Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bracelets

The Bracelet is a simple yet elegant symbol of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Bracelet, our signature cuff-style bracelet designed by Isabella Geddes Marquise da Filicaia and manufactured in Italy, is a 1/4-inch band with a raised AIDS ribbon on the side. Inside is a small plaque inscribed with "Until There's A Cure®". The cuff bracelet, a beautiful symbol of awareness and remembrance, comes in several metals and in three sizes.

Today we also offer several other styles of bracelets, including our new ID bracelet with cord, our African art bracelet, and our jelly bracelets, which are available in many bright colors.

A symbol which serves as a bridge uniting people to fight HIV/AIDS, The Bracelet increases awareness, compassion, understanding, and responsibility.

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The Modern Muslim Clothing

Young Muslims recently have been tiring of Western modes of dress and are moving toward a more traditional type of clothing; yet they still want to be modern. Muslim clothing today, fortunately, can be found in a variety of styles and fabrics, using many modern fabric technologies (like wrinkle-resistant polyester) and with a more modern look than your grandparents’ clothes.

And modern Muslim clothing can be found easily, thanks to the technology of the Internet. Even though you may be new to traditional life, you can find great clothes to wear, either to practice partial or to transform yourself completely into a traditionalist in dress as well as attitude. You don’t have to dress completely Muslim today in the West to follow the restrictions of the Qu’ran. Modern Muslim clothing should focus, rather, on modesty and showing one’s faith.

The restrictions of Muslim clothing for women primarily are that she should conceal her figure and most parts of her body. All parts should be covered except the hands and face; some variations of Islam say the face also should be closed. Covering the face is a very hard, if not impossible, restriction to follow in the West; but if you can reveal the face according to your specific faith, it’s really not hard to find clothes that cover everything else in an appropriate manner.

What many forget is that there are also restrictions in Muslim men’s clothing. Men should be as modest in appearance as women. Men should never wear clothing that seems similar to that of a woman, even in jest. They should cover everything, and clothing should be loose enough that all parts of the body are concealed. In addition, men should not wear clothing that looks like that of an unbeliever. Though Muslims should try to blend in and not draw attention to themselves, they should also clearly be believers.

Men should wear neither silk nor gold, though this restriction does not apply to women. And neither men nor women should not dress to display fame, pride, or vanity. Men and women should always remember Allah before themselves, and dress accordingly.

But how does one living in the West not dress like an unbeliever and still not draw attention? If you dress Western style according to the restrictions of the Qu’ran and then set yourself apart with one or two items, you are dressing according to these restrictions. More and more women in the West, for example, are wearing abaya. And if young Muslims embrace modern Muslim clothing restrictions and display their faith, it will make it increasingly easier for those who follow.

Allah says your best garment is the garment of righteousness. When dressing yourself with modern Muslim clothing, keep this in mind above all else. Dress in the manner that you must in public, but always keep the words of the Qu’ran in mind. Modern Muslim clothing should show your faith, not hide it, and one’s behavior should never reflect ill on Islam.

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The Beads and Love and Marriage in India

Small, wound potti beads and imitation gold beads.

In northern India the groom gives his bride a Mangalsutra. It has small wound black glass beads called Potti. "Potti" is an old word; it is listed in Panini's dictionary of 600 B.C. or so. Gold beads and pendants are strung along with the small black beads. The amount of gold indicates the wealth of the groom. The precise fashion signifies the part of the country the couple comes from.

In South India a different string of beads is given at a wedding, a Tali. The word "tali" is also very old, being in the Sangam literature, written in the first few centuries A.D. At the time, it was a good luck charm for women and children. Strictly speaking, a Tali is now a saffron-dyed string. Onto it different beads and pendants are hung for the marriage necklace. Some pendants convey messages of their own, for example, which Hindu sect the couple worships.

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The Necklace Style

Cheryl Jarvis' book, The Necklace, tells an unusual story. In 2004, a group of thirteen women pooled their money to buy a diamond necklace. The story has been covered by the media, but Jarvis tells the entire story of "Thirteen women and the experiment that transformed their lives."

It was a diverse group of women, married, single, divorced, Democrats and Republicans, mothers still raising children, and others working as teachers, real estate agents, and farmers. Their politics differed, and their reasons for joining the group differed. But, they all had a story to tell.

Jarvis tells the story of the naming of the necklace after Julia Child. There were arguments that disrupted the group, ranging from sharing the necklace, to when to wear it. And, then, there are the reasons to read about a group of women who could afford to buy a share in a diamond necklace. Some of these women needed other women in their lives. For all of them, it became a special group of friends. And, the necklace became a tool to give back to their community in Ventura, California.

I'll admit, after a while, it was hard to keep the women straight. And, although I'm in that same age group, I certainly couldn't afford that necklace. But, it's an interesting story.

If you'd like to read the story of a diamond necklace, and women working to overcome their differences, try The Necklace.

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The Men's Tailoring

Prior to your move to Indonesia, it may be difficult to anticipate the wardrobe required by changes in lifestyle that you will face once you are full swing into the expat scene. You may have thought you planned well, but find that the wardrobe you brought with you needs to be supplemented after your arrival.

Did you come to Jakarta thinking that you wouldn't need a good suit, tuxedo ... so did many others. But don't worry, you don't have to wait until your next home leave to get into your storage as there are excellent tailors in Jakarta which can custom make a suit, tuxedo and other clothing for men.

sSuitable office wear

You may find that your three-piece suits are a bit too formal for everyday office wear as men in your Jakarta office may dress more casually than in your home country. In that case, you may choose to wear a safari suit or long-sleeved batik shirt to work. Tailors can outfit you in these as well. Then, save your double breasted three-piece suits for formal occasions. Most Jakarta offices require only that senior management wear shirt and tie for everyday attire, and only require suits for important meetings involving guests or people outside the company.

Big and Tall

For those men whose size exceeds the average, in any direction, finding clothes that fit, let alone the styles they prefer, has always been difficult. While in Jakarta, take advantage of the excellent tailoring services to have shirts, trousers, jackets and suits made to fit you. Custom tailoring isn't only for the wealthy in Indonesia as prices are very reasonable.

Made to fit

Based on your actual measurements, your tailored attire will fit better than anything bought off a rack. You can also choose the fabric, style, cut and buttons you prefer. If you want to follow the fashion dictates of Italian, French or American designers, good tailors are knowledgeable about current fashion trends. If you have your own favorite classic styles, they can be made up as well. Better tailors stock imported fabric from quality Asian sources as well as from the famous fashion houses overseas.

If you want to camouflage a widening waist line or give your body the appearance of additional height, a good tailor can suggest modifications or enhancements to the design of your garments to give the desired effect. If you prefer a certain stype of collar, pocket placement or cuff, a tailor can make business or leisure shirts to fit your most exacting requirements. A perfect fit should be your goal, as well as your tailors.


The better tailors emphasize customer service and will come to your home or office to show you swatches, pictures of styles and take your measurements. You can have further fittings in your office or home or at the tailor's shop. 24-hour service is even available. Imagine ... an affordable suit, in the precise fabric and style you prefer, at a very reasonable cost ... in 24 hours. Now that's service!

How to find a good Tailor

Ask around and talk to other expats that have been in Indonesia longer than you and seek their advice to locate a good tailor. The Jakarta Shopper's Guide also includes a list of tailors recommended by satisfied expats.

sBe sure to ask lots of questions about their satisfaction with the tailor's service, how the garment survived its first and subsequent washings or dry cleanings, if the tailor stuck with his original price estimate, how long it took him to complete the garment, etc. Ask your tailor if he will make alterations to your garments in the future. Try to locate a full-service tailor who is more likely to keep up with fashion, have quality fabrics and excellent tailoring skills. If the firm has been in business for a long time, you can be sure there are many satisfied customers around. Ask the firm for referrals from recent customers.

Formal wear

Within the expatriate community there are a number of occasions for which you will need formal attire. The Christmas/New Year's season is celebrated with several black tie balls and special events. At home you may have rented a tuxedo for those rare occasions for which you needed dress attire. Rental of such attire is difficult in sJakarta, but it is possible to get a tuxedo custom-made. If you aren't a Big and Tall, you may be able to rent a tuxedo from one of the Bridal photo shops would outfit wedding parties. Tuxedos are available for rent from Laxmi Tailors.

Winter wear

You may have planned the wardrobe you brought for your stay in equatorial Indonesia ... having forgotten the inevitable business trip home during the winter months or the possible holiday to Australia or New Zealand during their winter months. If you find yourself in need of winter clothes during your stay in Indonesia you may be able to find sweaters and coats in your size from the factory outlet stores in Jakarta and Bandung. Failing that, ask your tailor if they can outfit you in warmer wear for unexpected trips tocolder climes.

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Chic Formals Fashion For 2008

Designer 2008 Formal fashion is just a click away as many renowned apparel and fashion websites sell such dresses where fast order delivery is facilitated. The apparel and fashion site exhibits new formal dresses especially for proms that exemplify figure revealing and body slimming sexy silhouetted 2008 prom dresses. In this collection elegant formal dresses with definite waistlines, sexy corset necklines, tube tops with ruching, figure enhancing slim waistlines and prom dresses with satin lined chiffon fabrics are the highlight of this fall collection but yes the strapless prom dresses, halters and necklines with draped front on the formal dresses are very much flaunted in prom nights and high slits are very demanding and are stunningly created by our expert designer Andy.
If you are short on time, there are many options for purchasing a formal gown off the rack. Boutiques that cater to plus size women and large department stores will have a bounty of different styles. You may also want to try searching online retailers, and there are many of them that specialize in plus size formal wear. If you are looking for a one of a kind prom gown, consider preferring the racks of vintage clothing shops or consulting with a dressmaker who can design a prom gown just for you.
Plus size formal dresses up to size 44 are the vintage and the timeless little black prom dress. Also available in plus sizes are the halter, the hanky hems, the ruffles and lace and the classic Cinderella ball gown. Bubble skirt shapes and rich tones of charmeuse along with sheath bodices give special charm to prom party dresses. Elegant sophistication shows up in the sparkle organza with embroidered details. The see through and layered skirts are great choices to make. Good designers who really know the market and what will suit the plus size figure. In fact, many of the top plus size designers can be found in these catalogs. It can be a real bonus to get a top plus size dress designer rather than someone that has just made their standard designs bigger.
There are other options in formal gown plus size for 2008. You can go all out with the real glamorous look in plus size formal dresses and add drama by wearing a twist front halter, which is readily available in plus size formal dresses. You can also wear a satin dress but be sure it is not a form fitting plus size. Satin has a way of showing all the wrong things, even in plus size dresses. However, it does look very elegant and sexy when worn properly. Go all the way by wearing red or a jewel tone to make you look and feel fabulous.

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five Top Casual Fashion Essentials For Summer 2008

Summer is the time to take a break. You know. Kick back your heels, raise your feet on a stool and relax. Time to loosen up and go for breezy comfort.

There is no need to forgo your stylish image. These 5 comfortable pieces let you stay in style. At the same time, they offer your great mileage.

1. A comfortable white shirt.

Get a men's style white shirt and wear it with khakis, jeans or a pencil skirt. That roomy classic goes with virtually everything in your wardrobe. For that sultry siren look, you could secure the shirt under your bust with a knot instead of buttoning it up. Or you could wear it as a super comfortable sleep shirt.

You could get a new white shirt from the stores or you could raid your guy's wardrobe for a gorgeous white shirt.

2. A pair of jeans.

If you fit into your favourite pair, that would do for summer. Nothing beats your favourite, broken in jeans when it comes to comfort. If your jeans are a tad too tight, go get yourself a new pair that fits. Well fitting clothing look better and make you look slimmer than too tight clothes.

3. Bright, roomy, summer dress

A loose fitting dress in a bright color is a hot look every summer. This is especially evident for Spring/Summer 2008 if you watch the designer fashion shows. One thing about the tent dress or roomy, loose fitting clothes that do not define your waist is that unless you are really thin, you would look fatter in them. Modify the look by adding a sash or belt around your waist to define your figure. That way, you'll look amazing.

4. Tank Tops

With summer's scorching heat, who needs sleeves? A sunblock would protect your skin so you can bare your arms in a breezy, sexy, tank top.

5. Skorts

That's a cross between a miniskirt and shorts. Skorts are pretty hot right now. Like both shorts and miniskirts, you would flaunt your legs in them and by highlighting your legs, you make them look longer. Skorts offer you the feminine look of a very short skirt without the risk of wardrobe malfunction should you bend over.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Crashings Celebritya Catwalk Party

NEW YORK - Previously at Fashion Week: blogger Julie Fredrickson shoved a home video camera and microhpone into Anna Wintour’s face and, for one golden minute, plumbed the Vogue queen’s icy depths, completely uninterrupted. I can’t imagine what that moment must have been like for Julie. Maybe it’s similar to the feeling you get when your airplane reaches cruising altitude and suddenly, you realize that your carry-on is crammed full of forbidden liquids and creams. It throws into question the whole security scheme. Are bag checkers not as thorough as we expect? Is Anna Wintour not, in fact, surrounded by a magic force field that deflects hoi polloi and fatties?

Having seen such renegade blogger tactics lead to an interview (though, I’m assuming, a speedy escort to the door and a guarantee that, in the future, Julie will be joining me for a round of gratis frozen beverages at the Delta Sky Bar/Media outcast holding cell in the main tent) it occurred to me: can I do that too? Just how many invisible measures are in place to prevent me and my H&M jeans from reaching out and touching the front row?

After a few days of being moved around like cattle I know the score. The RSVPs sweep in, slashing their calligraphied invitations for all the world to see. Then the standing-room-only crowd mingles behind the barriers and pretends to be RSVPs who are just stretching their legs. When everyone else has been corralled, the celebrities enter. It’s usually not through the main door. Most are somehow smuggled in through secret celebrity entrances, or emerge from backstage just minutes before the lights come up. I wonder: in a post Anna-Wintour-security-breach Fashion Week, will bold new measures be implemented to protect the beautiful people?
After the Monique Lhuillier show I decide test it out. I call my operation, “Operation: see how damn close they let me get to people who matter.” Lights up. Models are out. I head straight down to the catwalk. After pushing through a few fashionistas hugging on the stairs, and a few timid onlookers who keep a “respectful distance”, it’s jackpot. The eagle has landed. I’m face to face with LeAnn Rimes, though, it must be added, I have nothing of interest to say. This reminds me of the time a friend and I used to run around Cental Park, attempting to kick pigeons. The fun was in running at the pigeons, then watching them flutter their wings and narrowly escape. On one occasion my friend’s foot actually made contact with the pigeon and it was awful — awful for him, awful for the pigeon, awful for everyone who saw it.

That’s what it was like when I actually invaded LeAnn’s personal space. In the time I spent wondering if it would be sycophantic to tell LeAnn she looks good, (and she does look good) someone more pushy than me horns in, dictophone in LeAnn’s face, and asks her how she stays so slim. I sneer at the softball question, but I also stick around to hear the answer because, like I said, LeAnn does look good and I’m sort of curious too. (For the record, Ms. Rimes enjoys yoga, Pilates and finds eating disorders to be ‘so sad.’)

It's all about being pushy
Those brief moments I shared with LeAnn taught me another truth about access at Fashion Week: once you’re in the door, it’s really all about who is pushy enough.

At the Bill Blass show later that Tuesday, the celebrities seemed to have finally awakened from their weekends (Doubtlessly spent spooning out soup to orphans, or organizing charity walkathons) and decided to show.

Janet Jackson arrives in a black hat and hoop earrings and a gaggle of photographers trail behind her. There’s so much fuss over Janet that I barely notice Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers and Sigourney Weaver in the front row opposite to her. In what I imagine must have been some fashion intern’s most brilliant moment in improvisational ass kissing, the overhead music suddenly changes to Janet’s “All for You.”
After the Blass models leave the stage again, as with LeAnn, I go right for the money. I plow through the timid types like 62 inches of entitlement. And suddenly, I’m there. The pigeon is within the range of my toe. No, not close to Jackson. She’s surrounded by too many real reporters. I’m up close with Liza. I suppose I could ask Liza what she thinks of Fashion Week, but I think that MSNBC probably has people who are paid to do that. What’s more, I don’t really care. I haven’t seen Liza wearing anything but some variation on a black suede pant suit and a colorful cape in any recent appearance. Really, I just want to breathe Liza’s recycled air, and know that — were I to be cheeky enough — I could whip out a question a la Bruno from “Da Ali G. Show.” I feel like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Everything is in color and I realize that I have, in fact, been standing next to Liza the whole time.

So that’s my shallow lesson from Fashion Week: if you run up and rush the pigeons, every now and then you’re going to kick one. And then you’ll simply feel awful. The same goes for celebrities. Act like you’re entitled, particularly at events rampant with low self esteem (Fashion Week, karaoke nights, Air America restructuring parties.) and you may just find yourself up close with a famous person from the ’80s, ’90s, or possibly even today.

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Christmas Party Fashion

Late Christmas shoppers do go on about their dawdling, but the real damage from procrastination comes while decking yourself out for your Christmas parties, according to Gok Wan. Of course the presenter of Channel 4's How to Look Good Naked (and the man who rivals Jack Nicholson in getting women out of their clothes) believes in having fun during the rounds of mince pies and champagne. But for a showstopping look that also leaves you feeling fabulous about yourself - even after showing off your funny cowgirl dance - the trick is advance planning.

"You've got to treat it like a job and almost be regimented about it because it's going to save you the pressure and the stress," says Wan.

It starts, naturally, at the bottom, with the right undergarments. Yet that means more than just wriggling yourself into a girdle. "If you need it, use magic underwear to give yourself a cleaner line silhouette," he says, but also think about your hosiery and your bra.

"A lot of women also buy a fabulous empire line halter neck floor-length evening gown and then five minutes before they leave the house they put the bra on and realise they haven't got a halterneck bra. So they take the straps off with the scissors and then their boobs fall down all night. Or they don't wear a bra and feel incredibly uncomfortable. Or they use Sellotape as Tit Tape."

To make sure you look pulled together this season and your Sellotape stays safely in the drawer, use Gok's three party preparation tips.

1.Organise. "Don't wait 364 days of the year to sort out your outfit," he says. Get your dress and your accessories work out, know where you're going, and what effect you're going for at each gathering (short spangly dress for the knee's up with the girls versus festive but grown-up look for the office party).

2.Your hair and makeup. "Because often you're thinking so much about your outfit, it becomes an afterthought," he says. Good hair and makeup is key to feeling really confident - the cornerstone of the Gok Wan approach.

3.Do your grooming regimen. It's not just makeup. It's so much more than just makeup. "Make sure you've got your fake tan, make sure you've done your scrubbing, make sure you've done your eyebrows, make sure you've done your waxing, all that kind of thing." Basically, if it sprouts, sloughs, shines, curls, chips or looks pasty, attend to it.

And abonus is that the effects often last even after the tinsel is gone. "A lot of people, when they start doing this kind of thing for a function, do upkeep it as well, the manicures, the pedicures, the weekly spa treatments, the fake tan at home."

Plan thoroughly for a party season and it will launch you beautifully into the new year.

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Weekend Party Fashion Show

You know you’re going to be in for a rough ride when the very first comic book-style story page in a game contains no less than three grammatical gaffes, starting with “Meet Lilly. She is a fashion consultant in young, growing advertising agency.” Although its concept is sound, Weekend Party Fashion Show is unfortunately hampered by some pretty crippling translation issues.

As Lilly, your job is to dress a variety of women for parties, concerts, commercials and photo shoots. The game takes place in a mall, where you’ll have to complete hidden object challenges by rummaging through clothing and accessories in the different stores in order to find pieces to put your ensembles together based on a list. Items you might be asked to find include “dark yellow dress,” “gray embroidered blouse” or “green trendy sunglasses.”

You’ll also visit the jeweler, make-up stylist and hair stylist and play a different mini-game at each station. The jeweler is a memory game where you flip over tiles to match accessories; the make-up mini-game is a straightforward jigsaw puzzle of a woman’s face; and the hair salon is a spot the difference puzzle where you choose a hairstyle and have to compare two versions of the model’s head and cut pieces of her hair off until it matches your chosen coiffure.

The mini-games are fine, but it’s the hidden object portion of Weekend Party Fashion Show that suffers. There are simply too many inaccuracies with the way the items are labeled. For example, the “blue blouse with printed design” was actually a tank top. Other descriptions just made no sense, like “purple flexible belt” (don’t all belts have to be flexible?) or “youth gray glasses”; while others (like “big beautiful necklace” or “blue stunning brasier”) were just too vague and could refer to more than one item.

Then there were the typos: “purple & blue stripped blouse,” “dark blue shoe high-heels,” “red coctail shoes,” “women brown cardigan” and “dar lacy sexy top” to name a few.

At least the game isn’t without (unintentional) humor: I had a chuckle at having to find a “large green seductive bra.”

Once you’ve found all of the items on your list and played the mini-games, you enter the dress-up stage where you’re given a style (such as disco, banquet or retro) and must try to dress the model appropriately using the garments you’ve collected. Unlike Jojo’s Fashion Show, though, the game doesn’t give you any in-depth advice or fashion tips, and even the judging afterwards (where you’re awarded a star-rating) seemed arbitrary.

There are little quirks too, like the fact that the level timer ticks down even if you’re not in a scene and just reading characters’ speech bubbles; and you can’t review your level objectives after being given the information for the first time; or there’s no number to keep track of the overall number of items that you still have left to find.

Additional challenges – like a time management-style bartending mini-game – lack clear instructions. (It took me a while to figure out that you needed to click on the glass first or the drink would automatically be ruined.)

The game is short, too, and can be finished in a couple of hours. Afterwards, all the clothing is unlocked and you can play dress-up. There’s also a Freestyle mode where you can just dabble around in the mall, but the time limit still applies. It seems like this mode would have been better realized as an untimed mode to make it more different from the main mode.

If you're a fashion nut who enjoys playing around with different styles and looks, the dress-up mode at the end might hold some appeal. To sum up the game up, though, Weekend Party Fashion Show is unfortunately yet another example of a title that had potential but was not properly localized for its target audience.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Trends for Footwear, Sandals and Shoes Accesories Summer

There are exciting new trends in shoe accessories for the summer of 2008. Moreover, you will see a glut of attractive shoe designs at affordable high st. prices.

Here are some examples of shoe accessories you might find when shopping. Start by choosing Gladiator sandals or platform shoes with Grecian ankle straps. Alternatively, buy designer look, cut out wedge heels, vivid bold brightly coloured shoes or floral, patterned and animal print footwear. You could also choose from contrast piped shoes, two tone heels and toe caps, suede, patent and laser cut out lace leather pumps. Or, put on the glitz and opt for jewel gemstone stud effects and colourful bead button fastenings.

For summer 2008 the high street shoe shops have a treat in store for women as they add their latest shoe fashion trends. Look for outrageous heights in heels, interesting wedge styles and eye popping shots of colour. To sum up - there is shoe fashion trend choice, and more choice, with classic styles, lower heels, and absolute flats. Shoe 3 - Faith Footwear - Style 'Holdin' Wedge in red/black/grey/cork - £55.

These three shoe accessories are just a sample of the many designs available for Spring and Summer 2008.

Above Left - Shoe 1 - Red Herring Gladiator Sandal - £25 - Debenhams Spring/Summer 2008 Women's Accessories.
Above Right - Shoe 2 - TRIBE Range - Stud ankle strap style Lante £60 - Faith Footwear.
Bottom Right - Shoe 3 - Faith Footwear - Style 'Holdin' Wedge in red/black/grey/cork - £55.

See more Gladiator sandal and boot trends on this page.

Heel Envy

In summer 2008 shoes of any style, any heel shape, from curving stiletto, solid cone, wedge, or ultra flat are equally acceptable. The selection of available flat or low footwear is good. Of course you can always buy your shoes online if you are fully aware of your sizing in a particular brand. Check the online store size guide to ensure you understand their sizing and find out if it is using British, Continental or American measurements.

Accessories Shoes 4 - Clat platform animal print shoes with red heel and red platform sole - £70 Faith Footwear.Shoe 5 - A show stopper Mary Jane shoe - Nanny's Treasure - £60 from Office Ladies Collection for Spring 2008.Shoe 6 - Shelly's Joanne red high sandal at £45 from Shelly's Spring/Summer 2008 range.

Left to right:- Shoes 4, 5, 6 - Details below

Left - Shoe 4 - Clat platform animal print shoes with red heel and red platform sole - £70 Faith Footwear. Shoe 7  - Nine West white wedge shoe with cut out heel available from from John Lewis.
Centre - Shoe 5 - A show stopper Mary Jane shoe - Nanny's Treasure - £60 from Office Ladies Collection for Spring 2008.
Right - Shoe 6 - Shelly's Joanne red high sandal at £45 from Shelly's Spring/Summer 2008 range.

More novel styles are now a norm in UK high street ranges, like Faith footwear, who have designer led selections that are hot on trend. They sell for example, a designer range of shoes with complex styling and currently have some great wedges with cut out heels. Until recent times, only exclusive high end designer footwear brands stocked such to die for shoe temptations. Right - Shoe 7 - 'Nine West' white wedge with cut out heel available from John Lewis.

You are reading an original independent 'shoe accessories' article by Pauline Weston Thomas at ©

Pattern and Print in Shoes Summer 2008

 Shoe 8 - Basket weave raffia floral wedge shoe £10. In store beginning of April - Primark Summer Collection 2008.Shoe 9 - J Jeans by Jasper Conran gold wedge shoes £40/€62 Debenhams Spring/Summer 2008 Women's AccessoriesShoe 10 - Patchwork wedge shoe Cuba, £135/€195 from Spring/Summer 2008 - Dune Ladies & Accessories.

Left to right:- Shoes 8, 9, 10 - Details below

Wedge and chunky cone heels demand attention. Printed pattern footwear whether it be stripes, florals or patchwork is often set against raffia wedges, wooden, or Perspex heels. Gold, silver and bronze footwear is now mainstream, even for daywear. Shoe 8 centre above, is also available in silver.

Left - Shoe 8 - Basket weave raffia floral wedge shoe £10. In store beginning of April - Primark Summer Collection 2008.
Centre - Shoe 9 - J Jeans by Jasper Conran shoes £40/€62 Debenhams Spring/Summer 2008 Women's Accessories
Right - Shoe 10 - Patchwork wedge shoe Cuba, £135/€195 from Spring/Summer 2008 - Dune Ladies & Accessories.Shoe 11 - Ombre dye patent yellow and coral shoe - Spring/Summer 2008 - Dune Ladies Accessories.


Ombre and Dye Effects in Shoes

Pattern and print are not the only interesting aspects of fashion trends in modern shoes. Taking a cue from the catwalk, shoe manufacturers have introduced some lively ombre and tie dye effect shoes.

Far Right - Shoe 11 - Ombre dye patent yellow and coral shoe - Spring/Summer 2008 - Dune Ladies Accessories.

It Shoes on the High Street

It feels as if 'It shoes' have at last really arrived on the high street.

This is not surprising, since retailers who have survived the pace of fast fashion changes have had to adapt to fresh ideas and produce designer led footwear styles.

Demise of Dolcis Shoe Shops

Dolcis, the UK high st. shoes and bags chain, disregarded the change in consumer habits for must-have desires and so lagged behind general fast fashion retailers. In January 2008, it found itself in administration and since then a deal was reached where the Dolcis shoe brand name has been sold on to another footwear retailer. A year or so ago the same fate happened to the famous Stead and Simpson brand.

In the past 25 years the general clothing retailers have slowly all introduced footwear. These clothing fashion retailers have eaten into the traditional shoe shop market of yesteryear. Now a high proportion of UK footwear is sold through clothing chains like New Look who pander to both a mass acceptable price point and a high fashion look. The demand for footwear has not fallen, but the demand for high fashion inexpensive footwear has increased.
You are reading an original independent 'shoe accessories' article by Pauline Weston Thomas at ©

Coloured Shoes

Just like all the brightly coloured bags in a store near you now, brightly colours for shoes and sandals are prominent in every footwear range. Bright colour can also be patterned.Shoe 13 -  Blue patchwork shoes - New Look Spring Summer 2008 Accessories & Footwear range.  Shoe 12 - Patchwork shoe.

Patchwork Shoes

This high end designer Dolce&Gabbana patchwork shoe (Style 12), near right, features some of the main fashion colours for spring 2008 and utilise orchid pink and crocus tones. The high street alternative includes these Aegean blue patchwork style shoes (Style 13) from the New Look Spring Summer 2008 Accessories & Footwear range.

New Look is one of the major sellers of footwear in the UK, with most shoes being sold for under £30. A change of shoe lace to black, might make these blue shoes look even more similar to the Dolce&Gabbana designer version.

The blue shoe boots are not a precise copy, but a great look-alike pair of shoes that have picked up on what might become a major shoe fashion trend.New Look Footwear

Bold Contrasts in Summer Shoes 2008

The colours for spring and summer 2008 are bold and strong even in sedate styles. Orchid pink, yellow, and red footwear is readily available in many styles. Right - Shoe group 14 - New Look Footwear

Strong contrasts in a shoe mean that black is important when teamed with white for monochrome looks. This can be just a simple piped, white edge to a black shoe, or a more vivid op art look as shown below.

T-Bar Shoes

Contrasts also lead to multi use of piped edges and trimmings in every type of footwear. This mixed selection of T-bar style shoes (group 14) above right is from New Look. Each shoe has three contrast tones to achieve what appears to be a complex design colouration with a 1960s floral finishing touch.hoe 15 - Red Mary Jane shoe £44.99/ €75.50 River Island Clothing Co. Ltd Womenswear Footwear SS08 Shoe 16 -Yellow lace tie Mary Jane shoe £44.99/€75.50  River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.

Like the Mary Jane style the T-bar shoe is very safe looking until its vamped up with a fancy buckle, lacing or wider band ankle strap, which can almost move it toward the more exotic.

Both the red patent Mary Jane shoe (15) left, and this yellow shoe look retro, yet very modern. Each has a heel many women will find manageable and the strap adds extra walking security. Shoes with bar straps are ideal for women who need a half size, yet find that mass manufacturing of less costly lines means that half sizes are less available. Sizing up often means one shoe is over sized. With an extra cushion inner and an adjustable strap those with unevenly sized feet may find shoes that work for them. You are reading an original independent 'shoe accessory' article by Pauline Weston Thomas at ©

Left - Shoe 15 - Red Mary Jane shoe £44.99/ €75.50 - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd., Womenswear Footwear SS08
Near Right - Shoe 16 -Yellow lace tie Mary Jane shoe £44.99/€75.50 - River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.

Ankle Straps

Shoe 17 - Silver T-bar, Eclair, ankle strap platform sandal from Barratts.  This T-bar silver impressed skin sandal with wide ankle strap looks ready to party all night long.
Right - Shoe 17 - Silver T-bar, Éclair, ankle strap platform sandal from Barratts.

Stemming from the Gladiator/Warrior footwear shown on another page, are the ankle strap wraps that take many shoes a step further toward fetish footwear trends. This has created a range of high st. shoes heavy with wrap around ankle straps, excessive ties, narrow or wide dog collar ankle bands.

Some of the ankle bands are heavily decorated with studs as in the header or are Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED.

Shoe 18 - Marks and Spencers ankle strap red shoe in mixed materials - £15.Shoe 19 - Double strap shoe £60 and called Never Mind - Spring 2008 Office Ladies Collection by Office.Shoe 20- Ankle strap black colour block shoe £45/€64 Women's Footwear Spring/Summer 2008 at NEXT.

Left to right:- Shoes 18,19, 20 - Details below

Left - Shoe 18 - Marks and Spencers ankle strap red shoe in mixed materials - £15.
Centre - Shoe 19 - Double strap shoe £60 and called Never Mind - Spring 2008 Office Ladies Collection by Office.
Far Right - Shoe 20- Ankle strap black colour block shoe £45/€64 Women's Footwear Spring/Summer 2008 at NEXT.

Peep Toes

Bright colour is clearly a strong fashion trend in shoes for this Summer 2008. Red, yellow, orchid pink, purple, green and blue are used through every range. The peep toe is also an element of summer footwear and these examples illustrate wearable shoes rather than shoes destined for posing only. Peep toes also give the girls a chance to show off their new pedicure. If you like to wear tights but want to show your toes then an alternative is to buy the open toe summer tights sold at Marks and Spencer.

Shoe 21 - River Island True Blue Range - River Island Spring Summer Accessories 2008Shoe 22 - Post Mistress Weather Girl £85 - Spring 2008 Office Ladies Collection by OfficeShoe 23 - Purple shoe £44.99/ €75.50 River Island Clothing Co. Ltd., Summer Footwear 2008

Left to right:- Shoes 21, 22, 23 - Details below

Left - Shoe 21 - River Island True Blue Range - River Island Spring Summer Accessories 2008
Centre - Shoe 22 -Post Mistress Weather Girl £85 - Spring 2008 Office Ladies Collection from Office
Far Right - Shoe 23 - Purple shoe £44.99/ €75.50 River Island Clothing Co. Ltd., Summer Footwear 2008

Finally these last two shoes are designed for tall women and so go to longer foot lengths. I love the pale pink flat shoe which is perfect for summer. The green wedge shoe is on trend without adding too many inches to a woman who is aware of her height. Lastly the sandal has not so much a Gladiator/Warrior feel, but more of an exotic Cleopatra touch.

Shoe 24 - Pastel pink jewelled slingback, £49 from Long Tall Sally Summer 2008 Shoes and Accessories Shoe 25 - Shelly's Spring/Summer 2008 - Green wedge sandal called Brandy - £50 Shellys Shoes.Shoe 26 - Tan bronze Cleopatra Gladiator sandal with beads from Barratts.

Left to right:- Shoes 24, 25, 26 - Details below

Left - Shoe 24 - Pastel pink jewelled slingback, £49 from Long Tall Sally Spring 20 08 Shoes and Accessories
Centre - Shoe 25 - Shelly's Spring/Summer 2008 - Green wedge sandal called Brandy - £50 Shellys Shoes.
Right - Shoe 26 - Tan bronze Gladiator sandal with beads from Barratts.

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