Last month I went to see Shoes (a song and dance revue that celebrates my favorite sartorial obsession) at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London. During the interval, I ventured behind the rope into a sea of Louboutins, Choos and Blahniks for a glass of bubbly. My curious eyes spent the break perusing the floor – from my own, brand new mou chelseas, to seven-inch nude platforms and studded, spiked heels. It was then that I spotted one of the more rarer species – two pairs of Tracey Neuls masterpieces.
I’d ‘discovered’ these shoes one Saturday afternoon while walking up Marylebone lane. It’s a small shop, but it packs a punch. Each season, an artist exhibits an installation – on my first visit Danish artist Nina Saunders had made a chair whose upholstery had melted onto the floor (it’s hard to explain, click here to see what I mean).
It’s the shoes, however, that drew me in. Neuls’ creations are utterly original and therefore instantly recognisable. She plays with colour and texture, but it’s her cute heels and elfish toes that fill me full of whimsy – rainbows, fairies, windmills and talking rabbits come to mind.
So, when I spotted these two pairs through the forest of designer riff-raff, gravity pushed me forward. ‘Are those Tracey Neuls?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ came the reply. ‘And so am I.’ There I was, face to face with the designer herself. I congratulated her and told how much I loved her shoes and made a hasty exit.
I’d been meaning to go back to the shop ever since, but didn’t have a chance until last week when I went in to behold the new installation (this time by set designer Nicola Yeoman) and to check out the new collection. My favorites? See below.
To find out more about Tracey Neuls, visit her website, or if you’re in London, stop by her shop.
29 Marylebone Lane
London W1U 2NQ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7935 0039