Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shoe Focus - Manolo Blahnik Fiocam Mary Jane

What can I say that isn't already obvious when you look at this shoe?

It's Manolo Blahnik, my favorite designer.

It's a patent mary jane, one of my favorite styles.

It's got an adorable bow.  I can't resist a cute bow.

But it's the combination that makes it irresistible!

Manolo has taken his power shoe - the urban shoe legend, no less  - the Campari, and evolved it.  The heel is not as overtly sexy.  It's a bit lower and more walkable.

And adding the peek-a-boo window and a sweet bow... now you have sweet and sexy.

Of course I got them!

Manolo Blahnik Fiocam... get them at Saks!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PSA - Find This Dog A Home

We found this sweetie yesterday and are now trying to get him a great home.  Sweet young boy pup.  About 1 - 2 years.  Knows "sit" and is super in the crate.  He slept in the crate overnight with no barking or messes.  A sweet love that deserves a good home.  He's a bit skinny but won't get too big.  I'd say he's about 40 pounds right now.

Contact me via FB, Twitter or a comment here if you know someone in NC or surrounding areas who wants to add to their family.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Trenched in with Kate Spade

One thing was made clear to me on my trip to San Francisco... I need a new stylish trench.

I have a vintage red trench, which is admittedly fabulous, but my more neutral tan one is horrid.  Its an old-old old, shapeless and marked up coat from the Gap that really has no redeeming qualities at this point other than I don't care if it gets more messed up. But if I'm going to be traveling for work or some place decent, I need a decent coat.

And Kate Spade's Topliner Trench fits the bill and suits my style to perfection.

I've been smitten with this coat for a few months now but, in trying to be somewhat frugal, I passed it up and its original $698 price tag.

But even though I tried to stop thinking about it, the bold piping and Florence Broadhurst lining still never left my mind.

    And, lo and behold!  When I checked back, it was 50% off.  Plus I had a 15% off discount as well,  
    making this lovely trench within my budgeted price range!

I am soooo excited to wear this sweetie.  I have more trips coming up (look out NYC!) and it's going to be the perfect accompaniment to my adventures.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Quick Journey West

I've been traveling again!

Okay, maybe that's not a surprise given the fact that I've been all over the place lately but this time I was back to the west coast and my favorite city... San Fran!

I actually had an opportunity to see outside... heck I even had time to go outside.  I ate at the great vegan restaurant Millennium, which was delish.

I stayed at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in Nob Hill, which was a great location.  I've stayed over by Golden Gate Park before but this was way more central... and totally stunning.

My room overlooked the front entrance and I could hear the cable cars pinging away, which was so fun.  If you have the chance, go to the top floor restaurant, Top of the Mark, for some of the best 360-views in the city.

 Shockingly, I did get the chance to have a bit of a day off, so a colleague and I drove over the bridge to see Muir Woods.

Most of the walking path is a boardwalk or paved, so it's an easy stroll but we felt that was not enough. We took the shortest "hike"path which was about two miles and very easy.  Of course I had not planned to be hiking on this trip so I got a few side eye looks the gold sequin flats I was hiking in.

 Afterwards we went to eat at San Rafael's delicious Sol Foods.  Well worth the drive and some of the best Puerto Rican food ever! I'm totally starving right now and wish I had more.

And a trip to San Francisco isn't complete without a bit of shopping.  We popped into the Union Square DSW and were greeted with a huge display of The Shoe Girl's Ce Ce L'amour shoes.  I was so excited to see them in real life!  They are just as cute as you'd imagine too.

 I ended up with two pairs of the tall version of my ruffly Betsey Johnson Llola boots.  The tall style is called Rallly and I had to get both the tan and the black pairs.

Then it was back home.  Whew!

By the way, when I wore the Chie Mihara Stratosphere mary janes, I got tons of compliments.  One lady came up to me twice and even had me write down the name and where I got them.  They were super comfortable for trudging through airports and walking throughout San Francisco too.

But, all said, I'm glad to be back!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Talent, Style and Inspiration - a Fascinator Story

I'm not sure if I've expressed this before, but I love love LOVE hats and fascinators and hair accessories of all kinds.

And I love that the lovely Kate Middleton is bringing them back in a big way.  And my absolute favorite thus has been the vibrant red straw fascinator with the maple leaves that she wore in Canada.  Obviously she is gorgeous, but the combination of the jaunty design and wearing angle, striking color and outfit pairing made it perfect.

I had to have it!

So I did a bit of research and found that the creator was Sylvia Fetcher of milliners Lock & Co.  Right away I gave them a call and was promptly told that this piece was custom made for the Duchess and not for sale.  Darn royals!

But lucky for me, I also have access to a custom milliner - my very talented friend Mary of Pretty Good Things.  So, we discussed a plan - we wanted something equally striking, red with maple leaves, but it had to be inspired by, not a knockoff.  Different shape and materials and her unique vision led Mary to create a little masterpiece just for me.

Isn't it stunning!?!?  I don't even have it yet but I'm so excited to wear it!

What's great about the process is that she shared her vision and progress with me throughout.  I was able to select the overall color (in case I wanted something other than red), how I wanted to wear it, and even placement of the lining and embellishments.

In the end I ended up with a beautiful piece that will be so much fun to wear, as pretty as the inspiration piece but one that has a personality of it's own.  And that is what's great about working directly with artists of all types!

By the way, I'm not a huge royal family watcher, but have to admit, I love Kate and Will as a couple.  They both seem so gracious and equally in love with and comfortable with each other.  I just watched this video of them from their Canada outing and they seem sweet.  I guess I'm a fan!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ensemble du Jour - 5-15-12

I love wearing a professional outfit but in a fun colorful way.  JCrew is making that happen by having their pencil skirts available in the best patterns. I've bought blue and white seersucker, red and this great garden floral sourced from a vintage wallpaper pattern.

I paired it with a navy 3/4 sleeve blazer and my sweet green gingham Miu Miu slingbacks.

Bright and super happy!!!  This combo is totally me - classic shapes but in a fun quirky way.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Candy Evolved

Last summer I was a big fan of the Furla Candy bags which came out in a whole array of bright and saturated colors and combinations.  This summer they've continued to evolve the line with glitter and fun embellishments included wicker, stitching and metal. 

But Furla hasn't stopped there.  Now their line includes a range of shoes, some with the same "Candy" rubber.

I love the pale pink pumps with the delicate brown bows.  Cotton candy and caramel!!!

The heels retain the embossed stitching and attention to detail that make the bags so coveted as well.

The Candy pumps are $178, but make sure to check out the full collection!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweetie Pies

I don't need any new sandals or wedges or pink shoes for summer but how sweet are these cuties from Old Navy???

I love the 1970s styling and pink and red combo.  I also love the knot details.  These are perfect for jeans and dress.  And for $28, I could get the black and white version too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking a Little Green

I don't do neon very well in clothes, especially neon yellow or green.  I am just to pasty pale to be able to pull it off.

But accessories... those I can do!

So I was excited to see my favorite Manolo Blahnik Sedaraby in a hot chartreuse.

Maybe I need to get these, pair them with a neon pink a blast into Summer!

Manolo Blahnik Sedaraby in chartreuse green - $755 from Bergdorf Goodman

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"A Peanut Shell on a Lamp" - The New York Shoe Conspiracy

This is why I love Twitter... When a random tweet sent my way captures my attention, illuminates a by-gone era and yet still resonates with issues today.

Today, Forgotten Stories asked me if I'd heard of the Vast New York Shoe Conspiracy.  Apparently, even in 1909, women wanted to be known for having dainty feet and the salesmen knew how to play against that.

Here's the story:

For years, a vast conspiracy existed between the women of New York and their shoe salesmen. From the doughtiest matron to the slimmest debutante, shoe size 13A or 1 were considered ideal, and anything up to a 3 acceptable; and women struggled to fit into them, much to the consternation of the salesmen.

The best conspiracies are the simplest, and footwear specialists came up with a solution; label each and every pair of shoes a 13A or a number 1. The smallest feet around…size 1. Feet like toboggans…size 1. Give the shopper a shoe that fits, label it a size 1, and she’ll be happy.

And so began the legend; “Feminine residents of New York have held to themselves for lo! these many years the flattering belief that they have the smallest feet of the women of any large city. They have prided themselves especially upon their superiority in the matter of small neat tootsies over their sisters of New York’s deadliest rival, Chicago” said the New York World.
Women showed up to buy these:

and all who wanted went home with a size 1 or a 13A.
The charade fell apart during the week of January 13, 1909. First, The National Boot and Shoe Manufacturers’ Association, holding their annual convention at the Hotel Astor, condemned the practice. Association President J. Hanan stated on the record, “The subterfuge ingeniously arranged so a dealer can give a woman any size to fit no matter what she may call for is manifestly unfair.” J.D. Smithers, shoe dealer from Detroit, disagreed, “You tell a lady with a No. 9 foot that you are giving her a No. 9 shoe,” said Mr. Smithers, “and watch her whisk out of your store! What you need in trade young man is discretion.”
Then the other shoe fell (pun completely intended). Mat Grau, theatrical booking agent, was in town to pick out a chorus line for the new Broadway play A Stubborn Cinderella. Advertisements were inserted into newspapers invited the small footed young ladies of the greater New York area to call upon Mr. Grau for an audition; to sweeten the deal Grau offered twice the usual chorus girl salary.

The special nature of the play called for the chorus girls to fill a size 13A shoe. “Out in Chicago, we had no difficulty of a serious nature in picking a chorus of girls – adults – who could wear a 13A shoe” said Grau, and so he expected it to be easy. ” One thousand women came from Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, each trying to squeeze into a size 13A. Said Grau, “Putting [the test shoe] on most of the feet I have run across in a week was like trying to fit a peanut shell on the end of an incandescent lamp.” 

Grau’s heart fell like a pair of arches with each failure. He’d been testing the feet of chorus girls for years, “I remember the time, when I was younger, that this test shoe I have – a 13A – would slip on the foot of possibly every fifth girl who applied for a chorus position.” But no more. Out of those 1000 women, Grau found only one who could wear the 13A. Miss Rita Harris.

But the illusion was gone; the Achilles heel exposed. The women of New York, Brookyln and Newark had big feet.  And now the world knew it.

Vanity sizing in 1909.  Who knew?!?

Check out more Forgotten Stories here.