Beautiful shoes can make a woman feel great, at least mentally, physically shoes can really hurt. Shoe designer Claire Burrows decided to create stylish contemporary shoes for women to wear all day long with impunity and so she launched her own brand Air and Grace. Each pair of the brand’s shoes feature soles made of cleverly hidden layers of memory foam which makes the shoes comfortable and wearable. This unique system also ensures that Air and Grace can focus on the aesthetics of their shoes without compromising on comfort. These shoes are miles away from the ugly, comfortable footwear often presented as an alternative to more mainstream designs. In short Air and Grace’s creations have all the style and desirability of fashionable footwear but come without the same aches and pains.

This season Air and Grace’s collection is made up of functional but stylish shoes ideal for a cold busy winter. On trend styles such as loafers and ankle boots ensure that these are shoes that would easily compliment a contemporary wardrobe. There is not a high heel or stiletto in sight making this a collection for running errands rather than attending parties. These are shoes created for those with busy lifestyles; women who have to run for the bus rather than those who spend the day in taxis. Yet for all their practicality Air and Grace’s shoes are also very attractive with the brand sticking to classic, fuss free but up to date designs. Classic shapes and styles give the shoes durability whilst trendy flourishes such as chunky buckles, leopard print and metallic finishes give the shoes an edgy contemporary feel.

Many women like to fantasise about their dream pair of heels but in the real world we all need shoes that can put up with rigours of daily life and do so in style. Air and Grace provide just such footwear; their pieces may not but glamorous but they are, nevertheless, very appealing.

-Hannah Balsdon

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Heels vs Flats; where do you stand? Heels are undoubtedly the more glamorous shoe option but flats are comfortable, practical and can be just as stylish as a pair of stilettos. From slippers to brogues flats are definitely ‘in’ at the moment but can the humble flat imbue a party outfit with the same appeal as a pair of high heels? London born brand Cocorose certainly think so; their luxurious, innovative, ballet pump inspired flats are the perfect combination of form and function making them ideal for the festive season. Cocorose’s signature pumps can be folded and easily stored away in handbags or draws until they are needed. This novel design gives the wearer the freedom to wear their comfy flats wherever and whenever they like. Cocorose’s shoes are stylish enough to fit any dressy outfit and yet their unique design gives them far more practicality than a regular party shoe.

This season Cocorose have used metallic finishes, embellishment and brogue-like detailing to create a collection that is both on trend and ideal for parties and nights out. The brand’s pumps and slippers manage to combine luxury and practicality with is something that few shoes do; these are shoes that look designer but yet are also fit for everyday wear.  In essence Cocorose’s flats are the perfect emergency shoes; these are pumps one can hid away for special occasions or sudden style dilemmas. Received a surprise party invitation? Broken a heel minutes before going out? Then Cocorose’s designs could be your style saviour.

Flats are functional enough as it is but Cocorose’s foldable designs add an extra layer of practicality making them the shoe of choice for busy but style conscious shoe lover. Cocorose’s shoes are certainly attractive enough to wear to a party but they are also sensible enough to wear again and again.

-Hannah Balsdon

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New, London based brand Llunaa is committed to creating good quality contemporary womenswear. Their feminine and fashionable designs are wearable and elegant but also vibrant and modern; these are clothes that allow women to express their own personality and taste. Llunaa pieces are more sophisticated that what you generally find on the high street yet they also come with a refreshingly affordable price tag. This is fashion that could fit quite easily into a stylish, contemporary wardrobe and stay there for quite a while. This is not clothing that will go out of fashion in a couple of months but that will stay current for seasons to come. In essence Llunaa’s is a brand that tries its very best to provide women with clothing that meets all their needs and fulfils all their desires.

Llunaa’s current collection features chic knitwear and ultra feminine day and eveningwear. The label’s aesthetic is distinctly modern with peplum tops, embellishment and scallop edges all making an appearance. Llunaa’s pieces also have a youthful, almost naive, feel in places; elegant the brand’s designs may be but they also have a sweetness and vitality all of their own.  All of this gives label’s clothes a versatility that makes them ideal for modern life; a Llunaa sweater could dress up a pair of jeans or winter proof a girly skirt. Of course the label’s pretty, feminine style also makes their clothes a perfect fit for the party season. Whether you are after a casual ensemble or a more glamorous outfit Llunaa will get you through the stressful festive period in style.

Llunaa is certainly one brand that puts customer first; all their pieces are designed with the youthful but discerning modern woman in mind. In short if you have been searching for clothing that is of good quality, fashionable and affordable then Llunaa is the brand for you.

Hannah Balsdon

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There is something unmistakably seductive about beautiful, luxury stationery; you simply cannot beat the look or feel of a classic leather bound journal or notebook. In a world of touch screens and monitors old fashioned stationery is beginning to become rarer and rarer. Fortunately luxury stationery brand Sloane Stationery uses age old book binding techniques to produce high quality notebooks and diaries. Founded by Nathalie Vaandrager with the aim of bringing the traditional craft of book binding into the 21st century Sloane Stationery manufacture all their pieces right here in the UK. This is a company committed, not only to creating elegant and stylish stationary but also to preserving time-honoured skills and techniques.

Luxury stationary can often seem a bit serious and austere but Sloane’s products are unique in that they actually posses a both a sense of humour and an individuality all of their own. Slogans such as “Masterful Inactivity” and “Man Walks Into A Bar” adorn their notebooks whilst astrological signs give some of their 2015 diaries a quirky look.  This is classic stationery with a twist; a Sloane Stationery notebook is designed not only to be written in but also to make you smile. That said this is certainly not novelty stationery; the brand’s use of traditional finishes and restrained typography gives their pieces a stylish and iconic air. These are notebooks and diaries with a touch of whimsy rather than disposable joke stationery.

With Christmas now just weeks away Sloane Stationery’s witty but refined products would make excellent presents. This is stationery that would not look out of place on even the most professional desk and yet is also designed to make its owner smile. High end stationery can often add a touch of luxury to an office but Sloane Stationery’s creations add a little fun as well.

Hannah Balsdon

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Based in the South West of England family owned brand Lily and Me combine beautiful textile design with considered detailing to create unique, stylish clothing. The brand’s dresses are delightfully feminine but also wearable and even functional; these are clothes that would fit into many a contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s designs strike a perfect balance between the quirky and the accessible making them easy to wear but also unique. This is clothing with heart and a distinctly laid back, British feel with Lily and Me’s dresses looking as stylish in the countryside as they do in city.

Lily and Me’s pieces may be feminine and even pretty in places but they are also refreshingly fuss-free. These are dresses and tunics designed to be worn on a daily basis; this is clothing that can be thrown on over jeans or leggings or layered up under cosy knits. The brand uses clever design and inventive nips, tucks and stitching to create flattering silhouettes that really celebrate the female form without being too showy or immodest. This season the label uses features such as draping and cowl necks to give their pieces a pretty but flattering feel.  The result is dresses and tunics that look completely different to what you generally see on the high street and yet that would make a great addition to any contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s relaxed aesthetic is further enhanced by their use of unique prints and a calming colour palette; these are clothes that, paradoxically, manage to be interesting and unassuming at the same time.

Unfussy but interesting, wearable but quirky Lily and Me’s designs are ideal for the woman in search of something different but accessible. This is a brand with a unique style but also an understanding of the female form. In essence these are cute, stylish clothes that would suit women of all shapes and sizes.

Hannah Balsdon

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