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.
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!”
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
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
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.
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”
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."
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!"
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"
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”.
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!"
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!"
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.
a few years ago while visiting the Brighton Photo Biennial she
decided to also get another pair in vibrant green.
bring me joy especially during rainy summer days … easy to clean
and never loose their colour!"
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!
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!"
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!”
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!”
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!"
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!"
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!"
The glass designer Paola Petrobelli
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”
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"
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!"
Art Dealer and former director of The
White Cube in Bermondsey Sara Kay wanted shiny shoes. She needed to
sparkle and “sex it up” so these silver Vera Wang's became her
post divorce soles. Bought more than 2 years ago at the New York madison avenue store she finds them super comfortable. “I dont like
to suffer … thats why I got divorced!”
Anne-Pierre d"Albis-Ganem is the founder of Parcour Saint Germain des Pres www.parcoursaintgermain.com a contemporary art event in Paris that resurrects the avantgarde spirit in the left bank during the time that the art fair FIAC takes place.
Bought 18 years ago these Sergio Rossi's looked like the shoes that her mother wore in the sixties. Her favourite outfit to wear with them was an A line short skirt and Gaultier top and she had them on when she met her husband.
The Rossi's have followed her everywhere but the sad truth is that she can't wear them anymore because her feet have changed size since having children.
But these soles are symbolic because they represent a special time in her life.
"These are my elegant timeless shoes!"
Megan Piper art dealer and co founder
of the-line.org a sculpture walk in London was
given these Versace's about 4 years ago as a present. They came in a
pristine vintage Versace box and had never been worn. The lilac color
was a complete surprise and made her laugh.
Having done a full day in them during
Art Basel Miami these 80's soles gave her comfort and that cheeky
The British artist Kate Daudy http://katedaudy.com/overview exhibiting at London Frieze and Parcour Saint
Germain Paris this October found these slipper like flats for £5 at
Zara's. She took them to Arles this past summer for her Recontres Arles show because
all the other shoes she had were pretty but not comfortable. While
installing her work in a gravel-floored Roman tunnel these soles
proved to be more comfortable than anything else she had in her bag.
What she likes about them as slippers
is the fact that they are not wooly and slippy on her wooden stairs
“As shoes they are not terrific but I
am grateful to them for exisiting when I needed them”.
The contemporary artist Bharti Kher http://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/17/bharti-kher/biography known for incorporating the Bindi to symbolise themes of migration and movement seems to have covered alot of ground with these soles.
Grey shoes were really not her cup of tea but in 2012, somewhere in Asia in an airport shop she found these very comfortable and sexy Hermes.
"They are French, a bit kinky and school teacher all in one!"
The shoe designer Georgina Goodman
does not believe in a favourite shoe but in different shoes for lots
of different occasions. She has a fond attachment for these woven
leather 70 style boots because they were from her very first
collection. Georgina took a traditional technique of braided leather
found in Spain and India to create the antique look in the detail.
Made of a veg tan leather these emerald green soles are over 10 years
old and are still in top form because she uses a good shoe mender. “
Im a believer of having things that you love and keeping them
Its all about the shoe than the bag for Tamara Beckwith. The TV star and gallery owner www.thelittleblackgallery.com absolutely loves her Charlotte Olympia's www.charlotteolympia.com. These suede leafy very high soles are a statement piece and Tamara believes that shoes are about making an entrance. "These Olympia's are my showpiece!"
Obsessed since childhood by moccasins Celia Willis, the other half of www.wearethephotogirls.com finally found them in New York after a 2 month road trip traveling across America 5 years ago. Still needing to feel like she was wearing a countryside shoe, these suede beaded fringe sole beauties were exactly what the doctor ordered . "I've finally found my ultimate moccasins!"