Some five, maybe six years ago, I saw a pair of Emma Hope shoes in Hello Magazine.
I’d always loved walking past Emma Hope’s shop as I entered Sloane Square, but found that the court shoe style was a little too Marie Antoinette for me (if I had to pick a style queen, I’d choose Wealtheow).
Anyway, these shoes were the antithesis of court: they were flats, made out of a cool pistachio suede, punctuated with some smooth mother-of-pearl discs. Delicate and stunning.
The problem? They cost ₤239, about $400, not including international shipping, and that was five to six years ago, before our eye became “adjusted” to a higher sales tag on shoes.
Besotted as I was, though, I called up Emma Hope and had them sent to me.
They arrived, I swooned. I tried them on, and found that the sole was so flat that it was like walking in a cardboard box—you hoped that the shoe would stay on as you rigidly moved across the room. And because the sole was so flat, there was absolutely no protection for that gorgeous sea-glass suede: it would be soiled the minute I took a step outside.
So I sent them back, but always slightly regretted it. I mean, these shoes were objets d’art! I could have happily put them in my duck-egg-blue china cabinet next to my blue-and-white Wedgewood and gazed at them daily.
But that would be impractical, even for me.
So I waited and waited for word that the return had been processed. The shoes didn’t arrive in London, so I applied to have them traced. They were untraceable.
I forgot about the whole thing for about 11 months because it gave me a headache. Big credit card bill, no shoes to show for it.
Then, just as I applied for my shipping insurance to kick in, my original, battered package reappeared on my doorstep. Something had gone wrong at customs, and the box was returned to me.
I had a second chance!
But sometimes one’s first instincts are right. I opened the box, shivered with delight, and tried the shoes on. Still no arch support. Still ready to be soiled with one hearty stride outside. They went back for good.
But now, the bewitching shoe fairies at Tibi have seen fit to taunt me with this tender morsel.
There’s the same slim sole (a potential problem?), and a not dissimilar mother-of-pearl decoration. I'm seeing them with an ankle-length pair of peg-leg trousers.
What to do, gentle readers? Be strong, or order them?