in the mosh pit at a New Model Army gig and how painful it was because of the bands' (and fans) penchant for wearing proper Northern England clogs. So I've decided to start a series on here - shoes and music, there is so much association of certain shoes with certain bands, I think it could run and run!
So - I bring you - New Model Army and clogs the clogs being the North of England type of clogs where only the sole (and not the entire shoe) is wooden.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Newspaper shoes

I love these shoes, made from newspaper strips coated in plastic then hand woven. They look fab - well done to the designer Colin Lin!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Verdict?

I have to admit, I had better things to do than queue up all night in a rain and windstorm (!) for the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection, but all the same, I've been dying to know what it was like.
Why? Well H&M has a bit of a weird footwear offer, always looked like an afterthought and the quality is, well, meh!
H&M collabs always get tons of press - remember the Madonna range (which in the flesh, was vile, I have to be honest, here). So I guess Jimmy Choo did it for the pr (and judging by the comments from those who did queue up and buy), hoped that it sold out instantly before the rest of us could see what it was really like!

Those of you who did queue up? Well, here is a c+p of some comments from this thread on the fashion spot.

'Spent 80€ & they still are Jimmy Choo, made in China of course '
'I wasn't impressed. They were really painful on my feet (though it was said that they would get softer and more comfortable with wear since it's real leather but I didn't take the chance). They looked Ok, wasn't a "wow!" moment for me at least. I'm sure I can get something similar elsewhere for half the price and twice the comfort.'
'there were still a lot of items left untouched. And I'm really not surprised. For some of the shoes, I have no idea what they were thinking.'
'it looks like the normal h&m collection and the qaulity is so bad, I just hold a pair of "jmmy choo for H&M" shoes in my hand yesterday and they looked so trashy'

and another thing - who are these people who pay £300 per pair on ebay? Why?

A word of advice from me - if you must have Jimmy Choo at a discount price - sign up for email or Twitter alerts from a discount website. I like and there are also real snake sandals on sale at the Jimmy Choo website (pictured) for around £180. They'll look and last better and they won't cut your feet to shreds.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Does this happen to you?

You see a shoe and a bizarre thought pops into your head? I'm looking at the cruise collections on Neiman Marcus - I just showed this wooden platform to my business partner,Toby, he reckons this is, 'the kind of shoe that Grace Jones might wear to 'stamp on people's heads.' Really?

Friday, 13 November 2009

Shoe design Competition - Steve Maddens Sole Search

Here's another shoe design competition, this time from in conjunciton with Steve Madden.

What I especially love about this competition is that you upload your entry directly to their website, I have really enjoyed browsing the entries this morning. This is crowdsourcing at its best, because you can be a judge and vote for the winner!

It's also pretty different in that Steve Madden chooses the 'kits' that you can work on. Kit is what we call the last and outsole - us fashion footwear designers usdually choose from existing kit in the factory, mostly because developing your own 'kit' is expensive, so if you enter this competition, it gives you a little flavour of how a commercial designer might have to work, with existing kits and a swatch book. You have to learn to be creative within these design constraints.

Link to enter is here

The first prize is a trip to Las Vegas and New York where you get to pitch your design to Steve Madden himself!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

80's things that were uncool in the 80's. A pondering

I was a teenager in the 80's so I've a bit of a love-hate thing going on with the 80's fashion revival. For a start, the stuff that's in the stores now, the throwbacks, such as glitzy batwing sweaters was certainly not considered cool by us 80's trendies.

We were all about wearing head-to-toe black, bright red lipstick and doc marten boots. We wanted to be the 80's model Jeny Howarth (whose looks and style were the spit of noughties supermodel Agyness Deyn!). I also went through the obligatory goth phase but mustl've been a bit confused because I loved hip hop too and went to see a Public Enemy gig in all my goth finery!

I loved Duran Duran and they were hopelessly uncool in the Eighties. Now it seems to be ok to admit to liking them. Which brings me onto the reason for this post.

Reebok is rereleasing its pump hi top boot for it's 20th anniversary. I think it's actually gonna be cool this time around, yep. I can remember it certainly wasn't in the 80's. It was probably released as a 'response' to the runaway success of Nike Air.
I recall a particular party at some squatted apartment that I went to with a friend back then, it was a hip hop jam, with mc's dj, you know the sort of thing.

Well I say 'went' but they wouldn't let my friend in because he was wearing Reebok hi tops and they were considered uncool! They laughed at him.

So heres a piccie of the re-relased Pump boot in it's anniversary plumage. You know what? I tend to agree, this is cool, it must be a bit of a grower - a twenty year grower.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Moar Clogs FTW!!111!!!!

You know when a trend is a big one when Private Eye get in on the act. Supermodels cartoon from the current issue.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Everyone is talking about clogs

Before we go any further, are those imitation tanlines or some freaky kind of stockings? WTF?
Aaaanyway, the buzz around the shoe trade is clogs, clogs, clogs for SS2010.
I've posted these Chanel catwalk designs, these were part of the collection inspired by Marie Antoinette and her *cough* farm. I think it's very apt that Karl Lagerfeld should draw inspiration like this in these recent times, as the fashion world has a current Marie Antoinette, the fashion journalist Liz Jones, who feeds her pet chickens on organic pasta from Carluccios.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Balenciaga: my favourite SS2010 catwalk collection

The runway shows are over for another season and I've had time to digest what I've seen.
Alexander McQueen was an eye opener, lots of us shoe designers loved his shoes, but for me, Balenciaga was the winner this season. To be fair, I think, trend-wise it's not such a huge leap from the monochrome gladiators of last summer, but I'm in love with these designs. I've always fancied myself as a bit of a hippy, so the details on these shoes really do appeal. There seem to be tribal elements there, the most frustrating thing when I see shoes like these is that I can't get up close and touch them and examine them to see how they are made. They are so fantastic I doubt whether we'll see them in any stores.
I can dream, can't I? Especially about walking in them. The last pair of Balenciagas I fell in love with and bought, I managed one step forward after standing up and fell flat on my face - I've since admitted defeat - high heels and me, we're not friends. :( Which is shame because I'd love us to be mates.