Sunday, 25 November 2012

“The angels wanna wear my red shoes”*

Many years ago my friend Louisa introduced me to the work of Cynthia Heimel, author of the brilliant Sex Tips for Girls and originator of the sage advice: “You only need three pairs of shoes – black boots, white sneakers, and red heels.” While I don’t necessarily think one has to stick to just three pairs, I do think that red shoes are indispensible. I have... let’s see... several. But hey, a person can always find room for one more. Especially when they are by Maison Martin Margiela for H&M and FIFTY PERCENT OFF.

Let’s rewind a bit here, to Thursday November 15th when H&M’s latest high street designer collaboration hit stores worldwide with the usual media hype and fashion victim frenzy. This is the fifteenth designer pair-up H&M has done since launching the series with Karl Lagerfeld in November 2004. That one was groundbreaking, and felt genuinely exciting. I bought a black, white and red striped extra-long sweater, as much for the thrill of being part of shopping history as anything else (I know, I know...) The concept was exciting but the woolly was wildly unflattering and ended up in a charity shop. My second investment was a little black satin bomber jacket by Madonna in 2007 (Madge had an H&M moment! Who remembers?!) It was, in fact, a classic “piece,” nicely made, and I still wear it. 

So to MMMxH&M. Well, I strolled over to Westfield on Thursday morning to feel the vibes. (No need to check out the clothes as they had already appeared in every fashion publication you could waggle a pelmet at.) About 9.45am there was a short queue and a young man handing out armbands for timed entrance to The Collection. “Your time is 12.15,” he said to me. WHAT??!! There were about eight people lined up and the shopping centre was deserted. Snorting, I stalked inside to buy a non-MMM burgundy jumper (as seen on Caroline Trentini, a snip at £14.99.)

That was that. Until this Saturday afternoon, when a particularly grim London November afternoon drove me back to Westfield in search of warmth, brightness, and something Shoehorn could cook for dinner. En route to Waitrose I dropped in on H&M, where, to my surprise, they had A LOT of MMM stock leftover. And marked down by 50%. Including this pair of red patent pumps, with perspex heels.

My first pair of red patent pumps (below) are by Pied à Terre, and I bought them when I was single. No wonder the lining is almost completely crumbled away (but they still fit like a pair of gloves and feel marvelous).

Then there are the lovely red patent kitten-heels (below) – I can’t actually tell anymore where these came from because the insoles have grafted to the insides... 

These (below) are my mother’s red leather pumps. Scuffed with age, but really good quality, I think the distressed patches add character, in a Footloose kinda way.

Last but far from least, my beloved Dorothy In Oz red sparkly patent stilettos (below), from Schuh. All together now, tap your heels: “There’s no place like...”

*Oh I used to be disgusted
and now I try to be amused.
But since their wings have got rusted,
you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes.
But when they told me ‘bout their side of the bargain,
that’s when I knew that I could not refuse.
And I won’t get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

–(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes, by Elvis Costello, released in 1977 but my favourite version is a cover by Hem from 2002. Check it out on Spotify. 

Happy birthday Lena S x


  1. Your blog rocks! Loving those red shoes and I reckon you have at least twenty more pairs hidden somewhere...Love Lovely x

  2. Thank you Lovely! Wouldn't say I have twenty more pairs exactly, but as you'll have noticed this post is just about red pumps. It doesn't mention my red boots, sandals, mules, ballerinas, or trainers, of course! x