Soles With Soul

We've all been there: shopping in the shoe department, perusing the sales, or even window shopping with our hopeful eyes, as we take swift strides down the city streets. And, to acquire nothing during vulnerable times ... yes, that's even a skill!

Do you remember the feeling that you had when you finally found a pair of shoes that made you drop your jaw? You know, the slow gasp that you made as your eyes met with the shoes that you marvelled at for style appreciation? Then, you gasped mentally, and continuously did a double take because of the price tag! It doesn't have to be a style with an outrageous heel or one that's even extravagantly adorned. 


(Above) 1-Cascadei Ayers wedges for Prabal Gurung, 2-Grey Mer Python printed leather sandals,  3-Sergio Rossi Clash woven pumps, 4-Giuseppe Zanotti, Pointed patent pumps.


When I look at shoes that I might not buy, other than comfort, my predilection for art and colour still trumps all other elements in the admiring process! Just like certain garment silhouettes, shoes can also "speak to us," and express our personality. They can evoke casual whispers of minimalism or even daring shouts of vintage glam!

What ever it is, in that gazing moment it's like music to my ears ... a bit of rhythm, a touch of blues, classic pieces of rock, colours of jazz, and literally everything in-between. Because my personal shoe closet is quite eclectic. However, one thing is certain, they all have soul! Some just need the right mix or style duet rather, to accompany them.

Here's a few shoe selections that I wouldn't mind in my collection at the moment. 

Above: 1-McQ-Alexander McQueen-Printed Point Toe Pumps, 2-Pixie Market-Metal tip zipper bootie, 3-Reiss-Lelia Mint Pyramid platform sandals, 4-Jeffrey Campbell-In love flats, 5-Acne-Lila buckle ankle boots, 6-PixieMarket-Blue tassel flatform shoes, 7- Charlotte Olympia Bahia Sandals.

What are your favourite type of shoes? Do you generally buy and stick to a certain style or do you experiment with different heel heights, patterns, and colours? 


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Elegant Expeditions: Pasotti Ombrelli

I remember departing on weekend train rides when I was younger, observing the people around me, analysing the luggage of patrons, and even pondering how stylish my parents were. Even then, it was all about the accessories for me!

Just as a stylish hat or the perfect shoes may complement the overall look of an outfit; accessories in general can really add that special finishing touch! And, that includes umbrellas, but we’re not talking just any brolly!

Pasotti Ombrelli has been masterfully creating luxury umbrellas, globally providing men and women with first-class (functional) weather accessories. Today, the Pasotti family brand is still loved by many, and has been for over the past 50 years.

Pasotti Ombrelli Press
Founded in 1956 by Ernesta Pasotti, the company has managed to create fine pieces that include handmade handles and intricate style detailing. From embellished Swarovski crystals to bold printed interiors, each umbrella comes with personality–and there are plentiful options that would make a great gift for any stylish maven!

The brand’s one-of-a-kind foundation is apparent in their design aesthetic, and the quality is certainly distinct! I chose this classic style with a ruched leather handle. The interior is of taupe colour with a lovely surprise of polka dots. 

Dinner trains are such a wonderful experience. Although, it’s been a long time since my last dinner train excursion, I thought I would reflect upon it and savour the memory. So, I took a dated, yet modern approach style-wise, wearing a multi-coloured tweed jacket that I designed and paired it with vintage pieces.

In the end, I let the marvellous accessories do the talking, and with patterns already implemented in this outfit my classic Pasotti Ombrelli was an ideal addition!
Pasotti Ombrelli Luxury Umbrellas
Italian leather stylish umbrellas
To view the catalogue or to order visit: www.pasottiombrelli.com or their Facebook page.

The goods:Umbrella-c/o Pasotti Ombrelli, Croc heels-Bruno Magli (Similar), Skirt-Vintage Yves Saint Laurent, Vintage-Multi-strand necklace (Similar), Fur collar-Vintage, Tailored tweed jacket-Ladyofashion design, Shirt-H&M, Belt-Ladyofashion, Earrings-Maylee’s Jewelry.

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Pieces of Me: Insta-Living Vol. 02

Culture, heritage, architecture, and pure colour are just a few elements that influence me personally, including my fashion style and general perspective. So, I thought I would share a glimpse of some of these components, as well as others that I love.

At the moment, we are between a couple of places, and with busy schedules of work and travelling there hasn't been much time to decorate. Therefore, mobile uploads work best for unique and intimate captures, transforming a snapshot of even a plain box into somewhat, a work of art!
German culture Expat Blogs

When entertaining comes into play it's great to pull out old recipe books. And, of course, thanks to Christmas holidays mum always makes certain that all of us in the family are upgraded with proper dinnerware and silverware. Plus, guys don't tend to bring these type of items into the home initially do they? So, I was very pleased that I had these! I also just received "his and her" tuxedo style forks and spoons, but we have not got around to using those yet!

I adore these wooden bowls, they kept hazelnuts warm and ready for a new recipe that I tried a few weeks ago and modified!

On the mini baker's rack: we keep flour, dried red peppers, rice, spices and herbs like cumin and thyme, amongst loads of other ingredients in rotation on the shelves and cabinets. Saving the empty bottles of our cooking essentials, such as saffron helps to remember to buy stashes of it on upcoming market trips. Spice markets are some of my favourite places to stop when travelling. 

Marvellous gifted artful pieces, and intricate works that my papa gave me from Ghana, (an Ashanti 'Sankofa' Stool and carved wooden utensils). There's really too many family favourites to love. My brother has a very nice collection of his own as well in his family's home. But, this is one of my little tables for now that resides in what we like to call the peace room, which is not finished yet. Presently, there are plenty of comfortable floor pillows and lounge seating.

When guests are over they may also use this room to have important phone calls, meditate, or just relax before heading out to the crowded living room filled with gourmet indulgences and joyful conversations. I suppose more of my own artwork will also accompany this environment soon.
 

One of many German steins: This one is more of a playful piece that I have carried with me in every move. The top is removed now, as I use it to store feathers and notions. The older inherited one's are at my parent's house, which are in a glass case.

I love old wooden cigar boxes, and often fix them up so that I can use the boxes for crafting or storage. Last year, I restored one for my friend Lars, putting in requested velvet fabric cushions for storage. He wears funky cufflinks and uses it to store them .. it's truly a custom cigar box now!
 Ghainaian bloggers Expat
Paper flower arrangements and more art! A happy floral makes the day bright, however for the guest rooms, I generally use silk flowers or paper flowers. Several friends have allergies just as I do, and sometimes we never know who might be passing through or if they're indeed allergic to fresh flowersfortunately, I am not! But, aside from that, there's nothing wrong with a little handmade touch!

One of several favourite trunks! Although these only keep extra throw blankets stowed away, it does make a lovely corner to pass, and dream of world adventures in a matter of seconds. 

I hope you enjoyed my personal and eclectic splash of inspiration.


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Global Luxury

It’s been an eventful few weeks filled with conferences and meetings. Additionally, I’ve been preparing this special post to share with you. I am delighted to finally introduce you to the new fashion brand, Assali.

Still in the first year of the brand’s unveiling, Assali has already gained some buzz through the fashion channels, including the likes of E! News’ correspondent, Catt Sadler, amongst others.

Assali was kind enough to let me try-on pieces from their Fall/Winter 2013 collection so that I could share an exclusive preview with you. Here's a glance at a few day and night captures in the pieces from the brand.

E! News anchor Catt Sadler  Assali Dress
Designer, Eva Boulos, (Assali’s creator) has used her experience with diverse cultures as a source of influence as well as the groundwork for designing. The Port-au-Prince native creates comfortable apparel for the contemporary woman. As a globe traveller myself, I can definitely see the worldly influences in her design aesthetic.

The line itself is a fresh take on luxe-style. It’s sophisticated and edgy, yet there are also artistic silhouettes with a sexy undertone. Deep jewel tones of emerald, and plum-burgundy instantly catches your eye—impacting the collection as a whole, and creating a hybrid of casual dramatic elegance.

One of my favourite pieces is the Carrie dress, as I became quite a fan of the side panel slashes with contrasting fabric. It’s perfect for going out and very comfortable … there’s also a shorter length version of the Carrie dress and Milano dress as well! 


What do you think of Assali’s Fall/Winter collection? 
Luxury Dresses For Women Easy to Pack Style
Fashion Writer Madison Press Assali Campaign
Assali Fashion Fall Winter 2013 Collection Blogger
The goods:  *Special thanks to Assali for providing clothing for this shoot. I am wearing the Marie-Antoinette Dress in Sky Grey (grey lace dress), Carrie Dress in Forest Green (the dress with contrast panels), and the Milano Dress in Burgundy (plum-burgundy dress). Other items: Boots-Kelsi Dagger, Denim-Gas Denim, Clutch-Express, Vintage-Bead trim (worn as belt), Necklace-H&M.

For more information visit www.loveassali.com
View the rest of the Fall/Winter 2013 collection and campaign here.


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Going West With Gudrun Sjödén

Now that you've travelled from your first stop, we're going West and taking risks ... well, fashion-wise that is! Safari rides and close snapshots of wild animals will have to wait for another time. But, for now, here's a bit more summer inspiration as we arrive to our next destination.

The way certain pieces of clothing are styled definitely makes all the difference, whether very minimal or dramatic! As you know, I typically enjoy creating and experiencing with new techniques with styling my wardrobe. And, with these pieces provided from the Gudrun Sjödén collection it was the rich colour that struck me initially! The plum colour in the cardigan against the lime green was a unique pairing that I loved!
Gudrun Sjoden Ambassador  
The entire collection is relaxed and influenced from diverse areas covering the North, South, East, and West. The use of layering with the versatility of linen, and organic cotton were both key elements in this collection. So, I focused this portion of the lookbook on the easy, and roomy style of the West.


This part of the summer collection carries on with earth tones, including enticing deep hues that are reminiscent of the African sunset. The colours are pretty much a lively call out to the desert, however there's also shades that whisper influence of the flora and fauna of the land. I hope you've enjoyed this virtual holiday! 
Gudrun Sjoden Berlin
PONO tortoise cuff Swedish Designers
Gudrun Sjoden how to style clothing
Clothing: Courtesy of Gudrun Sjödén. Shop these items --> “Skymningssång” short-sleeved cotton cardigan, Cotton and linen Dress, and Embossed shoulder bag in vegetable-tanned leather (in Spice Green). To view the entire summer collection click here.

If you missed your ticket to the first part of the trip you can view it here!

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Five Minutes With George Styler

It’s always a special treat when I come across worthy talent to share. And, it’s even more thrilling to follow their fashion voyage along the way.
 

Right here, just last November I introduced you to Serbian fashion designer, George Styler, including him in the fashionably favoured roundup of designers to look out for! Since then, his creations have gained more esteem and commendable fashion nods, including Vogue Italy, amongst others. I caught up with the designer to give him a chance to tell us a bit more about his works.
 

 “I combine Balkan-ethno with other nation's styles with a touch of punk,” Styler said. In a glance, this is very apparent as well as intentional. It’s simple: he wants to capture and celebrate diversity between people and culture. 
  
“My collection is designed for people who want to be different and wear a unique piece of art. In my collections I'm in fact admiring differences in this world because differences are what make our world special,” Styler said.
George Styler Vogue Italy
He recently presented his new collection, Captivity II at 33rd Perwoll Fashion Week in Belgrade. This collection is purely a continuance from his debut, Captivity, which was inspired by a caged birdmetaphorically translated as modern slavery, and exploring human decoration with one’s freedom being deprived and expressed.

Captivity II is ingrained from an allegorical myth and drawn from the Slavic goddess Devana, guardian of the forest and wildlife alongside Veles. Much in love with the goddess, Veles ends up turning himself into a basil flower. With this mythological setting as inspiration, Styler infuses elements from the quixotic legend of the Slavic god and goddess. He interprets it through his use of pattern, colour, and the union of 3D technology with jacquard knitwear.
 

I’m certain we will be seeing more from Styler soon, and hopefully even gracing the runway for London Fashion Week in the near future. 
 
For more information visit George Styler’s Facebook page or for order enquiries click here.

George Styler on his work:
I would describe my creations as …
“Futuristic. World. Ethno.”

On his design process …
“I get the biggest inspiration during my travels, watching the way people live, and the way they face their problems. Then, I draw jacquards, sketches, and choose materials. I combine colours, design shoes, headpieces, etc.”


Regarding his art and inspiration:

“The world is my inspiration … the major motive is sending the message of love and peace.”

On the pieces he’s most proud of …
“The Bird of Paradise dress!” The Bird suit dress is my favourite because London stylists have lent that dress the most times!” 


A sculpted work of art implanted with daring colour ... yes, the bird dress (seen below) has garnered great appreciation from many, and we can understand why! Thanks George, we wish you much success!
 
 Photos: Courtesy of George Styler
To read more about the goddess Devana click here.

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Transport To Summer With Gudrun Sjödén

Now that spring has arrived it’s only a matter of weeks before summer makes her special entrance, full of gleaming rays of sunshine. But, don’t fret, if you’ve only now started to embrace a milder climate! There’s plenty of time to gather style inspiration for the summer months, especially for a relaxing holiday. 

This time around, we’re excited to show you pieces provided from the Gudrun Sjödén summer 2013 collection. So, as you take a seasonal respite from the cold, whether physically or virtually, enjoy the global influence of pattern and colour this week. I will take you on a slight detour through the gates of summer.  
Fashion Tales Gudurn Sjoden - Summer 2013 Inspiration
Gudrun Sjoden Summer UK catalogue collection
In brief, the summer collection is French worker-chic meets sultry and brazen colour, all dripping from a worldly and saturated palette. From the village of Aniane, the South of France to the Kalahari Desert of Africa, there’s much inspiration to absorb and appreciate in this collection.

You can expect to see solid brights of organic cotton and modal as well as jerseys and printed hues of sage, coral, indigo, and cherry, in addition to earthy tones united throughout the collection. It’s a mere artist’s palette of delight that’s translated from various locations for the summer. 

You needn’t worry, your ticket will cover all of our destinations. First stop: we’re headed South, and then West.
Gudrun Sjödén Summer Collection 2013
Summer trends Gudrun Sjödén Fashion Blogger
Clothing: Courtesy of Gudrun Sjödén. Shop these items --> “Nattfly” eco-cotton windproof Jacket, “Svalört” lace-up Shoes in nubuck and nappa, and “Masai” Skirt in eco-cotton & lyocell. 

Don’t forget to visit the new Greene Street store if you’re in the New York area. You may also shop the summer collection online here. Looking for spring inspiration? See my favourite pieces from Gudrun's spring 2013 collection here.


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Style Unlimited

There are some types of clothing that I used to stay away from because it evoked not the fondest of memories or elements of infamous school uniforms that were worn growing up. Then, there are ways of wearing the same style of pieces in an outfit, but with a modern twist–making them form a more upbeat and very workable ensemble.  

This outfit is just that: plaid, stockings, and loafers–all three elements that could easily stand alone with inspiration from an old schoolgirl uniform. Yet, by added embellishments and modified style lines they marry nicely for a grown-up version of moi! Although, my style has evolved over time, there are still elements of the past that I love!

I wore this outfit to pick up a friend at the airport, as we had also scheduled a day of unwinding with spa treatments and afterward spent time furniture browsing (which I recommend as great inspiration as well). As we chatted with ladies at the spa, “youth” came up in conversation, specifically how we dressed. “If I were as young as you two I could wear that …” a woman said, pointing to my stockings. What!

Hmmm, newsflash! By the end of our conversation, I found out that we were all around the same age.
 
This made me think about many other women who believe that they cannot wear certain items because of their age. I am not talking about career specific dressing vs. a night out with the girls to paint the town red, black, or blue! I am merely talking about very simple elements; everyday pieces that can also be worn by anyone! 

Certainly, we've all heard it before, and I agree. Confidence is absolutely more than a lending hand to how a garment is worn and even the overall look perceived. However, I must say, when I am fifty, even sixty, whatever age I may be, if I feel like wearing knee-highs or leather trousers guess what you’ll find me in … likely knee-highs or leather trousers! 

Then again, in the broadest spectrum, I don’t typically put myself in a box of “dressing for my age,” per se! 

I would love to know your thoughts? Aside from factoring in your occupation, trends, or types of prints, because some people even believe that leopard print may have an expiration date or associate a certain type of style/woman who wears it ... that's a shame! 

Be honest, do you tend to put yourself in an age bracket or have you in the past when it comes to your style of dressing in general or not? 

It wasn’t too long ago that I saw a beautifully mature woman crossing the street wearing a Tee with Aladdin printed on the front, yes, all paired with platforms and a maxi. I wonder what she was pondering when she left the house–something tells me, I doubt it was her age!

Needless to say, of course I wore these stockings cheerfully and proud!
The goods: Vintage loafers- Massimo, Knee-high bow stockings-c/o Oasap, Dress-Love Culture, Denim jacket-Calvin Klein.

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Neon and Denim: Happy Days

This week ending was such a fantastic one for many reasons. Of course, it was busy, hence the delay in blogging, however certainly worth it in the end. Spring is upon us and the impending summer will soon affect everyone with extended sunshine as well as mood lifting colours of happiness. So, I decided to show my neon appreciation in installments.

You may remember when I bought this bag, which I was thrilled about because of the neon trimming. I opted for a more casual approach (since the bag has a slight sporty appeal) by adding the smallest touch of neon in my Tee, then wore a skirt for another casual look for the evening. Additionally, I have also acquired a few other bright accessories that I'll be able to dress up more glamourously at a later date. Neon Trends 2013 spring fashion
Stay tuned ... I have a couple of exciting and fashionable things to share with in the next two weeks.

Do you have any holidays or excursions planned for the spring/summer? I am still in the midst of selecting places as well as trying to arrange our scheduling perfectly. Although, spontaneous situations seem to always happen regardless, so I generally expect the unexpected in a very good way for matters like these!
Wishing you a marvellous weekend! 

The goods: Handbag-MMS Design Studio (via Marshalls), Camouflage denim-DIY, Heels-Salvatore Ferragamo, Boyfriend's cardigan, Leather collar-DIY, Neon Tee-Express, Touchscreen gloves-Cynthia-Rowley, Denim skirt-thrifted.


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*I've also linked this post to Bella's Shoe shine, show your favourite shoes post. I have several favourites but these comfortable Ferragamo heels are my absolute favourite. View it here.
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Teal and Tangerine

After being entirely preoccupied with unexpected changes and fully loaded agenda these past few weeks, I had to take a moment to remember the last time I had an extended 8+ hours of rest. This weekend was the perfect reminder of how much of a treat it is ...  nestled comfortably under the duvet, and being able to cancel out all unnecessary noise without earphones. Yes, it was heavenly!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter/Passover. I was able to enjoy the company of close friends and their little ones all smiling from ear to ear as they opened pastel coloured gifts. Then, later we took time to visit my sister to have an early Thai dinner.

Since spring has arrived I've wanted to bring out my bright handbags, including this tangerine studded clutch! Wearing bold colours are my absolute favourite, but with this outfit I decided to let the rich colours in my scarf be enough of an accent with the clutch and added darker layers. I wore this outfit to attend a film night with friends, which is always fun! We watched Amour and Life of Pi. Have you seen any of those films?

What did you do over the weekend?

Zara Blazer
Spring Vintage and Colourful layering
Style Blogger - OASAP Street style Spring Brights Trends Orange Tangerine 2013
 


Paisley and studded details


The goods: Clutch-c/o Oasap, Blazer-Zara, Riding boots-Banana Republic, Eyeglasses frames-Firmoo, Denim-Express, Graphic Tee-Art Festival, Cardigan-H&M, Scarf-Thrifted.


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