Susie Rushton: Banking on a spot of fashion rebellion

Urban Notebook: When I was 12 I remember being thrilled by a school directive that banned slingbacks
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The Independent Online

Not having much else to worry about, the Bank of England has been lecturing its female employees on ankle bracelets, heels over two inches high and white stilettos: in short, don't wear them. Don't look whorish or provocative, ladies, and try not to be too fashionable, either.

I'm afraid the Bank doesn't know what it's started. When I was 12 I remember being thrilled by a school directive that banned, among other morally dubious items of clothing, slingbacks. I had no idea what they were, but the swaggering name piqued my interest. What were these shoes that could transform an adolescent girl with hairy legs and a pet rabbit into a lethal sex bomb? I had to have a pair.

I asked around, but nobody could really tell me what these shoes were, and with good reason: by the time the edict was issued, the whole slingbacks trend was a decade out of date, and the coolest girls wore Doc Martens to double maths. Similarly, I seriously doubt that any of the women at Threadneedle Street were actually wearing white heels and ankle chains to work – wouldn't it be more contemporary to ban the exposure of giant tattoos and Uggs? – but if they've got a grain of rebellion in them, they certainly will be from now on.

Executed with care, Basildon Babe isn't an unstylish look; this weekend on Net-A-Porter my mouse hovered over a pair of very high, white patent Lanvin slingbacks, shoes of multiple naughtiness, including the price. They'd be perfect for work – but I'm worried they might distract my female colleagues.

Is Ramsay really so offensive?

I see that Ann Widdecombe is leading the calls for Channel 4 to give Gordon Ramsay the chop after the chef swore 243 times in a special edition of Kitchen Nightmares shown after 9pm on Friday night, a new record. It's not Ramsay's posturing but the patently insane restaurateurs that still make this show worth watching.

Ramsay's reliance on expletives has become tiresome. But so too has the vogue for parsing a handful of viewer complaints and pronouncing the nation to be offended. Just 69 out of 3 million watching complained to Channel 4. Perhaps Carol Vorderman can show Widdy why that doesn't add up to much.

Frozen in time

It started with a rapid series of flashes, streaming into the living room from behind the shutters. Something odd was happening. Then, shrieks, and laughter. I went to the window. Cappuccino froth had thickly coated the cars. Snow was settling! In London! A dozen neighbours were outside, taking pictures of the falling flakes on digital cameras. I did the same. By yesterday morning the radio was reminding us that this was the first heavy snow in London for 18 years, but, as ever, the flash of camera-phones and chorus of ersatz shutters clicking is the first sign that history is in the making.