Friday, December 18, 2009


SE has well and truly set in. It begins with a short sharp burst of pain rejecting the notion of baring the weight of yet another gleefully overfilled designer bag and ends in a constant thudding ache. I’m fairly certain in other parts of the world this affliction goes under the guise of RSI and I suspect Repetitive Strain Injury seems way more substantial and far less frivolous but the reality is; I have Shoppers Elbow.

We are on Day Three of our Hawaiian procurement and today is serious. This is the endurance event of the shopping week, the other Hawaiian Marathon if you will?

Having done the Waikele junket many times I am pleased to hear of the new shuttle service being provided by Chelsea Premium Outlets for only $5 each way. It has always baffled me that hordes of tourists visit this gargantuan assemblage of great quality outlets annually only to pay a premium getting there in the first place. In years gone by I have traveled there by the Trolley (an outdoor tram like bus, that takes 40 minutes to get there and stops a maddening number of times along the way) for $25 p/p each way, by limo (expensive but fun) at approx $100 return and by hire car (handy for frequent trips to the boot with loot but off-putting to arrive back to scars of screwdriver intrusion in the door locks) approx $50 for the day + insurance and replacement ‘gas.’

Post missing the shuttle out to Waikele because the Concierge gave us the wrong bus stop location (convinced it was his fault and not mine), we negotiate with Warren, a good humoured Japanese American that we learn on our trip out has eight cars in his fleet that he either runs as limos or taxis pending available work. We negotiated him down to $45 from the usual $60 taxi rate and travel in the comfort of an LTD. Warren enlightens us on many historical tales throughout the brisk 25 minute journey and we take his card with the intention of negotiating a trip to the Northshore later in the week.

The pieces of advice that will be most valuable to you upon reaching Waikele are:

• Book the shuttle back the minute you arrive for the trip home. You may need to bring the time forward or push it back but at least you have a booking.
• If you can avoid it, don’t go to the Outlets on a Saturday or Sunday. Monday is a great day to go because new stock is unpacked to replenish what went over the weekend.
• Get your hands on a coupon book from the Information Booth before you part with any cash. Extra discounts won’t always apply but it’s worth asking for an additional 25% off!

My modus operandi is hit the store you think you will buy the most from first, that way if you don’t get the items you thought you would there you don’t have to backtrack to other stores later. In my case it is True Religion. I’m not sure how many others in Australia are converts of True Religion but oh dear. These jeans live up to their namesake. You can expect to pay around $350 upwards pending style and embellishments in Australia. At the Outlet store, from $79.00. Happily snapping up 4 pairs next is Armani Exchange where we get a great assortment of summer tops and some cute jackets, along with some nice smart casual tops for the fellas.

These two stores saw us with a decent collection within the first hour. Michael Kors is always a pleasure and the price of handbags from small clutches to large over-the-shoulder numbers is unbelievable. Small clutches and handbags from $69 to large totes starting at $119, not to mention the additional 25% off you receive for spending $200. Not hard to spend a pretty penny in here, but remember these items are bulky and will have to fit in your suitcase or carry-on.

If you’re smart and can sweet talk the girls behind the counter they may allow you to leave those purchases plus your first two store purchases with them for a few hours.

This frees you up to go absolutely rampant in Saks 5th Avenue, which once you see the vast array on offer – you will. Rows and rows of shoes from Manolos, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Coach, Juicy Couture and Stuart Weitzman. Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo were on average $250USD with Coach and Juicy Couture from around $70USD. Mens Hugo Boss and Boss shoes from a crazy $130USD, where you will pay approximately $550 in Boss Stores in Australia when not on sale. Sunglasses are another big winner at Saks with labels like; Fendi, Gucci, Dior and Prada from around $60USD.

With the full knowledge there is no way we can carry what is still sitting at Michael Kors as well as what we have just bought, we slink past the store and have a swift browse in Coach before entering Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren is one of those stores at the Outlets that you just never know what you’re going to get; as such you need to be open minded about it. Some years when I visit the guys hit the jackpot, others it’s the girls. This year, thank goodness, it’s the gal’s year.

Polo team polo shirts and shirt dresses from a ridiculous $27USD, a gorgeous Ralph Lauren Black Label satin wrap around ruffle dress shirt for $39USD and loads of little kid’s cutes dresses, polos and skirts. The entire family was clothed with this visit; 19 items for $524USD. Insane stuff!

Beginning to notice our somnolent state we formulate the plan for the last hour and execute it with exactitude.

Struggling to carry the bags we’ve reflexively obtained we disembark at Michael Kors to bring together the entire days haul. Whether out of embarrassment or pure necessity I am unsure, we consolidate, triple bag and discard any superfluous packaging. Still drawing attention from passersby as we make our way to the shuttle and that’s when the SE strikes its final malicious blow. Over the shoulder the bags go!

As we trudge onto the shuttle with 14 Japanese tourists who seem to be afraid they will miss out despite allocated seating, we realize the shuttle out and a car back would have been a good deal smarter.

Arriving back at the Hotel we lumber to the room with great effort. We unpack the bare minimum and head out for a well deserved dinner and a drink.

Limping into the Sunset Bar the barman smiles courteously and shows us to our table, “so you did the marathon?”

Oh yes, we certainly did.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Whether they are a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, Jimmy Choos, or just an ordinary pair of high street shoes, more than 92 per cent of women could remember the first shoes they bought with their own money, according to an article published in the UK’s Telegraph.

Amusingly less than two in three recalled the name of the person they first kissed, a survey found.

An overwhelming 96 per cent of women said they regretted having thrown away a pair of shoes, while only 15 per cent felt sorry at dumping a boyfriend.

More than 1,000 women were questioned about their feelings towards their footwear and what they could remember about their shoes compared to their relationship memories.

Experts said the reasons behind women’s fondness for footwear were down to their shoe buying habits.

Many women buy a new pair of shoes for a special occasion, like a wedding, birthday or special party.

And much to their partner's annoyance, many women hang on to old shoes, building up a sizeable collection by middle age, even if many go unworn most of the time.

The survey was carried out for an organization that sells innovative shoe storage solutions.

Glendon Lloyd, director of website, which commissioned the survey, said: "These results show that women are even more attached to their footwear than previously thought.

Huh? Where has this guy been hiding? I would like to know what man has the misguided perception that women aren’t fervently attached to their footwear? Every man I know is aware of this fact.

"People always think of women storing old love letters in a shoebox, but in many cases, the shoes themselves are even more precious."

"Women treat shoes like best friends. And it seems their footwear memories last longer than those of their past lovers.

Apparently previous research has shown that the average woman has 19 pairs of shoes but only wears four pairs regularly and one quarter of the average woman's shoes have only been worn once.

One in six women has more than 30 pairs of shoes in their closets, while a third have trouble finding the room to store them all.

On average, women purchase four pairs of shoes per year. Clearly, I am not your average woman...

(Image Credit:

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Monday, December 14, 2009


I’m sure there are many things one should do subsequent to a miniscule 3 ½ hours sleep but I am fairly certain shopping in a sale Mecca is not one of them.

After a stellar flight to Honolulu via JetStar’s Star Class (no significant difference from Qantas Business, I should also point out that despite two JetStar plugs in two days I am not being paid to promote the airline). My friend and I are primed and geared up for a full day of shopping post touchdown. We discussed and agreed on a strategy and were both equally committed to fulfilling it. Hotel check-in, shower, power-change, Ala Moana Shopping Mall.

With all that is happening on Ohau at this moment; Mick Fanning announced the victor (surfing on the North Shore in twelve to fifteen meter waves) and every conceivable human being in Honolulu seemingly cramming last minute training in for tomorrow’s Marathon, who could be tired? How could we not be up for the challenge? We’ve been training for this since January.

The ever hospitable Hilton Hawaiian Village Ali’i Tower accommodated us with our room nice and early at 8.30am, clearly a sign that our well laid out plan had an obligation to be executed. We emerge face washed, showered and in comfortable (but Chic) shoes twenty minutes later and set out for our target.

Some may think that after stomping these pavements for ten years they would begin to lose their gloss - be less attractive and look a little tired. Not so. With all their Festive cheer and welcoming stalkers (aka shop assistants on commission) they are a tired travelers Nirvana.

Neiman Marcus shoe sale was a bit of a fizzer but we were rewarded post disappointment with a fairly spectacular sale at Gucci; $183 for patent purple ballet flats and $229 for beige monogram stamped platform pumps – thank you shoe Gods! Yep, tiredness unquestionably dissipated for now.

Enter the beat box heaving Juicy Couture where we both pick up a hip decent sized handbag and a pair of ballet flats each for an infinitesimal $209. Crazy.

After losing ourselves in the gargantuan Victoria’s Secret boutique for quite some time we hoped to materialize like the angels we felt like in the change room. Sadly, the queue for the cashier left us feeling a little more like we’d just left the sample bag pavilion at the Ekka, notwithstanding the great bargains.

The hallowed hall of Jimmy Choo left us breathless with new stock and sale items alike. Herein lays another great contributor to the Hawaiian shopping whirl. New stock is actually very reasonably priced in comparison to our retail cost in Australia. A divine animal print and metallic clutch seen in Sydney’s Boutique for over a thousand dollars was originally priced at $795, a cost saving regardless with our dollar where it is right now. Queue loud cheers of delight, 50% off! A further two pairs of Jimmy Choos for under $250 each are bestowed upon us.

Keen to spread the love and ever grateful to Rose at Jimmy Choo for holding our already substantial shopping bags for two hours, we have a little flutter at 7 – For All Mankind. The flutter breaks into a bolt when there are a dozen varietals of 7’s cult jeans on sale for $109 per pair. Let’s just say 7 may have collected, particularly when for spending an extra $24 one can get a further $100 off the total...

Armani Exchange provided its usual afternoon delight of great belts, tops, t-shirts and dress shirts, an excellent combination of personal purchases and gifts. Our last dalliance at Dior for the day won’t be discussed too heavily as there may be a Christmas gift involved. What I will say is that up to 60% off was a wonderful treat!

Six hours of power shopping and significant sums of cash dished out, the sudden awareness we had only circumnavigated the ground floor of Ala Moana hits us and a decision is made to go home, regroup, stocktake and calculate the financial damage. We can do the upper level tomorrow.

We’ve certainly spent enough for today. Delighted customers with seventeen shopping bags combined, we taxi back to the Hotel. The spending for the day is over.

Right after we grab that bottle of Moët from the ABC Store for $43 to celebrate.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009


Impossible not to love the very first sneak peak of Sex & the City's 2nd round promo poster. Love!

The gals don't reach our screens until May 2010, but this is certainly reason to look forward to it. Thanks Sassi Sam for sharing it with us!

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Seems like a perfect time to re-post Tracey's article in August's Jetstar Magazine. Flying Jetstar's Star Class on Saturday - will keep you posted:

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is one of the world’s most exotic cities. Encapsulating a modern vitality with the delightful charm of old Hawaiian, it reverberates with Aloha, the spirit of welcome.

Tony Roma’s – A Place For Ribs, for a casual lunch or dinner of ribs, seafood and steak. I recommend the baby back ribs with half an onion loaf to start. Not healthy, but a must try!

Walking through Waikiki at night, wandering in and out of the Boutiques (especially during sale time @ Christmas), followed by shopping at the International Market Place. Be sure to stop at the Yard House on Waikiki Beach Walk for a drink.

MUST BUY (Money no object!):
A bottle of Moët at 2am for US$35 (AUD$43.50) at Hawaii’s 24 hour convenience stores called ABC – just because you can!

Waikele Premium Outlets is a must-do day trip, about 25 minutes’ drive from Waikiki. You’ll find great American brands such as; Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger as well as imports. Purchase a voucher book for US$5 (AU$6.20) and it will save you lots of money.

Hire a car and drive around Oahu island. The winter waves at North Shore are incredible and you may get to see a pro surfer or two? The shrimp vans at the side of the ring road are excellent lunch stops.

It’s relaxed, casual and laid back, with some great bargains to be had. There’s something remarkable about sky-high palm trees, white sandy beaches and the Waikiki sunset.

Go to Jestar Magazine

(Image of Tracey published in Jetstar Mag by Michael Greves)

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Perusing the sparsely laid out clothes I have fastidiously fashioned around my suitcase, I speculate whether five pairs of stilettos is five pairs too many for my Hawaiian getaway?

In a land where the bare foot and a Muumuu are considered acceptable attire (along with the haul I intend to lug from Neiman Marcus on day one), I may need to rethink the contents of my luggage.

Rationalizing that weather permitting and while not in stores burrowing through pre Christmas sales, I will spend the majority of my time by the pool or in a beach-like state, I may need give my inner nervous self a good wake up slap and do what I always say I will do. Pack the absolute bare minimum. The problem occurs when defining what the absolute bare minimum is.

It seems irrelevant that countless people remind me throughout my packing assignment that I am staying at a tropical island resort where I will only need bikinis and some kind of beach wrap. In addition, Hawaiian sales will be a glorious up to 75% off and I’ll be amongst them within two hours of landing. I know I will still pack way too many clothes and shoes.

The fact eighty percent of my suitcase contents becomes redundant the minute I land at the airport seems to matter little, except for the moment I am trying to jostle it back into the case to depart along with countless other items I have purchase throughout the week.

The most ridiculous part of this equation is that after I cull my dress shoe cartage to the bare minimum; one pair of wedges and one pair of stilettos, I realize that by day five I probably won’t have worn either. That is not to say I won’t have had the chance, I have no doubt I will have been to at least two different fine dining restaurants by this stage. I just won’t be bothered getting too dressed up, choosing to opt for the more casual alternative.

Somehow, I disregard this actuality and the sentiment of ‘Hawaiian Time,’ an all-encompassing attitude that covers everything from what you do, when you do it and the manner in which you execute it.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of having Aloha purred at them the minute the tarmac presents itself this may be an odd notion. I also know that it’s a certainty that once I’ve inadvertently procure some Gucci what I have in my luggage is inconsequential.

I’m not quite sure what it is about new shoes that compel one to wear them immediately if not sooner but I know this does and will happen.

Oh well, with any luck I’ll send this baby into stowage with the absolute minimum – whatever that turns out to be…

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Friday, December 04, 2009


Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States and marks the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. I’ve always been a little puzzled as to why this day is termed Black Friday. Despite the potential for feeling a little dusty immediately following the merriment of gorging oneself on turkey and adult beverages, I’m at a bit of a loss.

Australian’s are accustomed to the notion of any Friday falling on the thirteenth day of the month resulting in paranoid caution being handed out by those who’ve surrendered to superstition. Given this date is well into its twenties it terminates this reasoning. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States so Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.

Of the utmost significance in my confusion regarding this matter is that this day isn’t merely the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, it marks the beginning of some of the greatest sales you will come across in the US. Strangely termed, the Black Friday sales? Maybe I’m missing something but seventy percent off high-end designer goods does not strike a ‘black’ cord with me? The only uneasiness about discovering patent animal print Louboutin heels in my size at $214USD is the woman hovering over me seemingly waiting for me to discard them.

In Australia, and more specifically the ‘Smart State’, we hold sales on Boxing Day and usually throw open the doors of our shopping Meccas to a throng of eager procurers at the usual scheduled time of store opening. The United States on the other hand has shopping malls that open at midnight on the evening of Thanksgiving. Midnight. Surely only the truly dedicated are fronting stores at that time of night post Thanksgiving feasts and alcoholic egg drinks?

According to Reuters, in 2007, 135 million people participated in the Black Friday shopping rush. While Black Friday is not an official holiday many employees have the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday, increasing the number of potential shoppers. Despite some midnight kick offs, most retailers typically open at 5 or 6AM. Similarly to the Australian Boxing Day sales, upon opening, retailers offer doorbuster deals to draw crowds to their stores.

The term dates back to at least 1966 and has become more common in other parts of the United States since 2000. According to Wikipedia; Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit).

While I have never felt the need to wait in line with hundreds of people at midnight or to arrive at 5am, I am a veteran of the Black Friday Sales in Hawaii with this year marking my tenth. A special anniversary of sorts.

Albeit a little later than usual, the insider Blog to pre Christmas sales in Hawaii will be posted from December 12th.

(Image Credit: Wikipedia - Black Friday Shoppers 2009)

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Sunday, November 29, 2009


Ah the joys of fame. This week the UK’s Daily Mail showcased Victoria Beckham’s bunions. Fabulous. Just the sort of media one would swell with pride over having recently announced adding shoes to your design stable.

The increasingly Chic Mrs B has certainly made heels her trademark, whether in a bid to up the glamour or merely increase her height I’m not sure.

The Daily Mail reports that ‘years of wearing six-inch stilettos have taken their painful toll on Victoria Beckham - she is facing surgery to remove her bunions.

Style may be everything for Posh, but she is in such agony that friends have revealed she is being forced to put ice on her feet and do daily exercises in a desperate bid to avoid having the bunionectomy operations advised by her doctors.'

VB has apparently said the pain is affecting her perfect posture. A ‘friend’ has told the Mail: 'The Beckham household is all about feet at the moment: David is having painkilling injections for bone bruising on his foot, while Victoria is in agony with her misshapen feet. She is suffering from shooting pain from the bunions. Normally, she kicks off her shoes in the house, but she has been out so much recently in high heels that she is really feeling it.'

All the while she continues to insist she will not resort to flat shoes.
'I beyond hate ballerina flats,' she says. 'I can't walk in them. Unless they're on a ballet dancer doing ballet, I just don't get it. I love heels.'

I love heels to Vicki B but seriously, do you really need 15cm YSL stilettos at the park? Me thinks not.

To see the garish gallery of VB’s bunions go to the Daily Mail, I refuse to post them here.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009


Here's to the ultimate shoe man, happy birthday to Manolo Blahnik who turns 67 today!

May he continue to live his fabulous life for many many years to come...

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Friday, November 20, 2009


While most of us love the objet d’art of the stiletto, rarely do we think about the technology of its design. Here is some food for thought:

The technical must-haves for designing a stiletto have reached new heights as we are hear terminology like ABS, something most of us know to be the braking system in our car.

As heels reach 15 and 16 centremeters there has never been a greater emphasis on strength and endurance - of both the heel and the shank. Many give the credit for that stronger heel to ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a polymer developed by a U.S. government team working on synthetic rubber after World War II.

The material is used by many infamous designers, including Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik, a pioneer in the contemporary shoe designer pantheon, although Blahnik draws the line at 15 centremeter heels. “115 is the highest heel to walk properly and comfortably,” the British-based designer said. “You have grace and femininity.”

Blahnik’s heels, which he likes to describe as “spindly,” have a central steel rod surrounded by ABS plastic and a polyurethane tip at the bottom. And to attach them firmly to the shoe, artisans in his factories position five nails, each one at a 7-degree angle and about 8 millimeters apart. Such intimate knowledge of construction and architecture helps, a little, to justify the price point of Manolos.

While many shoe designers now employ architectural programs like CAD to assist with the design stage, Blahnik is a traditionalist, using a compass, a ruler, his eyes and hands.

Long live the traditionalist!

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Monday, November 16, 2009


You have to applaud the ingenuity but I’m not sure I want to wear one of Australia’s biggest pests on my feet.

Melbournian Karine Emanouel has created these four-inch heels from cane toad leather & says there are six skins in each pair. The line will apparently be launched next week & will be available to buy online @ for $540 a pair.

While Crocodile skin & calf leather have a je ne sais quoi coveted by some I’m not convinced cane toad skin will carry the same magnetism.

Read the full story in the Sunday Mail.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009


Very humbling & a lovely nod to Queensland & our style set. Many thanks to Kellie Alderman, Sunday Mail Fashion Editor, & her esteemed judges for including me in this inaugural list of style icons. I feel honoured to be in the company of such an impressive list of people.

Associate Director, HBO+EMTB
An obsession for shoes (from Christian Louboutin heels right down to her Holster Jelly sandals) is soon to be the subject of her debut novel, but it's the well-cut suits that this style-savvy mum really lusts after.

STYLE transcends age, gender and social groups and, while it might be a distant cousin to fashion, it is much more about your connection to the clothes you wear than whose name is written on the label.

Welcome to The Sunday Mail's first-ever list of our style icons. We enlisted a panel of fashion industry aficionados to decide who our most stylish Queenslanders are. The judges are: Damien Woolnough, Suzi Vaughn, Kellie Alderman, Jodie Bache-McLean and Leigh Buchanan.

This list recognises men and women who have great personal style – defined as someone who expresses something individual about themselves through what they wear.

It's also about carrying off something unexpected – like the 24-year-old city corporate finance analyst who regularly mixes bow ties and retro glasses with shorts and makes it work.

There is also the 58-year-old gorgeous grandma who has more than 200 pairs of stockings.

We have included some of Queensland's best-known names, such as pop starlets The Veronicas and former Queensland schoolgirl turned celebrity model Miranda Kerr.

Judge Damien Woolnough said Kerr had "the goods and the perfect accessory in Orlando Bloom – he goes with everything".

There couldn't be a 50 Most Stylish list without a few inclusions from the world of fashion in Brisbane.

From stylists to retailers, designers and models, they have all done something the rest of us aspire to – combined their passion with their jobs. What could be more stylish than the contentment that comes with that?

There is indisputable proof that Queensland has an abundance of style. So much so, that we originally had the luxury of selecting from a list of 100 most stylish.

Read the article online in the Sunday Mail or go to the Gallery for the 50 most stylish images.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


In the world of MYO who would have thought the day would arrive where you could make your own shoe…?

Shoes of Prey creates bespoke women's shoes, designed by you. Instead of choosing your pizza base or you noodle, as in the fast food MYO; choose the heel, toe, fabric, colour and embellishments.

This site promises their “expert craftsmen then make your shoes to measure, swaddle them in a soft dust bag and crisp new box, and ship them straight to your waiting feet”. These clever Jimmy Choo replicas can be customized by the individual from AUD $300.

What will the shoe Gods think of next?

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Thursday, October 15, 2009


I’m open to design finesse and creative expression. I dig off-the-wall, outside the box and edgy. I spent years studying interior design for Christ’s sake, my middle name is edgy!

Taking fashion risks is how unknown fashionistas become icons. Think Jackie O, Twiggy and our more modern day muses; Kate Moss or the styling of Patricia Field for The Devil Wears Prada or Sex & The City. The outrageous is precisely how women of fashion befall recognition and if they are tremendously lucky, become elevated to fashion royalty.

Where might Liz Hurley be today if it weren’t for that Versace safety pin dress she nearly wore while gloriously decorating Hugh Grant’s suit?

Are there times when designers have gone too far? I’m with the whole push the boundaries and make the press talk public relations stunt but when the latest collections from fashion houses hit my laptop I was left wondering who was going to wear these things beyond the catwalk?

Has ugly become the new hot?

Overtly chunky heels with almost orthodic like strapping have been pushing the boundaries of attractive for the last few seasons. Despite their somewhat medicinal appearance women clambered to get their hands on the much yearned for Chloe or Stella McCartney versions.

The ankle boot has been beaten to death by every design house from Bottega Veneta to Christian Louboutin and we’ve come out the other end with some specimens of boot resembling the paraffin wax dip we had at our last pedicure.

Animal prints have been climbing all over our bodies and clinging for dear life to our feet for longer than most of us are prepared to admit and then Marc Jacobs added the exclamation mark with horns to the toes of last season’s cow hide ballet flats. An interpretation I found entertaining until security at the airport told me I couldn’t wear them on a Qantas flight I was preparing to board. I must admit, this is the first time my shoes have been classified as lethal weapons!

Enter Balenciaga last season with what I like to call Yeti Chic. If you are curious to see what happens when an Ugg and an ankle boot reproduce you have your answer right here. It is at this point I assume that trying to get Pamela Anderson into some heels as an alternative to her Uggs may be the inspiration behind these? In their defense, I can imagine Mary-Kate Olsen or Kate Moss trudging through New York or Notting Hill respectively donning a pair.

I can only assume the Gridiron WAGS would be the clients of note for Balenciaga’s second fascinating offering last season, with its gridiron uniform likeness, these were available in contrasting black and white or the ever striking primary colours. Was this a mercy design encouraging husbands to become interested in what women are wearing or did somebody get drunk during the USA’s Monday night football and presuppose this would be amusing?

Alexander McQueen was inspired by the notion of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species and these little gems (pictured) were the result. While I completely understand the creative journey and use of amphibian and prehistoric references… paaahlease! I am not wearing twelve inch ankle boots that resemble animal hooves, with or without the bling.

When canvassing the male population on their thoughts concerning the most desirable shoes it is fairly unanimous that orthodic, overly chunky platforms are not sexy, no matter how much they are embellished with jewels, ribbons or butterflies. Evidently, I find by scrutinizing some of the most stylish feet around town, our motivation is not to appeal to the men. Undoubtedly we are looking to appeal to our fellow shoe constituents.

Sassy interpretations of these chunkier trends can be seen in McQueen’s current season stacked platform heart peep, YSL’s platform pump and Prada’s Satin Sandal, all sure to demand a second glance from any passer by. A little bit of ugly (directional, to use the language of our beloved designer folk) can be a good thing. It creates interest and defines us outside the horde, which is precisely why we seek out these must-haves in the first place.

Building a shoe wardrobe can be tricky and if thinking long term investment, wise selection is a must. Too directional and the wearer will be vilified next season for inappropriately repeat offending. Select shrewdly and they can be slipped into the next few seasons virtually unnoticed in their repetition. Sure, they may have to sit a season out but most of the good ones do.

It can be done. We can all learn to introduce a touch of ugly into our wardrobe, as long as it’s done appropriately.

That being said, the only surefire way to get noticed by the fash-pack is to jump into that LBD, sling a Chloe Victoria shoulder bag over that arm and slip on some animal-hoof-chic. Hey, it worked for Liz!

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Australian Blogger Matthew Jordon, Imelda – The Despotic Queen of Shoes, will be immortalized by Brisbane based luxury retailer Jean Brown later this month when they present the Imeldific exhibit.

Now for those who are not as savvy in the online world, I do not consider myself a ‘Blogger’, I consider myself someone who writes & publishes some musings on a Blog. The delightful Jordon is the absolute opposite, a dedicated career blogger traveling the world to très chic runway shows & fashion happenings to report on all things shoes.

If you aren’t already following his blog, get your despot on & go to Imelda. If you are one of the lucky few, I’ll see you @ Jean Brown for the launch of this exciting collaboration!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009


Women get so much press for their addiction or obsession with shoes, it is delightful to see the blokes getting in on the act.

Turner Seline, of Tower Grove East (USA), loves shoes so much he uses an entire bedroom in his 3 bedroom St Louis apartment to house his collection.

Seline, 25, became enamored with basketball shoes in high school and has since graduated to own a range of colourful kicks in bright hues of orange, turquoise, yellows and blues to luxury Salvatore Ferragamo footwear.

"I just get this feeling when I see a shoe that I just gotta have, and I just know it," Seline said. I imagine that feeling happens a lot given he works @ Nordstrom's men's shoes department as an assistant manager…

Read the entire article @ St Louis Today.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009


Am absolutely with Matt @ Imelda on this one.

I usually adore Miuccia Prada's creations & last seasons platform sandals were to die for, but what was she thinking sending these nasty things out on the runway @ Milan Fashion Week...?

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


Subfusco’s runway show at Serafini Chains was genius.

Scacheri's Collective Species S/S 2010 adorned models strutting at Perry pace through the industrial space with music that pumped the rib cage.

Brisbane hot-spot Cloudland presented guest DJ’s and chemical like cocktail concoctions served in jam jars with paper straws.

The man behind Subfusco is Über cool Josh Scacheri. After relocating to Italy to pursue a professional football career at the age of 16, he took an unexpected liking to the realm of fashion and became heavily influenced by the style and culture exhibited in his new surroundings.

Upon return to Australia Scacheri swapped ‘the boots’ for a sketch pad and officially launched Subfusco in 2006, built on the cross-cultural ideal of European elegance fused with Australian comfort.

Scacheri has raised the Brisbane fashion event bar.

This Collection is hot. Check out Subfusco or visit the concept store @ TCB Building, Fortitude Valley.

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Friday, September 18, 2009


Practicality and comfort aren't attributes commonly found in glamorous footwear, but thanks to design icon Vivienne Westwood and Melissa Australia, they are now.

Long known for celebrating the architectural transformation of plastic spheres into the world’s most coveted fashion accessories, shoes, Melissa has united with Westwood yet again to create another line of dazzling stunners for this season.

"This technique guarantees perfect shapes without interweaves as we see in fabrics ..." says the designer herself. Her designs are unquestionably British, undeniably feminine and fearlessly non-conformist.

Westwood is an institution, now the esteemed matriarch counts the Melissa brand as a part of her monarchy.

Get this slice of Westwood (pictured) for a comfortable $185 @ Melissa Online.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009


We've all had moments when time seems to slow to a pace akin of a bad telemovie. This is usually a moment that is not so great, when danger is near, or your favourite bowl is plunging toward the nadir of a tiled kitchen floor. Three minutes feels like thirty and we can hear ourselves screaming NOOOOOOOOOO, with desperation reminiscent of Rocky Balboa bleating for his wife Adrian in Rocky 2.

I have had one such moment.

Tastefully dressed for a Christening on a sunny Sunday, I am thrilled I have managed to style myself in the problematic dress code typical for such events; smart casual. Smart casual is one of those landmine dress requirements that is truly an art form. Pull it off and you look effortlessly chic. Go wrong and your attempt will be the topic of ridicule and discussion for weeks.

Managing to pull off the unimaginable, I affirm my classic black and white couture of choice with a quick nod at the mirror and we are out the door.

Of course I am wearing heels requiring significant concentration and a concerted ball-of-the-foot teeter so as not to put too much pressure on the decadent heel. A diminutive price to pay when they look fabulous.

Sitting through a grueling Minister’s sermon, while he exploits the possibility of converting the unconverted, and chasing my child around the parish to ensure she doesn't play in the holy water I manage to accomplish this walk with precision. Executing my pew dismount to gather outside for the post service recap, then striding across the car park enroute to the next venue is all done with almost gay abandon.

Once back at the home of my friend, shoes are being removed so as to make the wearers more comfortable and I opt to maintain my elongated calf and additional height in my much sought after designer runway shoes, circa 1998. We sit down, chat, and have a well earned glass of champagne. Realizing I have left my camera in the car I spring from my seat and march up the driveway.

Enter champagne induced momentary lapse of concentration.

There is a sound that only true shoe aficionados fear. I imagine it is somewhat like the noise of one’s arm ejecting from its shoulder socket. More like a gut wrenching pop than a crack.

That's when I hear it. A loud pop reverberates through the thick summer air. My slow motion scene begins; arms flailing, mouth open – aghast, over-exaggerated lunge toward the ground clutching my shoe. Imagine a sprinter’s response as she is closing in on the finishing line, unexpectedly hearing the crack of an ankle and experiencing the scalding blade of pain intensifying throughout her limb as she accidentally weight bares post fracture, and there you have the picture. NOOOOOOOOOO!

If you have not had the displeasure of this unpleasant incident then it is difficult to explain the pain associated with it. You see, a high-end heel is a most exotic creature. Beautifully styled, beginning generously by enveloping the heel of the foot with cradle like reassurance then elegantly whipping itself to a chic point. A designer shoe is all about the heel. One can usually recognize a designer specimen over a clever reproduction by the architecture of the heel.

A blessing and a curse I have discovered. The quandary is that there is no replacement heel for a designer runway shoe. You can't just pop down to your local shoe guy and ask him to replace the fractured heel for a new one, because replacements of this nature don't exist.

To clarify, you can acquire replacement heels but they are such poor comparisons that you can not go close to matching the unscathed heel and you certainly would not commit the deplorable crime of ripping the other one off to match. As much as local shoe guy will insist this is the best case scenario, this is just not an option.

Unperturbed by this information, designer shoe must be taken back to designer boutique. Once inside the compassion I am seeking, that only staff at such establishments can grant, is finally bestowed upon me. There is even a point where having tears well in my eyes almost seems justified.

I feel validation and reassurance. Briefly. Right up to the point that designer boutique minion returns from her back-of-house phone call to 'head office' and her expression has morphed from sympathetic to defensive. Apparently there is nothing they can do.

Frankly, it hasn't happened to anybody else. Ever. I am the only one and while she does feel my pain she has no answers for me. Despite the fact I am willing to pay for a replacement heel and I understand it's not the poor shoe's fault it's my fault, she is unrepentant. A few tears, threats to never shop there again (which could by the way, unquestionably affect their bottom line) mixed with a touch of begging and I am out the door.

Anguish and melancholy subsiding, I am back in problem solving mode. Right. Shoe guy can't help. Damn designer boutique that sold me a shoe worth more than a Tiffany ring can't help. Fashion designer friend! He will know someone or something to remedy this. Surely.

Pouty lips, sad eyes and lots of back pats and ‘darls’ later, this hope too is dashed.

It is time to come to terms with the undeniable fact that this just may be the end for designer runway shoe and I. Even slipping into the shoe boutique de jour doesn't help modify my state of mind. Nothing it seems is going to replace the fabric ribbons that caress my legs and the three month wait list I was on to get them in the first place. I have suffered a loss.

Eventually I will find a pair that fill the void left by designer runway shoe, one perfect for the occasional long days or nights where a comfortable yet visually stunning shoe is obligatory. Somewhere in the back of my mind I know that they will never replace the ones that got away, but I will learn to love them.

Designer runway shoe and I still date. We find an occasion now and then that can accommodate our needs. Short nights guaranteed to have no lapses in concentration (because that would not end well, fractured heel would become snapped heel), minimal standing and ball of the foot walking and we can still look fabulous together.

It's not the same but it could be worse and I won’t feel this way forever. Next season is just around the corner and I know that one day, I will have healed sufficiently to fall in love again.

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Friday, September 11, 2009


I have been quite vocal about the Croc in the past and while I remain steadfast in my distain of seeing grown men (or women) wear shoes only a toddler looks cute in, I have spotted another abomination in footwear crimes...

Introducing the Vibram FiveFingers, without doubt the ugliest specimens of modern footwear technology. Having not seen anything so lame since the launch of the toe-sock in the 80’s I was astonished to see a personal trainer I know wearing these cosmetically ridiculous adornments at my local coffee stop.

I completely adhere to the notion of the human foot being an anatomical marvel jam-packed with bones, joints, muscles, sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments, but I am reticent that these ‘shoes’ can be successfully morphed into streetwear.

Like the Crocs and Masseur Sandals people, please, for the sake of your own self respect – keep these for around the house if you must own a pair.

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Monday, September 07, 2009


Over the weekend I picked up the Sunshine Coast’s Profile Magazine.

On a rare Sunday with time to actually sit & read, it was a pleasant surprise to pick up a local publication that had a variety of interesting reads that were both well written & informative.

All too often local publications fall victim to morphing into glorified advertising brochures with little else to offer editorially. Having flicked through many local magazines in recent years I was delighted to find this not the case with Profile.

Go to Profile Magazine & download the August issue to read the admirable story of Holster’s Natalie Miller & Ben Nothling. We love these gorgeous Jelly shoes – great for the beach & street. I was a convert before reading this article but even more so now!

Congratulations to Genine Howard & the Profile team, I look forward to reading your next issue.

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Monday, August 31, 2009


Do you have an uncontrollable urge to purchase tremendous shoes aka Carrie from Sex and the City?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.

On August 20 Limes Hotel Rooftop Bar launch its monthly event ‘The High Heels Society” where women can get together, wear their latest shoe obsession, watch a complimentary film and win big fashion prizes!

The monthly gatherings will include judging of the most outrageously fabulous shoes & the winner is up for some great prizes.

To become a High Heels Society member visit Limes.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Day 3 @ MBFF was yet another sweltering Queensland winter’s day but the Mercedes-Benz Group Show 7 showcasing; Nicola Finetti, Kirrily Johnston, Pink Mint (featuring Jenny Bannister) & Lisa Ho was a breath of fresh air.

Undoubtedly the best assemblage of designer compilations @ MBFF this year, Kirrily Johnson & Lisa Ho’s collections were feminine, wearable & beautiful.

The stand out of the evening was indisputably Finetti’s stunningly tailored collection, mixing strikingly bold colours with blacks, whites & natural tones.

Undeniably the best show so far!

While some may consider the festival all but over, there are still 3 days of events ahead, including Thursday night's wrap party @ Cloudland. Visit MBFF for more details.

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Monday, August 24, 2009


Day 2 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival was jam-packed with fashion frivolity.

The Sunday Mail Group Show, set against the backdrop of Brisbane’s grandiose City Hall, was an undoubted highlight featuring; Chelsea de Luca, Talulah, Katlyn Aslett, Sacha Drake, Pia du Pradal, & Grbac.

Most wearable collections were Talulah & Sacha Drake, both channeling fabulously bright summer hues.

The dazzling Juli Grbac, of Project Runway fame, showcased her fresh ready to wear collection Juli Grbac (that will retail at the more modest price point $300 - $500 as opposed to $500 - $2,000 for her Grbac label) to a convivial throng of fashion followers.

With Vogue’s Kristie Clements & Kristi Hinze front row, this distinctive show was a must!

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Kristi Hinze & Napolean Perdis talked up the Queensland Fash-Pak & Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Brisbane this morning on Mornings with Kerri-Anne.

Both Hinze & Perdis gave glowing references to Queensland designers & Brisbane’s audience of consumer fashionistas attending this year’s MBFF.

For more on this interview visit the KAK website.

Hinze will be in Brisbane this week attending a range of high-profile shows including tonight's Sunday Mail Group Show featuring last season's Project Runway winner Juli Grbac.

Perdis is presenting today @ the National Media Lunch & Napoleon Perdis make-up colour trend forecast @ GoMA.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009


Astronomical Akira delivered tonight in the sold out Soul by Juniper Group Show showcasing; Akira, Camargue & Easton Pearson.

In a coup for Brisbane, Akira’s current collection debuted for the first time globally on the catwalk at Brisbane’s iconic City Hall, alongside local retail institution Camargue & Queensland powerhouse label Easton Pearson.

Festival Director, Lindsay Bennett & Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman launched tonight’s show with a salute to public support for the festival.

The Rosemount 0 Bar @ Sebel Citygate played host to post show revelers in true Fashion Festival style.

Some tickets are still available for shows during the week, visit MBFF for more details.

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The vibrant Portside Wharf @ Hamilton & the glamorous 60 metre MV Fantasea Ammari were the ultra chic backdrops for the sold out Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Swimwear Group Show.

While fashion followers sat valiantly in the 30 degree heat that is Brisbane’s winter, models clad in the incandescent collections of; Flamingo Sands, Riot Swimwear, Karen Neilsen, White Sands, Rebecca Manning Swim & Colin Heaney flowed from the impressive Ammari onto the Wharf.

There was a veritable profusion of colour presented across all collections ranging from cut-out one-pieces & low-riding Brazilian briefs to a much fuller pant, reminiscent of the 1950’s. Swimwear is not alone in its return to 50’s glamour, with European & Australian designers seeking inspiration from this era in ready to wear collections for the coming season.

Concluding with a river cruise on the MV Fantasea Amari under the clear blue sky, 2009’s MBFF Swimwear Group Show once again lived up to the hype.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today is the calm before the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival storm.

What better way to kick off a festival of all things fashion in Queensland than a sold out Day 1 @ Portside Wharf for the Swimwear parade.

Traditionally the Swimwear show is a standout for MBFF & tomorrow promises to be no exception.

Watch this space for updates over the coming week @ MBFF or visit MBFF for the full program.

(Image: MBFF)
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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Just as we'd managed to convince ourselves that 17cm heels were a practical footwear option, rather than the modern equivalent of foot-binding, designers have made a radical U-turn.

Flats are back. You could call it fashion's banking crisis: heels rose to unsustainable heights and, as with the recession, no one quite saw the fall coming.

Now, even Britain's Trades Union Congress has jumped in on the act. Earlier this month it announced that high heels are demeaning to women and should not be worn in the office. Make of this what you will, but its suggestion that women should wear "sensible shoes" has inadvertently put the TUC in the same style camp as Vogue and it is unclear which party is more surprised.

News that pancake soles are the new vanguard of style will be a shock for many women (not to mention their shortened Achilles tendons). Sales of flat shoes may be up by 20 per cent at Selfridges, but the thrill of prancing about on a pair of toughened knitting needles is impossible to recreate with both feet safely on the ground.

Let's be clear, even though Christopher Kane, Hannah MacGibbon at Chloe, Calvin Klein and Lanvin's Alber Elbaz endorsed flat shoes on the catwalk, your old scuffed ballet slippers will not be at the forefront of fashion next season. That would be too straightforward.

Kane, who is fast becoming one of the most influential designers around, is adamant about the type of flats he deems acceptable. "Is it ballet pumps?" he asks. "In my opinion, no; flats need to be more boyish."

They must have attitude too...

Image (Tracey Gillinder @ Jimmy Choo, Sydney) & article published in The Australian newspaper, Wednesday 19th August 2009. To read the entire article visit The Australian.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


With the impending release of her 5th novel, we celebrate this Siren’s fondness for stilettos…

In researching my first novel Fetish, about a killer with a penchant for stilettos, I think I inadvertently gave myself a shoe fetish. I own perhaps fifty pairs of shoes.

It is impossible to choose, but my fifteen year old black satin YSL evening shoes & my red Manolo Blahniks have to be up there.

The higher the heels, the closer to God.

For more on Tara Moss's Siren visit

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Saturday, August 15, 2009


Champagne flowed & limousines were packed this week on the Gold Coast when style mistress & Courier Mail columnist Elizabeth Clarke hosted Gucci’s fall winter 2009-2010 collection launch.

While this collection is far more adaptive from day to evening it is no less glamorous. A nod to British style, it has a dash of 80’s. Metallics, asymmetrical stripes, shots of turquoise, bold shoulders, short dresses, kimonos & draped tops. All Über sexy & easily revised from work to party mode.

The amazing over the knee ‘division’ boot & gorgeous 'riddle’ boot with buckles & lace up front detail have fuss free side zip closure for easy booting up!

This collection rocks, so get your Gucci on.

Head to your nearest boutique or visit

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