Friday, 30 December 2011

My Top 10 Fashion Moments of 2011

To say it's been an exciting year for the fashion world, I think, would be a major understatement... Here, on Parade, is my 'Top 10 Fashion Moments of 2011'...
(In NO particular order!)

1. I'll get this out the way first! This year saw the 20th Birthday of the Christian Louboutin brand, just a few days after the purchase of my very own loubis... eeeek!

2. In August, I payed a second visit to Central Saint Martins, just because I love it so much.

3. I voyaged to one of the Fashion Capitals of the world in April, pretended to be Carrie and helped the US economy spectacularly, returning with £3.20 exactly...

4. As Royal Wedding Fever reached fever pitch in April, Sarah Burton worked secretly to create Kate Middleton's wedding dress. Forget being dress of the year, this is dress of the century.

5. I discovered a love for Macrame.

6. His and Hers, Liverpool's hottest glossy, hit newstands this year, and I promptly put pen to paper to help proceedings.

7. The fash pack waited eagerly to see who would replace Carine Roitfeld as editor of Vogue Paris. Emmanuelle Alt was a very good choice indeed.

8. Don't ask how it happened, but once entered in Miss Liverpool, I wanted it to be a classy, Audrey Hepburn-esque affair.  I was one of only three in one-pieces, success.

9. I had my first foray behind the scenes at LFW, dressing for Ashish in September. Despite the fact the main event was over in 10 minutes, I can't wait to do it again in February.

10. I've always been an advocate of Victoria Beckham, even in her Spice Girls days. Pleased as punch was I when she was named Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

What an amazing 2011 in Fashion... Roll on 2012.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Loubis

I don't suppose that anyone, least of all me, expected it to be so long before The Loubis made an appearance on Parade! I'll blame it on far too many birthday celebrations and use tonight, the eve of their 3rd outing as an opportunity to formally introduce them, just for those who haven't already been forced to bow down to and/or stroke them...

Even my introductory paragraph sounds a bit psycho, and it's safe to say I'm a little obsessed with these shoes, probably too obsessed. If I'm like this now, you should have seen me the day before and on the day of purchase. (For those who did, retrospectively, I'm sorry.)

I can't say I slept on the night of the 11th... remember the blog post? Click here to read it again, all two sentences of it. I described it to someone as "pre-wedding jitters"; I'd been planning it forever, I was definitely going to go through with it, but wow was I nervous. They laughed at me, and I wasn't really surprised. 'Nervous' isn't a feeling that would naturally be associated with shoe-buying, is it? But I was, really badly! I think I was worried because I'd built up this whole event to be something so great, what if it went badly wrong? What if there was nothing in my size? Nothing I liked? Well obviously I was going to like the whole shop, but what if there was nothing that fitted my 'classic and black' bill? I was dragging my whole family and godparents to Paris, to buy a pair of shoes. There was a lot riding on it, and me being stubborn as, I certainly wasn't going to accept defeat and make the purchase in Selfridges or even Cricket. 

Having had 3 hours sleep, read an article about Mr Louboutin in the paper and had another minor nervy b, I found myself sat on an easyjet, wondering what the purposes of everybody elses journeys were. I didn't think anyone was off to buy Louboutins from the flagship store in Paris, family in tow, but I may well be wrong!

We landed, faffed around, got trains, buses, walked, got lost, got distracted, had mini breakdowns and eventually found our way to the hotel by about 12.30pm - too late for my liking. Can't say I remember much of the morning, it was far too much of a tired, overexcited, nervous blur. A lunch followed, a lunch I struggled to eat, as Loubi o'clock was getting closer...

I then took it upon myself to navigate towards the shop. Except I didn't, and when close to throwing up/passing out, I handed the reins to the father, who made it there before me. If I wasn't in such a state, I'd have been really annoyed, but in all honesty I was just thankful to find the place the right side of midnight.

There was a queue, with a very efficient system of 'one in, one out', there were 4 sales assistants, thus only ever 4 Loubi buyers in the shop at any one time... We got in said queue and waited maybe 20 minutes? (Felt like about 3 hours, I was shaking by this point.) The majority of people who entered the shop came out with a bag or three it should be noted, bags at which every queue-er, including me, fully stared at as they walked past...

Once in the shop, it wasn't at all like we expected it to be, in a really, really good way. I think deep down we expected it to be hostile, the shop assistants snooty, the displays untouchable. Instead, our monsieur was so friendly, helpful and had the patience of an actual saint - handy when I spent well over an hour trying on in excess of 20 pairs. And yes I wandered round in my bare feet, albeit with my beautiful gel nails, and moved shoes off displays without getting a slapped wrist. They didn't follow me round with a duster and suck endless lemons, rather they laughed at my accent and sung happy birthday to me in english. The brown paper box and bag aren't perfect, there's a dint in the box and a bag handle is loose, but I strangely don't mind, makes it all seem a whole lot less pretentious.

So I eventually decided on a pair. Now let's get this clear, I went to Paris saying 'No patent, and no slingback' What did I come back with? Patent Slingbacks... I said it was like having a child, you hope for a girl and have a boy, but you still love them regardless! Another ridiculous comparison I know, but it didn't half sum it up... I tried on all the pairs I'd seen on the website but plain leather was too drab, my british feet were way too wide for Pigalle and peep toe was just a definite no no.

Now I'd never seen mine before, anywhere, not in a boutique (and I've been to a lot), and not online. I still haven't, but he brought them out the back for me to try and we all knew they were 'the ones'. Classic enough for pencil skirt days, yet still party-y enough for partying. Fab-u-lous!

Decision made, the mother paid (and does she not deserve a medal?!) and out we went, ready for the next lucky person to go in. I managed to maintain my dignity whilst I carried my bag past the (now even longer) queue of people, who all stared at it, just as I'd done a couple of hours previously, until I got round the corner...

Where I jumped up and down and squealed in a most un-classy manner! Didn't care I had my Loubis. Whipped them out in the cafe to show dad and godfather, whipped them out in the hotel to check they still fitted (they actually didn't, I'd walked so far that my customary 'Cankles' and fat feet had appeared, oops) and stored them safely in the safe, until their journey home.

Day 2 then of the Paris trip is, frankly, completely irrelevant as it doesn't involve the Loubis, I just floated round in a bubble of happiness. Except for perhaps the flight home, where I hugged them. I got some funny looks, but did I care? Nope!

Now I honestly can't say I've stopped going on about them since November, nor have they left the pillow on the other side of my bed... Somebody said to me the other day " Hannah Ramsay? Are you the one with the Christian Louboutin shoes?" David, if you're reading this thank you again!.

 To conclude... I love the Louboutins, and the mother says yes to another pair from Paris for my 21st... Enjoy the peace until then!