Archive for February, 2009



22
Feb
09

This Little Piggie Wore Manolos

Tonight is the Academy Awards, which will be a night of much star-gazing, shoe-coveting and toe gazing.  And those toes better be spiffy.

Here in Boston, it is still freezing and gray outside, but we can get a bit of summer in our lives by visiting my favorite place to get my Oscar Worthy toes–Wet Paint Nail Spa in Cambridge.

Run by a mother-daughter team, the place is famous for its cleanliness and luxurious pedicures.  Prices are mid-range for a regular pedicure, less than Newbury Street spas, but slightly more than the ubiquitous neon-sign sporting salons that boast the $20 mani-pedi combo.   It is worth the extra cost.  Here’s why:

1.) Michelle Phoenix, the owner.  I started going here once a month about two years ago on the recommendation of a friend.  At this point, I think of Michelle as a friend (albeit, one I pay).  She is funny, interesting and could probably kick anyone’s butt at trivia.

She is an artist.  Looking for a fun pedicure to wear to a disco party?  Phoenix can create a one-of-a kind pedi that will make any shoes pop.  Further, a pedi with her feels a lot like a trip to brunch with the ladies from Sex and the City–not a bad way to spend an hour.  And do expect to spend some time.  Phoenix takes her time, examining your feet and offering suggestions for their care.  Your feet will look better than your best kicks once she is done.

My last “disco” pedi:

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2.) Cleanliness.  Much as cheap pedicures might appeal, there is a reason they are so cheap–they skimp in other areas.  Yes, boys and girls, you could get foot fungus.  Or worse.  Who knows what might be lurking in those tubs or on the razors of highly unethical places that still use it.  Wet Paint is famous for their tubs that are drained and sanitized after every client, for their impeccable tools and their adherence to safety standards.  So I spend a little more to keep my feet ready for my hottest strappy sandals.  A good trade, indeed

3) Green Standards.  Walk into Wet Paint and you will not see the OPIs or the Essies that litter other salons.  This is because their polishes are “3 Free.”  In other words, they are free of formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate – the 1st 2 are carcinogens and the 3rd is an endocrine interrupter.  “All phthalates have been banned from cosmetics in the EU and hopefully the US will soon follow suit,” says Phoenix who made the switch long before other salons.  Additonally, Phoenix has had the salon evaluated by Nstar for electricity usage.  There is low VOC paints on the walls.  They re-cycle paper and plastic. All toe separators are cornstarch packing peanuts that dissolve in the water.  If you are looking for an environmentally sound pedicure to show off in your vegan shoes, Wet Paint  is the place to get it.

4.) A little bit of summer in the Boston winter.  Ok, so the reality is not many people see our toes in the winter (save for our yoga class and to my fellow students may I just say: get thee to Wet Paint ASAP), but why not indulge our feet all year long?  Phoenix’s salon is painted in yellow, hot pink and neon green, a bright and cheery oasis when it is gray and depressing outside.

I questioned whether to write this post for fear of competition, but so many people ask me why my toes always look so good in my sandals or on my yoga mat.  Wet Paint is my secret weapon–a salon whose mission is, according to Phoenix, “to be clean and green”, offer “pampering without pretension” and to provide “expert natural nail care for healthy hands and feet.”

Get thee to Wet Paint, but if you take my spot, we will have words.

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22
Feb
09

SHE WORE THAT SHOE BETTER!

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These fabulous Fall 2009 Balmain crystal studded sandals were spotted most recently on Jennifer Connelly at the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’. A month ago Molly Sims wore the same shoe to an event over in Europe. Sooo who wore that shoe better you ask??

Ms. Connelly shows off the details and overall character of the shoe with her long legs bare in a cool, futuristic emerald green mini dress which actually helps pop the shoe with its color.  Ms. Sims hides half of the shoe, the gorgeous ankle strap with an odd fitting jump suit. If you are going to invest in a $1900 pair of shoes with fantastic detailing and bling bling, why would you in your right mind hide them?! The Verdict here is obvious:  MOLLY NEEDS TO STEP IT UP. JENNIFER WINS BY A LANDSLIDE!!!

21
Feb
09

Working Some Cleopatra Magic

elie-tahariCleopatra may not have had stacked heels to play with in her day, but Egyptian chic reigns on, especially this season with the Romanesque trends from the runway. It’s the year to show off those Grecian gowns and play the Roman goddess, so when you want to be the ultimate enchantress for the night, take a cue from Cleopatra with some metallic leather sandals.

These dark gray lovelies from Elie Tahari are designed with a stacked 4 ½” heel and a distinctive serpentine-inspired strap to hold your overpriced pedicure in place. These are platforms, so you’ll have some help in keeping your ankles and knees in good shape during the all-night party escapades.

They’re a ravishing, sophisticated and ultra-chic pair to complement a long gown or dress up a mini-skirt or tailored shorts for the evening. Practice your trot before venturing into unknown territory on the skinny heel, and you’ll be well on your way to being the goddess of the evening.

19
Feb
09

Filene’s Downtown, Holly G, and a Wardrobe Mafunction

Despite accurate reporting, there have been rumors that the Downtown Filene’s Basement would be closing along with the Towson, Hunt Valley and Columbia locations, but this simply is not true. I have it on very good shoeinirelandauthority that the Harbor site will remain open. It appears that retailers are finally listening to the Scuppies (Socially Conscious Upwardly-mobile Person) that have revived some of the once dying neighborhoods surrounding the city. In addition to this, I am sad to say Holly G closed its doors at the Federal Hill location, however the Mt. Washington store is still thriving. The two stores represent why I love shoe shopping in Baltimore—bargain basement deals and trendy boutiques!

As a side note, I just got back from Ireland, and my friend busted right out of her Aviator inspired boots. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard watching a girl hoof it through a foreign city looking like a hobo—I actually think I would have preferred a fanny pack and sneakers.

19
Feb
09

A New Guru for YOU

Jumping Geraniums! When March comes stomping in, Shoetube will shuffle its current configuration of bloggers and I will be crowned with metaphorical laurel wreath. I have been named the Fitness Footwear Guru.

Meet the new Fitness Footwear Guru!

Meet the new Fitness Footwear Guru!

(Not too shabby for a woman who earned her Varsity Letter Jacket in High School based on her merits as the Boys’ Track Team Manager.)

I am here for YOU. As you know I have been a outspoken advocate for haute couture options for people with above average foot widths and those blessed with bulging calves. As Fitness Footwear Guru, I promise to examine how well shoes can endure your active lifestyle. Let’s dig into the nitty gritty of common complaints that make exercise uncomfortable and I will search out possible solutions for you.

Please share your fitness fascinations with me and I will ferret out the top of the line technology to give your game every possible edge. As a professional choreographer, I have created pieces using everything from ballet slippers and tap shoes to drywall stilts and roller skates. I love to investigate how to improve the way YOU move in a wide variety of physical activities from running to bike riding and ice skating to rock climbing.

Sneakers, split sole jazz shoes, and rollers skates, oh my!

Sneakers, split sole jazz shoes, and roller skates, oh my!

So check back March 3 for my first installation in my new incarnation and discover which fruit infused fabric can make your workouts less funky.

18
Feb
09

Wrap star

The first time that I saw a pair of ankle wrap sandals, they were on the feet of a particularly cool and willowy model I’d recently met at a photo shoot. She was walking her impossibly small dog, her coltishness accentuated by mile-long legs swathed in a miniskirt at one end and grey suede sandals at the other. I was immediately green with envy.

 

Go Jane's suede ankle wrap toe strap sandal

Go Jane's suede ankle wrap toe strap sandal

Part strappy, part bootie, the sandals are a perfect schizophrenic storm. They shouldn’t work, but — like open-toe platform boots — they do. It might be because they balance high and low (delicate soles and elegant toe loops or thongs with a slouchy width of fabric or leather at the ankle), or because they are at once comfy and sexy. Few items of clothing can do that. A perfectly faded pair of Levis, maybe. Or a thin, floaty sundress. 

 

 

Ankle wrap sandals kind of fit in that beachy, free-spirited, “oh, this old thing?” category. They’re cool without trying too hard and unusual without being outright weird. Sienna Miller would wear them (if she doesn’t already, she should: They’re the warm-weather answer to those slouchy Vivienne Westwood pirate boots Miller has been rocking for the past couple years), but Charlotte Gainsbourg (in her perfectly overgrown bangs, skinny jeans and billowy scarf) could also pull them off.

 

Chinese Laundry Sudoku at Zappos

Chinese Laundry Sudoku at Zappos

 

 

Certain versions of these sandals boast an “ankle sock” — this is not to be confused with the classic socks-with-sandals fashion don’t. (It is worth noting that bloggers like Fashion Toast and Fashion Key are all over the ankle socks and high heels sandals trend-in-the-making.) 

 

Bahia Jersey Sandal from Free People

Bahia Jersey Sandal from Free People

Here, the toes are bare (the better to boast your coral and pale pink polished pedicure), the shoe is easy going, the wrap is arty-cool tempered with a touch of happy-go-lucky hippy. What could be more summery than that?

14
Feb
09

Lady in Red

redshoesIt’s Fashion Week here in New York City, a testament to all that is glitzy about glam and high style (despite the dead economy and bleak job outlook for many). A cursory glance at the lavish parties and gala runways is pretty awe-inducing, but can quickly sour to disillusion.

A bright moment of inspiration was Heart Truth’s Red Dress show yesterday morning in Bryant Park. It was truly one of those ‘honor just being invited” moments, of course to be followed by a “what will I wear???” decision.

The main issue at hand was that this was a celebrity-studded high fashion runway dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease. Symbolically, all the runway models (themselves celebrities ranging from Cecily Tyson to Tori Spelling) wore red, and thematically, by doing so they were giving showing/giving their heart to supporting saving hearts. (On Valentine’s weekend no less!) My main issue: Would wearing red to a show featuring red, about red, make me sort of “that guy” who wore a band’s t-shirt to said band’s show? I worried about this all week long.

Ultimately, I decided I must wear red. This was an issue of showing reverence rather than pandering. And thus, on the agenda, was my favorite pair of Franco Sarto ruby red Mary Jane peep-toe pumps. Happily, I sat in my (admittedly, fabulous) seat glued to the runway as I watched these beautiful women strut their glorious gowns. They had heart, the room had palpable energy, and my shoes…they had just the right style for this momentous occasion.




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