hot new brand alert: Havva

You’re just starting to think about buying summer sandals, right? Well, I’m working on a guide for you (to be posted later this week) but in the meantime, I thought I’d tell you about a great new brand I discovered at London fashion week that just so happens to do fabulous flat leather sandals.

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Athena, £110, havvamustafa.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Havva, named after the designer herself – Havva Mustafa – is a a lovely little brand. I met Havva at London fashion week, and she told me about her family’s long history in shoes (both her father and grandfather were cordwainers). She certainly seems to know what she’s doing too; the shoes I was looking at (or rather, stroking longingly) were for a/w2014, but I can tell you they were BEAUTIFUL quality. You’d usually expect shoes like this to be very expensive, but hers come in around £150 or less, which is an amazing price for such a high end product. Plus this is still an under-the-radar brand, so if you buy a pair, you’re unlikely to see someone else wearing them, rather just get admiring glances and compliments on your brilliant find.

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Eight, £100, havvamustafa.com (BUY ME HERE!)

There’s a distinctly gladiatorial feel to these sandals; they’re perfect if you want to make a statement on your feet. But the black sandals are still subtle enough to be really practical too (perhaps to wear to work) and the metallic styles would be great for an occasion like a wedding.

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Ember in black, £90, havvamustafa.com (BUY ME HERE!)

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Ember in metallic, £90, havvamustafa.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Remember, check back later in the week for my summer sandals guide!

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Iris, £85, havvamustafa.com (BUY ME HERE!)

this week’s shoes headlines: Salt Water IN STOCK, bare ankles weather and more

It’s warming up!

Today in London, the temperature is going to reach the heady heights of 15 degrees centigrade. I have a thing called The Fashion Thermometer – my own personal guide to knowing what to wear depending on the weather – and 15 degrees marks the point when you can lose your socks. By Sunday, so Carol on BBC weather has just informed me, it could get as hot as 18 degrees, which means bare legs and enclosed shoes, or sandals with jeans (bare legs AND sandals would be a step too far until it’s at least 20 degrees). Today I’ve gone for my 10 Crosby Derek Lam slippers. Come Sunday, I might be in Birkenstocks!

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Salt Water is now IN STOCK

Speaking of warmer weather, now’s the time to buy your Salt Water sandals as they’ve just come into stock for the new season. I know you lot LOVE Salt Water, so buy now to avoid disappointment later. They ALWAYS sell out. The best place with the most stock is sunsansandals.co.uk. 

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from £38, sunsansandals.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

Adding to my lust list

The trouble with working for a glossy magazine is that I’m constantly coming across the most beautiful shoes that are right out of my price range. These amazing desert boots by Pollini, for example, which were showcased with the brand’s AW14 collection in Paris at the weekend. Seeing as I won’t be able to afford them until they go into the sale in about a year’s time, I’ll just have to enjoy this picture I took of them in the meantime…

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High street shoe of the week

Hot from fashion week, I can tell you that flat shoes are not only very much still on the radar as far as high fashion is concerned, but flat white shoes. Tap into next season right now with these from Zara. They look very high end, like they might cost £350. They don’t.

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cut out moccasins, £79.99, zara.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

my flats feature in April’s InStyle

As features editor at InStyle magazine, I get to write about all sorts of brilliant fashion stuff. But the trend for flats is so big right now, I’m happy to say that this is the subject of one of my features in the new April issue, which is out now. I also got to include some of my illustrations, which I am thrilled about! If you see a copy, grab it! There’s lots of other lovely stuff in there too.

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my illustrations – what flat shoe tribe are you?

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The Flatwalk: Milan fashion week

As Paris fashion week kicked off today, I’m still mulling over all the wonderful flat shoes I came across in Milan last week. The fact that Milan – the most glamorous of all four fashion cities – is embracing flat shoes again for AW14 is a sign that they are here to stay. Which can only be a good thing as Italy has a reputation for making some of the finest footwear in the world. Here are some of my favourites.

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flat shoes on the catwalk at Marni

The most exciting thing about going to Milan fashion week for me, is that I get to see my very favourite brand on the catwalk: Marni. I certainly wasn’t disappointed as far as flat shoes were concerned. I think my favourites were the fringed shoes, shown here in white but they also came in red or green. The clothes were rather lovely too.

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cow print: the new leopard

A brand I didn’t realise I liked so much until I went to its catwalk show was No.21. The clothes were really, really nice, but it was these cow print shoes (above) that caught my eye. Cow print has been everywhere during fashion week; I reckon next season it will become as ubiquitous as leopard is now. A real go-with-everything print, and perfect for shoes.

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paint splattered pumps at Fendi

Milan is brimming with opulence, and I love the indulgence of spattering these Fendi shoes with colourful paint (there were also beautiful hand-painted leather jackets in the collection). I like the idea so much I’m planning to paint my own pair in a similar vein, just not on a similar budget. If you can’t afford it, I say do it yourself! Watch this space…

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pointy skate shoe-monk shoe hybrids at Jimmy Choo

Good news from Jimmy Choo – skate shoes are here to stay but get a new twist for next season. These had a pointy toe and the addition of a sporty monk strap. I particularly liked the leopard pair. Fingers crossed for high street copies!

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proper shoes at Tod’s

Tod’s is a brand known for its driving shoes, but it’s time to reconsider its footwear. Finishing off a stunning collection of leather clothes with intricate geometric designs were these lovely buckled loafers and Chelsea boots with penny loafer detailing at the front. Oh, and everything was displayed amongst amazing mid century modern furniture. A little slice of heaven.

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sporty sandals and AMAZING wallpaper in the Prada store, Milan

I managed to do a bit of shopping too while I was there (or window shopping in most cases!). These are current season, spied in the Prada store at a cocktail party for the brand. I’m actually more taken with the incredible wallpaper than I am with the shoes, but they are pretty cool too. I won’t be forking out for them any time soon though; I only buy high end brands like this if I can find them at an outlet. Which is exactly what I did with the next pair.

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my new Marni sandals: so good I wore them without a pedicure

If you know where to find it, there’s a Marni outlet store in Milan, hidden away in the backstreets and down an alleyway. There I found these sandals which I am THRILLED with. You all know how much I love tiles, right? Well here’s a pair of flat shoes sporting a tile print. The best!! I loved them so much I HAD to wear them, even though it was a bit chilly and I’m in need of a pedicure. Speaking of which, here’s what else I wore in Milan. Next stop: PARIS!

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EnBrogue for Jemima Vine and an old Milanese carpet

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Grenson and mosaic tiles

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pink Schuhs and pink tiles

The flatwalk: London fashion week

OK, London fashion week seems like an age ago now, but I flew straight from the last show to Milan fashion week (yay!) and so am only just getting around to uploading my fav flats from our capital. Flat shoes were EVERYWHERE – even more so than last season – which is great news for us heel haters. Here are some of the best I saw last week.

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flat shoes backstage at Topshop Unique

I was lucky enough to be backstage at Topshop’s Unique show and fell hard for these pointy loafers. Can’t wait for them to drop in store at my local Toppers! Here’s ultra cool model Betty Adewole (my new style crush) wearing her own clothes and the Unique shoes during the show’s run through.

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Betty Adewole backstage at Topshop Unique

A trend that I’ve seen in Milan as well as London is shoes that are furry on the outside; like really stylish inside-out UGGs. Here they are at Marques’Almeida (you might have never heard of this brand, but they’re one of the reasons ripped jeans are making a comeback) and Osman (these lovely things are a collaboration with Manolo Blahnik).

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furry flats at Marques’Almeida

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sheepskin desert boots by Manolo Blahnik for Osman

Not only does he show in a venue with an incredible parquet floor (swoon!), JW Anderson also had some really unusual flat shoes in his collection. This sculptural leather was really beautiful, and actually surprisingly wearable.

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J.W. Anderson does architectural leather

The pair I will be saving up for, though, are these from Roksanda – a collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood, who also designed the lovely embellished flats at Erdem (it was too dark to get a decent picture of those ones). They came in all manner of colours but I think the flash of orange on the sole is the one for me. 

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sporty pointy pumps by Nicholas Kirkwood for Roksanda

And there were plenty of flats off the catwalk too – I wasn’t the only fashion editor favouring a more comfortable way of negotiating the streets of London. Here’s what I, and a few others, wore.

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clockwise from top right: Des in Celine, me in Vans and Arabella in H&M

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Me in Etre Cecile sweater from The Shop at Bluebird, & Other Stories bag, Mint Velvet skirt, Vagabond trainers

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Me in Grenson shoes, Topshop socks and jeans, Zara coat

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Me in 10 Crosby Derek Lam shoes from shoe scribe.com, Mauro Grifoni culottes, Lulu Guinness bag, Dorothy Perkins top

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Me in Hudson shoes, Topshop socks and Frame Denim jeans

As for Milan, well – there were even more flats! Watch this space for my round-up. 

This week’s shoes headlines: LFW kicks off, new shoe brand alert and my high street shoe of the week

London fashion week

I started today by heading to Somerset House for the first show of London fashion week, J JS Lee. This show is a favourite of mine on the schedule, as it always includes gorgeous flats. Today was not a let down!

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Grenson and Somerset House cobbles

“But what were you wearing?!”, I hear you cry! It’s cold and raining, so I called on my totally practical Grenson Emily shoes. One show down, many more to go. I’ll be writing a round up when it’s all over next week.

 Interesting brand alert

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The Hand Sewn Low, £258.98, feitdirect.com (BUY ME HERE!)

These lovely shoes came to my attention a few months ago but I was waiting until they were available to buy before I told you about them. They’re by Feit (pronounced “fight”, though I am slightly disappointing it’s not pronounced “feet”) and each pair is hand-created by one master craftsman who even signs his name on the inside of the tongue when he’s finished making them. They’ve also got an eye on the environment; they don’t use any harmful chemicals in the production process, while limiting the number of shoes made (60 per style) to tick the sustainability box too. That also means you’re highly unlikely to bump into someone else wearing the same pair!

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white Hand Sewn Low, £258.98 (BUY ME HERE!)

 

High street shoe of the week

Don’t you just love it when you find a great shoe for less than £70? These beauties are from Schuh and I can confirm that they are extremely comfortable. Two-tone-tastic!

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Boss Lady Flats, £65, schuh.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

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The Flatwalk: a round up of my favourite shoes from New York fashion week

New York fashion week comes to a close this evening, and it’s been a riot of fabulous flat shoes. Some have been so lovely I’ve felt compelled to draw them, though any excuse to get my paints out to be honest…

Anyway, here is a round-up of my Flatwalk Favourites.

Tommy Hilfiger

As a keen snowboarder who hasn’t managed to escape to the Alps for the last two seasons, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching the winter Olympics, particularly slope style. So I was delighted that the Tommy Hilfiger show was littered with board sport references, my favourite of which being the gorgeous chunky skate shoes styled with thick, woolly socks.

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Tommy Hilfiger AW14

Victoria Beckham

As well as engineering the best FROW selfie of the week (you’ve all seen the picture of David taking a picture of the entire Beckham clan, right?), Mrs Beckham showed another hugely desirable collection at the weekend. Not only was she spotted in some fabulous Saint Laurent flats in her studio, she also styled many of the looks with simple black lace-up flats. Oh, and there was a hint that she might start designing shoes, too. Yes please!

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Victoria Beckham AW14

MBMJ

That’s Marc by Marc Jacobs, but renamed to celebrate its new designers, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier. Two very different types of flat shoe here – either boxing boot-moon boot hybrids or pointy buckled flats, both styled with ribbed black socks. Either way, I liked it!

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MMBJ AW14

 

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boxing boots come moon boots at MBMJ AW14

 

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a touch of Victoriana at MBMJ AW14

Proenza Schouler

It’s not often I see a catwalk collection and want every last bit of it, but I can certainly say that about this divine collection from Proenza Schouler. No prizes for guessing what I’ll be saving up for first. THOSE SHOES!!

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Proenza Schouler AW14

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I reckon this model is Canadian…

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Love the cross-over detail

The Row

A lovely collection from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; if I were tall I’d dress like this the whole time. Great ankle socks!

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The Row AW14

London fashion week starts tomorrow, so watch this space for more Flatwalk Favourites!