The perfect dress

Some women have a thing for handbags and will spend thousands on the latest ‘It’ bag. Others have a weakness for shoes, and stockpile dozens of pairs in every colour. While I’m fond of a beautiful shoe or bag, I’ve always loved dresses. I suppose it started when I was a little girl when my grandmother made me heaps of fancy-dress costumes, which included superhero outfits, a poodle costume and a fire fighter’s uniform. While I loved everything she made, the dresses were my favourites. She was a brilliant seamstress and I still have some of the princess frocks she made for me. I sometimes take them out and admire her work; every stitch, ruffle and hem is exquisitely finished. If I have a daughter one day, I’ll pass them on to her. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my Nan’s skill for sewing, […]

Block Party: Joanne Stoker SS16

I’ve always favoured chunky heels over spiky stilettos. I prefer a vintage inspired, Mary Poppins vibe, which Joanne Stoker executes with skilful aplomb. Her SS16 collection passed the baton from her previous work, developing and perfecting Stoker’s charming, nouveau-retro look. Named 1981, it celebrated the strength and chutzpah of the 80’s power woman. Divided into lifestyle sections of work, holiday, pleasure and dancing, there was something for everyone. In amongst the shoes were sinewy ‘Voga’ dancers, throwing some classic 80’s shapes. ‘Voga’ is the next big thing in fitness – a happy marriage between dance and yoga. As well chunky lace-ups and cute sandals, the collection included orthopedically sound flats in an array of juicy colours. But the stars of the show were the Mary Janes with heels at the perfect height, the straps delicately placed under the ankle and the toes rounded […]

Lucy Choi

This week I had the pleasure of visiting shoe designer, Lucy Choi, in her West London studio. Lucy couldn’t be lovelier and her studio is jam packed with gorgeous shoes. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy store. Lucy comes from a line of shoe royalty, her uncle is Jimmy Choo and her sister, Sandra Choi, is the Creative Director of J. Choo Limited. Lucy studied business at university and spent the first 8 years of her career working in the city, before starting out in the shoe industry. She went on to be the managing director of French Sole before setting up her own brand. In three short years her label has grown exponentially, stocking in Net-a-Porter, matchesfashion.com, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick of Bond Street, to name but a few. What I love […]

Clogzilla

Fashion can be divisive between men and women. There’s stuff in my wardrobe that I love, but the men in my life are not so keen on. The fashion-forward, flamboyant clothes often earn dubious glances from my male friends, one of whom frequently likens my look to a ‘Badly wrapped Christmas present’.  My husband sometimes looks askance at my outfits, but he knows not to waste his breath on criticism. Once in a while I’ll go a bit far, he’ll tell me so and I’ll pare it back. But such occasions are few and far between. There are certain items that women tend to like and men often hate; chunky heels or wedges are prime man-repelling accessories. One of the hottest shoe trends this season are 70’s inspired clogs, they look great with flared trousers or floaty chiffon. Don’t expect the men […]

Super Stoker

Joanne Stoker is one of my favourite emerging shoe and accessory designers. She has worked with amazing talent, including Eudon Choi and Teatum Jones. She’s about to embark on a host of exciting new projects that’s certain to solidify her well-deserved space amongst the best and brightest of British fashion. These killer heels are dripping in an on-trend 70’s vibe, coupled with the interesting detailing on the heels and soles, which marks them out from the crop of platforms around right now. Unfortunately, I’m not a great foot model. No matter how fabulous the shoe, nothing disguises my gnarly trotters. I’ve avoided any close ups of my feet as they’re likely to cause nightmares, so I’m afraid you’ll have to enjoy Joanne’s brilliant platforms from afar. I’ve styled the heels with a 193o’s vintage wedding dress and […]

Rosa’s Christmas Gift guide

I’ve always preferred giving gifts to receiving them, the look on a loved one’s face when they open the perfect present is priceless. I don’t always get it right, I’ve made a few mistakes in my time. The key is to give things that they would love but are unlikely to buy themselves. I’ve put together a little gift guide, it’s rather girly but women are easier to buy for and their presents are more fun.    

The Leg Blues

My legs have a natural tendency to be hulking swathes of muscle. My She Hulk-quads could crack coconuts and my calves are like powerful flesh bricks, skulking behind my shins. I used to hate my strong legs, I longed for the slender, delicate limbs of the models that looked back at me from the pages of magazines. I dieted, exercised and obsessed over achieving my ideal figure. I got slimmer, but my muscly legs remained – if anything they became more defined and akin to a Marvel character. As the years have passed I’ve accepted that I’m always going to be more Super Hero than Super Model. There’s nothing I can do to change it (short of starving myself, never good) and obsessing over something immovable as hardened muscle is a waste of […]

Texture Clash

Once the dust has settled after London Fashion Week, I feel emboldened to try new looks, take risks and challenge the perimeters of my comfort zone. The new ideas presented by the designers are inspiring and invigorating, but the clothes on show attendees are also intriguing. These are the boldest sartorial risk takers in the world who traverse the extremes of style. However, there are some people who go to London Fashion Week simply to be seen and don’t give a hoot about the clothes on the runways. These folks are easy to spot, not only by their outrageous outfits but also by the amount of selfies they take before the shows – they are eager to show their social media followers who they’re sitting next to and how near the front row they are. However, when the models come down […]

For the love of Shoes

Women love shoes. Well, that’s not entirely true – most women are at least very fond of shoes. It’s a lazy stereotype that I had hoped to avoid, but most cliches are rooted in a grain of truth. In this instance it’s not so much a grain as a whole granary of truth. The reason women love beautiful shoes is regardless of how self-conscious she’s feeling about her body or the relative plainness of her outfit, a killer pair of shoes immediately elevate the look to something special. Speaking for myself, wearing heels never fails to make me feel confident, which is ironic seeing as I frequently stack it in my stillies. However, I’ve been known to trip over my own feet in flats and unimpeded by obstacles of any kind. In short, […]

These Boots are Made for Walking

As much as I love my home town of London, there are times when the city and it’s people grate on my last nerve.  There’s nothing quite like commuting in morning rush hour to bring out the my inner misanthrope.  As I teetered my way to work in 4 inch stilettos, I hopped onto the tube only to manhandled into the personal space of a rather disagreeable, middle aged woman. The lady in question was highly aggrieved that she was forced into in an intimately compromising position with me; I should add that I wasn’t enjoying be up close and personal with her.  She got even crosser when I stumbled into her every time the train jerked and jolted – unsteady on my chic but perilous heels.  She expressed her seething rage by […]