Tag Archives: shoes

A short history of The humble espadrille

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Espadrilles are once again “having a moment” – or should that be, they’ve been “having a moment” every summer for so many years that they’ve now made the leap into must-have summer staple. I’ve just ordered this pair from ASOS (yippee!) which I hope will cover me for a wedding, work and my summer holiday:

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Here’s a short history lesson on these humble rope and canvas shoes, followed by some summer shoe shopping inspo (another yippee!). The Archaeological museum of Granada holds the earliest known pair of espadrilles – estimated to be a staggering 4,000 years old, which were found with human remains inside the “cueva de los murielagos” (the bat-cave).

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A 4,000 year old fashion, still going strong. I’ll take mine from ASOS though, thanks.

Espadrilles were also commonly used in the Pyrenees as peasant footwear dating back as far as the 14th century. They first “had a moment” fashion-wise during the 19th Century in the French Pyrenean city of Mauléon, where they were apparently on-trend for soldiers and priests.

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Espadrilles next had a fashion resurgence in the USA in the 1940s, partly due to their appearance on the feet of Lauren Bacall’s stylish character Nora Temple in Key Largo.

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In 1970, Yves Saint Laurent  invented the wedge espadrille and women worldwide embraced the concept of a shoe that was comfortable and stylish, glamorous and casual.

Espadrille popularity skyrocketed again in the 1980s, thanks to Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson) in Miami Vice. 

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In SS2013, espadrilles even got the Chanel seal of approval with this seriously covetable pair:

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Today, the humble espadrille can take you from work to the supermarket and from the beach to dinner. Here are my top summer picks:

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Michael Kors $99
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Banana Republic $98
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H&M £12
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Kurt Geiger £150

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Monsoon £59
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ASOS £15
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Love Moschino £74
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Soludos £48

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go faux and share some snake love

There are nearly 3,000 species of snake in the world. Only around 375 of these are venomous, and only a small proportion of these are potentially harmful to humans. In the UK, we have adder, grass snake and the rare smooth snake, all of which are legally protected (as are their lizard friends). My favourite is the lovely slow worm – actually not a worm or a snake but a legless lizard (insert obvious joke here). These little cuties are only 50cm long and are have lovely smooth skin (for legal and safety reasons reptiles should only be handled by experts, obv!). Continue reading go faux and share some snake love

Colour me Friday – Blue Velvet

I was browsing through the SS 2015 catwalk shows again recently and I couldn’t help but notice the return of blue velvet, as seen at the Louis Vuitton 2015 summer collection:

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It reminded me of David Lynch’s 1986 dark, intense thriller and the equally classic song (I love both the 1963 Bobby Vinton original and Lana Del Rey’s awesome, atmospheric 2012 cover for H&M). We can’t all afford Louis Vuitton, nor are most of us daring enough to pull off the outfit above (you couldn’t exactly wear it to pop to the shops), but maybe a little Topshop or ASOS blue velvet might sneak it’s way into our wardrobes this spring? Continue reading Colour me Friday – Blue Velvet

LifeStories: Elsa Schiaparelli

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Schiap and friend

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) was an Italian fashion designer, affectionally known as Schiap. Between the two World Wars, she was arguably as powerful and influential as Coco Chanel – and yet today, while Chanel remains a huge and iconic fashion force, dominating magazines and catwalks, Schiap languishes as a footnote in fashion history. So who was this intriguing woman? And just how big is her almost forgotten legacy? Using bold patterns, geometric shapes and collaborations with Dali and Cocteau, Schiap fused the worlds of art and fashion together in a way that is widely accepted today, but was beyond avant garde at the time. Think Alexander McQueen, Peter Pilotto and Raf Simons – now imagine a woman doing this in the middle of the last century. She was closely associated with the Dada and Surrealist movements, and her most famous creation, the beautiful Lobster Dress, could easily be worn today. Continue reading LifeStories: Elsa Schiaparelli

Colour me Friday – Palmeral Green Design

This week’s Colour me Friday is inspired by House of Hackney’s Palmeral Green collection. I discovered this collection a couple of months ago when I suddenly decided that I’d like to have a botanical/tropical theme in the living room and since then, whilst I can’t afford to re-decorate the living room on a whim, I have become a bit obsessed with this colour theme. Continue reading Colour me Friday – Palmeral Green Design

Work it Baby!

Brrr! It’s cold outside – and I can’t think of any better way to walk to work in the snow than in a pair of classic work boots. Although it’s a trend that never really goes away, they are currently in the upper zone of their fashion curve. In October Elle Magazine proclaimed “Timberlands are the new Birkenstocks!” (and controversially omitted the huge influence that hip hop has played in the rise of the Timberland boot). Vogue featured Timberlands in September; Grazia in November; InStyle (and Vogue again) in December. But there’s plenty more to the work boots trend than Timberlands. Continue reading Work it Baby!

Colour me Friday – Seafoam Green Style

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I spent this week up on Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland. Surrounded by sea on three sides, it’s a beautiful, wild, windswept (and this week snowy) peninsula. I headed home just as the hailstorm which had kept me awake most of the night turned to snow, I turned to one of my favourite travelling hobbies, “roadtrip window gazing” at the foamy sea. Since I got home, I’ve been thinking about what a lush and under-appreciated colour seafoam green is. Hope you like this week’s picks and pics! Continue reading Colour me Friday – Seafoam Green Style

Colour me Friday – Sparkling Gold Shoes

This week on Colour me Friday, I thought I’d spread a little sparkle in the form of some gold fashion inspo (sorry, Elvis, I love you, but you’re NOT included – I’m talking SHOES! Gold shoes to get you through any weekend activity – hope you like! Continue reading Colour me Friday – Sparkling Gold Shoes