Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Cinderella Moment

Could the glass slipper have been flat?

As any well-seasoned high-heel enthusiast will know, there comes a time when a girl needs to step down from her perch and set her feet on solid ground to take a breather. It does wonders for the soul, not to mention gives you a break from all that fabulousness. But just as veg’ing out on the couch does not necessarily mean you have to wear grease-stained sweats and Crocs (eww!), the more discerning of fashionista’s need not come down to earth in anything less than utterly gorgeous foot attire.

Up until now, my usual uniform of trusty south-of-the-ankles non-heel wear has been a combination of sandals and ballet flats. But by chance, something far more fabulous came to me in the form of Coast and Koi, much like fate leading the princess to the ball where her sole-mate awaits.

And my fairy-god-mother? The elegant and stylish Caryn Wilensky.

When I met Caryn, she whisked me off to her chandelier-lit treasure trove of a showroom with roof-to-floor, wall-to-wall racks of hand-stitched shoes. I tried on everything in my size. And I mean everything. I couldn’t not – each one was more alluring than the last!

Once on your feet, the look and feel of these gems are a testament to Caryn’s background in the fashion, and footwear, industries. Starting out as a buyer for Holtrenfrew overseas where her days revolved around top international fashion brands, her eye for design is evident in every pair of proudly South African shoes she now showcases. But the perfect fit and comfort comes from her time as the CEO of a ballet-shoe factory. Once she saw the need for well-designed flat foot wear in South Africa, her mission was clear, and Coast and Koi was born.

Each shoe is hand made locally and stitched together with the utmost care. They are unique, all designs being a once off and only in a few sizes, and there is something for everyone. They range from pointy to stripy, Mary-Jane to moccasin, sling-back to slip on, Henry the 8th to the girl next door. From the sensible ballet pumps to the knee-high leopard print boots, to the cute cat-faced slippers, this range kept me occupied, entertained and trying on for ages.

I have never been so excited by flat-soled shoes before! Caryn invited me to the Cape Town Design Indaba where all her best was on display. One pair could only be described as ‘The Dorothy’, bringing visions of the Wizard of Oz skipping to the fore of my mind. Just down that yellow brick road, a pair of capped ankle booties that would go beautifully with a little floral-print dress revealed themselves. It was hard not to get distracted by the baroque inspired lace-ups or the baby-pink boots with satin bows, but my heart settled on the ones that, for me, were the belle of the ball: a pair of coral slipper-style beauties, as unique as they are comfortable.

As much as I am trying not to over-indulge in my materialistic nature right now, I am pretty sure a pair or two of Coast and Koi’s will find their way into my wardrobe over the next few months. After all, why wear plain black synthetic flats for a night out dancing when you could wear classically styled, genuine leather two-toned delights inspired by Coco Chanel? Am I right? Right.

Love, lust and fairy-star-dust
Cherry Blossom

(go check it out at www.coastandkoi.com)

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