Agnes and Norman – Gorgeous Vintage style shoes in Birmingham

Do you remember how shoes used to be? Before the endless parade of platform heels, ultra wedges and flatforms? When shoes were a work of art, created by hand, in the softest of leather? Well, a new shoe boutique has opened in Birmingham’s most beautiful shopping arcade, and is turning the clock back in terms of shoe design. Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to Agnes and Norman, now open in Great Western Arcade.

The boutique is the first to be opened by award winning Birmingham designer Rachel Simpson.  It is split into three showrooms, with a focus on classically beautiful, vintage style ladieswear, menswear that are classic and quirky in equal measures, and a bridal boutique filled with shoes to compliment every type of wedding dress. The store itself both compliments the vintage feel of the shoes, and the Great Western Arcade, a Victorian treasure in the heart of the city.

Audrey £135 click to visit Agnes and Norman

Betsy £140 click to visit Agnes and Norman

Agnes and Norman shoes combine the best of design from the past with the best of shoes now. So you get 1950s style peep toes in this years hot coral shade, or the 1920s ribbon tie design of Audrey, a shoe you would expert to be in black patent, instead in the softest of grey suede. Agnes and Norman is creating the modern classics, and to do that, sometimes you have to turn the rules on their head.

Claudia £155 click to visit Agnes and Norman

Choosing favourites from such a gorgeous collection is difficult, but as a fan of t-bar style shoes and Mary Janes, I have my eye on two very lovely designs. The Daisy shoes are mustard, which makes them a must for me, whilst the Art Deco fan on the front of the delightfully named Elsie’s appeal to my 1920s loving sensibilities.

Daisy £135 click to visit Agnes and Norman

Elsie £150 click to visit Agnes and Norman

 

You can visit the Agnes and Norman boutique at;

18 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row
Birmingham B2 5HU

Phone: 0121 236 6924

 

Glastonbury – Will it be Wellies or Havaianas?

The crowds are already gathering, the tents are being pitched, and today, as is usual for Glastonbury in recent years, the rain has fallen. Because it seems that if there is one thing we can rely on in the UK, it is the weather not living up to its side of the bargain. Festivals are always at their best on balmy nights, but this is Britain, so it pays to be prepared.

With all that in mind, it seems that when we think of festival footwear, we are split firmly into two camps. For those hot, sun-soaked days, the shoes of choice can be little more than a pair of flip-flops. But not any old flip-flop, but the Rolls Royce of Flip Flops, Havaianas, beloved of celebrities from Madonna and Kirsten Dunst, to Jennifer Aniston, who seems to spend every summer with a pair  permenantly welded to her feet.

TOP METALLIC GREY / SILVER £ 15.00 click to visit Spartoo

TOP Fuschia £ 15.99 click to visit Spartoo

But what if the weather turns truly biblical? Then we can only go for the footwear that is another favourite of many a celeb, from Kate Moss to Coleen Rooney, the Hunter welly. This classic English wellington boot has been subverted from farmer’s attire by its teaming with hotpants and glitter, but is a real godsend once the legendary Glasto mud finds its stride.

ORIGINAL SHORT GLOSS RED £ 69.59 click to visit Spartoo

ORIGINAL TALL GLOSS Grey / Verne £ 91.99 click to visit Spartoo

Whatever the weather, you are sure to find a stylish option to wear on your feet, whether it be Havaianas or Hunter. But if all fails, you could always be like Alexandra Burke at the V Festival and combine the two options by wearing a pair of Havaianas wellies. Seriously cute!

 

ALWAYS SUMMER Multicolour £ 42.39 click to visit Spartoo

 

The Kingfisher Blogger challenge

I was recently asked if I would be interested in taking part in the Kingfisher Shopping centre £50 blogger challenge. The brief is very simple, can you get an outfit for a particular event or theme for just £50. The opportunity to spend the afternoon guilt free shopping was too good to turn down, and I said yes straight away.

Kingfisher shopping centre, in the heart of Redditch, is not a shopping centre I had ever visited before Monday. And, whilst it is no Bullring, I would definitely recommend it for an afternoon’s shop without the huge crowds of Birmingham. Kingfisher has a great variety of High Street names, from New Look to Primark, all under one roof, and it also has a Debenhams and BHS for those who love their department stores. Fashion is well catered for, particularly at the budget end of the spectrum, with Select, Internationale and Primark all having decent sized stores there, and there are also bookshops, toy shops, all-purpose stores like Wilkinsons, and beauty dispensaries like Boots and Superdrug. Basically, it has everything you need when shopping, and with enough cafes and coffee shops for when you need to take the weight off for a few minutes. I really liked it and will definitely be making another trip very soon.

My outfit – Off to the Airport

My themed outfit was something fit for airport travel – cool, comfortable, and stylish. It needed to be warm enough to withstand aircraft air- conditioning, but with layers so I wouldn’t be too hot when I arrived.

This is what I went for;

The skirt and yellow vest were from Select. The black skirt is beautifully floaty, but black hides all manner of evils when travelling with a small child who will eat chocolate at some point (I think you know what I mean…). The vest is a gorgeous sunshine yellow shade to add summertime to the skirt. I also got a leopard print, spaghetti strapped vest which could be layered for a second look. For the maxi skirt and two vest tops, a grand total of £17 was paid out, a total bargain. I was also impressed with the service and friendliness of the Select staff, something I was to find in all Kingfisher stores.

Black Corset Maxi Skirt £12.00 click to visit Select

My next stop was Primark, I don’t really think you can do a budget shopping challenge without paying a visit to the store affectionately known as ‘Primarni’. I’m not the world’s hugest fan of Primark, but think it is great for accessories. I purchased a very pretty pair of black, toe post sandals, that were reduced to £6, and a gorgeous vintage style bracelet, a steal at £2. I also couldn’t a pair of dark shades that look like Raybans – I couldn’t leave them behind for a £!

A trip to New Look finished the outfit. I fell in love with this shrunken denim jacket in faded washed denim. At £17.99 it was my most expensive purchase, but I loved it on and felt it looked smart, but also casual. I finished the look with a pretty enamel style necklace in black and white (£5.99, also from New Look.)

Light Blue Washed Effect Denim Jacket£17.99 click to visit New Look

I was really pleased with my £50 outfit, and had a great time shopping at the Kingfisher shopping Centre.

With huge thanks to Sundip Gill and the Ed James Group, and staff and stores at Kingfisher.