Deals on Heels

July 20th, 2012

When you’re a woman who loves to be fabulous and has a keen desire to make the most of your legs, there is really only one thing for it. Well, two actually. A pair of high heels! On nights out or special occasions, heels (for the most part) help you achieve more. And no matter what any non-heel wearing woman (pregnant lasses and the over 60’s excluded) says to justify her reasons for no longer wearing them or, even worse, having never worn them at all (yikes!), heels really do make your legs look better, and, if you’ve mastered how to strut in them, they make the rest of you look better too! I understand that this is a somewhat anti-feminist statement, and believe you me, I am all about power to the ladies, but before some of you shout in despair at me suggesting you must wear heels to look/feel good, understand this; it is not an accident that this £193 BILLION worldwide industry leaves us surrounded by literal works of art, from the likes of Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Hervé Leger, and (my current favourite high street collaboration) Carvela and Kurt Geiger, to name but a few. To tempt us even further, all of these artists have accompanied their works of art with deliciously creative names, such as the Louboutin ‘Lady Gres Platform Pump’ (how can you put platform and pump in the same name? Ask Christian!), Manolo’s blue satin ‘Hangis’ (made famous by SJP in the SATC movie), the beautiful, relatively comfortable foot companion which is the Hervé Leger Wedge (no name required) and Carvela and Kurt Geiger’s fabulous new in-store release…‘Greed’. So it’s hard for a girl not to fall in love with these creations, over, and over, and over again, whilst succumbing to the evils of The Heel!

Now, as with most things you fall in love with, there’s a certain element of pain involved. High heeled works of art being no exception! They hurt. They hurt like HELL. They hurt so much that I almost begrudge bigging them up! Non-wearing heeled folk can only imagine what these beautiful bookends actually do to us heeled lovers. And it’s even worse if you’re at the stage in life that some of my best pals and I are at, whereby we only wear our heels on special occasions, such as holidays, work commitments or the odd (blagged of course) red carpet outing, meaning your tootsies get used to not wearing them. Which is bad! Speaking of occasions, said friends and I have recently attended a few such jaunts, including the BAFTA’s, the Brits, the Cannes Film Festival (4 days and 4 nights of heeled hell I might add) and our oldest friend’s Hen Weekend in Marbella…a place where heels are considered the absolute norm, even in the 35 degree heat and by the swimming pool (mental, isn’t it?!).
What with the crippled knee and ankle joints, the shin splints, the lower back pain, the swollen feet and the rock hard callus balls that build on the soles after every heeled outing, some of you may be thinking WHY would you do it? Well the answer is based on requirements, as in, how can this height, width and trickery make me feel better AND further more, what will it help me achieve on this occasion – this of course varies for each individual, from making your outfit look better at a wedding, making your legs look thinner in a club or, my particular choice, making you feel more stronger from within.

So, what do heels and deals have in common? Well, heels are the key component to not only elongating your pins, but they also allow you to walk with sex appeal, power and confidence. When you’re a poor, self employed girl who loves (aka needs) a good old blag (or for the purposes of this piece, a ‘deal’) so you don’t have to fork out on club entry and alcohol you actually can’t afford, then a touch of sex appeal, a splash of power and a whole bucket full of confidence are the three main ingredients required when helping a deal come to fruition, as without them, you are merely just a ‘small person’ (I mean that figuratively of course). There’s a saying that goes something like Champagne lifestyle, lemonade budget. And although I adore the true shoe artists and their wonderful creations, as my good friend B says, in our case, it’s more Louboutin lifestyle, New Look budget! Hence the fact that she tottered along to Marbs with a pair of the most exquisite, outlandish, ridiculous but truly divine Made in China babies that were constantly being mistaken for Alexander McQueen runway shoes (but were in fact just $36 from a warehouse in Canada!) because she understands the power of a heel when it comes to a) feeling fabulous and b) blagging! Not only did she resemble (a more stunning) Gisele Bündchen, I dare say those Japanese inspired ‘somethang somethaaangs’ did indeed contribute to all 10 of us getting into a famously hard-to-get-into venue, for free, with £300 bottles of voddy thrown in! That, and the countless hours spent pre-Marbs emailing, texting and basically bullshitting our way into necessary freeness at every corner. Necessary because B’s an actress so, like me, she’s pretty skint at times, meaning any pre blagging is well worth the hardship if it saves us a few vital pennies (that can then of course go on new shoes…hmmmm, maybe this is my problem?!). But also like me, she won’t let a little thing like having no money get in the way of having a truly fabulous time!

Some of this may sound superficial and materialistic but actually, my friends and I are really deep and spiritual, and most of us are very much into House music, which if you didn’t know, is a really deep and spiritual scene. The main focus of House is the feeling you get from it, the fact that you’re sharing something special with everyone else that loves it and of course the party itself! It’s not about flashing your money or showing off expensive things or about getting so sloshed that you forget the floor is sticky whilst you ‘let loose’ to Rihanna’s Umbrella ella ella in places like Cannes and Marbella. So when we ‘needed’ (I say that loosely!) to go to Cannes for the Festival for work or when we ‘had’ to choose Marbella for our oldest friends Hen Do, we knew that although both destinations would be full of wonder and merriment, in terms of our musical ‘let loose’ taste, we were going to be sacrificing what really matters to us. We knew that sexy, well-produced House music would be replaced by cheesy, French pop and Hip Hop that would have us hip hopping all over the Costa Del Crime! So, for our sacrifice, one of our stipulations (as it were) is that we will not be paying for losing our tunage and having to walk around in fabulous heels all night. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll pay for flights, nice restaurants, new bikinis and transport obviously! But why should we pay for entry (or Belvedere Vodka!) when both our shoes and ourselves are usually the main event? And given the link between the deal and the heel, it’s probably no coincidence that whilst flying down a Marbella motorway at 120 miles per hour in an open top belter of a car, driven by a crazy Arab whilst he was STANDING UP (no lie!), there are not just pictures and videos of my 3 oldest friends and I laughing, screaming and singing (to Hip Hop funnily enough) but also….pictures of our shoes in the air!!!

And if De Niro, Diaz and Harvey Weinstein are entitled to free drinks and canapés at the Hotel du Cap on the French Riviera, why aren’t we?!? I mean, on the outside, we’re walking along the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival surrounded by paparazzi and A-Listers (whilst fitting in thanks to our fabulous heels). But on the inside, does it really matter that if you looked a little closer, you’d see that 2 out of the 4 of us had genuine Accreditation Passes, whilst the other 2 stupidly left it too late to apply and ended up having complete fakes that we had to forge with sticky back plastic and blank credit cards in our hotel room using the printer and scanner we brought over from London on Easyjet?!

This in case you haven’t noticed is how I justify my ghastly blagging nature; I do it because I can’t always afford what I want or indeed need. But if truth be known, my Dad was a blagger, and his Dad before him, and the fact that I get a true buzz out of it suggests I was born this way (therefore my reasoning is that it’s not entirely my fault, right?). And a great analogy for the benefits of blagging a good deal (which also happens in business, politics, charity events etc) is this; just like a fancy dress party always sounds hideous from the outset but in most cases getting dressed up and having to think about the party beforehand actually gets the invited excited, allowing for a truly fun party, so does blagging a great deal! Knowing you’ve sorted it for everyone, knowing there’s no waiting in line for the girls (a MUST in the heels), knowing you’ll have a seat to perch on when said heels rebel, and most importantly, knowing that you won’t be feeling sick (excluding all the Jager Bombs you downed) when you look at your bank account the next morning to NOT find a ridiculously over priced drinks bill that could fill your fridge for a month, means that you’re actually free to have a really, really, great night, no matter how expensive the venue is!

And that’s the crux of it for me and B, and my oldest friends too. To coin a phrase from the original party girl Ms Lauper, we really do just wanna have fun! We don’t actually care about the free booze and we know our heels are as much our enemy as our friend, but for us, it’s about feeling great, throwing some shapes and most importantly, being together with the people that allow us to be ourselves. And that’s why we go through it all! Do heels really lead to great deals? Of course they do! But getting out of them to dance in a swimming pool under the moonlight with your best friends at 4am in a place you’ve never seen before is actually far more important!

So to B and the Cannes 3, thanks for such a fab and fruitful visit to the 65th Festival de Cannes. I hope you enjoyed it as much as my shoes and I did! And to my oldest friend K, I hope you had a truly amazing, fun, happy and utterly fabulous Hen Weekend, as nothing less would be suitable for you!

And now that I’m back on London soil with Cannes and Marbs been and gone, I’m thinking what to do next? Well it’s on to another blag of course! Ibiza 2012 anyone? Hmmmmmm….where’s my black cat suite and matching wedges???

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