September 14, 2013

Poppy Barley: Made to Measure

One of my goals this summer was to engage in my local culture scene. I didn't end up getting as involved as I wanted to be, but I did get the opportunity to discover a beautiful art gallery, a fantastic street for boutique shopping, and attend a local fashion and art event. The fashion and art event is what I would like to elaborate on today.

So you know how I'm on the hunt for a pair of pointed toe flats? Well, if I had copious amounts of money, I would buy myself a pair of Poppy Barley Custom Made to Measure flats.  Poppy Barley was one of the vendors at the event, and it had me raptured the instant I walked towards its booth.

Actually, saying that I would only buy this if I were well-off is a misleading statement.  In fact, at $170 for a pair of custom, made to measure flats, Poppy Barley is an absolute steal!  You pay equal amounts for a pair of flats from Town Shoes, and don't even get me started on how much a pair of designer flats costs.  However, being a broke student means that $170 in itself is too much for anything.  But anyway, let's move on to what Poppy Barley actually is.

Poppy Barley is a company based in Edmonton that produces luxury handcrafted custom footwear (mainly flats or riding boots) for women looking for that perfect fit.  The name comes from the fact that shoemakers traditionally used barleycorns and poppy seeds as measurements for footwear.  Essentially, the process Poppy Barley customers go through includes choosing the preferable style of shoe, picking from swatches of quality leather material, deciding on whether to decorate the vamp with select hardware, and finally, getting their feet meticulously measured to determine the perfect fit.  As with any high quality product, it's all in the details - padded insoles, arch supports, and goat leather lining.  Seriously, all of this costs only $170?!

What drew me to the shoes in the first place was the pure classicism of the shape.  They immediately reminded me of a pair of Tabitha Simmons loafers I had seen in Vogue, which I have subsequently been pining after for some time.  Simplicity at its finest.  On top of that, I could tell from just looking at the shoes that they were well-made, with rich, high quality leather material.  Feeling the shoes...I could feel a familiar warmth of adoration spreading from my heart.

Of course, with the ability to custom design your shoe, I had to check out the Poppy Barley website and visiualize what my ideal shoe would look like.  This is it (photo courtesy of Crown Photography):

Even though there are limited customizations based on what material and styles are available, I still can't believe how this pair of Mary-Janes is SO ME.  Beautiful robin egg blue paired with shimmer from a gold heel - 100% my style.  I came up with this custom design with such ease!  I had a bit of a debate over what style of shoe I wanted (I honestly love all three styles), but it soon became obvious that the Mary-Jane style modernized with a slight d'Orsay design was the winner.  And from there, it was even easier.  Light blue is my favourite colour, and I'm a fan of sparkle/metallics, so the colour combination was almost a given.  In terms of which colour went where, I always look for a smooth vamp, making it without question that the gold pebbled leather belongs on the heel.  I decided against hardware because I wanted to keep it simple and classic.

As an average girl living the life of a fashion lover, I'm always desiring the unattainable.  If only, one day, this pair of flats could become a reality...

Check out Poppy Barley's website, and create for yourself a pair of shoes that is SO YOU.

Image Source: Poppy Barley 


  1. cute!!


  2. Oh my goodness, those last ones are perfect. The colors are magical. I love the shimmery gold heel. I am really wanting a pair of ankle strap flats right now, I wish I could afford those!

    May the Force be with you.

  3. Holla! My ideal shoe would be a darth vador red and black. That way I can pretend to be a galaxy warlord in the midst of my peers.