Meet another Miss V close to my heart! V is one of my oldest friends having known each other for going on fourteen years. We met back in the same college and department studying at Cambridge and have been gal pals ever since.
I remember spotting V in the dour engineering department because she stood out a mile in brightly colourful knitted dress against the sea of jeans and tracksuit hoodies favoured by the other students. "Now this girl" I thought to myself as I checked out her outfit, "I just gotta meet". And happily, I did, when I bumped into her at a college meet and greet. What ensued was an academic year of blissful girly time where there were plenty of coffees drunk, plenty of parties attended, plenty of gossip swapped, plenty of clothes shopping trips together and a ton of fashion magazines bought, exchanged and read - so many in fact that we once made a tower of them in her room which was the source of amazement of her fellow hall residents.
We've been through all the things girlfriends go through together - the hell of thesis submission (okay maybe that's an odd one), boyfriend breakups and get togethers, career woes and career highs. We both took "Eat-Love-Pray" career breaks down the line, she to India to become well practiced in yoga and I, funnily enough, to her native Spain to become well practiced in flamenco.
Sometimes by virtue of our Alumni status we get invited to student reunions in posh places in the heart of the City of London. Last Friday was one such event where V and V took advantage to don skyscraper heels and fancy Friday frocks to drink wine and eat canapes in Mansion House.
Mansion House, I discovered, is more than just a stop on the London Underground. It's an actual house where the the Lord Mayor of London lives and here is what the interior looks like:
Nice to know where my tax is going!
Anyhow, for the ticket price we paid, a glass and a half of wine and three small canapes the size of a ten pence coin left us both quite tipsy and ravenously hungry. So we decided to go to the Royal Exchange for dinner as it was rather conveniently, at tottering distance from Mansion House. The Royal Exchange is the tall, majestic building with tall Corinthian pillars that stands at the junction where Cornhill and Threadneedle Street meet. It is often mistaken by tourists on exiting Bank station to be the Bank of England.
This is what is the Royal Exchange looks like on the inside - swish shops selling lots of expensive diamond jewellery and a rather nice bar and restaurant. Apparently photography inside is forbidden. Tish pish! Here's a photo anyway!
Since our student days it's quite a marvel to me sometimes to think that both V and I have ended up living in London and working in the City. She still loves her colourful clothes though and is often to be found wearing brightly coloured pieces like this fabulous coat.
Though these days she's able to treat herself to some proper bling!
Step outside the Royal Exchange and turn left to Cornhill.
Turn right for the real Bank of England! And yes the sky really is that blue late at night on a glorious summer evening!
Though you might not tell from the photos V has European size 34 feet or a UK size 2. That's proper dainty, Cinderella-fits-the-glass-slipper kind of feet. They are so tiny that she can shop in the children's department for shoes. Of course, being as much of a shoe lover as I am and with very sophisticated taste that was always the problem.
At the time nobody catered for grown women with child sized feet and designs for children did not reflect the fashionista or woman she was. Smart work courts or cocktail worthy stilettos from the children's department anyone? Certainly it seemed that shoe designers were missing a trick here by not providing for women who fell off the small end of standard shoe sizing ruler. Shopping for shoes appropriate for her lifestyle was just always a nightmare for V as a result and her only options for classy footwear was to buy it from specialist shoe shops abroad or pay the likes of Jimmy Choo a small fortune for a bespoke pair.
That was, until she discovered the Pretty Small Shoes company who make shoes from a teeny size 32 to a size 35, and in styles that reflect cutting edge fashion appropriate for women and not in styles watered down in order to be child friendly. What's more they are available in the UK. On the website they offer an impressive range of high heels, platforms, gladiators, boots and flats which are all big on style and sex appeal whilst remaining small in size. I was very impressed with a pair of studded biker boots she bought from them and on Friday she was sporting these very D&G floral numbers adorned with a gorgeous nude satin heel, trim and bow. When it comes to a woman's love for shoes, let size not stand in her way!
Jacket, Preen Line; Dress, Helmut Lang; Shoes: D&G
Dress, Reiss; Coat, from Spain; Shoes, Pretty Small Shoes; Necklace, Tiffany's