Shoes: The Podium Upon Which You Live Your Life

Consider your feet, the podium upon which you live your life.

Whether you go flat or high, a dandizette never sacrifices style for function. Your shoes must not only be glamorous but as comfortable as a pair of slippers, albeit a high-heeled pair of slippers if heels are your podium of choice. But then again a pair of crested velvet slippers can be incredibly stylish. It really isn’t about brand or height. Girls love any shoe that makes our legs look long, luscious and worthy of worship. by ©Tyne O’Connell


lobb books champagne black

Tyne O’Connell at Lobb’s Bootmakers in the storeroom with the bespoke wooden shoe lasts


Don’t be afraid to go vintage. Style after all is ageless.


Personally, I am a big fan of artisans of all persuasions. Many years ago I had a last (a wooden mould of one’s feet) made of my feet by a local artisan. His name was Jimmy Choo and he resided on Connaught Square – this was back in the early nineties long before Tamara Mellon swept in and swept him up into a whirlwind of PR blitzery.

I continue to have all my shoes custom made by an artisan shoemaker or cordwainer as they prefer to be addressed. There is a great artistry to cordwaining and like all great artists these talented folk need patrons. A dandizette, as a devotee of the arts, does all she possibly can to support artisans and craftswomen.

It is a dandizette right of passage to have a shoe last made of her feet, thereby avoiding the homogeneity of footwear that is sweeping the world like a plague of hoofs and diminishing individualism at every turn.


I went so far as to take a course in shoemaking when I was young to learn the art of the cordwainer first hand. I now let others do the hard work while I focus on designing, but learning the craft that goes into creating a handmade shoe has given me a keen appreciation and respect for the talent and skill involved in creating the perfect shoe.

Do your research and find a local cordwainer who does marvellous things with satin and rubies or crocodile and piping and nurture that relationship. After the initial investment of having your shoe last created it is quite an economical way to design and create your shoes as each shoe comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Remember the Dandizette shuns the mass produced at every opportunity.

The main thing is your shoes must put you about the fray and add a soupçon of gorgeousness to everywhere you swish skip or wander from salon to kitchen. Your footwear is the podium upon which you live your life.

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