Friday, September 11, 2015

Glass Slippers and Magic

It's been since March/April but the magic has finally arrived on my doorstep...

The Jimmy Choo Cinderella heels have arrived from their fairy tale realm. 

And they are more than stunning in real life. Actually heavy from all of the crystals and amazing on. People from all over my office were stopping by to look at them and take pictures.

Totally ballgown worthy. 

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.... 

I can't wait to wear them and have sparkles follow me everywhere.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

No Longer a Secret - THE Boot for Fall - Sergio Rossi Secret

Every season I have a mental list of items that I've fallen in love with. Items that I "have to have or I'll just die". Items that just seem as if they were made for me and will just make the everything I own even more perfect.

I had a list going on Pinterest and an album of screencaps in my phone of things I was keeping an eye out for to get for Fall 2015. Things that were lovely and, hopefully, soon to be mine.

Yeah, everything flew out he window when I saw these boots.

Dammit Diane Kruger, Elle and Sergio Rossi!

Behold the Secret over-the-knee boot.

Burgundy is the  color of Fall, especially this year, and pairs perfectly with black, grey and charcoal. I'm going to be wearing these with this great JCrew wrap around skirt, black dresses and a smoke knit dress I have.  Everything will be more sleek and just a bit sexier.

Oh, I hope they fit perfectly.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Iconic for Spring 2015 RTW - Rochas Tinsel Fringe Slingbacks

It often happens that I see an image of a shoe "in action" and I instantly fall in love.

I have to have it.

And when that shoe is an iconic shoe from the runway that season, I'm even more covetous.

Such was the case when I saw this shot of Anna Dello Russo and Giovanna Battaglia (a personal fave), wearing the two-tone fringe slingbacks from the Rochas Spring/Summer 2015 Ready To Wear show.

Instant Smitten Kitten here.

Seriously amazing all around.  The design balance of the shoe's elements is amazing -  the delicate enamel and crystal work on the heel contrasts with the wide slingback strap and the unruly explosion of fiber and crystal and metallic fringe.

These shoe are explosion of joy, sparkle and shine. A fitting counterpoint to the delicate florals exploding into the Spring season.

Aside: I love these illustrations of the collection from artist Andrea Havlicek de Sanchez

I probably will not wear mine with ribbed socks, but I will be wearing them!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Trending for Tassels

I love the a shoe with a tassel. From gold Coach loafers to classic Bass Weejuns to edgy Alexander Wang Silver heels - the tassel speaks to me.

I can't get enough of these shoes.

Apparently Paul Andrew can't either.  I love the excess of tassels on his Arta Sandals from this Spring. 

The Aqazzara Forever Marilyn heel incorporates tassels in a more subtle way.  I love the heel placement.  These will draw the eye as you walk away confidently.  I'd love to pair these with a sharp grey suit.

And a shoe that made my "must have for Fall" list early, is the Sophia Webster Layla Pom-pom sandal. I WILL find these in my size.

Sure tassels can seem preppy or parochial, but these new styles are anything but boring and tame.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fashion on Demand

One of the things I'm most excited about recently is the growing trend and offerings in, what I'm
calling (I'm sure someone else has said it too), the "Fashion on Demand" sector.

These are brands, some new and some established, that are using sources like Kickstarter, Ebay and their own sites, to create limited runs of their products, test the market and still bring a designer-level item to the marketplace.

This is, in my mind, a backlash to a few industry trends. Fast fashion is getting backlash and can never match the quality of the designer items they are ripping off, while at the same time they are poaching and cheapening the brands' creativity consumers really want. Mid- to Upper-range brands (BR, Jcrew and Gap, etc.) are either reducing their number of stores and/or cheaping the product quality while still upping their prices in an obvious bid for market share, all the while alienating the customers that made them popular by ignoring their desires. And even designer labels have extended their product lines too far (like Michael Kors) or cheapened their production.  Really no level is safe.

But we've been looking for our fashion savior in the wrong place. Until brands like Jcrew go back to their old quality and make fewer $700 sequin skirts and more interesting yet accessible items (seriously, show Anthropologie dresses be as much or more than what I see at Bergdorfs?), I'm looking for great items on Kickstarter.

Lately I've backed two items.  They are/were made in Europe (Ireland and Scotland). The details and manufacturing are thoughtful and high quality and, while not cheap, the are worth the money I feel I invested to bring their brands to the next level.

The first was a raincoat made in Ireland - Ember & Earth

This coat is amazing. It's warm and protective and every detail was thought out to bring the coat to the next level. While not 100% customizable, I was able to get the version, color and size I wanted while helping their team grow. I can see this coat being the new benchmark for Irish gear. I plan on bringing it with me on an upcoming trip to the UK because I know it will keep me warm and dry no matter what weather I encounter.

I'm even more excited about Strathberry of Scotland.  This somewhat established, up-and-coming brand came to Kickstarter for expansion and their offering is going gangbusters.

I was so excited by their video and reviews that I am getting two - the Midi and the Nano.

Midi Tote -

MC Nano - 

I think this will be huge for them, especially if their quality is as good as shown because while people like the labels or the "names" - the savvy, luxury consumer generally cares less for conspicuous branding. And while price may be less of a barrier, the demand for quality is not.

I've been surprised and disappointed lately with some of the high end brands.  It's almost like they are trying to see just how much they can get away with before some of their markets start shifting. I love the designs but if they are made more cheaply while doubling their price (something I've seen over the last 8 years), I'm going to look elsewhere.

And luckily, there are lots of places to look.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Special Night with Sophia Webster Evangeline

Last week was our 19th Meeting-versary.  We consider that day even more special than our wedding day because our meeting was so by chance and lucky and just filled with kismet and serendipity.

So special shoes were in order.

If you want to stand out in the best way possible, wear winged shoes.  People cannot get enough of them.

I paired these with a pastel-ish shift dress from Anthropologie:

And used a white and gold faux snakeskin clutch I've had for ages.

Here are a few better views...

As you can see, I was having the best time.   I have to say I'm lucky.  I'm still having fun after nearly 20 years together. I wish the same for anyone else who wants that.

: )

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Imitation = Flattery? SJP Angelica and Maddalena Pumps vs Manolo Blahnik "Something Blue" Hangisi

To say I'm utterly disgusted and disappointed would be putting it mildly.

When I saw that the SJP collection was coming to Bloomingdale's, I thought I would go by and see how the collection, which I've reviewed previously, was expanding.  I figured I would see some pretty yet boring pieces along the lines of the initial styles.  I was not expecting to see something shocking.

But I was absolutely floored to see that SJP had utterly ripped off possibly the most iconic shoe from all of Sex and the City - the Manolo Blahnik "Something Blue" Hangisi pump.

Here is the Angelica from the new SJP Collection at Bloomingdales (The similar 'Maddalena' style is at Nordstrom's and has a pointier toe.) -

And here is the Hangisi. The shoe which is essentially the emotional touchstone of Carrie and Big's resolution in the movie.  The shoe he proposes to her with. The shoe bought for her wedding, abandoned and then worn for the simple ceremony they ultimately had. A shoe created just for this movie by Mr. Blahnik.

In some articles the leveraging of the style is more blatant. Heck in the Bloomingdale's item description, they even include a reference to "something blue". I know the Blahnik team is involved in the SJP Collection, which makes it even more disappointing. Why not use her line as an opportunity to do something new and delightful.  It can't be the price point because these heels are over $500 (ironically, that is what they said the MB's were in the movie. Now they're over $900), not exactly a bargain.

So am I being too harsh? Are they different enough? Or are they leveraging a little too heavily on the SATC/Carrie magic and not creating any magic of their own?

Read more in the Imitation = Flattery series.