"My Beloved Bruno Magli's"

Welcome to OLD SOLES! The Blog where you will find the most favourite soles, the people who inhabit them and why they chose to do so. Enjoy OLD SOLES!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Served on a plate!
This Karl Lagerfeld feast consisted of a brown heel supporting ornamental swirls of cutout gold trimmed black leather suede ...  1 of 2 soles worn by Stella Tennant as she cat-walked down the runway of Chanel circa 1993.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

"You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoe. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet"  ... Christian Dior

Sunday, 1 October 2017

American media theorist, writer, columnist, lecturer, graphic novelist and documentarian http://www.rushkoff.com/ Douglas Rushkoff's soles were once inhabited by the late American psychologist, writer and advocate of LSD experimentation Timothy Leary.

Rushkoff spent alot of time with him during his final months and shortly before his death told him "your're it"! Figuring that he meant carrying the torch for human autonomy and questioning authority.

Leary kept asking him if there was something of his that he wanted, so after he died, he took the trainers and wore them during his next book tour... literally walking in his shoes.

Rushkoff says that the white KSwiss were something of a trademark for Leary after he got arrested. He had been friends with media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who had recommended Leary to smile whenever he was photographed, particularly while being dragged to court or to jail for his psychedelics advocacy. And to adopt a visual symbol for his unbridled optimism: the white trainer.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Deborah Mitford's, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire riding boots elegantly holding court in one of the 297 rooms at Chatsworth House.
As the matron of one of the most important historic homes in England, Debo as she was often called  transformed the Chatsworth Estate into a thriving enterprise with her own unique style and personality. The neoclassical palace, located in the peak district of Derbyshire has a farm shop, hotel/restaurant and holds agricultural shows/equestrian events that were initiated by her before she passed away at the ripe age of 94.
These riding soles have been well preserved. They stand gracefully like the late Chatelaine of the house once did.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

One of the highlights of my summer so far has been visiting Chatsworth House in Derbyshire where the brilliant exhibition House Style curated by Hamish Bowles and Laura Burlington is on show. The day trip with my dear friend Interior decorator/stylist Sera Hersham Loftus proved to be pure nirvana as we encountered a wonderland of incredible styles, history and design that was the world of the Devonshires.
These treasured soles belonged to the 11th Duke of Devonshire. In the exhibition book House Style, Hamish Bowles writes "When the scales of his crocodile John Lobb shoes began to peel off with age, they were carefully sewn on with tiny blanket stitches, whilst his embroidered slippers from the same establishment were so beloved that they were worn until threadbare and patched up with scraps of leather like ancient holy relics"

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Hail to the wedge! The design that dates back to ancient Greece. Popularized by the iconic Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo who introduced it to the Italian market in the late 1930's.
I have found that wedges offer more support and comfort than heels. Smitten by these black suede and blood red crocodile soles they were sadly the wrong size! 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Gallerist Serena Morton www.serenamorton.com bought her Gucci silver soles in January 2017.  
They were a gift to herself, to celebrate the 22 paintings she sold for Damian Elwes at the end of last year, in his last exhibition (New Paintings, 2016).
"I wear them to celebrate life and to give me confidence when I am out and about"

Monday, 1 May 2017

I purchased these olive green stretch netting leather ankle boots over 12 years ago during a sample sale at Mootich, the eclectic flagship footwear boutique in Elizabeth street Belgravia, London.
Created by the artisan Katerina Mootich of BESPOKE BEAT for the label Mootich these soles are still my favourite ankle boots.
They possess style, comfort and surprise ... the interior flower printed leather lining always makes my day.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

These metallic green soles are loved so much by the owner Marina Mazur that she does not wear them often but when she does she receives many compliments.
Bought around 10 years ago from the shoe designer Olivia Morris's shop on Portobello Road in London she finds they go with a lot of things she wears despite their strong colour.
“They are like jewels on my feet and are timeless!"

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Goddess Space www.thegoddesspace.wordpress.com founder Anoushka's sheepskin embroidered soles were meant to be in her life. At first she discovered them in a shop in Camden but her size was not available and was told to come back in a week. Excited she returned and much to her disappointment there were still no slippers in her size. But joy came to her at last while visiting a small village market in the English countryside. The slippers in her size were waiting for her to warmly embrace her feet. “They are magical and keep me grounded!”

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

These well worn dancing soles where found at a friends car-boot stall in Chiswick. It was love at first sight as I quickly tried them on and much to my delight the size was right.
I marvel at the different layers of gold metallic paint with hues of green breaking through the cracked aged leather and wonder about the previous owner. Entertaining thoughts of their movements on the dance floor during this wintry grey rainy day in February.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

My father Orlando Torres who passed away on Dec 31 at the age 94 was an old school Cuban man with impeccable style. He wore his suits with flair, his hats with gusto and his shoes with panache.
These tasseled loafer soles are well preserved because he placed his trust on a good cobbler and believed in a good thorough polish.
They have danced the salsa and merengue on many dance floors and gave my father the license to strut his stuff with class and elegance. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Photographer Elizabeth Doak's Miu Miu soles were given to her by a dear friend who clearly knows her very well because Elizabeth has a “thing” for red Ric Rac. This zigzag detail makes things look folksy. And she likes that these rather expensive designer shoes look a bit “make do and mend" but she does not wear them.
“They sit on a shelf with pictures of the Queen and a teapot”

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Fine Art dealer and co- founder of www.2dgalleries.com Florian Daguet-Bresson has great affection for his Lanvin first edition trainers.
He is a fan of the design and finds them elegantly grungy reminding him of his past as a student.
He wears them with suits and calls them his comfort blanket.
Rather than throwing them into the washing machine he carefully wipes them down with a damp sponge.
One of the laces recently tore and instead of replacing them he just tied them together with a knot.
"For me, these soles are more like objects than shoes!"

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Nancy Durrant, the arts commissioning editor at The Times  www.newsworks.org.uk, Vivienne Westwood soles have endured a series of parties, events and office hours since she purchased them on sale at the Mayfair shop about a decade ago.
These are the only pair of Westwood's she owns and adores how they make her legs look amazing despite her toes feeling pinched saying that the pain is worth it!
The black silk brocade has faded and the wooden heels are about to retire but they are her favorite style from the classic earlier Westwood collections.
"There's something about the subtle subversiveness of these shoes that makes me feel secretly powerful. Anyone who thinks that women are hamstrung by high heels or that they're anti-feminist, is underestimating the complexity of that relationship."

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Floral designer Breige Siegan-Smith  http://www.flowersbybreige.co.uk/ spends a lot of the time wearing wellies while tending to her blooming creations. But these soles are the exception.
Purchased 5 years ago from Zara these ankle black leather boots studded with gold detail lift her spirits and make her feel grounded.
When she swapped the urban Notting-Hill, London pavements for the muddy country hills of Staffordshire, England they transported her to her past London life.
"I wear them every-time I need a smile!" 

Monday, 1 August 2016

The artist Rosemary Cronin http://rosemarycronin.co.uk/ is a Clara Bow fan and she loves the brogues that the silent screen icon wore in many of her films.

Purchased in Camden high street around 8 years ago she was hoping to get the black version but they only had these cherry pie coloured soles in her size 3. She bagged a discount as well due to a mark on the shoe and has grown to love the deep red hue that they possess.

One day on the Brighton Pier she came across Zoltan the Fortune Teller who said to her " You will succeed in life if only you wear the right shoes"

Friday, 1 July 2016

Abby Hignell, Director of Hignell Gallery http://hignellgallery.com in Mayfair adores dancing. But even more how her pink and white leather handmade dancing soles feel on her feet.

Bought 7 years ago at Johnson Shoes http://johnson-shoes.com for her Rhythm Riot Lindy Hop events, these brogues were her staying power main accessory. But in the last couple of months she has decided to wear them as non dancing shoes. Made with the most amazing soft leather that mold into her feet, they provide much needed comfort during long hours of private views and opening nights.

“They are the eye candy in a crowded room full of serious conversation because they make people stop and smile”.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

This month instead of searching for other soles I decided to highlight one of my very own favorites.  Bought in Paris 15 years ago, these Prada www.prada.com 40's style peep toes suit my taste for retro chic footwear.
I was on a weekend trip to Paris with one of my oldest New York City girlfriends Barbara. We encountered an outlet shop where I came across the two toned soles made of ecru leather and brown canvas with detailed stitching. I fell in love with them and the price tag of 50 french francs! "They are my  back to glamour time machines!"

Sunday, 1 May 2016

These rumpled dress navy patent leather shoes belonged to the photographer Max Milligan's https://www.facebook.com/Max-Milligan-Photography-232299329144/
father who was a navel officer and winner of the sword of honor from King George the 5th in 1935.
The vintage soles have been around since before the second world war.
Resoled twice Max only wears them to black tie occasions.
"These soles have seen action on the war front and on the dance floor!"

Friday, 1 April 2016

Brett Rogers, OBE, Director of London's Photographer's Gallery http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/ loves the bright orange colour and new form of rubber design that her United Nude flat soles possess.
Purchased a few years ago while visiting the Brighton Photo Biennial she decided to also get another pair in vibrant green.
"They bring me joy especially during rainy summer days … easy to clean and never loose their colour!"

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

I encountered sparkle envy when I first glanced at these silver glitter oxfords worn by Fiona Smith the adult programme manager at The National Portrait Gallery ... www.npg.org.uk
Due to the markdown... £160 to £35 it was impossible to resist this implusive online purchase from Black Truffle... a boutique in Hackney.
These twinkling soles stop traffic as Fiona cycles through london city streets.
"They invite comment, liven up any outfit and are incredibly comfortable!" 


Monday, 1 February 2016

Curator Thierry Guillet discovered these soles in a tiny shop in Paris during the mid nineties when he was working for Yohji Yamamoto.

Made in France by Jesuit monks he found these sandals quite similar in design and simplicity to the ones Diane Vreeland described in her memoirs D.V. as the "Perfect Sandals"

These days he wears them everyday in his home like slippers.

"I can attest that after all these years they have remained the sandals of a lifetime"

Friday, 1 January 2016

I was overwhelmed with delight by Nick Lewin's http://www.pointblankproductions.com/usa/directors/nick-lewin/ eclectic shoe collection. The award winning and celebrated film director has an array of super stylish soles for any occasion. 

These stripy numbers are a gift from his wife who knows how much he loves his footwear. Their origin is Lebanese and provide much comfort during his summer month travels.

"They are just incredibly elegant and make me feel good be they in my case or on my feet!"

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Joan Rolls, PR for fine jeweller Van Cleef &Arpels http://www.vancleefarpels.com grew up in Fiji. Wearing flowers in her hair and walking barefoot was the usual way of life. 

So style and comfort is what she saw in these cherry red velvet ballerina style flats.
Beautifully handmade by a cobbler she discovered in one of her many trips to Greece these soles make her smile and think about how truly wonderful the colour red is!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ghislaine Nassif, the founder and director of http://ravenartsociety.com/  
collects art as well as shoes.
It was shoe heaven as she showed me her vast and varied amounts of sole candy.
I held my breath and stopped at these screaming patent pink leather Paul Smith's.
These sexy silver strappy heels have many tales to tell judging from that sole action!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Italian photographer Bruna Rotunno http://www.brunarotunno.com wears her Converse everywhere.
She has amassed a large collection in a variety of colours to suit her mood whether its an evening out on the town or traveling the world to shoot advertising campaigns and reportage work.
These maize yellow soles were bought 10 years ago in Salve,  a small town in the region of Salento in Southern Italy.
"They are chic, comfortable and easy to get along with!"

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

British artist Sadie Lee https://www.facebook.com/sadieleeart loves men shoes. Generally they are too wide and too big for her slim 6 size. But these 60's chiseled toe handsome soles from a vintage retro shop in Greenwich spoke to her as she saw them on the shelf. Her Cinderella moment arrived as she slipped them on for the perfect fit. The shopkeeper with tears in his eyes dropped the price immediately and said he wanted her to have them because it would give him joy to see her wearing them.

They are a bit scruffy and need some tender loving care from a proper cobbler but are still super comfortable and they have had the most compliments than any of her other shoes. The filmmaker Campbell X who Sadie has great admiration for spotted them on Sadie as she sat cross-legged at an event and snogged them saying “ I just have to say,  I don't know you but your shoes are so beautiful,  I need to kiss them immediately!” echoing Sadie's own feelings about her treasured soles “ They are so stylish and so beautiful,  I love them!”

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lou Simmonds founder and designer of Luna Bea www.lunabea.com Toffel clogs have had many adventures. They have danced all day and night at a wedding in Tuscany, been soaked from being accidently thrown in a lake in Sri Lanka, partly damaged by her BMX pedals and chewed by a fox that stole them from her kitchen!
Purchased in 2013 from The Swedish Hasbeens shop in London, these soles have provided her with comfort and something to go with her 60's and 70's vintage pieces.
Lou believes that a woman cannot feel sexy if she is not comfortable. Not being able to walk in shoes is an abstract concept for her.
“I don't like to think too much about what Im wearing. "I always want to feel free and believe there is sensuality in movement” "I love these shoes and they feel pretty close to being barefoot which is my ideal shoe!”

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The cartoonist, illustrator and artist Steven Appleby www.stevenappleby.com Prada's came into his life via a £200 Liberty christmas gift voucher 4 years ago. Reduced from £500 to £160 during the sales and in his size he hit the jackpot.
Despite the heel,  he finds them incredibly comfortable and wears them during special occasions. But his calf muscles don't like them as much due to the fact that he has not stretched them out properly by wearing them more often.
These special soles change his silhouette. "They are not just boots, they change the entire way I look by transforming my posture and body shape for the better!"

Monday, 1 June 2015

The multidisciplinary designer Georgia Vaux playpurse.com splattered painted suede soles are no accident. And they were on the scene before the paint drip trainers from Maison Margiela!
Bought in Paris to rescue her from the constraints of heels she bought them back to London where she accidentally dropped cooking oil on them. Growing up with seeing her mother who is a painter wearing her slip-on paint encrusted trainers while she painted in her studio gave her an idea. She got out all her selection of paints and did a Jackson Pollack on them.
"You can't wear them in the rain or you will end up with a Turner landscape!"

Friday, 1 May 2015

Since his teens The Whig Party leader Waleed Ghani http://whigs.uk/vauxhall desired handmade bespoke soles from John Lobb on St. James street. Receiving an operational tour bonus after having served in Afghanistan allowed him to realize his dream of owning these classic beautifully crafted soles. Upon his return to London he made an appointment and over a year later his elegant black leather Oxfords were ready.  Super comfortable he is as passionate as ever about them. "When I wear them they are transformative...  ok this is it,  its game time!"

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The glass designer Paola Petrobelli www.paolapetrobelli.com/ is a trainer girl. These Golden Goose Deluxe's were bought during the Harvey Nicks sales in London over 7 years ago. She found them in her favourite navy blue colour and loved the fact that they had no label showing off a brand name. With leather insoles which keep her feet warm during the winter months these well worn soles have been everywhere amassing a series of holes . “In Venice when I visit my glass blowers I can only wear them when there is no Acqua Alta”

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Artist Hugo Dalton http://www.hugodalton.com/ cherishes his silver Jil Sander Puma soles. Bought around 10 years ago on the last day of Harvey Nichols London summer sales the attraction was the colour, comfort and the fact that they had it in his size 12. The worn metallic leather texture exudes character and only come out during special occasions "I sort of imagine that I found them in the corner of Andy Warhol's Factory"

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Photomonitor  http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/ editor Christiane Monarchi found these lush vintage emerald Sohari Ehinger soles on Esty 2 years ago. Christiane was lucky to have found her narrow size and the fact that they fit like a dream. They match her gold and green brocade mini dress that her mother wore to parties in Paris during the 60's. She loves the fact that these soles also had a previous life just like the dress. 
"Just looking at them makes me want to get dressed up and go out to party!"