Friday, August 31, 2007

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
I'm wishing for Fall's cooler weather and have compensated by wearing stronger colors today. I'm actually wearing a royal purple 3/4 sleeve cardigan with a black camisole underneath and a charcoal denim skirt. My necklace is a pewter grey large chain necklace with a large black stone pendant.

The Focal Point
Because the colors are deeper and subdued, I decided to pair my outfit with my new Guess distressed silver heels. These may be even higher than the Louboutins. I love the crackle-y finish and they are actually pretty comfortable. They have a cute round toe and are very well made.

Unfortunately it is still pretty warm here. I can't wait to pull out my sweaters in the dark rich fall colors!!!

Zipped in

As we start pulling out jackets and sweaters for cooler weather, biker-style embellishments like studs and zippers pop-up on all kinds of accessories. While I don't think I have what it takes to pull off the biker look, I do like how some of the designers have integrated this "tough" element into atypical and elegant designs.

Jimmy Choo's Cole Metallic Leather peep-toe ($695 online at Jimmy Choo) is quite striking. But I'd probably forget the zipper was there and shred my tights or skirt or something. Choo also did a closed toe heel and a really cool double-zipper flat boot for Fall.

These comfy ballet Romp flats from Michael Kors come in a bunch of great colors for Fall. I've seen black, brown, dark green, burnt orange (my favorite) and this chino. The suede looks ultra soft so I doubt these flats will hurt the back of your heels like some ballet styles can. Oh, their about $180.

I know I've talked about these before but I still think the use of the zipper as a design element was done in a really fun way. These are actually the Louboutins (at $910) but, as I said, the Steve Maddens are i-den-ti-cal. You decide which you prefer.

I know there are tons of bags that feature zippers in the design, but I thought this clutch from Nine West was really cute. Nothing crazy, just a fun little bag for the weekends and about $40.

And my favorite use of a zipper are these Marc Jacob pumps. The rose is actually made of a zipper. This comes in red too. I do wish that it had been done on a high heel round toe pump. The style of these are a bit to matronly, if you as me, which contrasts in a negative way to the edgier materials. They're about $390 at Neiman Marcus.

I haven't seen zippers integrated into designs from the more moderate lines. I think the material may be harder to work with. But I'll keep an eye out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Drive Time

If you value/appreciate/revere your shoes like I do, it is small but wise investment to prepare for possible negative contingencies. Maybe it's the former Girl Scout in me, but I hate when I get stuck in a situation without a back-up plan.

I keep several umbrellas in my car and my office and I have "rain shoes" in case I'm wearing shoes that can't or shouldn't get wet. Rain, ugh a huge bane of my life. The other danger zone for my shoes is in my own car. Between debris in the mats or the dirt on the pedals, my heels can get messed up in my car just as easy as outside. Another issue is that in some of the killer stilettos, it can be hard to shift. I also hate when my shoes fall off the seat onto the floor, causing just as much damage as if I had left them on.

So I came up with brilliant but easy solution of having bin just for my shoes that I keep on my passenger floor. I don't drive many people around so I have the room. Something small (and pink) like the one below is perfect because I can throw it in the backseat or the trunk if I need. It's also the perfect size to keep a pair of driving mocs (in a box) and the shoes I'm not wearing.

I love a driving moc, not just for its intended purpose, but in general. I keep these Isaac Mizrahi mocs in the car so I can easily slip them on. And I don't care if they get dirty or smudged because they were only $30. Plus, they are safer than wearing flip flops in the car. When you have a stick shift car, it is important that you are able to push in the clutch, switch gears and that your feet don't slip off the pedals.

But I think they are so cute I have another pair just like them for actual wearing around!

Shoe Anguish

I have a good friend that is getting married in November and she has asked me to be in the wedding party. I have never been a bridesmaid, so I am kind of apprehensive about it. Mostly because I am not sure how I feel about being "on display" in an outfit not of my choosing.

Well, to be honest, to some degree it was of my choosing. We were told that we could pick any dress at David's Bridal in the Truffle color. It's not a bad color really, it's just not a color I would choose to wear given my coloring. The brown is sort of a reddish-brown and my hair is a bright-ish auburn red and I have a lot of pink/red tones to my skin. I think I may clash.

Plus the styles available in this color are not great for me either. I have never really worn/liked strapless or sleeveless clothes but those are your main options. The wedding is in November, but is is in Florida, so I don't think I will be freezing. I guess I can't use that as an excuse. Anyway, after debating between a few of the options, I ended up with this style. I was originally going to get a shorter style but got this, which I will need to get hemmed. Which brings up the question of what shoes to wear. Because you have to know when you go in to get the hemming done.

We have been requested to wear some form of a metallic shoe with the dress. In spite of my vast collection of shoes, I am having a challenge with this because a) I don't really wear this color a lot, and b) I'm not sure of what colors would actually look good with this.

I immediately ruled silver out. I don't think that would look good at all. So then I went to gold. I have a pair of gold Manolo heels some what similar to this pair. In person they are a very bright gold like 24K. I fear they will be much too gold to go well with the dress.

So I am actually thinking of going with a champagne color, maybe in satin like the Kenneth Cole ones below, to get some of the shine. I think it would be less of a clash of colors. And I actually don't think I have anything in champagne. I may have one pair, but they are glittery and may be too much of a competition with the dress and/or too casual. Not that I don't want to distract people away from me in the dress. Hmmm....

What I would actually like to wear is something bright and jewel toned like grass green or a bright teal or, like this, bright rose.

I love the feather poof on these Kate Spade heels.

And I'm totally smitten with these satin Rose ankle-strap heels from JCrew.

I can have the dress hemmed right to the floor so they'll be kind of hidden which makes them perfect, right? Or is the wedding just an excuse to buy them.

Decisions, decisions!

Python is an acquired taste

Over on Bubblegum Plastic, I talk about these gorgeous Python pumps I just got and how much may be too much when it comes to pairing up exotic accessories.

Love love love the pattern and colors!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
Today's outfit is sort of a glam-prep Summer outfit. Kelly green cable summer sweater with 3/4 sleeves, khaki linen a-line skirt and sky-high Louboutin cork heels.

The Focal Point
What else could it be? Of course it's the Louboutins. I love the gold that peaks through the cork and the pattern and texture of the cork itself. I had not worn these yet and I have to tell you, I expected them to be way less comfortable than they are.

It's amazing how the architecture of the shoe can counteract what could be a challenging shoe to wear.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I am so in love

I am so in love with these Guiseppe Zanotti flats. I rarely fall in love with a pair of flats. But these... gorgeous!

Look at them - the black suede, the red croc insert and the shiny shiny silver hardware. Kewl!

They have an amazing luxe look that is elegant yet graphic and modern at the same time.

They are so choice. If you have the means, I do recommend you pick some up.

; )

Tires or Shoes?

Just like the Wendy's (or was it McDonald's?) commercial, I tend to price value everything in terms of Shoe-increments.

I begrudge spending money on my car the most. I don't know why. I like my car a lot. I depend on my car and I know I couldn't go to work to earn money to buy shoes without my car. But car maintenance is such an un-fun purchase! Whah!

Anyway, today I got a flat tire. I really needed to buy tires because I think mine were nearly bald (shhhhhh!!!! don't tell on me!) so this just happened to make me go and get it done. But I was just so sad. I had to spend over $300 on 4 of these -

Instead of a pair of these!

And now these gorgeous, decadent Lacroix (Lacroix, dah-ling, Lacroix!) sling-backs are all GONE!

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
Today I was pretty neutral - dressy enough for my client meeting but still comfortable as we were walking around a lot. I wore my Old Navy button down with the sleeves that poof and a swishy pleated skirt. To glam it up a bit I wore my double-strap Miu Miu mary janes. However, mine are not the black version as shown....

The Focal Point
Mine are actually the SILVER mary janes! They are very chrome-y and super-shiny. I can't find any other picture than from the Miu Miu runway show.

They are actually pretty comfortable because the built-in platform is total cushion. They're great to wear with jeans too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

They're nauseous. I'm nauseated.

I just received my Victoria's Secret Shoe & Accessories Fall 2007 catalog and I have to say I am shocked, appalled and sickened.

When did VS descend into a horrible swirling miasma of bad taste and whorish-ness?

I used to like Victoria's Secret. They used to put out CDs of classical music and had cute night clothes. They had pretty suits and shoes that had a "designer" look but at a price I could afford. Now it's over-priced and tacky as sin. I mean, they make Fredericks look classy. I know they don't make these shoes, but they picked them, forced a gorgeous girl to wear them and pretend she feels sexy in them, and then tried to brainwash us into thinking we would look hot in them too. That is just wrong.

Grab your Tums or Pepto-Bismol, it's going to be rough:

Naughty Monkey Embellished boot - $149

Is it just me or do these look like an insane mix of spats and gaucho boots. They are designed to cut you off perfectly at the worst part of your leg.

Bronx over the knee scrunch boots - $285! $285!!!! WTF?!?

If you get this catalog, they model is wearing them on the back cover. These boots look like a dirty oil rag crossed with a shower cap. The elastic at the top is wretched.

Block heel boots - $139

These are the stumpiest, clumpy shoes I have seen. They look as if they had to force them on you and then strap them to your feet so you can't take them off like you get strapped down for electro-shock therapy. The turned up toe shape looks are some form of deranged gnome shoes.

Mid-calf buckle platform boot - $99

I'm choosing to ignore the tacky "metal" platform on these boots. I don't even think my toes will turn up at that angle. How can you even walk that way?

Hale Bob Braided Sandal - $129 (on sale for $99)

Who is Hale Bob and why is he trying to make us wear some sort of pinata on our feet? I don't think even Charo would have worn these. Okay, maybe she would have but I'm not Charo... are you?

JLo Lace Up Booties - $115

Is JLo so insecure that she needs to drag us down by getting us to wear these hideous creations or is this something she actually thinks looks good and her bad taste is disguised by a very smart stylist. Why can't we get her stylist to design/approve something instead?

Rebel High-heeled sneaker - $49

Sneakers with heels are wrong. I don't care if you look like Posh Spice or if the Spice girls are coming back. No excuses!

Sam Edelman Strapped Booties - $170

These were not good looking even in the original Balenciaga version. Even the petite Miss Olsen can't make this look good. I'm sure plastic and fake suede will not improve the design of this shoe.

Sam Edelman Gladiator Platform Wedge - $109

Sam Edelman should be shot!

Sam Edelman Over the knee sweater boot - $220

I'm serious...shot! These go over the knee, have KNEE PADS (hmmm... why would we need those???) and are sweater-y at the top.

Victoria's Secret buyers - what the hell are you thinking?

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
Not too exciting, but since I was pretty casual all last week, I at least look like I made an effort today. Black v-neck top, black swishy skirt, chunky acrylic bracelet and sparkly vintage pin.

It actually feels comfortable and good to be scrubbed up. I was feeling kind of grungy and run down from wearing casual stuff all last week.

The Focal Point
I finally had time to give myself a pedicure and paint my toes. So the focal point is actually my lovely crimson nail polish, but my white and black peep-toe heels with the adorable bows show them off to perfection.

Aren't they cute!!!

What a Wonderful World...

I was just amazed with this video so I posted it on Pink Luck Cat.

Hope it makes you smile today!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Big Friggin' Bling

I thought this was a really gorgeous and affordable bag. Over on Bubblegum Plastic, I paired it up with a range of shoe options. Check it out and let me know what you think!


Can I just ask... When did Nine West want to be come Irregular Choice?

Nine West Frelance - $59.95

Irregular Choice Edna £34

Am I sniffing glue here or what?

Put your money into podiatry

My Dad, the Croc freedom fighter, was joking to me one day about how much money the product has made and that he wished he had invested in them when they first came out. He said to let him know if I think anything else was going to make as much money so he could invest early.

I said: "Start looking into podiatry and orthotics. There is going to be a huge rise in foot-related problems showing up earlier and earlier because of so many people, especially young women, wearing flip flops all of the time."

And now, ABC is saying its true too - check out the video here. (It was also featured on Yahoo today, if you don't want to sit through the ad)

In the video (and a corresponding article) they state:

"Flip-flops have singlehandedly caused more problems with people's feet in the last couple years than probably any other type of shoe," said Dr. Rock Positano, a podiatrist at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery.

I believe it. I've never really liked flip flops. I think it stems back to when I was a kid. I remember having a pair when I was 10 or something and I was wearing them while I was riding my bike. The toe of the flip flop hit the ground when I was pedaling and it got caught, dragged me down off the bike and I scraped up the whole top of my foot leaving a scar that I have to this day. I don't really remember wearing them much after that. Plus, I slip out of them all the time. I don't need anything extra making me any clumsier that I already am.

I'm trying out the Fit Flops, but I only wear them around the house. Somehow, I've still jammed my foot while wearing them. This is the same reason I don't wear those wooden sole Dr. Scholl's. I've nearly killed myself on those things before. The only other pair of flip flops I own stay in the car for when I go to get a pedicure. That's it.

I just think they are tacky and inappropriate most of the time - and there are many many people whose feet I would prefer not to have that much visual access to. Shudder! The Manolo has also featured some of the other dangers people have encountered because of flip flops. Check them out here, here, and here. The pictures in the last one are gro-oss. And reinforce my fear of Wal-Mart. Blech!

I know people love them, especially in the summer. Heck, in my office, I would say most people wear them 80% of the time. But I just worry that people are unaware of how dangerous these are for your long term foot health. Just like sun exposure, I think in a few years we are going to get warnings that this type of shoe is responsible for long term, degenerative damage and there will be a huge rise in orthotics, physical therapy and corrective surgery.

My advice is to limit the amount you wear them. Grab a nice pair of Keds instead.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Designer Focus - Nicole Brundage

When you hear about a up-and-coming shoe designer from the Manolo, you should sit up and take notice.

From what I've seen thus far, I have been impressed. I love new designers who are using amazing materials and have a fresh aesthetic untainted by massification. You can still get a luxury product but with a unique look.

And what a look it is. Meet Nicole's Sinamon in blush leather. A gorgeous heeled sandal with white contrasting stitching and pinked-edges. Plus I love the way the multiple straps are layered and they dainty feminine shape.

I was also able to support a new site called Shoe Runway (it's all philanthropic, really). They are making new hot designers available online. Definitely worth checking out. The owner seems super nice. They operate out of the UK but ship to the US.

Since it's so hot here, I plan on wearing these for a while yet.

Flirty Ruffles

Although you see a ton of menswear tailored styles coming in for Fall, sometimes you have zig while others zag. I love the stacked brogues and wingtips and two-tone shoes but Fall and Winter is a time for get-togethers and parties and drinking Kir Royals. Sometimes you need a really flirty, girl-y, ruffle-y shoe to go with that party dress or to glam up a skirt.

I love the almost excessive embellishment of these shoes which go to the other end of the spectrum when compared to the more dignified shoes.

These Pedro Garcia Ruffle Ballet Flats in Flint are $335 at Neiman Marcus. They're kind of a silvery lavender and I love the almost distressed look that they have.

These Miu Mius in black suede are the nighttime glam version of the Naplack with the chunky heel that I featured a few posts ago. With a change of materials and a more glam heel, this style goes from quirky school girl to intriguing vixen. Wouldn't they be perfect with a really sleek dress?

Gorgeous. Buttery soft leather ruffles. Pearly lavender. Enough said. Loeffler Randall Ruffle Pump - $375 also at Neiman Marcus.

And when you are ready to dance the night away or make an impression, in jeans or at a company event, these Moschino Cheap & Chic Scallop Edge heels are so flamboyant and "Notice Me" that you need to be ready for all the attention. Of all of the shoes here, these are the ones I would get first. That ruffle is quite nearly perfect. They're $455 at Barney's.

I'm sure there will be some lower cost options available as the season goes on. These are just too pretty for them to not be reinterpreted all across the board.

I'll keep my eye out for ya!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fit Flops - step 1

So yesterday I got my black Fit Flops that had been on back-order.

So far I've only worn them around the house, which was my original plan. I may try them when I walk on the treadmill, but I am pret-ty clumsy so I fear that I may flop my way right out of them and land face-first on the treadmill.

My initial impressions are:

  1. They are more platform-y than I thought they would be. This isn't really a bad thing, but the wobbleboard action makes me feel a little unstable walking down the stairs. As I'm sure this is not a part of the intended purpose, I'll just have to be careful, because, yes, I have already fallen down my stairs.
  2. I am not used to wearing flip flops at all. So the toe part bothers me. It rubs the pad of my toe a bit because I think the design makes my ankles bow out and then my foot pushes up. I may just get some tabi socks (Japanese toe socks) so they don't rub.
  3. I have a pretty high arch and the straps are kind of thick. I'm just not used to wearing these kind of shoes. I'm going to have to slowly get used to wearing them. I think the socks will help with this too.
  4. One thing I don't like is that, on the inner sole of the shoe, they have the name embedded. I think they could get kind of gunked up, so I'm going to wipe them down with rubbing alcohol each day to keep them clean. Will that dry my feet out?

All in all, I'm pretty happy with them. Some minor adjustments in dealing with them, but we'll see how they do. I'll let you know, as time goes on, if I feel they are worth the dough or if they don't do a thing.

Comparing Contrasts

Walking away is a powerful act... yet it maintains a flirtatiousness. It can create a sense of mystery and give an invitation to "chase" with a single come-hither step. These ingrained responses are as old as time and an instinctive response.

Christian Louboutin leveraged an eons old practice of coloring the sole of the foot (shoe) red, thereby creating an extremely sexy shoe. But recently, this symbol is being knocked off more and more by other companies, either by using red as well or, in the case of Betsey Johnson and Irregular Choice, a pattern or another color.

I think that's why the YSL Tribute shoe became the new hot shoe of the year. The white heel against the black shoe really stood out and was sexy but I think in a less overt way. More sexy librarian than hot mama. I liked (and bought) the non-platform version. The sling-back is way classier. Quite a gorgeous shoe, no?

So obviously, everyone will want to jump on the bandwagon. With a style this popular, it is inevitable. But why stop with just black and white. There is a whole coloring box of color combos. Some good and some, um, not so good.

The Chie Mihara Oda Heel, with it's purple and brown combo on a retro-shaped t-strap, is kicky and perfect to pair with all of the browns for fall. It's a bit chunkier of a heel than I usually like but it pairs well with it's design and I think with brown ribbed tights could be very playful. Plus it looks really comfy.

On my "to die for" list is this Guiseppe Zanotti pony heel. I totally let this one slip through my fingers and I'm kicking myself for it. I mean look at the heel! I love love love a really spindly-looking, ultra-high heel. If it looks like I could break my neck in it, I want it. This shoe gives any Louboutin a run for it's money. I am just sick that I don't have this. There is a version done with a black heel too, but it, while still cool, does not compare to this one.

Miu Miu may have the design that is the nearest to the inspiration shoe, with their Vernice Pop Pump. But while the YSL is uber-classic, this shoe is hip and edgier. What's hard to see is that the sculpted, almost plastic-looking heel, extends up the back of the shoe. It's a really gorgeous graphic look. One that I am also wishing I had.

As I said, I'm sure we'll see a ton more color combinations coming out. We'll see how well designers do with them.

What I'm hoping will become available is the ultimate next step and a true evolution of the decorated sole... embellishment with Swarovski crystals as shown on the Valentino Couture show. If they do come out with these, which probably won't be until at least Spring/Summer 2008, I may just sell a kidney to get them.

Seriously, if I have to knock over a bank to get these I'm going to do it. If they don't make these in some form somewhere, I just don't know how I'm going to go on.

Please Valentino, please make them.