TSM Shopping Review: Butterfly Twists – Folding Ballerina Flats

My hands are itching. The biannual sale season is almost upon us here in Europe. Yes, if there’s one thing no-one can deny it is the fact that sales are HUGE here and they are Awwwesome! (crazy shoppers, not so much). I wasn’t sure when the sales would start this “Summer” but after nosing around (chatting to sale assistants) it appears the preview sales start this weekend with the official start in a few weeks’ time. I’ve been itching to shop for a few months now but am holding back for the bargains. The beauty of shopping for clients is that you feel that temporary rush without having to feel guilty! I’m creating a focused list of sensible items to target when the time arrives so let the games begin! (I’m still convinced shopping is a sport).

Ever since I made the mistake of wearing heels on my birthday followed by a full day of shopping around London (birthday post here), I’ve been on the lookout for fold-up flats to throw in my handbag. If you live in Europe, unless you’re wearing a stacked heel or you’re superwoman, it is extremely difficult, to walk around efficiently in heels. There’s no boyfriend’s car to totter over to but instead, you’re greeted with steps upon steps leading to out of operation escalators to the train platforms and cobblestones oh cobblestones. So unless totally inebriated after a night out, my feet are always furious at me for putting them through a fashion instigated ordeal.

I finally stumbled upon the perfect pair of fold up ballerina flats while shopping for a client last weekend and wanted to share them with you all. Not sure if I’m the only one out there who can’t manage to walk around in heels in London but in the event that I’m not alone, there are these absolute God-sends by the name of Butterfly Twists that come in a surprisingly stylish range of colours and patterns.

Folding Ballerina flats butterfy TwistsButterfly Twist BallerinasOliva Palmero leopard flats Butterfly twists folding flats

The retail price varies depending on the design but I managed to pick mine up for £20 in the OFFICE concession store in Selfridges.

They’re designed in the UK but manufactured in China and I’m not too fussed about that because they are really just a back up for when my feet need relief from heels. I’ve worn them for a couple of hours (tested them out at dinner) which included walking to the tube and restaurant and my feet felt quite supported. Although I went half a size up for extra comfort, because my left foot is slightly larger than my right, the elastic band of heeled part of the shoe dug into my heel which irritated me a little towards the end of the night. I should have gone up a full size up in hindsight. Otherwise, I’d recommend them for your wallet/purse as they are really quite comfortable and compact.

Fold up flats Butterfly twists for your handbag

I’ve got the Cleo Ballerinas on here – snap taken while waiting for the tube to come.

 are available in and other outlets within the UK but also deliver . You can always check your local pharmacy/drugstore for similar alternatives.

Hope this post was helpful! I must admit, the fact that Oliva Palmero wears them may or may not have influenced me to purchase them. Damn those celebrity enablers!

TSM Review: Newly launched ‘& other Stories’ boutique in London

& other stories is basically the middle sister store of H&M and COS; three years in the making and much anticipated hype to live up to around the collection that debuted on Regent Street, London last weekend. I wasn’t brave enough to visit on opening weekend; I didn’t want claustrophobia to taint my first experience of the 1200 sq feet boutique which would no doubt have been full overly ‘focused’ fashionistas and media a rife so I managed to pop in this weekend to check it out.

And-Other-Stories London

& other stories HM

And-Other-Stories-store-london regent street

My initial verdict? I am a fan and my wallet has an unhappy feeling that I’m going to be a big fan. I’d personally describe & other stories as the adoptive child of design led COS (ok so it’s getting incestuous) – due to the clean lines and minimalist shapes and Topshop Boutique - driven by the edgier fashion forward shoes, accessories, patterns and feminine prints. Now I say ‘adoptive’ child because the concept of & other stories is meant to be like no other: It is not inspired by the latest catwalk inspired trends but rather influenced by the notion of personal style of everyday individuals (like us), bloggers and women who create their spontaneous ‘thrown together’ individual looks through multiple avenues (thrift stores, online shops, eBay, vintage stores etc). For three years, 70 designers were split between Stockholm and Paris (including designers from ACNE) to create ‘stories’ for the collections and the influence is highly visible in store by both the indoor merchandising and clothing designs.

and-other-stories

What I loved about the concept of the store was that there seemed to be a subliminal stylist following you around everywhere. The pictures of coordinated outfits were surrounded by a series of subtly suggestive edits which encouraged you to compile a thrown together look, very much popularised by bloggers and street style you see today.

Styling is about expressing personality from head to toe so I love that the wide rimmed racks (spacious finger spacing) and suggestive accessories help customers to experience mixing and matching pieces with make up to create a look of their own.

& other stories 2013 london

& other stories London & other stories Regent street

& other stories 2013These are the items I picked up in store and tried on. I suspect due to the mad Saturday rush and the fact that it was only the second weekend since opening, there weren’t any small sizes available to try on so I left empty handed. The size ranges from 34-44 (UK6-UK16 equivalent) and the pricing is fairly reasonable but on the pricier side compared to what we high street shoppers are used to.

& other Stories London changing room

Pictures from there current collection& other stories London Regent street Summer Spring

& other stories London Regent street 2

& other stories London Regent street ss2013

other stories London

I personally loved the shoe and accessories in store more than clothes but that’s just me in general. It’s difficult to tell how comfortable the leather of the shoes are but I definitely like the metallic cut out sandals and heeled brogues. I can see the heels being a hit in London as well with the younger crowd however the prices are definitely premium compared to younger sister H&M.

Best buys &Other Stories

& other stories leather ballerinas

& other stories shoes

& other stories gold heel pumps

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where one of these stores will open, I’d highly recommend you visit for a browse (There are stores opening in Paris and Copenhagen). The stores have a cool Scandavian feel to them and there’s an eclectic mix of vintage tones, clean silhouettes and retro styles that will strike a cord with everyone and especially if you, like me, love blogger fashion! Check out their and find yourself browsing for hours just like I did in the actual store on weekend.

Thanks for reading – Have a great week!

Tien xo

TSM Top 5 Picks: In Concert – Zimmermann RTW Collection (Autumn Winter 2013)

It happens every year … Take today for example: I threw on my gloves, beanie and a heavy duty coat en route to Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London and somehow found myself trying on Summer dresses (suitable only if it were at least 20 degrees warmer), bright neon sleeveless numbers (love, btw!) and floral short shorts. It was hard not to get swept up in the new season’s promise of sun and warmth but let’s not kid ourselves here people, we are still in the middle of Winter!! But you know what, secretly, I’m kind of bored of staring at the same old sales racks now. I can only withstand about three weeks worth of sales before I impatiently start drifting towards the quieter, neater and untouched by bargain hunters ‘new seasons’ section and my eyes now greedily await new season stock both in Europe and back home in Australia.

Zimmerann are one of my favourite Australian brands which I associate with home, Summer, beach and relaxed Summer holidays. Their prints and fabrics are always unique and their swimmwear collections are second to none. The new Autumn Winter range for 2013 is much more relateable to me as I can actually imagine wearing these here in the colder London weather or as it gradually warms up over the next couple of months. Zimmerann clothing leans towards the higher end (in terms of pricing) but their designs are uniquely Australian and their worldwide appeal and sold out collections attest to their popularity. Here are my favourite looks so far from their 2013 AW In Concert collection Lookbook …

The Rising Floral Panel Dress

Independent Knot Dress

Independent Knot dress in Citrine

Rising Gold Lace Dress

Silk Ray Dress

Aside from the Rising Floral and Sun dress, I love the fact that these dresses are transeasonal and can be layered with tights and long/ankle boots for Winter. I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of the new collection on but would love to hear your thoughts on the make, fit and reviews of any of their new pieces and which one your favourites are.

Zimmermann stores are spread throughout and is also  and ships internationally to certain .