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Shoes and the City

If, like us, you’ve seen every episode of Sex and the City at least three times, then the idea of a festive trip to New York is sure to appeal. This month, our wedding stylist extraordinaire, Toria has been living it up in the Big Apple. There’s been sightseeing, jazz clubs, delicious eats and shopping aplenty. And just wait ’til you hear what happened when she went in search of shoes for her wedding (squeal!). Over to Toria…

“The first time I visited New York, it was with three friends and I was 20 years old. It was December time and we were headed out there for the ultimate Christmas shopping experience. When we woke on the first morning, it was to find that over a foot of snow had fallen during the night; the pavements were covered, everyone was wearing winter hats and rushing from store to store with their big, red Macy’s bags, and we honestly thought it was the most exciting city that any of us had ever visited.

“Fast forward one year and I returned to the city, only this time it was at the end of four months of travelling, and I was down to the last few dollars of my trip. I walked EVERYWHERE; from my hostel on West 103rd Street, down through midtown, via Little Italy, SoHo, all the way to Ground Zero. I could not afford to eat in restaurants, and instead sampled all the 99 cent pizza slices of the city. To this day, I have never tasted better (apologies, Italy).

“It has been 10 years since I last visited and walked the city like that, and for our trip there this year, I was still as excited as the first time I touched down in JFK. If you have never visited, there is no way I can do justice to the electricity of that city: it is alive with sounds, smells and a vibe like no other.

“However, for this trip, New York had an even better experience in store for me.

“Knowing we were visiting the city that never sleeps, I signed up to numerous daily updates to find out what was happening while we were there, and it was in one of these emails that I read about a pop-up shop that a certain Sex and the City star-turned-shoe-designer was having that weekend. It was running from the Thursday to the Sunday, and we decided to visit on the first day, ahead of our trip to the Rockefeller Centre. I have to admit that I do not own any designer shoes, but I was a huge fan of Sex and the City, and a little part of me wanted to see what ‘Carrie’ had created. I am not ashamed.

“After a few back-and-forths, we found the pop-up shop and were delighted to find that we had come at the right time: there were no queues and the shop was busy, but not so much that you take other people out with your shopping bags any time you move.

“I started to look at the shoes (whilst Colin made friends with the security guard in order to stay out of the way), and was really taken with the styles and the colour options. What if I could find a pair for our wedding? The thought had never occurred to me until I was holding the beautiful creations in my hands.

“Just then, a lovely assistant, named Jake, came over and began to ask me what I was looking for. I told him about my wedding shoes idea, and then I showed him a picture of my dress: he nearly screamed out loud. ‘This is AMAZING. Sarah will love this! Sarah! Sarah! You have to see this wedding dress!’

“And then it all became very surreal, because suddenly Sarah Jessica Parker was holding my phone and professing her love for my dress, and asking my name, and then Colin’s name, and talking to us about our wedding. I tried on shoes with her, I told her about our venue, about Arrow and Twine, and I asked her how long she had been married (20 years, known him for 25), all the while smiling in what was probably a very bemused fashion.

“And then she declared that she was going to make a set of custom shoes for me. She was going to make one of her of shoes in a colour that they had not used before for that style, with a ribbon combination on the heel that they had not done to date.

“That is right: Sarah Jessica Parker is designing my wedding shoes. They are being sent from Italy, I am in touch with her assistant, and I am to ‘tag them in all the photos of the wedding and keep in touch.’

“Most. Surreal. Experience. Ever.

“According to Colin, I held myself together well, and did not look overly starstruck. However, I will admit that once we left, I did become a little bit spacey and needed a glass of fizz to land me back to earth before we headed skyward up the Rock.

“This was the start of an amazing holiday. We ate and drank our way round the city (as is our usual holiday modus operandi), and stayed in a slightly nightclub-like hotel. I am not entirely sure we slept at all. If you are planning a trip there, I cannot promise an SJP experience, but these were definitely some highlights that would not disappoint:

Stay: The Moxy Hotel, Times Square – but only if you are a night owl and do not mind earplugs…

Eat: Le Coucou, The Musket Room – opt for the chef’s tasting menu and the pairings

Drink: Bar Moxy – sample the hot bomba bread!

Listen: Live jazz at Smalls in Greenwich Village

Geek out: The Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.”

Who else can’t wait to see these shoes?! Ah-mazing! The SJP Pop Up has been extended until Christmas, so if you’re heading to NYC soon then the good news is that there’s still time to check it out. Christina x

Wedding stylist Toria Clarke-Adair runs Arrow and Twine from her home in Aberdeenshire, and loves nothing more than helping couples create an individual, personal style for their day. From sourcing off-beat props from salvage yards to helping brides who have reached peak wedmin burnout, she loves everything about planning a wedding.

Main image courtesy of SJP Collection, second image via Pexels, all other photos courtesy of Toria.