01
Feb
10

Full Support from Chinese Laundry

Saturday was my lovely grandma’s 80th birthday. And that is not something you miss.  So I had a whirlwind day of present-buying in NYC, hopping in the Zipcar for a 2 hour drive to Philly, eating a dress-up dinner at a posh restaurant with my family, and getting back to Brooklyn in time for a good friend’s 30th birthday bash, whew.

Normally, I might have worn pumps for my grandma’s soirée. But this time I needed footwear that could go formal and support my on-the-go day.

The answer was my favorite pair of luscious flat, black boots. With work wear stability, but soft to the touch, they got me everywhere I needed to be on foot, and looked plenty pretty under my poufy party skirt. If you’re in need of some double duty boots, check out this fantastic suede pair from Chinese Laundry ($98). Or, if you’re on a budget, these vintage boots on eBay (size 7, $10).

30
Jan
10

6 Days in Clarks’ Soul of Africa

Clarks' Soul of Africa Mules Warming Up in Somerville

Yikes! Once I freed these mules from their box, they got quite a workout.  For a few decadent minutes, I warmed them on the marble slab above our heater. Barely an hour later, they zipped through the x-ray machine at Logan and headed for Amsterdam.

Less than 24 hours later with water stains waiting for the train in Amsterdam

My socks slid against the slick leather insoles and the tips of my toes got a bit soggy as we  slogged through the snowy streets in Holland. If I had realized that Europe would be seized by such uncommon storms, I might have packed something more sensible for our brief layover. Thankfully, we did not get stranded there.

In Casablanca, we joined up with the rest of  the Somerville-Tiznit Sister Cities delegation and hopped on a plane to Agadir. After a sumptuous feast by the ocean, we boarded a bus bound for Tiznit. At around 2AM, after over 26 hours of traveling, we checked in to the Hotel Idou Tiznit where we stole a few hours of sleep before we launched into a four day marathon of magnificent activities. Our group meandered through an ancient medina, viewed artists’ studios, bounced to irresistible Berber beats, toured schools, explored cultural centers, and attended lavish meals with local dignitaries. Believe me, my jet lagged tootsies were tremendously grateful for the supple cushions in the soles of these mules.

Lounging in an artist's studio in Tiznit

Returning home to the throes of winter, my hand-stitched Soul of Africa slippers were replaced by my Sorel boots. Frankly though, I think they are praying for Punxsutawney Phil to spot his shadow on Tuesday so they can enjoy the quiet sanctuary of the shelf as long as possible.

To comply with recent legislation regarding blogging, you should know that my trip was sponsored by University of the Middle East Project, The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in concert with Sister Cities International, the City of Somerville, the City of Tiznit and the Moroccan American Cultural Center. Please realize that most of my experiences would not be typical for anyone else.

28
Jan
10

DIY Shoetube Style Part 3: Success!

After battling through chipped paint, chipped fingernails, and certainly chipped pride, my Gucci-hued door is finally finished! Fortunately, the paint was dry in time for the Holidays, and I recruited one of my fave florists to create a snazzy coordinating wreath. I’m quite pleased, if I do say so myself.

Avant et Après

As all worthwhile projects eventually come to an end, I find myself satisfied with a job well done and eagerly looking for my next  endeavor. I have lots of projects around the house, since basically everything needs spruced up, so now I just need to figure out what is safe to tackle sans professional help. However, given my slight obsession with shoes, I think it’s safe to say that most of my DIY projects are going to end up being sole-inspired.

Think about it:

Kitchen a la Kate Spade!

Bathrooms by Balenciaga!

A Lanvin Living Room!

A Dior Dining Room!

Kind of makes you re-think that story about the old woman who lived in a shoe…

28
Jan
10

Live Nude Shoes

Following the Spring 2010 runways shows, Vogue reported, “The big story for summer is nudity — the vast majority of shows opened with nude, ice-cream colours, making cut and drapery the big style statements as opposed to eye-popping colours.” And, while flesh-toned shoes did make a showing for summer ’09 as well, they’re back.

Listed among the spring trends at Neiman Marcus: Nude shoes. They’re available on the high end (like these Louboutin cutout booties):

Christian Louboutin's Cutout Bootie

And in the mere mortal price range: “Pierre Hardy continues to design shoes for Gap, for summer 2010,” blogger Nitrolicious writes. “The shoes retails for $98 and will be available at select Gap stores on May 4th. I’m not too sure about the shoes at the moment, would need a better look in person before I decide if I want them or not. Your thoughts?”

Pierre Hardy for Gap

The sole comment thus far, from “Stylish”: “Love the nude cork wedges…perfect for summer with white dresses.”

Easy wedges not your style? Obsessed With Shoes notes Fendi’s summer collection 2010 sandals, which seem to wrap the foot, all Grecian-like, in swaths of pantyhose. “They are simple sandals covered with lightweight mesh material that wraps around the ankle, with lots of extra material for an extra bulky bow,” the blogger writes. “The interesting aspect of the shoe, is the transparent platform, of course. It gives the shoe a futuristic, utilitarian look.

Fendi sandals

“Nude shoes make your legs look miles long. We love it!” enthuses About.com in a tutorial on how to wear the color. Need more inspiration? Style blog What She Wears suggests, “If you’re after a sharp, sophisticated look, the best fit shoe wise would be nude shoes. To be specific; patent, peep toe shoes in a nude colour (also referred to as camel or beige).”

Yep, nude is the new black. And why not? Black, by the time warm weather rolls around, is the absolute last thing anyone wants to wear. And white shoes: Let’s face it, unless you’re 10 years old and attending an Easter egg hunt, or a member of The Strokes, white shoes are pretty ridiculous. Nude, taupe, cream, egg shell, ecru and beige are not just for kitchen appliances anymore: Turns out those skin-colored neutrals make for go-with-everything footwear.

28
Jan
10

The Labradoodle of Shoes

It’s safe to assume that when the first designer dog breeders uttered the word Labradoodle, they got some skeptical looks.

But skeptical looks clearly became uncontrollable grins as naysayers were faced with the ridiculously adorable results of puppy love between a Lab and a Poodle.

Thus, we in the world of shoe breeding have accepted the shoe/ bootie hybrid–the shootie–with similar enthusiasm. Lately though, I sense a new designer shoe hybrid entering the scene to steal our hearts.

The simple sling-back pump crossed with the classic clog:

+

Right now there are some great results from Jeffrey Campbell,

and Clarks.

Plus a vintagey version from Nina Z, that my ahead-of-the-curve roommie turned me on to.

As for eBay, you size 6.5s can check out a pair of Ariats; 8’s, you can find Danskos; and 7.5s, there are some hot DKNY platforms.

But before we run out in our new wooden-soled works of art. What to call them? Clings?

Photo via.

28
Jan
10

Here She Comes, Miss America

I’m off to Las Vegas in a day or so…I’m going to meet the new Miss America, minutes after she’s crowned!

Zappos.com

Obviously, I’m excited – it’s Vegas – but also, it’s Miss America! However, I was shocked to discover that there’s many prejudices that exist about this competition, to this day.

Yes, it’s America’s oldest beauty contest, but what was once fair in its accusation of “objectifying women” (I hate that term), it’s anything-but now. Still, as I tell friends and associates I’m going to Miss America, they treat it as little better than a strip show.

I think the root of a lot of this misunderstanding is people misinterpreting the feminist movement. I mentioned to an old college friend that I’d be at the show, and he’s like “Oh, my wife wouldn’t let me watch that. She’s a feminist.”

What does, then, feminist mean? Women not given the opportunity to compete for scholarships to further their career? That may have not been how the pageant started out – but it’s where it’s become – and that’s a proud reflection of the evolution of American women.

And so I’m going to Sin City, to celebrate women, and womenhood, and being as out there as we want to be – and in my Naughty Monkey Fiesta heels, $79.99 at Zappos.com, a party it will be!

26
Jan
10

New Rain Boots: The Process

At first when I get a pair of new shoes, (I’m talking obsession-worthy shoes, not just just your average flip-flops) I take a mental inventory of my wardrobe in the hopes of finding the perfect outfit with which to debut the shoes. Sometimes I take it a step further and think of the perfect scenario. OK fine, I always take it the step further. In honor of today’s sale on rain boots, I did it for the Barefoot Tess Houndstooth Puddle Jumper.




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