Archive for December, 2008



imm_copertina_fw08_1Everyone is talking about it and unfortunately many are living it.

No difference here in Italy, we talk of nothing other than this economic crisis, crisis and more crisis!

On a day like this though, the financial crisis doesn’t exist at all.

I went to the hair dresser today and it was crowded with ladies of all ages having their hair done while discussing what to wear to their New Year’s parties. Should it be their new Fendi shoes or should they don their Prada shoes?

I silently asked myself what happened to the crisis. How do you mange to have the newest from the most important fashion houses in these times?

The answer is simple, you go for safe investments!

Bags, jewelery and shoes are the perfect investment, and not as an excuse for us shoe fanatics to continue shopping.

No, because in two years the it-bag or it-shoe will become vintage or a collection piece.

With this philosophy, we fashion loving Italians continue to buy the fantastic shoes that our favorite designers have dreamed up for us in their fall/winter 2008-2009 collections. Shoes that, when one has a first look at them, are beautiful but beg the question, where should I wear you?

Buy them, use them, save them!

You won’t regret it.

Just have a look at the artful pieces that Roberto Cavalli, Christian Louboutain, Cèline, have designed for us.

So all of you shoe fanatics out there, give the gift of safe investments!

(Even if the gift is for you!)

I have done just that and so has my friend, Francesca.

I will be wearing my new Gianna Meliani shoes and she will be wearing her new Prada shoes. I wish you all a Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!


Slippery Slope

Fab SlippersIt’s a few days after Christmas and there are more than a few moving boxes lining the walls in my apartment.  I’m tempted to buy one of those gas station onesies, slap on some rubber gloves, and start tossing everything I should have tossed before I packed up my last place.  But while I live in Boston, I refuse to wear anything flannel, fleece, or otherwise “comfortable” unless it’s to the gym.  Shudder if you must, but it is a slippery slope–one day you’re in drawstring pants at the supermarket, the next day you’re running errands in a parka over a flannel nightgown with no make-up on.


The same goes for hanging out at home.  Surely there are more attractive things to wear than college sweatpants and Uggs.  So instead of going barefoot in my sporadically heated apartment, I’m searching for something a little less hausfrau, a little more Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.  And while we can’t all have Alber Elbaz custom-make us some cute Lanvin flats for flitting around the house, these would trump Ugg boots any day.  They come in this lovely muted gold, silver, or black (if you want to get Jackie Kennedy about it).


I may even pick up a couple extra–after Husband and I clean up the place, we’re going to be those obnoxious people who make their floors a no-shoe zone, and I want my guests to come back.  Croissant, anyone?


The Ultimate in Sexy – Boots

Getting ready for a night out with the spouse doesn’t happen often. With several kids running around and crazy work schedules, it’s tough to find time with just the two of us. However, we do occasionally hit the town. Our last night out started much better than expected and we hadn’t even left the house! I put the finishing touch on my hair and makeup and proceeded to zip up my new Cole Haan Sierra Air boots. I heard a sharp intake of breath and quickly looked over at my husband to see what the problem was.

Cole Haan Sierra Air

Cole Haan Sierra Air

Apparently, choosing to zip up a pair of just below the knee high heel boots was a riskier move than I thought. He was immediately attracted to the situation and quietly whispered “that is the sexiest thing I have ever seen.”  Sure I’ve worn them before and he has commented on them, but watching me put them on was the icing on the cake.

With my confidence boosted, I strutted out of the house knowing our night would be perfect. I was right. I felt different from the moment both feet were on the floor. I felt sexy. After days of feeling normal and even a bit down on my appearance, that night I felt like the most beautiful woman around. I didn’t look any different. The difference was how I carried myself because I knew what kind of effect those beautiful boots had on the man I love. He mentioned several times throughout our night how beautiful I was and how I seemed happier and more confident. I was much more confident and that was just plain sexy. 

According to the New York Times, Sarah Palin also wore these boots and you can see the confidence she exudes. Some people may not understand what a pair of shoes, or boots as the case may be, has to do with feeling sexy and confident. Once that special pair is on, the difference is easy to spot. Perhaps these boots will see more use now that I know just how they make me feel. No ordinary boot will do now that I’ve had the ultimate in sexy.


Playing the New Year’s Princess

So it’s that time of year again, a time to take stock of the year’s past and count down to a New Year filled with hope, well wishes…and a new pair of shoes, perhaps?

It’s time to bid adieu to the woes and worries of 2008 and dream up a new life ahead. Indulge in the royal treatment during the post-holiday spending blitz – just one more purchase added to the 2008 shopping sprees couldn’t hurt, right?

End the year on the right foot, with the right shoes, I say, and you can’t go wrong.

Case in point: The Alexander McQueen Princess Platforms. These dazzling 4” heels will give you a chance to play Cinderella for the evening’s events, a beautiful pair of crystal shoes embellished with a silver paillette and made in a  classic peep-toe design. They’re strategically designed platforms, so you can dance the night away without fear of twisting your ankle. A perfect match for your royal ensemble that are sure to turn a few heads and even melt a few hearts.

Forget the fact that you may be teetering on a stiletto-like heel until sunrise. Forget the fact that a peep-toe pump means you could be playing footsie with some snow on your trek to the grand ball. And, forget the fact that these puppies will charge up at least four figures on the credit card statement.

Just enjoy the moment, and make a dramatic entrance to the night of revelries in high style, because when the clock strikes midnight and the carriage turns into a pumpkin…you could trade these $1,200+ heels for a used car.


A Yak that Runs Track

New England weather is highly unpredictable.  Last week, for example, my husband and I were snowed in with our kids for two full days.  This week?  It is 65 balmy degrees.

Because of the volatility, I never let the weather change my running plans.  Instead, I adapt.  I ran last week in my ski mask and snow pants and returned home with icicles embedded in my hat.  The ice against my face was like free microdermabrasion and at least three people screamed out their windows that I “must be crazy.” My feet were buried, but they never slipped.  Mostly because I was sporting these:


I have been a runner for more than five years and have never had such fun running on ice.  Even in Maine, where the road practically needs a Zamboni rather than a street sweeper, I was able to keep my traction on this week’s six-miler.

Some of the less favorable reviews I have read online suggest that the trax snap easily and are not comfortable, but this has not been my experience.  In fact, I feel like I have discovered a secret weapon.

They are relatively comfortable, although do tend to increase the shock on the legs on long runs that alternate between ice/snow and pavement.  Still, that is a small price to pay for the traction they afford.  Last month I ran five treacherous miles the day after an ice storm without them.  I slipped all over the road and came dangerously close to falling at least 12 times.  The next day, I bought my trax, strapped them on and went for a run.  The difference was unreal.  It could have been a sunny day in July.  I suddenly had full traction beneath my Asics.

In previous years I have been lucky to get one outdoor run a week while slogging out the rest of my weekly mileage on the gym’s treadmill–a good workout, but a sorry substitute for the exhilaration of street running.

So, if you are like me and you live in the tundra, invest in a pair of these.  They are a lot less cumbersome than snow shoes and a lot easier to wear while running errands.

Photo via.


Sahara Boots In the Rain

15190168_20_dIt’s Christmas Eve and the drummer and I are on a bus, again. We’re visiting my family this time. The drummer wakes up from napping, peels his cheek off the cold window and says, “I just dreamt that we ruined your sister’s engagement.” Taking it as a sign, I text her for the fifth time, “We’ll be there in 30 minutes.”

The back story.

December 20: My big sister and her boyfriend arrive at my parents’ house for the holidays.

December 22: My sister’s boyfriend, a history buff, tells her he’d like to take a driving and walking tour of Pennsylvania’s historic Valley Forge park on Christmas Eve day. We spent every winter of our childhood there, sledding down rolling hills.

Morning, December 23: Over the phone, my sister agrees to pick the drummer and I up from the Valley Forge bus depot at 10:30 AM the next day. She mentions the park tour. I invite us along. Sounds fun.

Evening, December 23: The history buff asks my parents for permission to marry my sister and shows them a big, round diamond, but no ring. He’d rather wait for her to choose the setting. Smart. He plans to propose at the park. It would be more romantic if the drummer and I weren’t watching from the back seat when he does so.

12:01 AM, December 24: With my sister finally asleep, my dad calls me. Seeing the caller ID and time, I imagine some awful tragedy at the other end. I answer, yelp at the good news and agree to feign exhaustion rather than go to the park.

8:00 AM, December 24: New York and Philadelphia are being pelted with freezing rain. The loudspeaker in Manhattan’s Port Authority announces a delay. Our bus arrives an hour late and the remainder of the morning is spent frantically texting estimated arrival times–adjusted for traffic–in hopes of leaving my sister enough daylight for the park tour; hence the nightmare.

15190168_20_b212:30 PM, December 24: We make it. While my sister takes us home, the history buff covertly checks Doppler weather maps on his Blackberry, waiting for the rain to lift. My sister, unsuspecting, supremely tough, and philosophical without meaning to be, drops us off, tightens the lace to her Bernardo Sahara Boot and says, “It’s just rain, let’s go anyway.”

It didn’t strike me at the time, but it seems fitting mention that the Bernardo Company has had an enviably long and happy life. It was founded in 1947 by Bernard Rudofsky, a designer who bucked the trends in favor of lasting motifs and shaping a shoe with the form of a person’s foot in mind. A good choice on my sister’s part.

So go they do, propose he does (the rain even let up), and their new life begins. From the second they step in the back door of our parents’ house, officially engaged, my head is swimming with dainty wedding details, including delicate white lace heels.

A few days later, despite wedding plans flying, my enduring vision of them doesn’t include the fancy, clean, elegance of their upcoming nuptials. It’s my sister and her fiancé, damp with rain and mud, faces flushed, both wearing the kind of boots that will be around–muddied and left in the hall, then cleaned and muddied, again and again–as they build a life together, complete with bad weather and a fretting, loving, and enduringly inconvenient family.


London’s Loose Laces


While most people are scrambling around hatching plans for New Year’s Eve, I have been developing some new dance pieces for First Night 2009. (Don’t be startled if you see me on the WBZ evening news or a downtown Jumbotron!) In addition to using music by Uncle Monsterface and the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, I am creating a soundscape using field recordings from my travels to Iceland, England, Italy, and the Netherlands this year.

As I have been snipping sound bites together, I remembered how Jason and I had thought that we made it through Logan’s airport security without an incident. For us this was no small feat. If the screw in my knee doesn’t start things buzzing then there is always something harmless, i.e. a lobster, in our bags that somehow wreaks havoc. Please, switch to another line if you ever find yourself behind us.

I was so startled by our good fortune that I found myself staring dumbfounded at the floor. That’s when I noticed the floppy footwear headed towards me. I must have looked rather goofy gawking because the girl in bunny ear boots giggled to her friends as she went by us. We had barely gotten ourselves organized at the gate when the gaggle of kids approached us again.

“Were you staring at my shoes?” She inquired with a bouncy British accent and a bit of belligerence.

“Yes,” I replied.


“I write about shoes and I’ve never seen anyone wear theirs like that before.”

“Really? In Manchester everybody does it.”

“Yeah, I don’t even own a pair because they’re too ordinary,” her loafer loving friend piped in.

This odd encounter provided a sitcom like sense of foreshadowing for our brief stay in Kensington. Similar sets of sheepskin boot shanks slouched next to me on the tube and lounged about the lobby of the Sadler Wells Theater before a Pina Bausch performance.

Ladies in a wide range of ages sported this laid back look in Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Hyde Park.

Their omnipresence reminded me that I had forgotten to ask the giggly girl which brand of boots they were. Some internet sleuthing, however, led me to Camper Industrial boots. They were the closest I could find to the original kind the kid had on and they matched many of the pairs I’d seen lurking about.

So if the stress of the holiday season is pressing upon you, perhaps it’s time to loosen up your laces, and get into a British groove.

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December 2008