The latest pair that I fell in love (okay obsession!) with were these boyish gold oxfords that Kelly Wearstler was wearing on the Domino October 2008 cover. Ever since then, I've been searching and searching for them or for a pair like them. This is how obsessed I was. First I looked at the magazine's "resources" section. Not there... hmmm... Then I tried a simple online search. Nothing. I then contacted Domino editorial. I mean they were bound to know, right? Nope! They said they were Kelly shoes that she had brought with her and that they were custom made. This gave me hope. All I needed to know was where she got them made. Time and distance are no barrier these days, right? Sadly, the Domino staff didn't know where they came from (and apparently they had received a number of inquiries besides mine).
Okay, now I was determined to find out. This was getting ridiculous. So I called her offices. Yes, yes, I have a problem, I. Know. This.
If you can believe this I actually spoke to someone on her staff (alright, I'll admit it. I made up a pretense of wanting them for a photoshoot or something. I told you, I am obsessed with getting something I want). They told me that she had them custom made somewhere in Italy or they were vintage from Europe or something but they/she didn't remember where so there was no further info they could give me.
I finally gave that all up as a dead end. I figured I would just need to do a search online and see if I could find a good substitution.
But you would think I was searching for the Holy Grail or something. I mean there is a serious opportunity in the marketplace because I found nothing. Well, I actually did find a lot of gold jazz shoes but not a lot of this style of oxfords.
The closest pair I found were this pair from Toast. They were pretty good but first of all they started at size 37, which is way bigger than my 35, although I did actually consider them. But they are around $300 and not quite the right color. Still, as a back up, not a bad choice, right?
Then I was sifting through the YOOX sale and found these Apepazzas. The style is pretty good, albeit a bit too pointy. They describe the color as gold. I'm not sure if I believe them, though. And still $130 plus shipping. Not that that is a huge amount, but it is a lot for a third choice.
Then I remembered I had a pair of vintage deadstock oxfords that I had bought on eBay a while back when I was looking for a off-white bucks alternative. I wasn't too thrilled with them at the time and considered reselling them. This would be a good option for another shoe customization project!
The shoes cost me about $15 and I bought black and antique gold acrylic paints, varnish and a gold leaf pen from Michaels. Total - $15.
The shape is slightly more elongated and these have holes where Kelly's didn't but I couldn't be too picky at this point.
I started out by testing on an interior spot if I could paint the gold right on them or if I needed to do the basecoat of black. I determined that I did need the black to get the right depth of color I wanted. I used the paint pen on lace holes which are metal.
One shoe done with the base coat.
I ended up doing two coats of the black and then I did the gold as each shoe dried. I was worried that the paint would dry and make the leather too stiff but so far that doesn't seem to be an issue.
Both shoes done...
I then did a coat of satin finish varnish to protect them. I could do a few more coats but I'm impatient. I don't put my shoes through too much abuse so I think they'll be okay.
Once they were all dry I had to lace them up. I had a vision of using ribbon laces but I still need to find the perfect color. After going through my boxes of ribbon I picked a few to use for the time being. But I think I'm going to end up getting a pair of black regular type laces for them. More cord-like.
For now I put the mauve-y wire-edged ribbons in, which I think are cute with the gold.
Bows! I edged the ribbon ends with some Fray-chek to stop them from shredding.
What do you think? Of course, they'll look closer to the "inspiration" pair when I get the black laces, but not bad, huh?
I think they are super cute! Now I just need to plan an outfit around them. And the good thing is I can swap out the laces and touch them up if I get any scuffs.