Jane Winkworth

Blue Suede Shoes March 14th 2013

Back now in London from my winter sojourn in sunny California (two months of bliss with my adorable granddaughters) I am as usual wondering what to wear?

Lunch last week at the newly refurbished Colbert in Sloane Square with Clive and Alex Limpkin ( AA Gill and Rachel Johnson also lunching !) found me sporting my latest “faves” from my newest French Sole Collection – Cornflower Blue suede Heffner Smoking Slippers with toe caps adorned with silver, killer, Punk Spikes. These shoes are amazing. My treasured eight year old granddaughter Bee describes these shoes as “Smoking Hot!”

So with slight trepidation (as I am quite an old lady), I wore my JBrand 811 denim jeans, a little black Chanel jacket over a very old Agnes B black shirt and this year’s number one coat – a royal blue cashmere dream with sloping shoulders (a la Victoria Beckham) and blue fox fur cuffs and the new and incredible Blue Suede Shoes. Three minutes in at the Colbert and already the Maître D and the head waiter had both commented on the shoes.

Then a lady at the next table leaned over and asked me where had I bought the shoes – I was then recognised and had my photograph taken with a table of Peter Jones style ladies who all claimed to be my number one fans from way back in the day at Munster Road! As we all got up to leave, a delicious gentleman of a certain age – who I later found out was Joanna Lumley’s ex-husband Jeremy Lloyd, stopped me and said how much he loved my shoes !

It is very difficult as a shoe designer to keep ahead of fashion. I have to set trends and look to what we will all be wearing next year. I have always known instinctively what colours and trends will be popular within my own area of expertise, which of course is flat footwear. In 1989 when I first began my long career with French Sole, I predicted that ballet flats would become a fashion classic and look how right I was.
Ten years later I first introduced my famous velvet men’s Opera Slippers which I re-named Smoking Slippers and again I was proved absolutely correct.


Along the way I have seen trends of all styles within the shoe industry and most of them are not at all appropriate to French Sole or what I have become so famous for. I am constantly being asked about coming trends and so dear readers I will share with you my predictions for the next couple of years within the remit only of exquisite flat footwear…..I advise you all to look out for Moochers.

Moochers began life as a bespoke footwear brand in California , loved by the celebrities in Beverley Hills and Malibu and worn by absolutely everyone who is “On Trend” and in the know. Moochers are a super luxurious, ultra soft and very unusual high-end Sneaker style shoe with lovely sponge soft rubber soles which I first discovered while having lunch at the famous Malibu Beach Inn. The next day I was having brunch in the Polo Lounge at the Beverley Hills Hotel with two movie industry friends and there were at least three or four gorgeous women all wearing Moochers – I was captivated by them. Later that week my brother who lives in Calabasas reported seeing the two youngest Kardashian girls at a local restaurant wearing what he was convinced were Moochers!

I am not certain if the Kardashians are the perfect example of style or elegance, but they are definitely trend aware and since I have just taken delivery of my own first- ever pair of Moochers - which I have to say I am totally in love with – I feel like I am “one hot Grannie!”.London Sole in California, USA stock Moochers and their fabulous store is located at 1331, Montana Avenue, Santa Monica 90403 but I hear stocks have sold out, so like me – you may have to go onto a waiting list but trust me, it will be worth the wait .


Categories: Fashion, My Week

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Charities Jane supports:

The Royal ballet school English National Ballet Starlight ACCA The Royal Marsden Havens Hospice