My friend said, ‘I found it lying in the snow outside theatre, I slipped it over my shoe and suddenly felt as if I could run for a bus!’ It was a couple of Sunday’s ago. London had been covered in a few centimetres of snow which promptly froze, causing normal walking to turn into a skidding skiing adventure.Not easy to progress much in high-heeled leather-soled boots. She promptly bought ice grippers for all the family.

I have many shoes, so many that years ago someone persuaded me to photograph them and label the shoe bags. Grudgingly I complied. For a while at least, it worked, forgotten treasures came to light. I am not a woman with sensible shoes. However I improvised for walking on the slippery frozen streets of London – rubber soled brogues with thick grey ankle socks. Last week I carried two extra pairs of shoes, not being able to jettison style over comfort. A pair of heels for meetings and dinner, a pair of flats when sitting at my desk.

The pair of dinner heels are by Aase Hopstock. When I bought those Aase turned up here, bursting with creative enthusiasm for her designs and for the work of MSL. Aase’s shoes are made at a family-run artisanal factory in Spain with unparalleled attention to detail. The soft leathers she selects are matched by memory foam inner sole padding and finished with delicate gold cherry blossom trademark beneath. Aase’s shoes lift my spirits and empower my wintry journeys.

Early one grey morning I sat in our board room with its large bow fronted window staring at the snow with my book of Manolo Blahnik drawings. In the book there are over 125 colour rich sketches that exude clever grace and beauty. I agree with Anna Wintour, editor in chief American Vogue, who says that Manolo is ‘quite simply one of the greatest shoe designers of all time.’ The ingenious craftsmanship of finding the equilibrium of the female foot and accentuating its uniqueness is sheer power.

‘Manolos’ has become a synonym for exquisite foot wear and  I wonder how Manolo would design ice grippers for his shoes!

By Maggie

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