Sunday, 30 October 2011
Maria of Custard Heart Vintage shows off her enviable mock croc Varas.
Over the past couple of months I have been becoming increasingly obsessed with the iconic Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pump. Not only is it the chicest 'sensible' shoe I have ever encountered, it can be reliably found in the wardrobes of the most stylish women in the blogosphere and beyond.
Ashley Ording of Fancy Fine and Alexa Chung team their Varas with pretty pinafores.
Invented by Salvatore Ferragamo's eldest daughter Fiamma in 1978, the Vara was marketed as a 'sporty and elegant pump' to fit the busy lifestyle of the modern woman and, with its 1.3 inch block heel and array of colours and textures, it has certainly succeeded. At £240 they do not come cheap and yet every single blogger except me seems to have thrifted at least one pair at a heart-wrenchingly low price. Even still, if my obsession continues with the fury it currently maintains, I may well fork out for a pair as they seem like such a great investment and no shoes appears to work better with vintage outfits.
Islabell of A Fine Day For Sailing demonstrates how the shoe moves seamlessly through the seasons from Autumn to Summer.
Foxtail and Fern's Hannah uses her varas to complete her chic and studious style.
A Fine Day For Sailing
The Salvatore Ferragamo website only appears to stock the vara in black calfskin and black patent (unfortunately with a silver centre rather than a gold) although more colours are available on a variety of other stockists' websites and, as I have seen everything from navy to peach patent styles worn by bloggers, I am encouraged to believe that the entire spectrum of colours can be found in vintage and charity shops. I can only hope it's true.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
The final installment in my series of holiday photographs and where better to start for the spirit of Hallowe'en than in a colonial graveyard? We stumbled across this strange and enchanting cemetery on a day trip to Georgetown on the island of Penang where we spent the final part of the holiday lying in the sun, playing table tennis and going into anaphylactic shock after being stung by jelly fish (Jian Wei).
In order to get to Penang, Jian Wei and I took an overnight train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, another impossibly slow-moving train to the last scrap of mainland before taking a quick ferry to Penang. The second train took us right through the jungle although, if I could offer one piece of advice to people embarking on a similar journey, pack a jumper because the air conditioning was brutal despite it being sweltering outside. (Also handy for nippy airports.)
We were reunited with Jian Wei's Dad, brother, sister, step-mother and younger half-brother and sister for five days of relaxation in an, albeit congestested, tropical paradise.
Yummy street food and awesome signage in Georgetown.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
The second part of our trip involved us taking an overnight train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore where we spent three days exploring this unique city-island-state, a very different place to the one I had imagined. I was delighted to find that my previously held misconceptions of an eerily clean and regimented distopia were unfounded and that the city is richly colourful and vibrant, embracing several cultures along with its colonial history in a way that Malaysia doesn't appear to.
Jian Wei and I spent hours wandering around the cool colonial decadence of Raffles Hotel. With its chic bars, secluded palm gardens, rooftop swimming pool and delicate murals it is easy to visualise Somerset Maugham and Ernest Hemingway sipping Singapore Slings at the height of the hotel's chic 1920s heyday. How I would love to be able to spend just one night in this magical place...