Monthly Archives: March 2010

Good Enough To Eat

Last night I popped down to Nike Sportswear’s Cadencia exhibition at their 1948 space in Shoreditch (I’ll talk about this later). Aside from the caipirinhas, delicious Brazilian food and new Nike Sportswear collection what I was interested in was seeking out the hi tops rumoured to be inspired by macaroons. Seriously. 

I’d seen the pictures and received the sell but wanted to check them out first hand before giving them the glory I felt they deserved.

Now, spinning a tenuous story to give a product an exciting PR angle is one thing, but spinning a story that sounds pretty unlikely then finding out its deliciously true is quite another. A trainer inspired by a delicate, sugary, nutty treat  – mai oui?! Here’s why I’m giving props to the new women’s Nike Air Royalty macaroon line.

On show at 1948 are two cushiony hi tops in a candy-shop array of very berry and cool pistachio. From the pictures I’d seen I was already curious about the smooth clean lines, flush finishes and uniformity of colour that makes up the main design features. I love that the colour blocking disregards conventional stitching patterns, with the entire trainer, swoosh and all, looking like it’s been dipped in molten macaroon mix. What I hadn’t expected from the pictures was that the damn things actually feel like macaroons. The ankle cuffs are plump and velvety, with a creamy quality that feels like if you sliced them open with a knife gooey raspberry might melt out. The pistachio pair are covered with a splattering of silvery spots, almost as if someone has exploded a can of fizz next to them. The result gives them an eggshell like glaze, not dissimilar to a certain French, almond confection. You getting my drift?

So aside from licking them, do these trainers serve a purpose? Are they actually wearable? Well the good thing is, technically, these are Nike kicks which means that little things like foot support have been taken care of. The soles are thick enough to keep your peds protected, but the sole is malleable enough to give you flexibility (remember the hi top is traditionally a court shoe). Then from a styling point of view, I think these trainers could really give S/S wardrobes a lift.

I’m imagining styling the berry ones with Vivienne Westwood Anglomania’s stripy dress (pictured) – a perfect transitional outfit that is chic without trying too hard. When the weather hots up, teaming something like the See by Chloe bold candy striped dress (pictured) with bronzed pins and bright feet will make a kick-ass festival  out fit. I think if you’re clever you could even get away with styling them up for work too, the pistachio ones have a crisp, fresh quality so should be paired with Miss Selfridge skinny pastel jeans and a nipped in grey blazer (suggestions pictured). I have to be honest – I didn’t imagine Nike hitting up the Spring/Summer 10 sorbet trend and getting it so right, but this makes the brand all the more intriguing. 

The main reason these kicks tickle my French fancy is that they’re girly without being cutesy, and offer the casualness of a trainer without any of the scruffiness. They are undeniably a bold statement, (unless your home is Hoxton) so you need to have the confidence to wear them otherwise they might end up wearing you. With the right styling and a lick of attitude I think they make a welcome change from ballet pumps, brogues and Converse as go-to casual footwear.

I’ve heard a rumour that more colours/flavours will be available to buy from 1 April. Until then Nike’s 1948 store and Offspring outlets will play sweet shop should you want to try before you buy. With a run of only 22 pairs of each colourway, it’s worth popping down from today to see if they suit your taste(!) look. Men’s styles in painterly purple, red and green are also available exclusive to Office.

Nike Air Royalty Macaroons, £80, Offspring/1948 (Nike Sportswear) 
Candy Block Dress, £208, See by Chloe;
Striped Ariana Dress, £234, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania;
Nancy Double Breasted Blazer, £415, Rag&Bone;
Pastel Blue Skinny Jean, £35, Miss Selfridge;

(These are items to aspire to and be inspired by  – good high street versions are available if your wallet is on a diet).



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Cool Runnings

Night time has always held a certain allure; robbers and ravers may dominate the city after hours, but now educated runners are turning to the dark side.

Down a little side street in Shoreditch après dusk running club Run Dem Crew has been growing in popularity over the past year. Heavy workloads, lengthening daylight hours and a shift away from expensive gym memberships all point to why savvy women are turning into creatures of the night.

A fitness regime is one more thing to fit into a busy schedule. If you’re not willing to commit to pricey gym membership then you’re left with running before or after work on the streets, which can be both unsafe and unappealing. Which is why running – at night, is having something of a renaissance.

According to the English Sports Council there has been a 38% increase in female runners aged 18-35 from 2007 – 2009 (the results have yet to be updated for 2010). From gentle jogs around the park to more serious 10k runs, the appeal of running is on the up. From a calorie point of view, running burns 50% more per mile than walking, increases muscle and heart stamina while toning legs, bums and arms. 

Running takes exercise back to basics. You can run anywhere and after the initial payout for good trainers and an effective sports bra, it is effectively FREE – in short it’s a fitness no-brainer. However, being a largely individual sport, many people are put off opting to take classes like aerobics where there is safety in numbers, camaraderie and a sense of community.

Running alone, it’s easy to feel exposed, to give up when you’re feeling tired or to feel under confident trying new routes – which is why running clubs offer the perfect community atmosphere to nurture burgeoning talent in a supportive wallet-friendly and safe environment.

Little over a year ago I could barely run 3k without internally weeping, feet buckling and chest tightening. No way hose did I want to run with others and expose my lack of ability but similarly neither did I enjoy running solo around the streets of london avoiding beeps from bored Fiesta drivers, only to stop after 20 mins having convinced myself I was about to have an asthma attack. Which brings me back to Run Dem Crew.

Run Dem Crew is a weekly running club that heads out from Nike’s 1948 space on Batesman Row, EC2A every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. A clan of runners aged 19 to 40 to meet, greet and train. DJs, MCs and television presenters limber up next to school kids against the ever changing backdrop of 1948’s warehouse walls. Headed up by Charlie Dark creative entrepeneur, DJ and wordsmith, who started the club with just three people in his own living room,  he is now group leader extraordinaire, all energetic limbs, loose tongue and cocaine-like group leader qualities. Mr Dark personally introduces himself to all new members, gets everyone chatting and splits up the mass into 4 groups depending on ability so there is something to cater for speedy marathon runners through to first timers. Honestly. 

Each group is assigned an informal group leader, someone to jolly their ‘team’ along and to make sure noone gets lost or left out. The cool air of evening will soon be a blessing (Spring has sprung no?) and the emptying streets are an ideal adults’ playground. Routes streak down canal paths to Victoria Park, across Tower and Millenium Bridge, zip to the Olympic Stadium, pop out under Big Ben race through overland stations and under the Barbican tunnel.

Sneaking around the city with Run Dem Crew is empowering – just as post work drinkers settle in for another cigarette, Run Dem Crew swoosh past, lungs full of clear night air. Smug doesn’t cut it.  Even hooded teens lurking in canal crevices give a little nod of respect as 20 plus runners puff past. Running alone I used to feel vulnerable, but among the swarm there is a feeling of safety and freedom; canal paths, alleyways and parks become a limitless running track. 

The adrenaline of conquering an empty street, squeezing between a parked car, racing across an iconic bridge or leaping through a tube station keeps energy levels stoked. The group atmosphere drives you on and stopping isn’t an option. Running over Waterloo Bridge, the magical lights along the North and Southbank saluting you – it’s impossible not to fall in love with London all over again.

Run Dem Crew is such a simple formula: People. Come together. Make friends. Run. Perhaps it works so well because it reflects the simplicity of running itself. When you cloud a club with formalities, exchanging of money, branded tops and entry requirements you overshadow the purity of the sport. Running is the hardest thing to start but the easiest thing to get good at. If you don’t believe me, try Run Dem Crew. Forget clubbing after dark – running is the new rave.

Daisy will be posting interesting routes and news from the church of Run Dem Crew every so often. Because when you find something good that really works it only seems fair to share.

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