A banal phrase like ”one doesn’t need a reason to visit London” wouldn’t be such a cliché if there wasn’t some truth in it. But, while I totally agree, I’m always on the lookout for at least one good excuse to indulge in shopping sprees or long aimless walks, soaking up the energy from the vibrant, celebrated streets of London… when, in fact, I could be doing some long overdue redecoration; or spring cleaning; or find that headboard I’ve been meaning to for the past two years. No, city trips are way more fun! Usually, my good excuse is a cultural event; this time, it was the less intellectual but equally exciting shoe shopping.
About a year and half ago, after browsing through the latest collection of cotton printed shirts at Liberty’s – one of my favourite mood boosts – feeling light headed and adventurous, I dipped into the crazy world of the most bling-pimped-out shoes I had ever seen – in a shop just next door to Liberty’s, called ”Irregular Choice”, on Carnaby Street. Think arrays of shelves with pretty, vintage-inspired footwear; ribbons and flowers; lace and satin in every imaginable colour combination, made by ”Poetic Licence”. Ridiculous and adorable, impossible to resist, I indulged in a pair of wedge summer sandals, golden-pink and sugary romantic. Like all ”Poetic Licence” models, my sandals were given a name: ”True Romance”.
Alas, it didn’t last long: a year later, I had worn them only about 10 times – largely due to the elusive Belgian Summer – when, one day I felt the ground going loose under my feet. Like stepping on a thick cushion of fresh asphalt, not totally dry yet. At a closer look, I realized that one of the wedge heels had collapsed onto itself from within! Facing the inglorious end of my Romance with dignity, I decided to let the Customer Service know there was a faulty pair on the other side of the Channel and it lay on my feet.
A few very pleasant emails were exchanged, a ”returns form” was completed and the shoes were shipped back to the UK; a couple of weeks later a credit-note disguised as a gift card valid for one year, appeared in my post box – a most courteous and sensible gesture considering the purchase took place in 2012!
It was thus my ”True Romance” ended amiably, replaced by this pair of cute mary janes, complete with a polka dot print, satin bow and glass block heel. Behold my Cinderella fantasy wrapped in a fairy tale box: ”Make a Break”.
If you are a buyer: don’t hesitate to let the shopkeeper know about a manufacturing fault, as long as your complain is genuine.
If you are a shopkeeper: kindness and willingness to listen to the customer, always pays off: we went out with two pairs of shoes actually; while getting bored by Cinderella dreams and cupcake footwear, my partner spotted a pair of harlequin-print lace-ups that couldn’t be more peppy if they tried!