You lot do love Liberty print trainers, so last weekend I got my paintbrushes out for the first time in AGES and illustrated this lovely pair of Nike Blazers. One day, I will actually get around to buying myself a pair of Liberty print Nikes, but in the meantime, this little sketch will have to do.
This particular print isn’t available anymore, but you can pick up similar styles from the on Nike’s website. And for anyone with a baby brogue out there, how adorable are the toddler trainers? Answer: VERY ADORABLE.
I’ve been busy doing a lot of painting recently (in fact, I’m just waiting for a coat to dry on a sketch of some Havaianas as a write this) but I realised I haven’t shared them on the blog. So here’s some easy bank holiday reading for you – as in, it’s just drawings to look at – with my favourite recent illustrations.
In the second instalment of fashion industry insiders who love flats, I spoke to Emily Gegg, Executive Fashion and Beauty Director at Red Magazine, who was forced off her high heels because of a back problem.
“I was diagnosed with scoilosis and a degenerated disc in my lower spine just before fashion week, so wearing flat shoes was less of a choice and more of a doctor’s order. Now I am two months into my new life in flats and feel strangely liberated, as if I have been let into a secret that heel wearers are yet to discover!!”
“I am quite a scruffy dresser and dressing up for me was always just putting a pair of killer heels on with my jeans and t-shirt to smarten my look up, so I have had to work at creating a new look based around flats. If I am wearing a pair of statement flats like my sparkly Vuitton slippers I’ll tend to dress down the rest of my look, so a pair of ripped jeans and a grey marl T-shirt. But if it is a pair of my new Nike trainers (which I am totally in love with), I tend to wear them with a smarter outfit like a buttoned up white shirt and cashmere jumper to balance the look out (and feel less of a teenager!).”
“A lot of the trends on the catwalk for AW13 were about mixing girlie with a tough edge and there is no better way to do this than wearing stylish flats to make your look more understated. Simone Rocha is the perfect example with her whimsical bubblegum pink dresses teamed with chunky flatforms. Even the glamour shoe brands Louboutin and Jimmy Choo have introduced a new kitten heel height and lots more flats for AW13, it is a trend that is catching – hooray!”
“I am excited about the sun coming out, getting a pedi with Essie ‘cute as a button’ and investing in a pair of Valentino studded sandals, although may need to win the lottery first, so more realistically Zara have some amazing flat sandals with braiding detail that I have my eye on. I have too many pairs of shoes but I am a hoarder and can’t throw any away, all those redundant heels mean if I do not have any daughters my goddaughter Poppy is going to have her very own Jimmy Choo archive!!”
OK, this post isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. I’m not even sure it’s to mine. But the sheer volume of luxe hi tops out there has forced my hand and we’re going to discuss. By luxe, I mean either luxury brands turning their hand at making hi tops (something that has been going on for a few years now, particularly within menswear) or high street brands making luxurious looking trainers.
I am a big fan of hi tops. I own countless pairs of Converse, plus some Nike, Adidas and Puma, and I love wearing them when I am working on a shoot (comfort factor, anyone?). But when I got my hands on this Gerard Darel pair (below), an old sample from last season, initially I wasn’t sure. Gold trainers? Can I do that? Can a girl who loves the look of natural worn leather really do a metallic shoe?
The answer, as you can see from this picture, is yes. Yes! Why the hell not? If you carefully team your luxe hi tops with a plain outfit, it’s really not that scary. Today I’m wearing some black pleather trousers from Zara (these are AMAZING, by the way, and are the best leather look I have found) and a black oversized Reiss shirt. Simple. The brand has carried this style through to summer 13 in different colourways (shown here), so you’ll be able to get your mitts on a pair soon. I love the black and tweed pair.
So what else is out there? We’ll start with some of the more expensive options. They will have you drooling, I’m afraid, but I reckon if you’re going to spend a lot of money on some designer shoes, it makes MUCH more sense to buy a comfortable pair of incredible trainers than some silly heels you can’t even walk in.
Love is the word when we come to these green beauties, designed by Love Magazine’s editor-in-chief Katie Grand for Italian brand Hogan. They are achingly cool, especially when modelled by Edie Campbell in the brand’s campaign imagery. Have I talked you into it yet?
As far as affordable luxe-style hi tops are concerned, good old Toppers has jumped on the bandwagon, as has Zara. These, our two most reliable high street stores for picking up on high end trends and translating them so the rest of us can afford them, have both gone for a spattering of leopard print. Leopard has become as easy-to-wear as a Breton stripe in the past few years, which is no bad thing in my book.
Of course, the best value (and best functioning) trainers tend to come from sports brands, and Nike’s Dunk hi tops can also be found in interesting finishes. Keep an eye out for its regular Liberty collaborations if you’re fond of a floral print.
I’d love to know what you think. Would you step out in a pair of luxe hi tops? Or are they a step too far? I’ll leave you with my absolute favourite pick of the bunch from DSquared2. Because for me, when it comes to sporty footwear, you can’t do better than retro.