Bionda Castana: these could be my perfect shoes…

by Sasha Wilkins on February 16, 2010 · 12 comments

Last week, when my head was spinning faster than that chick’s in The Exorcist at the thought of multiple last minute projects, I realised that the sparse collection of shoes I brought over from New York all looked like Posetta Baddog had been using them for ankle biting practice.

With the Grazia shoot, (bring seven outfits they said blithely. SEVEN! At 24hrs notice), the Seven Days of Chic film I am shooting for Fashionair, and my trip to Copenhagen last Thursday where I would be doing some press for LLG, I was in crying need of clothes and shiny footwear.

Unfortunately most of my clothes are in New York & I had no time to shop (let alone do things like eating), so Kiki took on the challenge to find me a rail at 24hrs notice. Amongst her genius press office call-ins (lovely stuff from Whistles, Comptoir  & Jaeger to fit a curvy fashion editor), was a bag of shoes from young shoe label Bionda Castana.

I almost wept with joy when I fished out three pairs of the most utterly perfect shoes, which came with permission for me to take them to Copenhagen as well as to wear on the shoot.

These shoes I wore on the Grazia shoot and on the front row at the YDE show in Copenhagen along with a navy silk long line jacket from Isabella Oliver, a DKNY black merino tunic the same length as the the jacket, some long silver Georg Jensen Moonlight necklaces , opaque black Wolfords & a Chanel 2.55 black bag. (Navy & black together is my thing.) 

I’ve already featured them on LLG, but I love them so much that I am running the image again:


As I walked out on to the street after the show, a girl and her boyfriend passed me. She did a double take, stopped, pointed at my feet, and then had to be dragged away by her boyfriend. I wear a lot of incredible shoes, but I have never had that kind of reaction before. Unfortunately I had to then go sit on a fountain and change into some flats: suede & snow don’t go. Neiher do clumsy people, high heels & icy pavements.

They also sent over the perfect black leather & patent with gold trim high heeled shoe boot and a black patent strappy shoe.   (Pics to come when I’ve unpacked from Denmark. Finally.)

So: Bionda Castana  Milano. The line is named in Italian for two friends who met at university,  Jennifer Portman (blonde/bionda) & Natalia Barbieri (brunette/castana). Milano because the shoes are all 100% hand made in Italy. They launched their label in 2007, and it has just got better and better since then. For me, the construction of the shoes – exceptionally well-fitting ,very comfortable & with the perfect not too low, not too high heel height perfectly complements the intricate but not flashy detailing of the uppers. Their shoes really work for me as I have abnormally narrow heels & need shoes that enclose my feet – no slingbacks or courts for me. All three pairs I was sent have clever zips to ensure a snug fit, and the same goes for a large part of the SS10 collection.

These are intelligent, thoughtful shoes. Now I’ve just got to steel myself to return them.

Stocked in London at Browns here (The Thandie ankleboot I was lent is on sale for £275). More stockists on their website here (none in the US tho:  buyers WHAT were you  thinking?!)

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