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Archive for August, 2010

Aug 25

Amanda Start from The Online Stylist

Amanda is the brains and the beauty behind leading fashion blog The Online Stylist, an objective, self-edited blog about beautiful clothing and all things fashion, shopping and lifestyle with a healthy dose of reality thrown in!

Amanda has also recently launched Style Advice Service – a concept that enables women to receive tailor made advice on how to find fabulous pieces that work for them. It’s about making the very best of every woman, fitting in with who they are and what they want to be.

We interviewed Amanda to find out more about the woman behind the blog, and of course about her passion for shoes….

Amanda Start

Tell us a little about yourself
I live in Dorset on the edge of the New Forest and a few miles from the coast. I’ve been married for just over six years and have a five-year-old daughter. We love spending time with friends over good food and wine and really value the family time we get to spend together – which is probably not as often as we like due to busy working lives!

How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t tend to stick one particular look – variation is part of the fashion fun! Even though I mostly work from home I always try to dress well because I find it a boost to how I’m feeling. I would say it varies from classic chic with a twist to harassed mother!

What’s your relationship with shoes?
Oh god… I am Carrie Bradshaw’s (younger) sister when it comes to shoes! I have bought so many pairs of shoes, tried to plan an outfit around them and then ended up going out to find something to go with them. I now have them in clear plastic boxes so I can see them, prior to that I would either take a picture or write very descriptive names on their boxes! Ideally I’d like a shoe closet – wall-to-wall gorgeousness. I think I probably have about 80 pairs now… but don’t tell my husband that.

Which footwear trend do you predict to be a stayer this season?
I think that wedge heeled shoe-boots will be around the whole winter… which I’m thrilled about as I love them. And also with the whole Mad Men/Retro Chic look, you can’t go wrong with some killer patent stilettos to wear with pencil skirts and a classic fitted shirt.

What was your design inspiration for your Upper Street shoes?
It was fantastic to play around with designs and I ended up with a lot of what I’d call everyday designs. But then I thought, if I’m going to have a pair designed and the sky is the limit, why not go all out? I ended up going with the design on the Upper Street header as I fell in love with them the very first time I went onto the website! And you don’t ignore fate when it comes to shoes! I then realised I would be able to wear them with a blue dress for an upcoming wedding reception.

What did you think when you opened your parcel from Upper Street?
I loved the packaging – I’m always all about the packaging. I think it’s the mark of a quality product. The black pattern box with the pink ribbon is stunning and the velvet shoe bag is something you only ever get with a high-end designer shoe so very impressive. I loved the fact that I had a couple of emails throughout the design process to keep me up to date with progress. It all adds to the feeling that you’re getting something special.

What did your friends and colleagues have to say about your shoes?
The reaction I got before I actually wore them and just kept getting them out of the box to show friends was always an intake of breath followed by “Oh My God… they’re amazing!”. The night I wore them, I just followed people’s downward glance when they were checking out the outfit and then waited for the gasp. When I told them they were designed for me they were always intrigued by the concept and thought it was really special.

So will we be seeing you at Upper Street again soon?
I hope so! I think I’d go for a nude, platform sole classic style next time… although having said that, I know when I get on there I could easily be swayed towards a really dramatic shoe again! It’s addictive!

And finally, if you could give a personal style tip to our readers, what would it be?
Always dress to suit your body shape – know what works and what doesn’t. If you want to incorporate the trends then do it in accents rather than full on. Rarely does the catwalk translate to real life… unless you’re a celebrity on the red carpet!

Upper Street - the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own individual shoes and have them delivered right to your door.


Aug 18

Say ‘hola’ to designing your own shoes in…. Mexico!

Category: Customer Stories

Catherine Bremer is a  foreign correspondent for Reuters with 16 countries under her belt, currently in the process of moving to Paris as chief correspondent from Mexico City where she’s been based for nearly seven years. We wanted to find out more about the story behind the girl and the shoes….

Catherine Bremer's Upper Street shoes with outfit

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style tends to be a little quirky, I would say boho chic, my friends would probably say weird, mismatched and a few years out of date. My lifestyle and living in Mexico has meant I’ve had to grab shopping opportunities where I can, places like Buenos Aires, New York or Barcelona on work assignments or annual trips back to Europe. I’m more likely to shop at H&M than in designer stores though.

What’s your relationship with shoes?
I developed a taste for gorgeous shoes when I moved to Latin America and discovered the joys of year-round bare legs and heels. I am slightly obsessive about them: if I see somebody in the street or at a party with an incredible pair of shoes I will tend to go up and start a conversation. I also have an awful lot of shoes which has been fine in my big Mexico apartment with walk-in wardrobe but will be a problem when I move into a rabbit hutch flat in Paris.

What was your design inspiration for your Upper Street shoes? Did you create them for a special event?

I didn’t give it too much thought to be honest. I played around with the site and went crazy going for the colours, styles and materials that appealed, threw them all together and pressed BUY. It was a bit like gorging myself on an exotic box of chocolates. I just wanted an unusual and eye-catching pair of heels that would make a statement if worn with a plain black dress or evening jeans.

What did you think when you opened your parcel from Upper Street?
I was amazed that the shoes found their way to Mexico City unscathed and it was a real moment of luxury to open the extremely pretty box with sumptuous velvet bag and little bits and pieces inside. I’m embarrassed to say I liked it so much that I wrapped them back up again and re-opened in front of my friends so I could relive the moment!

Catherine Bremer's Upper Street shoes

What did your friends have to say about your shoes?
They were very impressed and were also surprised to hear the shoes are both comfortable and fit me perfectly.

So will we be seeing you at Upper Street again soon?
Totally. Two of my cousins just got engaged in the same month so I have two weddings suddenly coming up: the perfect excuse for a couple of pairs of new heels…

Upper Street - the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own individual shoes and have them delivered right to your door.

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Aug 18

Vintage Bridal

Category: Bridal,Shoe Love

With vintage and retro trends becoming increasingly popular in the world of mainstream fashion, brides are looking more and more toward this trend as inspiration for their wedding attire.

Encompassing the 20′s and 30′s through to the 50′s and 60′s, the potential for enabling the wearer to stamp their personality on, after all what is probably the most important outfit they will ever wear, is plentiful.

Dedicated sites such as Vintage Bridal Couture and Circa Vintage Brides can be found alongside the shopping heaven of My Sugarland who have a bespoke wedding section where you can be as traditional or as unconventional as you wish.

When we think about vintage bridal here at Upper Street; classic styling, luxe fabrics, glamour, subtle detailing and uniqueness are all words very close to our heart. If you couple this with the high-end workmanship of our shoe designs, you have a match made in heaven!

For the perfect finishing touch, look to our one-of-a-kind vintage styled shoes to accent or compliment yours and your bridesmaids dresses.

Experiment with powder soft tones such as Blush and Ballet in a pair of classic Italian satin peep toe platform shoes. Add a structured bow for a true 1950s inspired vintage feel.

These satin round toe courts in delicate shades of White, Pearl and Vanilla with their opulent Swarovski crystal cluster would compliment the most beautiful of bridal gowns.

Add some vintage floral detailing and incorporate your “something blue” with these mid-heel peep toe shoes in elegant Dove satin with a delicate Eau satin flower.

To help make your choice easier, satin swatches are available to order from the Upper Street Swatch Store.

For more inspiration, take a look at our Vintage Bridal Design Guide for tips on how to create your very own vintage inspired pair of shoes for your wedding.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if  you have any questions or requirements about your order, as we appreciate and understand the need for perfection when it comes to every last detail of your wedding!

Upper Street shoes come in a huge range of sizes from the petite 33 (UK 1.5) to the generous 43 (UK 10) with 4 width fittings. We also offer free alterations to fit and we’re so confident that you’ll love your final design that we’ll refund you if you don’t!

Upper Street - the made-to-order luxury shoe label where you can design your own individual shoes and have them delivered right to your door.

Image Credits: Bailie Photography

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