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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 ~ 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 Cassiefairy.com 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 ~ Put on your dancing shoes

This Tuesday Shoesday, I wanted to share my new hobby with you: swing dancing. I started going to a weekly class in June and after a rather wobbly left-footed start, I’ve really gotten into the swing of things (argh, bad pun alert!) and I look forward to going dancing every week – we always have a great laugh learning new moves. It’s not just about learning a dance; it’s a great form of exercise (I’m always out of breath by the end of a session!), it makes me happy (exercise endorphins will do that for you, I guess!) and it’s a fab social event. It’s been fun getting to know new people, dancing with different partners and going for a cheeky pint after class! A great by-product of taking up dancing is the effect it’s had on my wardrobe.

Now when I’m shopping for clothing I look at how the fabric moves, I consider whether it will keep me cool while I’m boogieing and I wonder how a dress will look when I do an American spin! I’ve been trying on skirts for the first time in 10 years and I want to tie my hair up in a bouncy ponytail. More importantly I’ve been lusting after dancing shoes and I’ve finally bought a pair that I love.

40s 50s dancing shoes

I spotted these little beauties in the Clarks sale  last weekend my heart started racing. I added them to my online basket, but my heart sank when I discovered that they were sold out in my size. Undeterred, and certain that these shoes were ‘the ones’, I made it my mission to head into the high-street shop and have a proper rummage on their sale shelves. There was an audible gasp, following by lots of whooping, when I found my dream dance shoes in my size at half the RRP. I’ve never bought a pair of shoes so quickly before: just a quick try-on and a couple of twirls and kicks was all it took to persuade me to part with my cash. I hugged the shoe-box close to me as I carried my precious dancing shoes home.

40s 50s dancing shoes-2

Surely you can see why I love these shoes so much? Not only are they a classic brogue design (and I love Clarks’ brogues in particular) but they have glitter on them. Ideal for me! The low heel height is perfect for dancing and I know that the leather will become even softer and more supple the more that I wear them. I can’t wait to slip them on for my next dance class and see whether they will improve my technique haha!


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Show some support

I like shoe supports, there’s something lovely about them. I think it’s the way that they keep your shoes looking great, how they ensure your shoe wardrobe stays neat and the fact that it’s a slightly old-fashioned thing to use. Don’t you think that shoe supports just are fantastic? Or is it just me? I also like the fact that the title of this blog post could relate to any of the sporting events that are going on around the world at the moment; world cup, formula 1, Wimbledon and soon the Commonweath Games. But it’s not just our sporting stars who need support – it’s our shoes too.

It seems like the kind of subject that would have appeared in a Tuesday Shoesday blog post in my grandmother’s day. Okay maybe not a blog post – perhaps an article in Good Housekeeping magazine: “Looking after your shoes”. I’ve written about taking care your shoes in the past – polishing new boots, reheeling my favourite shoes and homemade boot stretchers – but so far I’ve missed out shoe supports because I’ve never owned any.  I really like the idea of looking after your shoes and making them last because a pair of shoes can be a big investment and once you’ve found a comfortable pair, you’ll want to keep them going for years to come. My favourite dolly shoes from New Look are still going strong and I’ve been wearing them for at least 7 years, with only one repair in the middle. In terms of cost-per-wear these shoes are probably my best ever buy and I think it’s a thrifty investment to repair them rather than replace them because they are just so comfortable. Plus, looking after my shoes rather than chucking them out keeps more rubbish out of landfill and that’s always a good idea.

Look after your shoe with supports and stretchers

So even though I didn’t own any shoe supports in the past and haven’t always followed my own advice of buying well, looking after shoes and repairing as I go, I’m very interested in prolonging the life of my footwear now. I picked up this pair of green shoe supports at a charity shop recently and have started to use them to prolong the life of more of my favourite footwear. I know they don’t look particularly pretty, but I really like how the paint has flaked off the metal and they look really vintagey when popped into my shoes. I want to keep an eye out for more similar shoe-trees so I’ll keep hunting at carboot sales and in charity shops in the future.

Take care of your shoe with supports and stretchers

When hubby recently got some new shoes from Clarks, I asked to keep the cardboard inserts so that we could put them back into the shoes after wearing to keep their shape while they are being stored away. I’ve saved the box too, to keep them looking as good as new for as long as possible. I know that they would just get shoved in the wardrobe and be ruined by squashing otherwise so I’d like to prolong the life of these shoes, because they are a good investment and should last for many many years to come.

Look after your shoe with supports and stretchers-1

Do you already look after your shoes sensibly? Let me know how you store your shoes and whether vintage shoe-supports are old news to you :) Tweet me @Cassiefairy