Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Guest Post: Shoes and Chanel

One of the things that I love about Twitter is that you get to meet people with similar interests that you otherwise might never meet in real life. One prime example of this is how I met today's guest blogger, Penny from Auckland, New Zealand. We had mutual Twitter friends, Donna Ida and Sam_Bottega, and before we knew it group tweets about our mutual love for all thing fashion were flying back and forth! Twitter is forever bringing up random connections, and it turns out that Penny is actually half-Welsh and has fond memories of visiting one of my favourite stores in Cardiff (Howell's), when she visited family here as a child.

Penny kindly agreed to write a post about two of our mutual passions: shoes and Chanel. I love this post, and not just because it's about two of my favourite things! For me, clothes aren't always just items of clothing, but can be tied up closely with my memories of people and places. So without further ado, here's the lovely Penny:

I love shoes  - that’s obvious I guess, and  I come by it honestly – for many years  at the beginning of every season my mother and I would go together to  “Dadleys” the best shoe shop in New Zealand in the 1980’s, to see the latest ranges from  those magic labels : Maud Frizon, Sergio Rossi, Pancaldi, Robert Clergerie, Charles Jourdan, and most magic of all, Tokio Kumagai.  We’d each buy two pairs, which would be carefully stacked with the other boxes in our wardrobes to await the appropriate weather when we’d be able to show them off.  

Tokio Kumagai

In the mid-eighties when I started making regular visits to the UK, I followed the Kings Road to Old Church Street and the magical suite of rooms that is Manolo Blahnik. I remember my first pair were gold flats that I wore and wore until they literally fell apart. At the same time I got my first pair of CHANEL ballet flats and I've had at least two pairs "on active  service" ever since.

We all look better in high heels, they make our legs look longer and make us walk more elegantly, but the truth for me is that I just can't move fast enough in anything except those Chanel ballet flats, even my Converse are not as comfortable! I don't drive so I walk to the station every day and my office is a space big enough for 170 of us - now I know there are people who can do all that backwards and in high heels (with platforms!), but not me. I'd never get through the day.

I've bought a few pairs of Manolo's over the years; my favourites are these black and white "sneaker" mules.

They are clearly still in excellent health because I can't wear them for more than half an hour at a time. My vintage Manolo collection is also growing thanks to Ebay and Trade Me.

Everytime I cross the threshold of a Chanel boutique I head for the shoes, lovingly picking up the latest models which are almost always heels, and then placing them carefully back on the shelf. Then I go to the classic ballet flat range where I select two pairs in a Size 38 - no need to try them on.

I am passionate about all things Chanel and the affair started with those ballet flats!


LouLou says: Thanks for writing this envy-inducing post Penny. I just wish we were the same size feet so that I could try some of the fantastic shoes in your closet!


  1. Lucky girl! Love the black pumps! xx

  2. I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job. Please keep up the great work.....

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