Build Your Own Havaianas at Selfridges Manchester Trafford

On a few of my most recent trips to the famed Selfridges Manchester Trafford Centre I have spotted something rather exciting. Flipflops being made for people. Havaiana Flipflops to be precise (the Louboutin of the Flipflop world to those not in the toe-bar community)
I had to check it out.

Havaianas are a Brazilian brand of summer footwear and are the most comfortable Flipflops you’ll ever buy. Seriously. I purchased some from OiPolloi before my break away to Gran Canaria and I barely wore anything else the entire holiday. They’re comfortable, durable and go with anything (in the right colours) I even wore them out at night (for shame) and they looked the part because, if you’re going to dance in flipflops, they should at least be Havaianas!

So. I have some white OiPolloi Havaianas but Adam (the BF) doesn’t, thought I’d treat him and be all nice.

Upon arrival you’re teleported from the sleek shiny Selfridges ground floor to the insane world of multi-coloured foam footwear.

I loved the merchandising, it really played up the idea that we were mixing and matching our own creations, it also, oddly, made me hungry. The idea of customising your own footwear has got this corner of the department store a lot of attention, during hard times people want more for their money. So if retailers can go that extra mile (by not putting the shoes together in the first instance) they seem to be on for a winner!

Upon being introduced to Vanessa we began the Three Step customisation process…

We selected our desired sole (top or slim, slim being a more delicate cut), our desired strap and any glitzy additions, like these crystals below. (which we avoided, this time)
The lovely Havaiana Ladies then set to work putting our selections together. Adam opted for Avocado Green Top Sole and White Straps. 

There was a cool/lethal looking machine that punched the straps through the sole and, un, deux trois, we were done.

 As you can see by Vanessa’s co-worker’s hair, the work can get demanding….

Simply the best in flipflops. 
Exclusive to Manchester Trafford Centre Selfridges for the next few week of Summer, from £20.00.


Holiday Snaps

Allow me to take a break from fashion and show you some snaps. I recently went on Holiday with some very special people, it was a week of mayhem with lots to be remembered.
A boat cruise around the southern tip of Gran Canaria. That’s me and Adam!

Underwater photos are a must.
The Sand Dunes,

Tee, Vintage logo Tee from Brighton’s South Laines (i cut the arms off). £3.00

Fairytale of New York, Part IV

WARNING, those of you that do not appreciate Sex And the City discontinue reading (and buy the boxed set immediately!)
Sex and the City - The Complete Series (Collector's Giftset)
Those of you that do, will appreciate that an NYC trip wouldn’t have been complete without Mother and I (what-a-gay) dragging Adam on a SATC Tour Bus for three and a half hours of fucking hilarious SATC times.
We were picked up outside The Plaza (a must for my next trip methinks) on Fifth, the scene of the:
Carrie: Your girl is very lovely, Hubbell
Big: I don’t understand,
Carrie: You never did…
What a killer! We were then whisked off in a superbly comfortable coach (with a loo, you don’t see that these days in the UK) and two screens for SATC clips galore.
The tour took us right through the city to highlight some of the major scenes and destinations that were featured in the HBO series and in the two movies. 
The first stop took us to The Pleasure Chest XXX Shop where Charlotte purchased her bunny (Ahem), we also stopped at Budhakan, the scene of the (first) rehearsal dinner in the first movie (yes it is as gorgeous as on the screen). We then paid a visit to the park in The Village where Miranda smacked her face off the floor in front of Steve’s new girlfriend (who works at MasterCard) Debbie. Oh yes. 
 Us, unaware that Adam intended to take a pissing photo…
Us, slightly more aware…
We were treated to cupcakes here and got to shop in FRESH, home of products actually slapped onto SJP’s face and featured in the show. I got a lipbalm and Mother bought out their soap stock. Loads of other locations were spotted INCLUDING ‘Pastis’ where Samantha chucked a Dirty Martini in Richard’s face and said:
Dirty Martini? Dirty Bastard.
HAHAHA! It was here that we saw Russell Brand, randomly…
Lastly we indulged in Cosmopolitans at Aiden and Steve’s bar, Scout (actually called O’Neill’s). 
I recommend it to EVERYONE. Even Adam had a laugh and he was included in our reference to the show because our lovely guide (Staci) showed us clips on board the coach. So there is no excuse.
Book here.


Fairytale of New York, Part III

Sunday brought with it some Supersized-Jumbo-Full-Fat BARGAINS! We hopped on our bus and headed down down to The Financial District and the Mecca of discount designer shopping in Manhattan, Century 21 Department Store.
Whilst waiting for the store to open and recovering after some girl from Queen’s mistook me for Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter, we stumble. The scar in the ground was huge and it was hard to believe the magnitude of the 110 story buildings that once towered over the surrounding buildings. We felt humbled..

…then the doors opened and sentimentality was paused whilst we surged through the crowds inside the huge store.

I managed to get two beautiful shirts, slim fit, one electric blue by Pierre Cardin and a steal at $17.99. The other, in a steel grey by Calvin Klein at $20.00.

Next we came across winter accessories and I found a bright indigo Ralph Lauren lambswool scarf for just $15.00 and a thick black and grey stripy one from Calvin Klein for $9.99, I also nabbed some black leather Calvin Klein gloves for $12.99. I know. Amazing.

Throw in some CK Pj bottoms and a CK leather wallet that Santa is wrapping up for me from Mother and I think you’ll agree that I had a pretty successful trip. The theme seems to have revolved around American Designers and this is probably me being a tight shopper and going for those items that are cheaper (as they’re US Designers..) But I’d like to think it was because I wanted to make my items American and therefore souvenirs.

Mother got a gorgeous rabbit hair bobble scarf in a deep red colour and a matching glitsy top plus a few other bits and Adam got a heap including a lush puce Calvin Klein shirt that I might steal if he isn’t careful.

 …and on the right is the Statue of Liberty and on the left is a VERY pale Adam!

If you’re planning on a trip to NYC for shopping purposes make sure you pass by 22 Cortlandt Street (btw Church St and Broadway) in the Financial District for some TKMaximum bargains. (Did I just say that?)

That night saw us sat in premium seats for NYC Christmas Tradition, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring The Rockettes! The show was absolutely unbelievable, as you can imagine. One thing that I loved was the blaitent logo whoring. Happy Holiday shoppers carried macy’s bags (chief sponsors) and Capital Bank was written in the music hall’s Xmas decs! 
Anyway, I can’t express how well the performance was done in words and so I’ll leave you with this incredibly cheesy advert.


A Fairytale of New York, Part II

We were up before the Hot-dog stands on the Saturday and ready to tackle NYC.

We never went into the Subway system, except to ask a nice lady with a huge Afro to change a $5 note and to stare at the turnstiles and gasp: “Oh, so this is a Subway”, what tourists! Anywho, we preferred to see the sites of old NY whilst traveling so used a combination of open-top-ultra-touristy-bus and the classic Yellow Cab.

Planning on an NYC excursion? Get a bus ticket! They’re hop-on-hop-off (imagine that phrase in a Queen’s accent, lush) and you get to see EVERYTHING, plus there is a running commentary from the ace Tour Guides. We trundled on down through Time Square to The Garment District. You know the place, where Fashion Ave. is? The Garment District is called thus because it used to manufacture clothing, now it is home to the designer show-rooms and advertising agencies.

We visited The Empire State and met Kevin Bacon who took us on a helicopter ride around New York. I’m serious. It’s called New York Sky Ride, a simulator on the 2nd floor of the Empire State that takes you around the city via air. After regaining balance and supressing the urge to vomit we made our way to Macy’s Herald Square flagship. The only place to be at Christmas.

My preconception of Macy’s was based on Cole’s Department Store in Miracle on 34th Street. I was not disappointed. The store was magnificent and the staff, as usual, were exceptional. I bought a winter woolly jumper from their Menswear Store and we had a Starbucks (one of many) on the mezanine staring at the insanity of the consumer-hype. I was a happy pea.

No this gent isn’t me, and that jumper isn’t mine either. But, he is a Macy’s models and that jumper is a Nautica jumper similar to mine. Pictures tomorrow will confirm this. 
20% off at £39.99 + 10% because we were British! 

After a bit more shopping in the chains around the store we headed uptown on Fifth Avenue for New York Public Library. I know, the literary in me came out here. After passing various fashion shoots on the infamous steps we went inside and were, naturally, searched by security. The library was beautiful. I’ll stop there because you’re probably yawning. For those of you that appreciate Sex & The City, however, these are the steps that Carrie ran down in film 1.

The rest of the day took us to Grand Central Station (immense) where I resisted the urge (rather successfully) to not scream “Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station, Tonight I’m not taking no calls ‘cos I’ll be dancing!”

Later that night we hit a gorgeous little Italian near Central Park and after a bit too much Pinot hopped aboard a Horse and Cart for an evening trott with Junior the horse and the driver (whose name escapes me).


A Fairytale of New York, Part I

I’m back, from the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. It was rather fantastic.

Everything I had imagined New York to be was true, but better in the flesh. The streets really do steam, the city really does never sleep, it really is a city so great, they named it twice! New Yorkers are so lovely too, they’re widely considered the rudest Americans, but that compares nothing to how awful Londoners are! (not offense, you know it’s true!) New York is a small city and is easily navigated, it reminds me of Manchester, a slightly bigger, and strangely not a necessarily busier, Manchester. I felt right at home.

We stayed just off Time Square on West 47th Street and Broadway, pretty much as central as you can get. Upon arriving we dumped our bags with the bag-check and headed for Time Square. It was just ridiculous. A theme park. Did you know, it is a legal requirement to have your building covered in advertising in the Time Square area? I know, right! We headed for the Disney Store (obviously) and were blown away by the lovely American people telling us to have a Magical Day. By the last day Mother was saying it to everyone…

That evening saw us meander the Time Square area and have dinner in the thick of it. We were exhausted and couldn’t wait to start our next day. I’ll let you in on what I bought and where I bought it over the next couple of posts. But for now, look at our faces sat having coffee right slap bang in the middle of the centre of the universe….