Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

How high can a shoe go?

The most expensive bag that I have bought is an Anya Hindmarch Carker, for £530. I bought it in the Autumn of last year, and carefully kept when not in use, I would expect it to last the rest of my life. Indeed I am still using bags of my mother's, purchased in the Fifties. I would never buy an It bag that I did not expect to wear for years to come. As I've said, I have no problem still using my red and purple Fendi baguettes, even though all around me are carrying clutches. I just don't care.

£530 was not the upper limit I was prepared to pay for that bag; had I been able to buy a Hermes Birkin, I might have done so. But I will not pay £745 for a pair of shoes. Like these:
Yet people do, indeed you can go and buy them yourself if you click on the Net-a-porter ad on this page, and stunningly beautiful they are too.

But as Justine Picardie says, in the Telegraph today:

Net-a-porter is doing a brisk trade in Christian Louboutin party shoes this Christmas, but who is buying the black satin slingbacks with a Swarovski crystal embellishment for £745? (Quite a lot of people, presumably, given that they've already sold out in three different sizes.)

Then there are the Jimmy Choo sapphire crêpe-de-chine peep-toes for £585, and black T-bars for £365 from Russell & Bromley. (Russell & Bromley! It's where my affordably priced, sensible school shoes used to come from!

>It's enough to take the enjoyment out of buying a new pair of frivolous shoes - for if you're worrying about how much you've spent on them, then the point of the purchase is lost. Party shoes should be escapist, though not so expensive that they leave you unable to afford Christmas presents for anyone else.

Plus, if your expensive high heels let you down - as mine did, catastrophically, when a crucial strap snapped on my silver Louboutins, halfway through an evening out last week - then you are liable to feel more than usually outraged.

Hence I am giving up on the broken Louboutins in favour of a pair of red satin slingbacks from the Autograph range at M&S for £55; less than a tenth of the designer versions.


If you want to spend money on shoes, my own tip, particularly to British women, who are less familiar with the brand, is Stewart Weitzman. He's an American shoe designer, stocked at Russell and Bromley, Selfridges and Harrods, who makes really good quality, beautiful and fashionable shoes which rarely sell for more than £200. I have lots of pairs.

Thought for the day


Appearances are not held to be a clue to the truth. But we seem to have no other. Ivy Compton-Burnett.