I love the real thing

And no, this is not about coca-cola which is a like but not a love.

Yesterday’s post threw me into a thought frenzy as I received some comments from friends asking if me if you can buy Christian Louboutin shoes online. The answer is yes, you can but the cautiousness in me always asks “Are they the real thing”?

Not long ago, I was in Hong Kong and was wandering through the must-go-everytime-I-visit Harbour City (Kowloon side for 700+ shops to tickle your tastebuds and tempt your mastercard with). Harbour City is one of those shopping malls that you just don’t get in Oz, no offence Mr Westfield but it is an endless maze of super-brand stores; big and small ones, unique HK cult-brands, Joyce (the iconic HK department store), quirky Chinese bakeries, gold-gilded restaurants serving endless banquets and salivating Shanghainese dumpling joints and bottom line is, it just doesn’t compare to or come close to BJ, the Chase, Chadstone or Indro.

While wandering aimlessly through the mall, arms already laden with goods (of course), I suddenly came face to face with the superstore Manolo Blahnik. I didn’t even have to walk into the store to spot the shoes I wanted yesterday. As I walked in and went straight for the blue shoes with little square jeweled piece made famous in the SATC movie because Big proposed to Carrie with one (yes, you know the ones I am talking about), I had to refrain myself from doing a little “oh my god” dance, I was that excited. Again, it just wasn’t meant to be as they didn’t end up having my size but I left the store thinking to myself “I must hunt those shoes down!”

At home in front of my laptop, I googled blue manolo blahnik and up came an array of results. I clicked through to an ebay link and saved that search. I looked at Neiman Marcus and net-a-porter.com and even had a girlfriend say she would have a look for me as she was off to the U.S. in a couple of months and could bring them back. I seriously contemplated the ebay link and found that they were not only in electric blue but also in black and hot pink. The ebay buy it now options were averaging around the $270 mark and it was at that moment that I stopped my hunter mindset and week-long obsession since I had landed from Honkers to realise that these shoes on ebay were not the real thing but had to be fake. I had seen the price tag of the shoes in the Manolo Blahnik store and had silently gasped at the $890 price (actually I almost had a coronary from the HK dollar price which was something like HKD$5,340 before realising I needed to convert to Aussie dollar first) so these $270 ones must not be the real thing. And so my hunt halted.

I have plenty of girlfriends who love the real thing and only buy the real thing. On the other hand I also have plenty of girlfriends who have bags and sunnies that look like the real thing, feel like the real thing but they then tell me over lunch how much of a bargain it was and they have more of where that came from! Girlfriends from both camps are very stylish people nonetheless and the thing that’s hard is that sometimes it is so difficult to the naked eye to really tell a fake from the real thing without opening the zipper and peering inside. I myself have a mantra that if I can’t afford the real thing, I don’t buy it. That’s not to say that I have never bought a fake but after buying a tan Mulberry satchel from a pokey little store in Phuket only to have the handles fall off two months later, it’s just something that I choose not to do anymore.

So yes, you can buy Christian Louboutin shoes online. But I would trust Nieman Marcus before I would trust a site like this but that’s just me.

Buying a fake is an accepted social practice but then it also can be a bit of a taboo and the reality is that not everyone can afford the real thing but that’s what makes them so special and described as jewels.

I have put a poll up today on my blog in light of this post as I would really like to hear from you on what you feel is important? I look forward to hearing your thoughts…

Christian Louboutin; my bittersweet moment

I love Christian Louboutin.

Now this could be taken as a misconstrued statement of sorts especially as  I will be saying “I do” in 20 days.

Maybe I should re-phrase in saying I love Christian Louboutin shoes and I am not in love with the actual wonder-man from Paris who designs these shoes. I love the detail of his shoes whether it be the fanciful bows or the explosion of feathers or the sexy leopard prints which make me pick one up and drool. I love the line and shape of the heel. And most of all, I love the glimpse of the red sole and how boldly it defines the shoe amongst others and love love love the history behind it as Christian painted the sole with his assistant’s red nail polish just because at that moment, something was missing! And is it just me or when you look at the branding of Louboutin on his website; does the twinkle remind you of Bewitched as  quite literally that is the effect that these shoes have on me!

I went to Paris (another love) last August and dragged my man to 68 Rue du Faubourg Street, Honore 75008 in search of his boutique. When we discovered the store, we or probably I took a deep breath and then walked inside and in that first second I honestly felt like a child in a candy store and I believe this feeling of shoe-awe was shared by my man. This boutique is very boudoir-like with large, plush round ottomans, thick padded carpet, high dramatic ceilings, floor to ceiling mirrors, a central spiral staircase leading up to more shoe heaven and of course walls of the shoes. Christian Louboutin has described his shoes to be “like sculpture, objects, jewels” and it was with this in mind that I picked up each shoe with the utmost tender loving care. After exploring every centimetre of the boutique I finally settled on two pairs that I wanted to try on; an electric blue suede pair of round-toe heels and a pair of black satin peep-toe sling-backs with a demure bow. The reflection of me in the mirror wearing the electric blue pair made my calves curve in the right place and they were the type of shoe that I felt could stop traffic if I walked out onto the highway in them. And unfortunately the black satin bow ones were not to be as I heard the dreading “We do not have them in your size”; however this was not to be the bittersweet moment as that was to take place a couple of weeks later walking around Knightsbridge, London.

For whatever reason in Paris, I did not purchase the electric blue shoes and I felt safe in this choice because I knew that I would have a second chance to find and secure my first pair of Christian Louboutins in London. I sought out the address of 23 Motcomb Street, London SWIX8LB and found it fitted in tremendously well with the day’s plans as it was around the corner from Harrods and was an area I thought I knew well. Motcomb Street turned out to be a very tricky street to find as it did a loop on itself and I think it may have had something to do with the bewitching air that had me walking in circles! However, I glimpsed what I thought was the store up ahead as I could just make out the shape of the heels in the window and as I got closer and closer I started to make out bars across the windows. Not yet close enough, my initial thoughts was that this was a ground-breaking visual merchandising showcase but as I got to two metres away and realised that the boutique was just a little too dark for 1pm and the bars were actually a security measure, it dawned on me that I would not be taking home a pair of Christian Louboutins this trip and that despite finding the address on his website, I had failed to notice the extra detail below of the boutique’s opening times in that it was not open on Sundays. Bittersweet.

The range in Australia is not great and at the very least is quite basic. We have not yet been blessed with one of his boudoir-boutiques so instead of settling for a pair which would find me walking home with the shoes in a black and white houndstooth bag I wait in anticipation for my next adventure to Paris, Hong Kong or Geneva where I can take another deep breath and find the perfect pair.

It was a bittersweet moment on Motcomb Street when it dawned on me that Sunday 13 September was not going to be the day when I bought a pair of Christian Louboutins however I wait patiently in awe and admire from afar the most exquisite jewels that will be mine to own one day.

Go and Ugg Boot – the puzzle explained


Most females love them, collect them, have them in many colours. My male has an obsession with brown ones, loafers in particular. Some like flats, some just wear heels, others wear boots year round. Christian Louboutin paints his soles red, Jesus has sandals named after him, Imelda is known for her masses, Big even proposed to Carrie with one (a damn beautiful one). All in all and I’ve known this for a long time but SHOES are a big deal. They mean something for so many people and at the very least protect our tootsies. And the best thing about shoes is that even if you’re having a fat day and you can’t even squeeze into your favourite jeans, most probably you can pull your best shoes from the wardrobe, put them on and it will make your day!

Well, what does my shoe collection look like now that I’ve spent the last paragraph leading up to this? Well at my 21st, shoes rated a mention in my speeches and at that count I believe my best friend counted out 60+ shoes. The collection has grown and shrunk and grown over the years and I now have a still relatively big but vast collection of shoes in many colours, fabrics and styles. I would probably call myself a chameleon of shoes as I’m not just a stiletto-girl or a thong-girl and ugg boots only come out in winter and in the comfort of home and never up to the corner store. Whenever I go away I like to buy at least one pair of shoes from a city or place to remind me of where I’ve been.

To wear a pair of shoes is an experience for me as is eating at a restaurant or cafe. Which is why I am going to pair the two together. Huh, I hear you ask???

Recently whilst dining at The Local, my girlfriend announced at the dinner table that if she was ever on Death Row and she had the requirement for a “last meal” then this would be it. Big statement, HUGE. Think about it; what would yours be? I’m still sitting on this one. 

So, if you haven’t yet been, you need to get yourself off to The Local Taphouse, Flinders Street Darlinghurst quick smart. Why? Because I want you to try a paddle of exotic beers that go really well with the mussels and chilli frites. Or if you’re a burger type, you won’t want to go past the lamb burger – trust me! There’s beer and cheese nights and the what-should-be-a-religion Host-a-Roast which is the simple equation of inviting maximum 12 friends and starting the ultimate decision making. Step 1. will it be lamb, beef, pork or chicken? A choice of vegies? Potatoes how do you like them? Gravy or is it sauce as an accompaniment? And are you a berry or apple crumble type? Apple crumble won the majority vote for this crew. Take all of these components and put them in a private dining room where you are surrounded by empty bird cages that adorn the ceiling, dark polished floors and intriguing black and white photographic wallpaper and you have Host-a-Roast. God, I hope they repeat it this winter!

So to sum this up… to me the experience of going to the Local is an ugg boot. Basically I’m not into stars or hats to rate or recommend to you where you should go, I will leave that up to the Good Food Guide or the Michelin Guide.

SHOES is my game. Therefore to me an ugg boot is comfy, warm, toasty, a stayer that will continue to live up to expectations year in year out. It’s Aussie but has character and I can’t wait to put them on this winter. In saying that, The Local doesn’t have to be just a place to go for winter, it’s definitely an all-year rounder but when it’s an especially cool Sydney night and you want somewhere warm that will serve up a hearty meal that’s mouth-watering head to The Local.

As you read on, I will use other shoes to describe restaurants and my experiences as I go on so it gives you an idea of how good it really is or where it may fall down and need a band-aid. I’m sure there will be a few stilettos (a great night out with the girls and terrific atmosphere), lots of thongs (excellent outdoor area, a fail-safe for summer) and a couple of wedges (a fabulous place that’s comfortable too). From time to time there may even be a Jesus sandal. Not my favourite look but may best describe somewhere I go.

I’ll leave that interpretation to you.