Monday, 31 January 2011

Style Stalking... Tommy

Our blog roll is constantly evolving as we discover new favourite reads and bid a fond farewell to the ones which are sadly no longer with us. This is Naive, thankfully, is one which has been an ever present fixture. As stated on the blog itself, Tommy lives in London and she likes the beautiful and the good things. Her pictures and the accompanying musings have been a constant source of jealousy and admiration for us and her eye for detail really cannot be overstated. On top of all of this, she is a really lovely person!

Although she definitely has a fondness for the feminine (her baskets and embroidered tops are testament to this), I'm sure Tommy wouldn't mind us saying that her dress sense often tends towards a more masculine style given her love for vintage garments with hints of military and workwear. For this seven day style diary, Tommy took up our challenge to wear mostly men's clothes for a week. Over the course of the resulting week, she estimates that menswear constitutes about seventy per cent menswear of her outfits and she has done it in a way that we're certain that our readers will find both interesting and inspirational. Regardless of gender, there is a great to take away from the below set of images. Without further ado, here it is...

Day One
I have been in Paris for the last couple of days to see Hiroki Nakamura's Visvim presentation. Today is my final day, I just had a tarte au citron at Rose Bakery to remember Paris by.

Khadi & Co indigo scarf (its suggested use is a tablecloth), Thom Browne knit jumper, silk shirt from Yue Hwa department store in Singapore (it is made for Chinese granddads!), Edun trousers *, Vietnamese woven bag, Visvim hiker boots.

Day Two
Back in London and there is nothing to eat at home! So I have just been to the Sunday farmers' market and supermarket to stock up. The denim jacket belongs to my partner, I grabbed it off the rail and was amused that the pin badges on it match my trousers.

Old Levi's denim jacket, Patagonia boys' fleece jacket, old Royal Navy knit jumper, Brooks Brothers boys' button-down shirt, Goodenough chinos, Goro's leather bag, Bunney sheepskin mittens, Visvim chukka boots, Moroccan woven basket, Inverallan knit hat.

Day Three
Without a reliable photography assistant today but I found a helpful reflective surface in my neighborhood. I have just ferried a load of parcels to the post office.

See by Chloé knit scarf *, Inverallan knit cardigan, old French thermal top, 555 underwear t-shirt, Goodenough chinos, Lavenham quilted bag *, Tod's loafers, Moroccan woven basket.

Day Four
Windy! Rushing home after some errands to complete tax returns, thrilling Tuesday! I normally wear my gloves in a pair, by the way.

Khadi & Co indigo scarf, old German coveralls, old leather gloves, Head Porter tote bag, Wm. J. Mills & Co. canvas bag, YMC socks (made by Scott-Nichol), Nike chukka boots.

Day Five
Post-dinner at Andrew Edmunds in Soho with a visiting friend from Singapore. Freezing, just starting to rain, so we ducked into Liberty for cover. The coat, I know, is ridiculously big on me but it is precisely why I like it. Like playing dress-up when you are young in your father's coat!

Old French motorcycle coat, AFFA mohair knit jumper, Thom Browne for Moncler hat, unknown tartan scarf borrowed from partner's drawer, L'Etoile Isabel Marant trousers *, Head Porter tote bag, Vans Sk8-Hi sneakers (Undercover version from around 10 years ago).

Day Six
Visiting my friend, Jaja, and coercing her cat, Quincy, for a picture. I'm sure you'll agree that a handsome animal makes the best accessory.

See by Chloé knit scarf *, old Soviet-era padded jacket, old English silk and cotton shirt, Ralph Lauren trousers *, Vans Sk8-Hi sneakers, Poilâne linen bag.

Day Seven
Late night opening at Tate Modern, one of my favourite places to be on a Friday.

Old B3 sheepskin jacket, old English silk and cotton shirt, Bunney onyx studs (worn as buttons), old French cotton slip *, Poilâne linen bag, Hue leggings *, Nike boots *.
N.B. The starred items are womenswear.

Photography credits: Andrew, Jaja, Major Travel window, Liberty shoe department mirror.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Back in June I was fortunate enough to bounce around the menswear tradeshow theme park that is Pitti Uomo and have since reported back designer discoveries in earnest. A particularly rich vein of sartorial satisfaction came from Who's On Next/Pitti Uomo. This design contest is an exciting prospect that showcases the newest Italian or Italian-based talents. The second season was particularly fierce with FQR by Fabio Quaranta winning the award for pret-a-porter (please do check out his even stronger AW11 offering) and AI_ by Andrea Incontri winning the award for accessories. However, the ready to wear label that really caught my eye was CAMO. Through using fabrics made in North West Italy, designer Stefano Ughetti celebrates his heritage while supporting local industry and Italian craftsmanship. My appetite for his label was whet and we have kept in regular contact ever since. 

In the Camo collection that won my affections back in June,  Ughetti examined the roots of Biellese farmers and shepherds living a simple and proud life for SS11. One season on and the designer is once again looking to this rich region for inspiration. However, for AW11 rather  than look to its inhabitants he takes inspiration from a spiritual and cultural institutions, the Oropa Sanctuary. Here, Ughetti invites us to take our time; to think, to reason and decide for ourselves. Now,  dressed in the finest local fabric, is the moment to keep still and silently observe the life that happens all around us. As he presented this highly anticipated collection to international buyers, we caught up with the design talent to find out about his latest inspirations and his hopes for the coming year.

SS: What provided the initial inspiration and how did it evolve in to the collection we see today?
Stefano Ughetti: Each collection is inspired by the thought of the moment. By what I want to communicate for that season. My purpose for creating the label was not to dress people, but to put them in touch with what they wear. My father is a painter, my grandfather an artist and for me I chose this way to communicate my ideas to the world. For AW11, the Last Soul collection represents a man and a woman possessing a mystic and pensive attitude. I wanted to create a collection that provokes I was greatly inspired by the the Oropa Sanctuary

SS: How would you describe the collection in your own words?
Stefano Ughetti: This Soul collection reminds me of the colours  and shapes of the Oropa Sanctuary where I was inspired. The main shades are gray, white and black. The shapes are squared and rigorous mirroring the frames and structures of this beautiful place.

SS: You are known for using fabrics made in North West Italy and for celebrating your heritage while supporting local industry and Italian craftsmanship. What can you tell us about the fabrics and craftmanship used in this collection?
Stefano Ughetti: Yes, for this collection, as the ones before, all the fabrics and yarns for the knitwear are from manufactures and mills located in the vicinity of Biella.

SS: What are your plans for 2011 and beyond.
Stefano Ughetti: For 2011 I would like to consolidate what we have achieved up until now to grow our presence in the  US market. We recently participated at the Capsule tradeshow in NY and the reaction has been hugely positive.

Now, having caught up with the design talent himself it is time for a spot of weekend introspection. In the true spirit of the AW11 collection it is time to for silence as we let the stunning look book images wash over us...

All look book images supplied by Camo.

Friday, 28 January 2011

b Store loves Liberty

Both of us at Style Salvage have a soft spot for this particular homely department store and the fabric it is famous for. In 1875 Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his first shop on Regent Street with merely three employees, where he sold ornaments, fabrics, antiques and artifacts from Japan and the Far East. The store became the most fashionable place to shop in London and iconic Liberty fabrics were used for both clothing and furnishings. Its clientele was exotic and included famous members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Proust bought his ties there and Gilbert and Sullivan dressed their casts in its fabrics. Liberty soon become famous for its prints and textiles and by the 20th century Liberty fabrics were used by great designers like Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, Cacharel, Jean Muir and Paul Smith to name but a few.

Designers have always been inspired by Liberty's ever growing archive of prints. Last year alone, the venerable department store launched a number of interesting collaborations, from affordable florals at Target to shoes by Repetto, Nike Dunks adorned with florals and luggage by Merci. With an archive that is one hundred and thirty five years old, there is plenty to excite and inspire. The latest to be inspired is b store. In an exciting collaboration, the design and textile forces behind two of our favourite stores have combined to create a truly covetable capsule collection that celebrates some of the finest prints on offer, including the much loved pepper print. Having recently breathed fresh life in to heritage label, Baracuta in a range of Harringtons and trousers, now b store have reimagined the use of florals in menswear. Here, while showcasing the Jason Hughes styled and Laurence Ellis shot look book, we talk to b store's very own Matthew Murphy to learn about his love of Liberty, discuss the retail landscape in the capital and find out how the Savile Row store will blow out ten candles in a series of events throughout the year...

SS: How did this collaboration with Liberty arise and how did it evolve in to the collection we see today?
Matthew Murphy: The project stemmed from our relationship with Stephen Ayres, Liberty's Menswear Buying Director. We have known Stephen since he worked at Selfridges and when he moved to Liberty he asked us whether we could work together on a project. As the store is in close vicinity with ours and with us working with Selfrigdes and our projects with Dover Street Market, central London is pretty covered in terms of stockists but we still wanted to create something together. We have always loved the heritage of Liberty fabrics and we can up with the idea of working on a capsule collection using these great fabrics. b store loves Liberty. It is not really a collaboration as such because of course, anyone can buy the fabrics wholesale but we wanted a special celebration of these great fabrics. We put the collection together and showed Stephen and he loved it. Initially, Liberty were going to stock it exclusively alongside us, but to get it manufactured we decided to do a bit more and the reaction internationally has been phenomenal. A number of stores that we have been working tentatively with were extremely positive. This season, with the collaborations with both Baracuta and Liberty, it feels decidedly British and the buying reaction has been great.

SS: Were the two collaborations strategically planned together or did they fall in to place?
Matthew Murphy: Ever since we started, the international opinion of b store has always been that we are a very London brand and people have always talked about it being very British. So, we planned that if we were going to collaborate we would work with British brands or brands that could really add something. Baracuta was a great one because we always found outerwear and casual jackets a difficult thing for us, we do shirts and trousers extremely well but tented to struggle with jackets. The stuff that they did with Watanabe and Margaret Howell was quite relevant to what we wanted to do so that came first. Then the Liberty opportunity arose and then everything just fell in to place. For future collaborations, we will continue down this route, find people will add to the complete look of the brand. We don't necessarily want to become a lifestyle as such but the aim is to offer a complete look. We obviously already do shoes and more recently accessories with Kuni (Awai), but it would be good to work on areas that we are not so prolific in and collaborate with specialists not so much in a craft way but, working with people on their signature items. I quite like the idea of working with brands that have become old, stuffy or slightly naff and tweaking them for the modern market.

SS: The archive of Liberty prints must be huge. What was starting point?
Matthew Murphy: We wanted a floral first and foremost because we were feeling that for the collection anyway which is why this always felt like a natural collaboration as they are known for their floral prints. Originally, we wanted to use some of the archive and heritage prints but it just wasn't possible in this instance. The archive prints are almost under lock and key, there are licensing agreements and cost issues so it is lengthy process. For the purposes of this happen, we wanted to make it as simple as possible but still used some amazing prints. It was the late sixties and early seventies prints that really inspired us. For example, the pepper print was designed in 1974/5 so there is still some history to them.

SS: This was a particularly iconic era for floral prints...
Matthew Murphy: Completely. Back then, what is great about them is that there is an obvious femininity there but when you put it in a shirt they feel masculine. There is such a soft feel to Liberty. As a store, it has always been my favourite department store in London. It was almost an introduction to menswear, back when I could first afford to designer clothes the menswear floor at Liberty was phenomenal. Back then they had a impressive Margaret Howell corner, a Westwood area, they had Dries (Van Noten), they were the first store to have Margiela. Fast forward to today and they have found a great niche. I think Stephen has a clear vision of what he wants the current menswear floor to be and it fits with our brand.

SS: You've had the pleasure of working alongside some of the great retail institutions of the capital...
Matthew Murphy: London is still one of the best shopping cities in the world. There might be more interesting things going on in other cities but if you want a selection then London is still the city. I'm all for teaming up and we've been fortunate to work with some great stores for example with Shop at Bluebird, with Selfridges, Dover Street Market and now Liberty. Each of the stores have strong identities and we've worked with all of them in different ways. It is amazing to think that our brand can do that, maybe the appeal is that it can fit so many different demographics and consumers. Originally, we thought that the work with Liberty would be a one off but after the success of it we began to think about working with the fabric in new ways and there is just so much creative opportunity. It can be subtle, as well as bold. For example, for SS12 we are already looking in to overdying fabrics. Then there are some bold geometric patterns from the 70s that remind me of early 90s Prada and that feels right at the moment as well. It is a great opportunity .

SS: What can you tell us about the planned launch?
Matthew Murphy: We are going to have a corner in Liberty's, put up the images and cover the walls in the pepper print. We are also going to open a pop up store in Printemps in Paris in May. Through doing this project, it has opened up opportunities. There are a million collaborations out there but if they are relevant then they work.

SS: I understand that 2011 is a big year for b store...
Matthew Murphy: It certainly is. We are ten in August and we have so many projects planned for the year to celebrate. Everything that we've planned is going under the umbrella of celebrating the store with different people, so Liberty, a roadshow with Selfridges which is pop up shop that begins in Manchester and goes to Birmingham before ending up in London, Printemps and we are working with Mr Porter online. We are also going to launch ten British products. We've approached ten British brands in categories that we are not currently involved in and these include lifestyle and fashion brands, some well known and a few which are less so. Actually there is one brand that I know you'll love, a new tie brand called Marwood. One of the key things that she does is using British lace on top of either silks or cottons to create ties and bow ties. It is beautiful. We are working with her for Spring/Summer in store but she is also going to be one of the ten. These types of projects are great because as well as keeping us creatively inspired, they are a great platform for discovering new brands and pushing them forward.

SS: In a sense, it is fitting celebration and it mirrors the core values of the b store ethos…
Matthew Murphy: Completely. It might be a bit less relevant or for difficult for us now in terms of menswear because our customers want a bit more consistency. For example, we have worked with Peter Jensen since the very beginning and we have customers who come to buy his designs, same with Stephan (Schneider) and now with Christophe (Lemaire). It is hard for us to introduce new menswear brands because there is no one we could nor would want to drop. Unfortunately we are governed by space and the fact that seventy per cent of our menswear is our own brand. This high percentage is not down to us pushing it but is down to the demand. So what we buy from these other bands is items that we wouldn't do necessarily ourselves by still feel very us, the understated luxury of Christophe or the geekyness of Peter. With these boxes filled it is difficult to bring on new labels. With regard to womenswear we have more freedom. This is why the Ten Products project is great because it allows us to bring in new names for product lines that we do not already sell.

As the chaps celebrate their tenth anniversary in a style, you can expect to hear a lot more about b Store on the pages of this blog and beyond in the coming months. In the meantime, lets long for some sunshine and daydream about floral prints before the fruits of this collaboration hit stores next week.  

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Finding Marwood

Marwood AW11. Image by Emilie Bailey

With each visit to b Store this regular shopper is left with a new discovery or idea to pursue. From the designers they stock to the people who shop there or those involved in the store in another way, it is clear that it is more a lifestyle than a store. Everything from the clothes hanging on the rails to the artwork displayed within it to the people which inhabit it, b is full of surprises. On my last visit, I was informed by an excited Matthew Murphy of a new British neckwear brand called Marwood. Soon after his enthused descriptions of the label's use of English lace on top of either silks or cottons to create beautiful ties and bow ties, in walked the lady behind the label, Becky French, armed with a vintage suitcase of samples. It was fate.

Launched for Autumn/Winter 2011, Marwood’s debut collection showcases an exquisitely crafted range of ties and bow ties made with the finest fabrics such as woven silk, wool and traditional English spun lace. Marwood believes in providing a product whilst drawing on and learning from established techniques and methods from the past in teams of craftsmanship and process. The label's neckties celebrate the traditions and techniques of a rich and distinguished heritage, yet still feel modern.

This photo is taken by Callum Toy who has been recording the majority of the behind the scenes of the factories and processes used by Marwood

Now, when we introduce a new label we tend to interview the creative mind behind it but in this instance, Becky French has made this  investigative blogger redundant. The reason being is that in 2009, French founded Marwood as a wonderfully insightful blog, an online sketchbook intended to collate the research that would inspire and drive the Marwood concept, attitude and ultimately, its first collection of neckties. It is an absolute joy to read and far more informative than my ramblings could ever be. The detail and evolving inspirations are there for all to read. Having studied Fashion Design at Kingston University, French moved to New York, where she worked as a menswear design assistant for Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label. On her return to London she joined Aquascutum as a womenswear designer, where she remained for four years before founding Marwood. Driven by her passion for pattern, colour, nostalgia and detail orientated design, Marwood has enabled French to develop close working relationships with some of the UK’s most skilled and experienced craftspeople.

Image shot by Emilie Bailey

One of the more intriguing facets of Marwood's sketchbook is the quest to manufacture a predominantly British-made product. This  desire has been a constant objective for Marwood, and whilst it is proving harder to find UK suppliers today, the ones that are out there are exceptional at what they do and it is absolute pleasure to read about her experiences. They represent the artisan skills that British manufacturing has always been known and appreciated for. Combined with a considered and thorough design process, working with these experienced factories helps to ensure that Marwood neckties are of a consistently high quality. The process is thorough, efficient and obviously well practiced.

Image shot by Emilie Bailey

Via her online sketchbook, French concedes that one of the highlights of starting Marwood has been the exploration of one product and delving in to the details of this accessory and learning about its components, its uses and its meanings. A tie might be commonplace object with commonplace connotations and it is certainly somewhat under appreciated in the modern world. What more, it is an object that can be visually achieved so quickly, easily and cheaply and cheaply, although those imitations won't have the lasting quality of a hand finished, English woven and made product with years of expertise behind it in the make. Marwood has become quite fond of this strange yet familiar object and will continue to explore the design subtleties and possibilities. The label's aim is to create innovative neckties, where each collection celebrates quality fabrics, interesting patterns and the best of British craftsmanship. Marwood's first collection has tried to cover a variety of needs and occasions by offering a range of fabrications including traditional Silk, Wool and English lace. The debut is undoubtedly hugely successful on all counts and I for one am excited to see the offering continue to grow.

Image by Emilie Bailey

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Collections... Shoes

"I have just caught the shoe bug and would love to see a cross section of your collection Steve. Would make a great post..."
Anonymous Reader

What follows is a direct result of the above anonymous comment received on our Style Stalking feature and an enthusiastic nudge administered by EJ. The shoe bug is indeed contagious and I could not shirk the opportunity to unveil my collection. Now, as you all know, the ever changing pursuit of building the perfect wardrobe is a lifelong one so here is a snapshot of my present collection. The much appreciated art of wardrobe building is not a fast or haphazard activity: instead it is developed and nurtured over time. Of course there will be the odd irrational purchase or taste questioning gift but over time these items will be forgotten and you'll be left with a true indication of your style at a given time.

In recent years, I have attempted to focus my attention on one specific area of need at a time. The last eighteen months have seen me refine, edit, purchase and lay the foundations of a shoe collection fit for my tastes of today, and hopefully tomorrow. This period began with an acknowledgment that it was time to bid a fond farewell to eight pairs of pavement abused and gig sullied Converse All Stars and a plethora of well loved Adidas trainers. Following this difficult period of trainer cleansing (of course the odd, well preserved favourite was kept), I began investing in footwear that my feet craved. The collection, once reduced to its bare essentials, has slowly but surely grown to its current level of seventeen well loved pairs. This weekend I decided to take a snapshot of the current collection and highlight a few of my favourites...

The current line-up in full

Varying heights and styles...

From Boots to brogues to lace ups to trainers to high tops...

A few trainers remain alongside a couple of new pairs.

Now, having offered the requested cross section of my shoe collection I could not resist offering a closer look at a few favourites. What follows are descriptions of seven of my well loved and well worn pairs. I've always loved the idea of a man's wardrobe providing an eloquent narrative of his life less ordinary. Here's what my shoes have to say...

The shoes that...are always on my feet...

Kudu boots by Lodger worn with suit trousers by Reiss.

After interviewing Lodger's Nathan Brown back in September 2009 my imagination was overwhelmed following his description of his September shoe of the month, the Kudu Brogued Boot. From this moment on I day dreamed about them gracing my feet during the upcoming winter months and beyond. Having bought them, the reality was just as good. I feel as passionately about them now as I did then. The boot is an eight eyelet brogue style, and has a skeleton lining of the same Kudu leather as the upper, and a full lining in a plush purple velvet from Scabal. The craftsman in Northampton created something truly beautiful out of that antique African antelope hide and I feel special every time they grace my feet.

The shoes that...are the newest...

Lanvin Hi Tops worn with socks from Uniqlo and trousers by Tim Soar.

You might recall that when I hit the quarter of a century mark, Susie knew me all too well and bought me the best present ever in a pair on Lanvin hi tops. Fast forward a couple of years and Susie saw that my eyes had lit up thanks to a wool and leather combination for AW10. She opted to treat me to a pair of these flocked grey, navy and maroon weave hi tops as an early Christmas present. Since then, these texture rich trainers have been worn countless times.

The shoes that...receive more longing looks than any other

Orwell Stingray by Mr Hare worn with socks by Topman and trousers by b Store.

Mr. Hare's passion for fine shoes is infectious and for all to see over on his blog but it is even more apparent in his designs. For me, there is one particular shoe that made me look at footwear differently. The Orwell Stingray is an apron Derby shoe in patent leather with stingray built on a Blake construction. “When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room. Accept no substitutes.” This sentence uttered by Ordell Robbie in ‘Jackie Brown’ was the only sentence that came into Mr Hare's head every time he looked at the Orwell and I can certainly see why. He declared that the "Orwell is an apron derby that has all the attitude of 60s Kray run London and the joie de vivre of Sammy Davis Jnr. I just received the Stingray version which is sick." After wearing them for eighteen months, my feet always feel as though they a ready to dance around town in a bygone era. They set the shoe bar ridiculously high.

The shoes that...I saw being made...

Mentor Brogues by Joe Casely-Hayford for John Lewis worn with socks from Marks & Spencer and trousers by Tim Soar.

Back in September, I was invited to watch the Cheaney craftsmen at work at their Desborough factory, to learn more about one of England's master shoemakers and see the fruits of their collaboration with Joe Casely-Hayford for John Lewis. I eagerly followed and snapped away at each well honed and practiced process from start to finish in the factory that has been their home for well over two hundred years. It was a pleasure to be able to watch each stage unfold in a space that has seen the same processes come together for over two centuries. It is little wonder why Joe Casely-Hayford partnered with them once more. After the deserved success of last season’s Pukk brogues (they had this blogger's heart skipping a few beats), Casely-Hayford has taken the much appreciated design concept a step further. During my time at the factory I was able to see firsthand snapshots of the creation process for the latest Joe Casely-Hayford for John Lewis, Cheaney brogue; the Mentor. I was fortunate enough to view the finishing touches being applied to one of the final dozen due to be dispatched to John Lewis. A few weeks later and I received my own pair.

The shoes that...are as comfortable as slippers...

Harris Tweed Desert Boots by Clarks worn with socks and trousers by Uniqlo.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Desert Boot, Clarks Originals created six unique new designs (three for women and three for men). It still amazed me that these stylish staples were first invented in a Burmese military outpost by a young Nathan Clark. The original boots inspiration is a crepe soled boot made from rough, suede in Cairo's fabled Old Bazaar and it was soon the off-duty English Army officers footwear of choice. There are of course a plethora of different desert boots out there made by all sorts of names but why deviate from the original? To mark the anniversary Clarks Originals created a look inspired by each of the six decades that the Desert Boot has spent as an essential fashion item. As soon as the anniversary boots were released back in September my head was turned by the Harris Tweed, 1950's pair and they have provided me with comfort ever since.

The shoes that...remind me that I'm in the PDG...

Flocked Polka Dot shoes by Dr Martens worn with socks by Sock Mate and trousers by Omar Kashoura.

As one of the founding members of the Polka Dot Gang (EJ is the other) these shoes make me incredibly happy. In addition to adding much needed colour to my ever expanding shoe collection, they also add a sense of fun. While excitedly poring over Dr Martens AW10 models I fell head over welted soled heels for a pair of purple polka dot lace ups but unfortunately for me they were one of the jewels of the women's line. The product team at Dr Martens are also huge fans of polka dots and have been experimenting with flocking techniques for some time. The result is something quite special. Made all the more special because they are (currently) entirely unique. You might think that I'm wearing a girls shoe in a larger size but you'd be wrong. Instead of using the women's DML comfort last the Dr Martens team made my shoes on the 84 last. The 84 is unisex and is much narrower and has a slightly more pointed toe. Every time I look at the flocked polka dots I will let out a wry smile and will remember just how special they are...

The shoes that...feel like a holiday...

Striped Oxford by Lodger worn with socks by Happy Socks and gingham trousers by b Store

Back in July 2009 my head was turned by yet another offering from Lodger's all too tempting shoe of the month unveiling. The breathtaking Striped Oxford was duly added to my shoe list and after saving the required pennies, I decided to invest in a pair. Inspired by the Duke of Windsor (undoubtedly one of the best dressed men of all time) the design is an interesting blend of fine Scabal striped linen and burnished French calf. It is this combination which makes it a great addition to the shoe pile for the warmer months. All in all, these have made for a fine investment. Now, I just long to find more sunshine at home and abroad.

The piles of footwear choices strewn throughout my flat are a constant reminder (Susie calls them a nuisance but she really can't talk!) of my fondness of footwear but I have to confess that I've never really considered myself as a shoeist in the same vein as Mr. Hare or Queen Imelda. No doubt my collection will grow and I'll update you as and when it does...


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