Monday, 4 October 2010


I was tagged by the wonderful Vintage Vixen to answer some style related questions so I've tried to do them some justice.  Prepare for a photo and link heavy post!

What's your favourite fashion accessory?
I do own a lot of jewellery.

But I think my favourite accessory has to be shoes.  I think my favourite fairy tales as a child were Cinderella, the Red Shoes and The Shoemaker and the Elves.  When I asked my boyfriend for help with these questions he told me "just answer shoes to all of them".  He actually christened me Veshoevius and not without good reason!

I love picking up shoes with interesting details.  Sequins, ribbon ties, shearling cuffs, gemstones, decorative buckles, suede braiding, studs, interesting materials and finishes... I could go on and on about shoes but I'll just show you some instead.  My collection includes some 1920's flapper shoes and Moroccan slippers picked up in the souk in Fez.

Even my interests involve shoes.  I studied ballet for years and still have all my old pointe shoes.  I now own of fifteen pairs of professional flamenco shoes in various states of wear.  I actually moonlight as a professional flamenco dancer.  Strange but true.  I’m sure I got into it for the shoes.  I keep some of my dancing shoes for sentimental value as they feel like old friends who’ve accompanied me through part of my life.  The soles of some of my older flamenco shoes have been autographed by some famous flamenco dancers.

Who's your fashion role model?
I don't profess to be original.  I like looking at style icons to pick up tips.  I’ve always loved Kate Moss, (especially for the way she mixes in vintage clothing into her outfits), Carrie Bradshaw and Sarah Jessica Parker because they all manage to somehow make eclectic mixes work.  I love Rachel Zoe for her commitment to glamour.  I love those European fashion magazine editors like Carine Roitfeld, Anna Dello Russo and Emmanuelle Alt for their fashion forwardness despite age and/or motherhood.  I also love how Olivia Palermo uses accessories and how she always looks polished even in head to toe Topshop.

What do you always carry with you?
A huge bag!  I need a bag I can stash half my life in for easy access on the go.  I’ll always carry my purse, keys, mascara and lipstick/lipgloss, a spare layer of knitwear and a scarf (even in summer) in case I feel cold and a very often a pair of high heeled shoes.  I always wear flats to my destination and change into heels once I’m there.  It always amazes me how women in London manage the underground in heels.

How would you describe your style?
A bit all over the place and not particularly consistent.

For years I've had a strange lifestyle in which I've juggled a conservative office job and a sideline in the performing arts.  Some days after leaving the office I often needed to change from a straight laced suit into something a bit more rock and roll to turn up to perform in a trendy London venue.

London gig gear: Christopher Kane for Topshop dress
Or I may have to hit the road in something comfortable to cope with a long drive, and when I get to my destination I either need to be presentable to theatre or arts centre staff or be prepared to traipse through the muddy fields of a festival to find a stage.  I'll also be dragging a heap of costumes and make up around with me! 

In any one year I’ll spend a significant time abroad in the sunny climes of Spain and Australia and then return to cold dark England.  I may have to travel from cold weather to hot weather and dress, pack and change what I’m wearing appropriately.  Add a love of clothes to all these conflicting requirements and you get a million excuses to amass an expansive wardrobe!

I have a definite split between my summer and winter wardrobe.  Spring and Summer are all about dresses.  I’m all pretty, girly, feminine meets hippy bohemian gypsy.  When I'm not in strapless or halterneck dresses, floral dresses, tea dresses or maxi dresses I'll be wearing little tops, shorts, skirts, floaty layers, all with lots of pretty details.  I wear a lot of denim, colour, especially prints, a lot of summer whites and lots of hippy jewelleryI love long necklaces, armloads of bracelets and dangly earrings.

I don’t know what happens in winter – its like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!  But I love the drama of winter dressing.  I must be a bit of a closet goth because I love it when designers come out with dark vampy collections and I own and wear a lot of black.  Winter is when I actually get stuck into whatever trends are going around as I tend to enjoy the Autumn Winter collections moreLeopard and polka dots, leather shorts, harems, tailoring, playing with structure and proportion - I'm likely to give it all a shot during Autumn/Winter.

I love anything with a bit of drama and adore period style clothing which takes inspiration from anything from the Edwardian and Victorian eras, the twenties and thirties through to the seventies.  I'll only buy a vintage piece if I can get wear out of it.  Some of my favourite pieces are a Victorian riding jacket with a lace overlay, a thirties lame jacket with a gold filigree clasp, a thirties lurex scalloped edged capelet, a sixties lame embroidered tunic and a thirties heavily embroidered crepe bolero.

I love and own lots of lace, feathers, fur, sequins, gem embellished pieces, beading, and leather.  If I get the chance to dress up I do go to town and glam it up.  And I am always the guest that takes the fancy dress theme on the invitation seriously!

Left: a feather bolero for a black tie wedding
Centre: top hat (not seen), tails, sequins and fishnets for a Victorian Circus themed evening
Right: flamenco frills, florals and fringing for Feria in Spain (with Mr Veshoevius just seen)

Most of the time though, when I'm off duty, I actually dress pretty casually and my uniform tends to be a bit rock/biker chic with lots of layering a lot to ward off the cold - distressed or skinny denim jeans or leggings, layers of jersey and knitwear and my favourite cover up, the biker jacket.  I love biker jackets and own several!

What's your favourite?  Jeans, sunglasses or heels?
I don’t own a single fashionable pair of sunglasses.  I need to fix this. Although I live in denim jeans I have to say my favourite is heels.  I love heels with interesting details like zips, embroidery, exposed wood or contrasting materials.  Even my flamenco shoes have interesting heels.  There is the potential to say so much with a heel.

What inspired you to blog about fashion?
I love writing. I promised myself this year I would write more and I needed something to write about.  My wardrobe gave me lots of um... material!  I had realised just how much was in there when, after watching a season of Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix, I decided to count it all.

The blog was supposed to act like a photo journal/personal catalogue and to distract me from buying any more!  I thought it would also inspire me to wear more of the clothes I own as I got very slack in the last year and was relying on a few things on constant repeat.

What is your favourite fashion store?
I just love shopping so picking a favourite is almost impossible!  I do love the British high street.  If I have to choose on the basis of the bulk that it contributes to my wardrobe I have to admit that I am a total Topshop tart and Mango minx.  Though this year I've been shopping more at Cos.

I used to love vintage shopping as a student but stopped having the time when I started working. These days I do most of my clothes shopping online.  If I am feeling extravagant my first call is My-Wardrobe.

What is your favourite fabric in clothing?
For summer it is silk, especially in colourful feminine prints.  For winter I like all things bestial – feathers, suede, leather, and fur.  I do have shearling and shaggy Mongolian coats and gilets but apart from that my furs are fake.

My Big Bird collection
My Mr Snuffleupagus collection

Who are your favourite designers?
Alexander McQueen was my favourite designer of all time.  It was like the guy jumped into my head and created everything I ever fantasised about wearing.

I also love the work of John Galliano, Ricardo Tisci, Vivienne Westwood and PreenChristopher Bailey’s last couple of collections have also blown me away and I'm so excited he’s bringing the biker back in every form imaginable for Spring Summer 2011!

Who or what inspires your style?
I’ve been into fashion since I was thirteen and I find inspiration everywhere.  My sister and our friends used to borrow Vogue magazines from the library, get together, spread them out all over the floor and then try to recreate the looks with what we collectively had in our closets.

I love period costume dramas which gave me an undying affection for vintage clothing.

I also take inspiration from my aforementioned fashion role models, reading fashion magazines (I especially love the British ones), reading fashion blogs, being in London, travelling, my past as a ballet dancer (I own some Carrie style tutus), flamenco (I’m always wondering if something could double up as a costume), consulting style guides (even if I decide I’ll agree to disagree with some of them).

Am I obsessed?

Would you choose to buy something high quality or make it yourself if you could?
I am actually a very accomplished seamstress as I studied dressmaking at high school under a brilliant teacher.  Also my mum could sew and made clothes for me and my sister including all our amazing high school ball dresses.  So I had great mentors!

I was always broke when I was young so I learnt to sew so I could wear nice clothes.  I would come home with material and a pattern and have a new piece by the time I had to go out later that evening.  I would sneak into the change rooms of clothing shops to take vital measurements of clothes I liked to reproduce them at home.  I once even toiled for three days without stopping to make my mother an Emanuel Ungaro dress from a pattern in time for a wedding we were attending.

Although it is satisfying to make your own clothes it is time consuming and hard work.  It’s not that I wouldn’t do it again but I just don’t have the time anymore.  My sewing experience has made me acutely aware of what is quality workmanship and I am able to recognise good design and construction in a garment.  I will be the one in the shop turning a garment inside out to examine the seams and finishes and analysing the care label for information on the fabric.  I will often choose to buy something if it is of high quality.

Phew.  I think I am all posted out for the rest of week and now its my turn to tag ten other bloggers.  So if you feel like answering these questions and you're on the list below its your turn!

Thanks also to my dear boyfriend for putting up with my shoes all over the flat while I took photos!


  1. Girl...I am just drooling over your shoe collection! A girl after my own heart!! Those jackets were gorgeous too! Love it!

    Thanks so much for tagging me! I will get to work on it this week! Should be fun! :)

  2. I'm totally and utterly lost for words! I'm in love with everything you own and that shoe collection is beyond astounding. If I didn't like you so much I'd be jealous.
    Love knowing about your ballet dancing and flamenco career. Check out the Dusk Zone in my list of fave blogs, she's a flamenco dancing, ex-catwalk model living in Australia, I think you'd get on.
    Thanks so much for doing this. xxx
    PS I've got lots of vintage tuxedo pants, if you want a pair to make into shorts drop me an email and I'd be happy to pop a pair in the post!

  3. How very nice to get to know more of you. I didn´t know of your love for shoes, well more o a passion he, he.
    I didn´t know you could dance flamenco, wowwwwwwwwwww
    I am most impresed by your seamtress habilities.
    I knew that you enjoy writing, and I wish that, one day,I will be able to see your face.
    Qué grande eres!!!! yeah, yeah
    Mil besos (hoy tengo oferta especial)

  4. i am once again blown away by your words and . . more importantly, your shoes. holy moly! they are moving!

    thanks for the tag! am massively inspired to answer it as soon as daylight hits tomorrow and i can take photographs of the clothes i've arranged nicely :)

  5. What an insight! OMG, your shoe collection! It's just mind blowing! And everything else too! I'm speechless! Besides - you sew! And everything that so well written! So, yeah, I've no more words to expressed how impressed I am! I'll just say it - love this post :)

  6. You know, I thought of you a lot as I watched the recent restoration of the 1940s film The Red Shoes. The 1940s clothing and theatrical costumes, the rich settings, and the dramatic yet subtle palette of the Technicolor made me wonder if you'd like it.

    Then your recent post on Felicity Brown with her balletic shapes and pale+vivid palette brought the movie to mind again...and now I read that you studied ballet for years and even kept all your pointe shoes! So...uhm...finally I ask: have you seen The Red Shoes?

    I believe my sister has kept all her pointe shoes, too. Some or all of the brutalized pale satin sculptures hang in her university office.

    Thanks for sharing the wealth of wardrobe photos -- I'll be back to examine all of them more closely at leisure. And thanks for the tag. I very much want to do this, although it may take me a while to pull together a worthy entry! I'm off now to pick up some decent wine for my 7th anniversary.

  7. I am IMPRESSED by the sheer number of shoes!

    There are many interesting pieces in this wardrobe. I wonder if there is video of you anywhere doing the flamenco. I would love to see it.

  8. Oh. My. God. Veshoevius indeed! My palms started sweating at the sight of your 1920s shoes then there were the gorgeous 30s pieces and THEN the Big Bird collection. Then MORE shoes! The black Victorian jacket - swoon! And we got to see you in some of your stunning outfits! I'm dying. Encore!!! xo

  9. I'm Cloud of Secrets' sister, and yes, I do still have all of my pointe shoes, even the ones the shanks of which I pulled out to use as semi-flats, and the ones I danced in in the garage. You just can't get rid of your little satin birds!
    I completely feel you on shoes. I've had to curb my obsession lately, but when I'm in an antique store, my eyes go right to the old shoes like a hunter-seeker! I actually tried to buy the ones I wore when I was in the Evita chorus; they wouldn't let me, and ever since then I've been looking for the perfect shoe.

  10. I LOVE your shoe collection! I have a similar love for shoes. All of your furry pieces! I'm swooning for some of those furry jackets :)

  11. "I now own of fifteen pairs of professional flamenco shoes in various states of wear."

    This just blows my mind. What a unique and wonderful thing to collect. Flamenco dancing looks so elegant, and I love the music as well. Manitas de Plata! Brigitte Bardot had him on her tv show Special Bardot once. Him playing, her watching. Perfectly glamorous moment caught on film <3.

    All the other shoes you have are stunning as well. And the clothes! That 30s gold number with the scallops is so stunning.

    I'll definitely do this post, but it might take a few days.

  12. Thanks for all your comments everyone! Nice to know I'm not alone with a passion for shoes. I did wonder though while looking at my shoes all lined up like that if such a collection wasn't just the product of a slightly deranged mind!!

    @VintageVixen thanks for tagging me - it was time consuming but fun! And thanks so much for the tuxedo trousers offer, you are ever so kind and I am ever so excited! I will definitely be popping you an email!

    @sacramento - haza, toma que toma - por eso estuve en jerez

    @MJ @devillishlypleasurable @CloudofSecrets - you know it took me all weekend to get that post together!! So I perfectly understand if you take some time to do it but really looking forward to your posts.

    In fact to anybody reading - it was a fun (but also hard) thing to do and I could only list ten bloggers apparently. But I say don't wait for an invite - just go ahead and answer them on your blogs if the fancy takes you! It does make you think!

    @CloudofSecrets, @Abs - I HAVE seen that movie, when I was very young, and it was very memorable and made a big impression on me. I had read the fairytale first and found the movie a really interesting interpretation. I loved the fairy tale despite its gruesome ending. I got into ballet later and always wanted a pair of red pointe shoes! There has always been something symbolic about the red dancing shoes and how they somehow bring about the downfall of the dancer - the passion of dedicating onself to art? pleasure? self-discovery? A warning of how passion will consume you. I can't throw away dance shoes easily. How can you throw them away when they bear all the scars of your passion?
    Funnily enough I didn't include any of my red flamenco shoes in the post - too battered!

  13. OK, first, thank you, love, for tagging me! Second, this post has given me more insight into your AMAZING closet and life than ever before...I officially covet ALL your things! You must have five closets-full, don't you?!

    Incredible. I want to come over and play dress up.

    ♥ V
    twitter: @gritandglamour

  14. your shoe'! <3

  15. OMG - you have the most amazing wardrobe, wow! What a post - I covet so much of it! Thanks for tagging me, I'll get on it in the next few days!

  16. @Grit and Glamour - looking forward to your post! My life is not really very amazing - I just shop like it is really amazing!

    @Marcel A - thanks for popping by!

    @Comtesse de ferveur - thanks, I hope you have fun answering the questions and I look forward to see what your answers are.

  17. This was a great read (and a good reminder to tackle my tag, too)! I thought I was a 'shoe girl' but I think you must own at least 10 times as many shoes, and fabulous ones, too. I'm with you on the summer/winter dressing split - summer is all about easy shapes and light colours, in winter everything turns BLACK for me and black calls for different shapes and materials. Only recently discovered COS and am totally in love with their designs.

  18. You know what's funnY! I didn't even noticed you tagged me until I just red V @ Grit&Glamour and noticed you tagged her. I then thought, "Oh, I wonder who else she tagged?!" Lol. Good post on the dock for next week :)

  19. You have quite the collection!! I like all the interesting details that you go for in shoes. I think your ruffled flamenco dress is stunning.

  20. Can I come live in your closet??? Please? pretty please? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    your collection is fabulous!

  21. Your clothing collection is simply stunning. I really like the bolero jackets and biker chic jackets. I love wearing a biker jacket with a delicately feminine skirts, gives the outfit a total edge.

  22. Oh, I am so sorry for being so late in posting. My life has been very busy with a program I was rehearsing for and work.


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