Where Did U Get That is a blog by a British blogger Karen Blanchard, obsessed with shopping and fashion in New York. Documenting personal style and street style. Best places to shop, cool boutiques and shopping.
Question: So when did the ugly dad sneaker become a thing? My thoughts on the idea of ‘ugly pretty’ has simmered for years, going back to the (welcome) realisation from modeling agencies that hiring ‘normal’ unsymmetrical faces was cool. This also was around the same time that casual dressing was applauded by the likes of Celine (thanks Phoebe Philo). The evolution of that infiltration of all things ‘casual chic’ is the current boom for the chunky sneaker or the ugly Dad sneaker. The bigger and somewhat uglier, the better.
A sneaker head did a YouTube video on the subject observed the changing attitudes towards sneakers over the years; the sneaker with ‘normal’ clothes, was at first laughed but with time, their growing acceptance silenced the laughing one by one as people put down their Stan Smiths and picked up their running sneakers to wear with anything but work out clothes.
I consider myself a magpie shopper and by that nature, am drawn to differences. To contrasts. To juxtapositions. Am I setting myself up for telling you about my love for the Balenciaga Triple S sneaker? Maybe not. Have I tried them on? Actually I have. Was I sold seeing them on me? Absolutely not. They looked like a I had a FeDex truck on my foot. However I do get the beauty in the ugly; that appreciation for the contrast between a floaty dress up top paired with a truck sized foot on the bottom. But I know that this trend is for that small but very loyal group of men as well as women who are clomping around in them. According to Damien Paul, head of luxury menswear at MatchesFashion, “these designer sneakers are like the male version of the it-bag” (quote taken from Business of Fashion who wrote a similar article on the ugly Dad sneaker trend).
But, like anything extreme, they are probably the most polarizing shoes that I’ve witnessed in years.
I shot a styling YouTube video around three spring trends and one of them was chunky sneakers. As expected, the negative comments were laser focused on my Nike runners teamed with a floor length yellow Mango dress. I added white ankle socks for maximum aesthetic contrast. The reactions were legendary.
If they appeal, I found some alternatives that are south of the Gucci, Balenciaga and Louis Vouitton price tag. For starters, Sandro (yes Sandro) has their flame sneakers with that mandantory hefty platform and just enough colour for spring or go with the classic Nike Air Max 97 that scream less trend and more classic since they were around before the ugly Dad sneaker trend. Other contenders include Topshop, Mango and Fila.
Question: Will you partake or is that a stupid question?
Ah that light in Milan Italy. I’m sure dusk or golden light as it’s called is the same anywhere but against the old buildings it was just magical. Sorry – I had to get a bit cheesy but it’s true.
I literally wore part of my weekend suitcase all at once: a Zara long sleeved green dress layered with a black and white stripe skirt from Topshop. It wasn’t what I was planning but it was welcome unexpected layers.
The Ganni boots show no signs of waning as evidence on my vlogs on YouTube. They’re are just too bloody good for instant western vibes with the added bonus of being comfortable. Another layer to contrast it all.
So my trip to Milan Italy is over. I returned on Tuesday and took in what is probably the greatest dream for any shoe-a-holic: visiting a shoe trade show. Not just any trade show, this was the MICAM show in Milan which is probably the mothership of all footwear shows. With over 1,400 exhibitors, the event featured shoe vendors sharing future season shoe styles with wholesale buyers and I was invited to witness it all.
Being a trade show, photographs were not allowed, but I did have permission to show these few below which caught my eye for the fall winter season….
These beautifully cut block heel shoes in the Pantone colour of 2018:
How badass are the below western boots for fall winter? They have my name all over them and their presence confirmed that the western boot is still a strong aesthetic for later this year.
My Instagram Stories from the trade show caught these selects in real time while in Milan at the show.
The daily talks on footwear trends in a global consumer centric world were incredible. They included fashion and footwear macro trends e.g. women’s chunky footwear sneakers are reigning supreme and will continue. Apparently stemming from a focus on fun and a freedom of expression and appetite for re-worked classics and experimental silhouettes which will trickle over into other forms of footwear.
The big sneaker is the one unifyer for both sexes and men’s will see an increasing play on the shoe’s platform – a look currently being born out during the current fashion week month.
Other trends forecasted include: tactility will be key; look for increasingly textured materials. Also saturated colors and fluid like effects, the latter especially being perfect for summer.
The below sixties inspired shoe was another personal favorite from the MICAM trade show.
The MICAM two day trade show was also about emerging designers as well as a glimpse into what retailers around the world will (hopefully!) sell for the latter half of 2018 and I have to give a massive thank you to Italian Trade Agency for allowing me to witness it all.
ps. You can see more from the MICAM trade show in my Weekend In Italy YouTube video.
To be perfectly honest I wasn’t a fan of the whole Galentine’s Day movement. It sounded like a random creation to dilute Feb 14th, but after the conversations that I had with powerful, successful women at the Ann Taylor Galentine’s dinner, I’m starting to change my mind.
Held at the Gramercy Park hotel, it was a panel discussion followed by a sit down dinner with some pretty inspiring women which I’ll admit have left me realizing even more how important and pioneering we all are – especially in this time. I wore Ann Taylor’s yellow ruffle sleeve blouse with skinny step hem jeans and with these leopard print mules (which honestly feel like slippers). The fact that we were complimenting each other’s clothes (and shoes of course!!) made us instantly bond. Typical women.
It’s February and it’s cold outside. Still, we’re all shopping around for what we will start weaving into our wardrobe for spring. What are the spring trends? They are a mixture of things including western boots, structured bucket bags, kitten heel mules and gold jewelry. Here is a snapshot of a few of them. Many in pink which happens to also be a trending colour for spring.
Staud Macrame and Leather bag – A beautiful twist on the usual tan brown
Topshop Rhinestone Cropped jacket – My jaw hit the ground when I saw this. Check out the back
I made the big mistake of trying on the updated sling back versions last week and ‘televising’ it on an Instagram live story which I pinned for 24 hours for maximum votes on which colour you liked (yes I needed a second opinion since the sa couldn’t decide since she loved both and so did I if I had to be honest but there’s no way that I’d get both, I don’t care if these shoes instantly cook you hot meals that make you instantly loose weight).
I have seen a couple of inspired by versions including this pink number by Mango although I’ve noticed that their mules always run small in the biggest size but if you have teeny feet then you’re in luck. I also saw an even closer version by Topshop. So close a version that I’ve actually ordered them to do a Spend versus Save YouTube video, comparing the size, fit and overall sharp intake of breath value when placed beside the Balencaiga knife mules.
I guess I just gave away that I have a pair of the Balenciaga knife mules coming this week. Can you guess which colour I went with? Watch this space for a video review on these shoes that nobody needs although that’s not really what fashion for shoe lovers is about though is it?
You usually associate stripes with go faster ath-leisure or pin stripe suit. This Topshop skirt nailed it for me in translating them into a wearable statement skirt. I say wearable because it’s bold lines teams well with loads of solid colors, especially black and white for all over monochrome.
I went with yellow because I like how a warm yellow pairs with the coolness of monochrome, they sort of off set each other?
You can see how I styled this striped maxi skirt two ways for now and for later on my YouTube video here!
ps Don’t get me started on the Loewe puzzle bag which seems to go with everything since buying, stripes included.
I hate the word ‘in’ – it’s a nod to being a trend bot which playing with fabrics isn’t. It’s just a mind or gut reflection of your mood but my God do I love the whole denim on denim ‘thing.’
With that said these two denim pieces could not be more me. The denim skirt is a vintage shop find (tell me you’ve seen my best vintage shops in New York video) and the denim sherpa jacket was a find from the men’s section (stand back in amazement) during the Black Friday sales. It’s still available and I’d recommend it anyone who wants a timeless throw on jacket that is anything but a trend. Comes in black and dark blue too. The denim skirt though…
ps. The Loewe puzzle bag is being copiously exercised in preparation for a full on puzzle bag review on my YouTube channel in a couple of weeks ish…
Now that I’m back from overseas (I’m still unpacking actually correction I hate unpacking so I’m starting to do it today while it’s pouring out), I thought I’d post some shots taken back in December right before the snow hit.
It was cold that day and I wore these over the knee Stuart Weitzman boots as a double layer over jeans. There was another layer under my polo neck and I had gloves on (not in photos). My blazer is men’s vintage, but I saw this gorgeous one from Mango and would’ve got it had I not got mine.
The only new addition is the camel Loewe puzzle bag which I promise to review on my YouTube channel in a few weeks. I had been after the one hole in my closet which was a camel leather bag. After months of silently looking around I couldn’t find a camel shade that got me more than this one did. Speaking of bags though, take a look at a somewhat controversial video I made about them, in particular the speed at which new bags are released. Let me know if you agree of disagree – I’ve linked to that video here.