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Monthly Archives: May 2016
Chelsea Flower Show is always an exciting time for gardeners, growers, florists, landscapers, vegetable lovers and anyone with an appreciation for nature’s beauty.
Every year seems to surpass the last, and this year was no exeption…
Having been a florist for 20 years and a regular CFS attendee for 30 years, Jackie Brooks was the perfect lady to test out a pair of our sandals, and see how they’d hold up after a long day browsing and admiring what this year’s show had to offer.
Jackie wore Gabor Karen 42.824.50 ; a beautiful white leather wedge sandal, with a bold silver buckle on the ankle strap.
Now, those of you who have been to Chelsea Flower show before will know. This event is BIG! There is so much to see, which also means so much risk of that horrible ‘soles on fire’ thing I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but Jackie explained that she was genuinely surprised at the comfort level. The leather lining and cushioned foot bed will help this, but walkability scored high on the scale as well, especially for a first time wear. For a lady who runs her own floristry business, Jackie appreciates the absolute importance of comfort and wearability, but also wanted to look relatively smart/casual for this event, and Gabor Karen 42.824.50 worked perfectly.
Jackie wore them with cropped white jeans and a sweet printed blouse and mentioned that she now wants them in a different colour too…Luckily for Jackie, we also stock them in tan!
If you didn’t get the chance to go this year, take a look at some of Jackie’s highlights…
Tickets and Gianni Conti 913206 bag at the ready…
Meet Jackie’s Mum, fitting in with the display perfectly!
Bright and vibrant colour palettes were in abundance this year, demonstrated in carnival style headdresses and a huge peacock.
The biggest Dubarry boot we’ve ever seen
Gold Medal for comfort and style!
Take a look at our Gabor range online or pop in store…
Images: Jackie Brooks www.jackiebrooksflorist.co.uk/
Mark Jeffery and Guy West. Two childhood friends with a vision of creating astoundingly unique footwear. With an upbringing enshrouded in the shoe-making history of Northampton, these guys went from re-purposing end-of- line shoes to developing a brand that has now gone state-side.
After years of not being taken seriously, Jeffery-West was established and founded in 1987, and encapsulates both the antiquity of the Northampton shoe and leather industries, and their unrelenting innovation and creativity.
At first, one may only see the brightly coloured leather, the boldy-shaped diamond punching…
The skull-wielding women on the lining and the last shapes so long and pointy they could take your eye out. Look harder. These shoes have not forgotten their history. The lines are sleek and classic, the quality of production is second to none, and the attention to detail is impeccable.
Don’t mistake the flamboyance for ignorance; these boys know their stuff, and their passion is woven into every single stitch; elegance meets cutting edge design. Time old craftsmanship shakes hands with innovation.
You only have to take a peek at their website to understand what Jeffery-West are about. Black and white images of soirees and stocking adorned women are matched with red, gothic text, and we haven’t even mentioned the canes or spankers…oops. Too late…They do offer other extras (easy now) such as wallets, umbrellas, gloves, belts, socks and coloured laces, each depicting that signature Jeffey-West style and attitude.
Talking of style and attitude, I was lucky enough to have a chat with Sharon, from the men’s department. I’m sure she was thrilled to have me chasing her around the shop with a notebook on a busy Saturday morning…(sorry!) but she knows all there is to know about these shoes and her customers. The moment you step into the menswear shop, the neo-gothic display can’t help but catch your eye. It’s intriguing, fascinating.
It lures you in with a perfectly manicured ‘come hither’ hand gesture. I mean, these shoes. They’re sexy!
Something Sharon has picked up on is how a pair of these shoes can change a man. She compares it to how some women feel when they put on a brand new pair of killer heels.
These guys stand up, check themselves out in the mirror and the shoulders go back, the chest puffs out a little, chin is raised, and the next thing they know they’re striding out of the shop into the high street beyond with a Golden Boot bag in hand and a few extra stamps on their loyalty card.
Sharon explained that Jeffery-West is about more than the shoes themselves. This is a lifestyle. Various last shapes have been named after famous influencers. Keith Richards, Steve Marriot, Terence Stamp, Oliver Reed, Peter O-Toole, Brian Jones, Jarvis Cocker, Bryan Ferry, Roger Moore…the list goes on! The design inspiration is derived from Victorian and Gothic architecture, biker gangs and flamboyant, verging on bizzare rogues throughout history.
I imagine many of the customers to be the same. Not that any of you are bizzare, but I wonder whether there is a certain characteristic that creates a desire to purchase a pair I imagine many of the customers to be the same.
An eye and appreciation for detail is a must. The tiny skull head zippers, and intricate diamond punching cannot go unseen. From the heel shape to the sole engraving, everything has been exquisitely considered.
A certain poise is necessary, and a nod to their historical context is of most importance. They’re obviously a talking point so one must be prepared to answer questions…especially if you’re carrying a cane…
A story to be continued but if you can’t wait visit Jeffery West at Golden Boot and choose your favourite design from our complete selection of Jeffery West boots, shoes and belts all with FREE UK next day delivery*
As I mentioned last week, I gave up on high heels a long time ago. I wore them for my graduation ceremony, and swore an oath to my feet that I would never again attempt the London underground in a pair.
I’m lucky enough to be in a job where I don’t need to wear them, I’m not a going OUT out kind of girl, and if I’m ever at a party or wedding then all I want to do is dance. I’m uncontrollable when my jam comes on and let’s face it, I’m not the type to be stumbling around like a newly born foal trying to boogie only using my top half…..So flats are the answer.
Whilst at school I had a headmaster who insisted that the female members of sixth form wore heels to ensure they looked ‘smart’. I was all too quick to point out that it is in fact, the 21 st Century, and although flat shoes back then weren’t always the most attractive, we needed to cart the same number of books from class to class as our male co-learners and… I think I made my point…there is now, however, a huge selection of super smart FLAT shoes that are comfortable, fashionable and don’t make your toes bleed. Here are a few of ours from this season…
First up we have Wonders, a beautiful Spanish brand introduced last week. 3152 Tormes is available in black and taupe and is the sweetest summer shoe. The t-bar brings back memories of traditional school schoes, and the patent leather faux reptile print with cut-out detail adds a contemporary feel.
It has the tiniest of heels (1.5cm), just enough to give a little lift and the adjustable buckle ensures they fit like a dream. Easy to walk in and very elegant. In black, they’d be great for the office, and the neutral taupe would go well with 50s style cropped trousers or a pencil skirt.
When it comes to a slip-on loafer, Pikolinos have got this one,W5G-3569 Royal. It’s all about the small details. The top line has a tiny fringe all the way around and the front section has a mesh-like laser cut-out feature with a bold leather band and those timeless tassels.
The streak of yellow along the sole unit brings them to life and the leather upper and lining will embrace your feet throughout those long days. They’re available in demin and brandy. Slip on your favourite pair of skinny jeans, a crisp white shirt and grab your Wayfarers.
There was a time when I thought full fringes belonged on the golf course. Shoe fringes that is. This delicate number have changed my mind. They would look lovely on the golf course, but they’d also look stunning at a wedding reception, in a resteraunt or stood in line at a swanky bar.
Hispanitas have done it again. 62497 Florencia , in jeans and new shade white, features only the heel and toe of the shoe, making it oh so fancy. 62497 Florencia is available in a limited range of sizes so make sure you don’y miss out!
The pointed toe looks polished and refined and the tiny buckle on the front adds a pretty point of interest. The cushioned sole and a small elastic grip guarantee comfort and walkability.
I remember when ballet pumps came into fashion. Everyone wore them and they were completely flat, with a drastic and unflatteringly low top line. I think they might have been predominantly constructed of cardboard, as they seemed to just dissolve at the first hint of rain drops. Those days are long gone, but leather shoes do need looking after. Use a good protector spray on them to keep the colour looking fresh and treat them to some leather cream every now and again to make sure they’re kept soft and supple.
You say heels, we say how high?
We’ve all been there haven’t we? The end of the night, hand-bag in one hand, heels in the other. The horrendous burning sensation setting our soles aflame every time we take another step forward. I don’t miss it. Not one bit. I’ve since given up on high-heels entirely. You won’t catch me near a pair, unless we refer back to being a bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding last summer. Even then the Birkenstocks were on within moments of the photos finishing.
I’ve often felt quite smug, stomping confidently about town in a pair of well-worn Doc Martens, witnessing tottering teens in their sky-high footwear and realising that I do in fact agree with what my Mother used to say about ‘catching one’s death’.
However, there IS something about wearing a pair of decent high-heels. There’s more to it than just lifting you slightly closer to the sky, or knowing what the weather is doing before anyone else. It changes the way we stand, the way we act, and ultimately the way we feel.
Choosing the right pair is crucial. We can’t all float around in a pair of pin thin stilettos, and not everyone can rock a contemporary block heel, or chunky wedge. That’s okay! This week is an introduction to our collection here at Golden Boot, specifically, a couple of Spanish brands, that are pretty tricky to find in the UK.
Perfect for summer, and something to consider when choosing that old school friend’s wedding outfit.
Hispanitas as a brand have evolved from making simple shoes before the civil war in 1925, to gradually attaining international acclaim in 1989. Now, having decided on the name in 1995, they’re celebrating their 25 th year. They may be a brand steeped in history, but their footwear is far from dated, and having developed a close relationship with them, we’re able to offer you totally unique styles, made exclusively for Golden Boot. I know!
62916 Toulouse £115.00 comes in natural and black in sizes 37-42. This little peep toe exudes timeless class, as elegant lines dress the foot and meet at a bow on the arch. They have a leather upper and lining and the heel has an unusual wood grain effect standing at around 9cm tall. Add in the small platform and this makes it a very reasonable, walk-able height. The natural shade will pretty much go with everything, and black is always versatile for an evening. Pair with a sweet summer skirt and soft blouse for a pared back, effortless look.
Wonders are another exciting Spanish brand we have fallen for. Maybe it’s the accent, who knows? These are FUN! Even the flats look dressy, and they all come in varying colours and textures. If you’re after something a little different, a little chunkier, bolder, then Wonders are for you.
These peachy blinders are called 2632 Tamega £95.00 , and come in coral and black patent leather. The straps are thicker than those on the Hispanitas, creating a cute cut-out effect on the foot and the ankle strap is adjustable for comfort. They’re leather lined and the heel comes in at 8cm, rocking a decent platform. These are a ‘go bold or go home’ sort of shoe, so do exactly that with your outfit. Grab a colourful bag too (don’t go‘matchy-matchy’- think alternative texture) and slick on a summery lipstick. Head to your favourite bar and feel easy in pottering about pain free all night.
These beauties are hand-crafted, not mass produced. They’re made with passion and love, and that’s why we chose them. They’re of the highest quality and designed to be worn and worn again. (Not that I’m encouraging you to only have one pair!)
Carrying your shoes home is one thing, but hobbling home with a broken heel in your hand-bag is a different story. So visit the website or pop in and see us in store to find your perfect pair.
Words, styling and images: Helen Barton
There have been about three consecutive days of sun now. This must mean it’s summer right?
What it does mean, guys, is that you need to pop your favourite wingtips in the wardrobe for a couple of months. I know they fit like a glove, and I know change can be difficult, but summer won’t be here for long! Treat them with some leather cream, and put them to bed in their care bags.
There’s a whole world of new summer footwear that I need to introduce to you.
Last week we spoke about Pikolinos and their Mediterranean vibes. Well they’ve made their way into the men’s department too, and the leather is softer than ever. The upper and lining are vegetable tanned, and the sole unit is flexible and sporty looking. With the mock lace-up front, you can pair these with casual shorts or trousers, go online and book a holiday to southern Spain. (try Tarifa, it’s great fun!) Once landed, sangria in hand, take a walk along the beach and bask in the glory of having worn these Pikolinos 6986 Fuencarral for the whole time without a twitch of discomfort. You can thank me later. They’re available in European sizes 40-47 for £89.99. Price of subsequent holiday may vary.
My Father has worn deck shoes on our various holidays to Wales for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think he has worn the same pair of deck shoes on our various holidays to Wales for as long as I can remember. This is no bad thing, however. These footwear champs never look out of place. If you have a yacht, with a deck to wear your deck shoes on, then that’s fabulous. Sebagos look right at home stood underneath a glass of Dom Perignon. They’re also very comfortable confidently supporting their fellow man in producing the best open-fire fry-up White Sands Bay campsite has ever witnessed. They’re timeless, versatile and obviously, very comfortable.
This season’s new offerings include ‘Spinnaker’ in wine and navy nubuck or cognac and navy leather. The laces wrap right the way around the foot, creating ultimate comfort and practicality. ‘Dockside’ is available in navy or brown leather and the new dark blue nubuck 70th. Dockside is the style Sebago are famous for. You can’t get more classic than a fully hand-stitched upper, rawhide laces and a non-slip rubber sole (safety first). Wear these with jeans, turned up so a little ankle/sock can be seen, for an immediately contemporary look.
To end this week, I have the pleasure of introducing our very own classic slip-on moccasin. Yes, Golden Boot produce their own shoes, as well as stocking a vast array of inspiring niche brands. Aren’t we lucky? They’re brand new for this season, come in bright red, vibrant blue, an all-purpose light brown, and can spruce up any casual outfit. Off with the black and white humbug office outfit, and on with a soft jacket, decent jeans and those brand new leather-lined beauties. Evening attire sorted; comfortable and polished.
Before buying, think about what you have in your wardrobe already, and be sure to get the colour that you will use the most. These are Italian made, and here at Golden Boot, we love to match style with functionality, so the sole unit is made up of flexible rubber, making them perfect for driving without wrecking the heel. Get them here, Golden Boot 8103 in a choice of four colourways, blue, brown, navy and red, for £99 in sizes 40-46.
Before I let you go, I have one favour to ask of you. PLEASE use some protector spray on them before you head off out. You can thank me for that later too…
Words, styling and images: Helen Barton