Friday 25 May 2012

Shoes versus bags – who is the winner? You of course!

While shoes and bags don’t always co-exist peacefully (remember the shoeholic /bagaholic war?), it turns out all they need is some balance whether in a shop or put together for an outfit.

I’ve recently visited Sole2Sole which despite the name, is actually a boutique that stocks as many awesome bags as it does shoes, and would win any bagaholic’s heart too.

And even I, a self-confessed shoeholic, couldn’t help but love the variety of unique handbags at Sole2Sole. The reason? Well they’re so much fun and interesting and couldn’t be more far from generic!

How much fun is this dress-up dolly handbag from LuLu Guinness? I'd be playing with it all day!!!

I’m a firm believer in good-quality footwear, especially the ones used for everyday purposes. And the obvious thing about the shoes and bags in store is the lux feel even in the simple details and material.

It was hard to pick my favourite five labels in the shop because there really were a lot of great brands. But I manfully (or womanfully) soldiered on just to keep you all up to date and to avoid making Back to Life jokes in the piece.

Below is my pick of the bunch.

Meher Kakalia: 

Beautiful and ethical, these ballerina flats from Meher Kakalia are perfect to run around town with!

Hailing from Pakistan, this label combines comfort with style by making flats with beautiful subtle hand-made details (from embroidery to appliqué and sequins) and great quality buttery leather. I’m normally not a big fan of flats but these beauties look so unique and stylish – and let’s face it, heels are gorgeous but when walking and taking public transport in a city like Singapore, comfy flats are a must-have life-(and foot) savers!

What I also love about this label is the ethical way it operates by employing village craftsmen and women to apply the old embroidery techniques and hand-stitch the shoes without using machines. The materials it uses are also all natural and some of the embellishment material is recycled.

Lucy Choi: 

Jimmy Choo's niece Lucy Choi must know a thing or two about making elegant shoes... and it shows!

Elegant and extremely well-made, this is one of the newest labels which Sole2Sole is stocking. The London-based designer happens to be the niece of the legendary Malaysian shoe designer Jimmy Choo and the style is uncannily similar – except these come in much comfier kitten heels, subtle colours and are more affordable.

Despite the heels being relatively low for my usual standards – I love the pointy toe raffia slingbacks with patent leather trim which remind me of THOSE Prada pumps which were a big hit last Summer.

Lulu Guinness bags: 

Fun never ends with Lulu Guinness creations like this circus-inspired bag...

And of course the famour lip clutches...

this ever so funky and whimsical handbag label is probably one of the few which constantly experiments and toys with styles. From the signature lip clutches (the burgundy water-snake skin one is gorgeous by the way!) to the vintage camera and bouquet-shaped bags, each piece is like a portable work of art.

But my favourite of all has to be the dress up dolly bag which is casual and roomy enough for everyday usage, and probably the most fun bag I’ve ever seen!

Perfect for Singapore, this cage umbrella is too adorable!

Red lips look good with anything!!!!

Anwd ho doesn't love an old camera cover???

Moma Boma bags:

Moma Boma wallets and purses made of vintage magazines...

an Italian label which makes bags and purses made out of old newspapers and magazines. Apart from the cool recycling concept, the bags look really stylish and durable and retain a vintage feel due to the material they use. I love the big shopper bags with beautiful lining and rough feel on the outside, perfect with jeans and t-shirt for a day out shopping or to take on holiday!

Dialog bags:

It's all in the details for these beautiful clutches made from fabric leftovers!

Another recycling concept but this time with leftover scraps (mainly from tailors) which get collected by underprivileged women in the region, and then get sewn into beautiful and colourful handbags.

I love the vibrant feel of these bags and their high level of craftsmanship. They come on different sizes and shapes, and what’s cool is that each piece is totally unique and hand-made.
My favourite is the vintage-inspired village clutch and the cute kisslock pink clutch featuring the hand-folder recycled fabric pieces – a signature technique of the brand.

Sole2Sole is located at 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-47A/48 Millenia Walk. They also have an online shop

More cool labels at Sole2Sole like Singapore handbags Desti Saint 

The ultra-comfy French Sole ballerinas...

Colourful Fedora hats are spot on trend!
Love these United Nude's geometric heels!