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….
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!