Saturday, 25 August 2012


When I was at Mambo City this year, I entered a prize draw - and then I won it!  Which is why I get to go to the Berlin Salsa congress in October.

I'm sharing a room with SalsaFeet who, as you'd expect with a name like that, has been buying new shoes like there's no tomorrow in preparation for our Berlin adventure.  I've pretty much accepted that I'll never be able to keep up on the shoe buying front now - but it doesn't stop that competitive edge from rearing it's ugly head from time to time and sending me straight across to ebay to see what sparkling beauties I can pick up on a budget.

This morning the Postman kindly dropped off a packet containing these:

"Oooooh", "Ahhhh" etc...

This is my first pair of Brillantes, and since they only seem to stock them up to a size 6 or 6.5 at the moment, it looks like poor SalsaFeet isn't going to get to review them with her marginally too large feet.

Brillante are another of those Hong Kong based companies - and unlike TPS, they don't seem to have a distribution hub in the UK -so your shoes come directly from Hong Kong. This can mean that it takes a a bit longer for them to get there.  Though saying that - it still took less than a week for mine to arrive.

In spite of the fact that they're currently cutting off the circulation to my big toes while I attempt to stretch them out a bit, I'm really pleased with them.  The pretty photos on their ebay listings aren't any exaggeration of what you get in real life and they come with a few little extras:

A pair of spare suede heel tips - not that the original ones on my shoes ever come off because I would never even dream of using my heels as breaks (ahem) - and this nicely branded shoe bag, which is a bit of a bummer because I'm in the business of making nice shoe bags.

On closer inspection the shoe bag isn't brilliantly made - the fabric is a bit plasticky - reminiscent of a cheap school satchel and I guess it would nicely trap that lovely after-dance shoe aroma inside.  It's not finished terribly well either - check out the zip placement:

So all in all you'd be better off with a nice breathable cotton Mambo Delight number!  

The design of the bag itself is a little more complex than the traditional drawstring bag - but I can really see the benefit of the zip pocket at the front so I'm tempted to experiment with some zips to see if I can come up with something similar.  Of course I've had a few ideas stacked up, just waiting to be sewn onto shoe bags for quite some time now, so I can't guarantee how fast that will happen. But I'm very open to my next project being to experiment with a different style of bag.  Any takers..?

I haven't taken my new shoes out for a spin yet, but if they hold up to a hardcore weekend at the Berlin Salsa Congress then I'll definitely buy from Brillante again.

As for those ladies with size 7s and larger - why not email Brillante and ask them about getting a larger size?  They seem to market themselves as a custom made shoe company and if you don't ask, you don't get!


  1. Salsafeet has shoe envy! How nice to get little extras. Agree about the non-breathable bag being a bit of an issue though.

  2. It won't last long... I'm sure your next fabulous pair will come knocking on your door before too long!