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orla kiely clarks autumn winter 2014

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Orla Kiely, shoe designer

I have some very long-awaited news for Autumn/Winter 2014 that I’ve been keeping under my hat for a number of months and now I can finally share it with you all – the new footwear range by Orla Kiely has launched!

Clarks unveiled the new range at a press event earlier this year (here’s my article all about it!) and I’ve been spotting the occasional image of the range in magazines and on fashion blogs and now the shoes are finally available to buy – and what cute shoes they are too! The designer’s first collaboration with Clarks launched earlier this year for Spring/Summer and was an instant sell-out success: below is some of the press coverage that the designs attracted from Cosmopolitan magazine back in the Spring. It’s no surprise then that Clarks invited Orla Kiely back this season to create a new range for Autumn/Winter 2014 and here’s a snap of some recent coverage of her retro-esque heels in the October issue:

I’d already chosen my favourites when I first photographed the shoes at the press day earlier this Summer but now that I’ve seen the full range with those irresistible signature Orla Kiely patterned soles, I’m having trouble picking just one pair!

Firstly, this range taps into all the top seasonal trends for autumn/winter 2014 and I am desperate to get my hands on some of the oxblood leather or pony textures that are the must-haves for this season. Secondly, the styles are super-cute and remind me of back-to-school shoes that made me all excited about a new term when I was little! Thirdly, and most importantly for me, these are comfortable heels – yes, I will be able to wear them to dance class and tea dances without worrying about the heels being too high and the t-bar straps should keep them firmly on my feet when I’m doing my jive kicks!

orla kiely clarks autumn winter 2014

Okay, I know I’ve started to be ruled by what’s going to be comfortable to dance in since taking up my new hobby earlier this year, but I really love how vintage-esque the Orla Kiely styles are, and I just know they will look great with my growing wardrobe of tea dresses and circle skirts. It’s my dream to dance the foxtrot at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom (yes, I’m visiting it later this year!) while wearing a gorgeous swing dress and a pair of these glossy dolly shoes.

I think that the collaboration with Orla Kiely is a stroke of genius by Clarks; not only are the deigns retro without being too ‘throwback’ but they also have the precise detailing and playful quirkiness that we have come to expect from this top British designer. The colours are ideal for Autumn/Winter any year so are certainly not limited to just a one season look – I can see myself wearing these classic styles and autumnal colours for years to come. I’m frantically saving my pennies to get my hands on a pair of Orla Dotty shoes in Ox-Blood or Ochre before they sell out, so if you too are thinking of investing in a pair of these future heirloom shoes, perhaps buy them sooner rather than later – with Kiely’s designs traditionally flying off the shelves, who knows how long they will be around for?!


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Buffalo boots

This week’s footwear trend focus is on buffalo boots and it’s quite possible that you’ve already owned a pair of these stacked-sole shoes in your youth – especially if you were a 90s teenager like me! Think back to the Spice Girls wearing platform trainers and you’ve got it! The look is all about nostalgia for the 90s and is growing in popularity. It is predicted to be one of the top youth market trends for Autumn/Winter 2014 and 2015 so if you like the look of these illuminated soles (and the extra height they give you!) get yourself a pair now safe in the knowledge that you’ll be bang-on-trend wearing them for the next two winters at least!

90s footwear trend buffalo boots for autumn winter 2014
Ashish autumn/winter 2014/15 catwalk, photograph by Marley Kate & light-up Ashish buffalo boot.

The whole look is pre-millennium-bug cyber girl: glitter, LEDs and computer-whites, cartoons and neon. This was pretty-much how I wanted to look in the 90s and I’m not sure that I can pull off this look now… but my little sister certainly can! She’s already been rocking high-top trainers for the past couple of years and this isn’t too far removed from that trend – it’s just been given a little extra cyber-oomph and a massive stack of foam!

If you want to know where you can buy similar platform footwear right now, there are some fab buffalo boots available at ASOS including my favourite unicorn high-tops and pink trainers below.

fashion trend buffalo boots and platform trainers for autumn winter 2015

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Your Shoes: Blogstock 2014

As you may remember, I’ve written a series of Tuesday Shoesday blog posts about other peoples’ shoes in March and April, as well as a special post on the favourite shoes of the National Blog Award winners! Today’s post is all about the favourite shoes of my fellow happy campers that I met at Blogstock 2014 and I asked them the same question that I’ve asked all my other contributors:  What are your favourite shoes and why?

ReeRee Rockette of award-winning brand Rockalily ran a session on ‘The Power of Niche’ at Blogstock and kicked butt during the end-of-festival debate. We bonded over a cocktail-making session and I was delighted when she agreed to join in with this Tuesday Shoesday post. ReeRee sent me a photo of her trainers and told me all about why they are her favourites; “My favourite shoes are pretty shabby, but my Nike Air Maxs are definitely my favourite footwear. I have a chronic back problem, and wear heels very rarely, but for many years swore off trainers. Nikes no longer suited the person I wanted to be, but actually I’ve come to realise I’m still a Nike girl, and can happily mix and match styles; whatever makes me happy! I’m pretty thrifty, and I found these shoes, almost brand new in a charity shop for £4.50, which makes them even better! I’m a little sad I’ve let them get so sad looking, but perhaps it just means I’m due an upgrade!”

ree shoes

I met some lovely new pals at Blogstock and after sheltering from the rain and dancing the night away with Laura from Cherishing the Cherry Blossoms blog I knew we had become firm friends. She told me the story of how she came to own her favourite shoes after a trip to Eastern Asia; “Definitely my most whimsical pair of shoes, I bought these in Korea following months of deliberation, wondering whether they would be accepted outside of their Korean context. Lots of girls love them over there, particularly the hidden heel! I let my heart decide and made the purchase in an underground market in Busan (Korea’s second biggest city). It seems they’re pretty big over here too although my sister Lindsay reckons they’re ‘chavvy’. Despite this, and feeling a little bit like they should have ruled my wardrobe 10 years ago, I absolutely don’t regret the investment and wear them with pride.”SONY DSC


Kirstine and I shared some Lonely Planet photobooth fun at Blogstock (and those photos will never be seen!) so I knew she’d be game for taking part in my Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Her new blog is Travel Before It’s Too Late and it’s already looking fantastic! Kirstine chose favourite Vivienne Westwood shoes and shared her reasons for choosing them;

“These are my current faves based on the following:
– they are bright yellow and perfect for wearing in the summer sunshine
– they are my first Vivienne Westwoods and made of rubber/ Jelly
– they look fab dressed down with skinny jeans or up with my favourite 50s style dress
– they are wedges therefore add those all important inches to my 5ft 2in self but are super comfy
– did I mention they are yellow…?”

Top travel writer Neil from Backpacks and Bunkbeds sent me photos of his custom-made shoes and told me the story of how he came to own them: “I’m not normally a shoe guy, more of a trainers person, but earlier this year I was lucky enough to venture out to Vietnam with my better half, and she pretty much insisted that I have some new shoes made.  I was skeptical about how they would come out, but like everything else I ordered in Hoi An (1 suit and 3 shirts), the finished shoes were near enough spot on.  Smart enough for work, but much more comfy than my usual footwear purchases from the high street, at £30 I consider my Vietnamese shoes a bargain and love them for it.”

After watching some of her YouTube videos, I was totally in awe of pro vlogger Ceara McEvoy who ran a session entitled ‘Join the Vlogosphere’ at Blogstock. I made sure that I joined the crush of bloggers packed into the tipi for her workshop and I learnt a lot during that hour. I’ve even tried out make my first video this week – only for family viewing so far – but at least I’m getting used to the editing software..! Ceara sent me a photo of her favourite Topshop shoes and the reasons why they are just right for her:

‘Every girl needs a comfortable pair of high-heel shoes,’ bleats my Mother, your girlfriends, the lady in the woman’s footwear department, your aunt with the shoe fetish. Although a commonly known and hard lived by phrase, I have to admit this concept was as foreign to me as a bear in a tea shop until I moved to London. You see where I’m from, the seaside shores of Cape Town, we drive everywhere! Without the need to walk from pillar to post, the concept of having a ‘comfortable pair of high heels’ is unnecessary. From skyscraper wedges to the latest Lady Gaga Jellyfish platforms – everything goes. But as soon as I moved to London I had to ditch my towering heels for something more sensible. A pair of shoes that could get me from Hackney central all the way to Baker street and then some without breaking an ankle. I was on the hunt for the ultimate pair of heels that ticked the boxes in terms of comfort, style, originality and let’s not forget.. elevation!  Now look, I ain’t no girly girl either, so don’t give me floral and bows. But after some scouting about, I found my match! And here they are. The perfect ‘Ceara’ heel – the Spice Girl inspired platforms. These babies were found in Topshop and are created by the oh so trendy Vagabond. I believe you can also purchase them online. They are a bit of a splurge at 90 quid a pop, but for me they tick the three boxes, so the last can go out the window. I’ve never looked back…

vlogger ceara mcevoys favourite shoes

After dancing the ‘running man’ with Naomi from personal travel blog Todd’s Travels at Blogstock, I decided to get in touch to see what her favourite shoes would be. Quite appropriately Naomi also chose a pair of Nikes as her top trainers; “Despite always loving high heels, my considerable lack of coordination hinders any chance of wearing them so my Nike Air Maxs have to be my favourite shoes: they make me look a lot more fashionable than I actually am (to be honest, I’m probably not cool enough for them!), they go with the majority of my wardrobe and they make me feel like I am walking on cushions, they are that comfortable. What more could you want?”

todds travels nike trainers

Thanks for sending in your contributions guys! I’ve learnt that comfort is important to these fabulous Blogstock-ers and I’ve never been more jealous of someone else’s footwear than I am of Neil’s hand-made leather shoes! If you too would like to tell me about your favourite ever pair of shoes please get in touch via email with a snap of your shoes and sentence or two about why you like them and you’ll appear in next month’s ‘Your Shoes’ feature! :)

 I still cant believe that has made it onto the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 shortlist for Best Lifestyle Blog! It would mean the world to me if you would vote for my blog before voting closes this week (EEK!) on 29th August – thank you SO much!

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ His & Hers

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were out at an event with some friends when one of our pals drew attention to our footwear. There was pointing and a cry of ‘His & Hers!’ as they spotted that we had chosen, completely independently, to each wear a pair of tan brogues; mine from Clarks (which I wrote about earlier in the year) and his from the carboot sale (they have also popped up in a Tuesday Shoesday blog post on 50p shoes recently!). Okay they weren’t exactly the same – mine were boots and his were shoes, but it was noteworthy enough that our male friend thought to comment on it and we took a photo. I couldn’t believe that we hadn’t noticed this when we were getting ready in the morning. Our tastes are gradually merging and we are becoming one person..!

tuesday shoesday fashion footwear - his n hers brogues

The same thing has happened again this month. We’ve been shopping online and were both choosing a new pair of shoes when we made another ‘his & hers’ decision without realising it. Hubby had previously got some grey Farli Limit shoes from Clarks (which are so pretty that I wrote about them) and found that they were so comfortable that he wanted to get the same style of brogues but in the midnight blue colour.

The coincidence that I’m talking about today is the fact that I (completely independently!) ordered two pairs of ladies brogues from Clarks too. I picked two pairs of Hamble Oak brogues; in stone and in navy blue but when I came to check out, only the navy shoes were in stock in my size. So this week the postman delivered hubby’s Farli Limit brogues in navy blue nubuck and my still-in-stock Hamble Oak brogues in navy blue suede. Can you believe it?! We’ve done it again! I think it’s really rather nice that we have such similar tastes and that we like the same styles, but I think we should be careful about wearing the same shoes at the same time! A regular occurrence in our household is that I’ll be getting ready for a day out with my husband and will put on jeans and a burgundy jumper, for example. Hubby will get ready, then as we are about to leave the house we will look at each other and realise that he too is wearing jeans and a burgundy jumper. It happens all year round – my wardrobe seems to have accidentally coordinated with his – and we often make the same choices without realising. The only time we are guaranteed to be wearing something completely different is if I put on a floral dress in the summer!

blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_

blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-3

The same thing used to happen with me and my best friend; we would go shopping independently and would end up buying the same clothes. On more than one occasion I’ve worn on a skirt and she too has turned up with the exact same skirt – and neither of us even knew that the other had bought it. Even recently, when we are living in completely different counties at opposite ends of the country, we have bought the same dress! Just call me Cassie the Chameleon.

blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-2

blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-4

Anyway, our shoes from Clarks arrived and I couldn’t resist taking these photos as we tried out our new shoes at the beach. Although we might not wear them at the same time again, I don’t really mind if we do. I think it’s nice that we have similar tastes (not least because we both love brogues of all colours!) and at least we’ll never criticise each others choices  :) Let me know if anything similar has happened to you with a partner or friend and tweet me @Cassiefairy your photos of your ‘his & her’s shoe or outfits.

blue suede shoes - his n hers brogues_-5

 I still can’t believe that has made it onto the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 shortlist for Best Lifestyle Blog! It would mean the world to me if you would vote for my blog before voting closes on 29th August – thank you SO much!

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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Summer iridescents

A really rather fabulous fashion trend for Summer shoes is iridescent uppers. Trend forecasters WGSN have highlighted (excuse the pun) this look as one of the key trends in footwear and accessories for summer. I think that one of the main reasons for this is that the reflective surface looks great at this time of year in full sunlight; the light bounces off shoes and produces pretty rainbow colours and swirly patterns. As a big fan of all things sparkly and rainbowy I’m certainly interested in this trend but I’m not sure how wearable this finish would be for everyday wear.

iridescent footwear trend for summer 2014

image source

We are used to seeing mirrored surfaces on accessories during the summer – just take a look at your sunglasses. Chances are they have a subtle mirroring or iridescent effect on the lenses that you may not have even spotted before. Check you out – you’re already following the trend! I found that two pairs of my sunglasses collection have rainbow reflections on them and I’m already thinking about wearing them more often now that I know how on-trend they are!

summer 2014 fashion trend - iridescent shoes and sunglasses

image source

Iridescent shoes are the kind of footwear that you can definitely pull off while you’re away on holiday and the neon reflections will look great with your tropical print dresses. If you want to pick up a pair, try these metallic pumps or flatform sandals (already in the half price sale!) from New Look or chunky heels from ASOS.

summer 2014 footwear trend - iridescent shoes