Posts Tagged ‘stilettos


London’s Great Dane

It’s hardly surprising that Camilla Skovgaard is kicking arse in the world of shoe design today, since she shares her Danish heritage with the likes of design geniuses Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen and Mssrs Bang and Olufsen.

Beginning your design career in Paris as an apprentice in couture with Balmain can’t have been a bad start either. But it was her move to Dubai, to work for a fashion house at the tender age of 20 when her love-affair with shoes really started. Witnessing first hand the resulting disasters when bad shoes were paired with the most beautiful couture outfits . . . “it was the lack of taste in women’s shoes that I saw in Dubai that initially set me on the footwear path. I gradually came to recognise the crucial importance of the right shoes if the final look is to make any sense” . . . she was galvanised into moving to London to learn the art of shoe design at London’s esteemed school for cobblers – Cordwainers.

Her BA Hons was followed by an MA at London’s Art School, working with Matthew Williamson as shoe designer, winning a number of prestigious awards along the way. Her first collection was snapped up by SAKS 5th Avenue before she’d even graduated!

In 2007 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Scholar Award for contributions to excellence of modern and traditional British craftsmanship. Collections for Matthew Williamson and Pucci followed.

Edgy embellished glads

Edgy embellished glads

And today her contribution remains excellent, modern and traditional in the sense that her designs are a juxtaposition of hyper-sexy (with funky fetish influences) and sporty (wearable craftsmanship supported by technical function and attention to detail).

Silver chain embellished strap and signature corrugated rubber sole

Silver chain embellished strap and signature corrugated rubber sole

Her collections regularly receive the highest accolades from the world’s most revered critics and titles – she has more column inches to her name than the highest of her gravity defying heels – but it is perhaps her commitment to consistently delivering high levels of quality (she still designs all her collections and oversees product development and production in Italy and China), class and impeccable fit that differentiate her from many of her peers.

Boots of architectural genius, fit for any city dash

Boots of architectural genius, fit for any city dash

Oh – that, and the fact that her signature black rubber soles are the perfect antidote to stressful city life. With these little darlings on your feet, its like running for the bus in your sneakers – but a whole lot more chichi!

You can find Camilla’s shoes at Harvey Nichols, Paul and Joe and at West London’s hottest new concept boutique The Convenience Store as well as online at Camilla Skovgaard.


A Stiletto Tale with a Citrus Twist

Hmm… who knew that a  British bookmaker/choreographer, a Business Volunteer for the Arts (BVA) from the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston , and some dried fruit skins would inspire an adventure that dovetails so well with with Wendy Toth’s recent post on pole dancing? Admit it… you are just a teensy bit curious to hear yet another tale from the ever widening intersection of shoes and art

The dance studio in Orvieto

Rosella Fuimi’s dance studio in Palazzo Caravajal-Simoncelli, Orvieto, Italy

Well, to explain I will have to return to when I snagged my fabulous Ferrari boots in Rome. Immediately afterwards, I headed off to a castle in Orvieto to study with Simone Forti. In between sessions of this workshop, I met Janine Harrington, an intriguing choreographer who hails from London. She and I bonded over many “meals” of nutella slathered on toast and have since kept in touch.

Recently, Janine’s creative impulses have prompted her to explore bookmaking. When she popped across the pond for a visit this summer, I thought she might fancy a trip to the Fuller Craft Museum . This hidden treasure in Boston’s southern suburbs is nestled into a picturesque nook overlooking a pond and is surrounded by an ever growing sculpture garden.  Susan Hammond introduced me to it when she became Monkeyhouse’s BVA a few years back. Without her, I might never have ventured down to enjoy their impeccable exhibits.


Marina Dempster's Ebullient, a found shoe festooned with beeswax, pine resin, glass seed beads, and feathers

Imagine my surprise when Janine and I found  The Perfect Fit exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum. With over 120 objects created by artists in America, Canada, and Israel, it challenges and examines the childhood memories, politics, and fetishes associated with all sorts of  shoes.  While most of the fanciful footwear is non-functional, e.g. racks of ceramic stilettos sprouting vegatables, a curious chorus of bronzed baby booties, and a pair of wing tips with vampirish lips, I encourage you to hoof it down to this museum in Brockton, MA (formerly known as “The Shoe Capital of the World”) before January 3, 2010.

Jan Hopkin's stiletto sculpture, Tolerance, crafted out of dried fruit skins

Jan Hopkin's stiletto sculpture, Tolerance, crafted out of dried fruit skins

Even if you are not an avid fan of contemporary craft, Shoetube readers will revel in Wendy Tarlow Kaplan’s curatorial vision (don’t miss her gallery talk on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, at 1 p.m). For example, after her pole dancing lessons, Wendy Toth would really appreciate Jan Hopkins‘ platforms fashioned from grapefruit and cantaloupe peels. Proclaiming “Judge her when you’ve walked in her shoes”, this sculpture references a bitter controversy surrounding a divorced mom who turned to exotic dancing to support her family.

Ok, this tale has rambled on long enough, but you can read more about my adventure here.


Pole Dancing for the Masses

photo(3)I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon wearing hot pants in a dimly lit room with three poles and eight other women; not my usual rainy Saturday. On a whim I decided to fill a last-minute opening in a friend-of-a-friend’s pole dance birthday party at the already legendary S Factor owned by Sheila Kelley in Chelsea.

Even though pole dance and strip tease classes have already caught on in a big way, I was skeptical. Exhibitionist I am not. But S Factor is nicer than any fancy yoga studio and the lobby was adorned with ruffly shorts and 5 1/2″ stilettos for sale. A whole new concept in workout gear. If I wasn’t sold right there, I was certainly interested.

photo(2)Inside, the studio was barely lit (hooray!) and the instructor was like your funniest saucy friend. She told us to take our hair out of our ponytails, braids and buns. This made me nervous, as I was afraid I’d be brainwashed into one of those girls who does the elliptical with her hair down at the gym, shudder. But then she eased us in with yogic stretches and barefoot ballet moves, pointing out all the ways the female body naturally curves and rather than urging us to suck in or straighten up, she encouraged the curving. It seems so simple but this one little difference was hugely freeing. I don’t usually smile ear-to-ear during yoga.

Then we got to the really good stuff. A beginner spinning pole move called the firefly:

I did hit my shin pretty hard the first few times, but it was worth it. When do I ever get to spin? I need more spinning in my life. Overall I felt graceful (besides the shin setback) and happy and centered. When we left my abs ached and I was energized and exhausted. Best of all I made new friends in record time and, if I get really good, they’ll teach me a few moves with the stilettos on. Final review: Forget all preconceived notions of pole dancing and try it, at leat once.


Calling All Graduates

I’m headed to Tejas this weekend for my brother’s college graduation and the trip has got me pondering my own walk across the stage. It’s been three years since I graduated from The University of Texas, but I can still remember what I wore to the ceremony right down to my shoes. Seeing as I attended a school with roughly 50,000 students, it was hard differentiating yourself from the crowd, especially in a cap and gown.

This predicament would pose a problem for any fashionable gal no matter where she hailed from. How is a girl supposed to flaunt her style under such conditions? One word: shoes.

Many girls at UT saw graduation as an opportunity to show off her best, most stylish pair of shoes—and in the process—help out mom and dad whose eyesight was fleeting. So in the spirit of graduation, and failing eyesight, meet Report Signature‘s Pamona pump in coral.

Report Signature's Pamona Cut-out Pump

Report Signature's Pamona Cut-out Pump at

This shoe’s easy-to-spot color is the epitome of spring and perfect for graduation crowds. The Pamona is classy enough to wear around your Memaw at graduation dinner, but hot enough for one last night out the town afterward. The best part about this shoe is its college friendly price. The Pamona goes for a mere $117 on Because we all know you’re not a graduate yet.


Goddess-Inspired Luxe


It’s not easy to find shoes or sandals that complement your dressed-to-the-nines ensemble sans heels, but there are exceptions to the rule.

Case in point; these eye-catching gladiator-inspired sandals from Juicy Couture .

These elegant sandals provide plenty of support with the double buckle ankle straps and wide studded straps are perfect for the dance floor on that Spring Break soiree, and the zipper at the back of the heel lets you slip in and out of these at a moment’s notice. Perfect for those evenings on the beach after a long night of revelries.

Plus, you’ve got the comfort factor. Soft leather lining and supersoft ankle straps don’t just hold your feet in place, they give them a luxurious kiss. Gold, silver or chocolate brown; the choice is yours; one of each couldn’t hurt, especially if you’re planning on sporting a few Romanesque gowns this season.

So if you’re anxious to play the Grecian goddess this year and want to say goodbye to heels for just one night, I suggest you pair yourself up with some of the Juicy Couture Laceys for the night. Take your pick of colors for your Spring ensemble and step out on the town, or beach party, in style.


If Heaven Had a Staircase…These Are the Heels to Wear


If you’ve decided that this is the year to step things up and go the extra mile – on the heel quotient, of course – feast your eyes on these fashion-forward pair of lovelies from Alexander McQueen.

These oh-so-provocative stilettos are designed with contoured cutouts and a super-sculpted base. They’re an exotic twist on the standard peep-toe pumps of the season, and the neutral color makes it a must-have for the season’s bold and flashy ensembles.

You’ll be sitting pretty on 4 ½” heels (yes, almost 5”) and can wear these sweet feet treats with almost any Spring or summer outfit. The beige/cream color and pink sole can complement almost any outfit, and will also give the simplest ensemble an angelic touch.

Still, you may need to prepare those gams for the undertaking; you’ll need some calf power to stand up straight and trot along without further ado, so hitting the stairmaster a few days a week should get your legs in great shape.


Oscar Party Showdown

It’s that time of the year again, a time to set our gaze on stars and starlets parading down the red carpet. If you’re hosting your own Oscar bash at your assigned Oscar-watching basecamp, make sure your outfit is Hollywood-worthy with the right ensemble.

The shoes are always a good place to start.

This year’s Oscars events call for the more than the little black dress, so don’t be afraid to sport some of the season’s hottest hues; dark purple, deep gold or dark green –

– and pair them up with these magnificent sandals:


Since it’s the season to show off that strut and really get noticed, enjoy a few moments of enchanting looks in these gorgeous Givenchy Sandals. They’re magical, bewitching and definitely something out of the ordinary; the criss-cross strapped booties are designed with a lace upper and leather lining, and your 3 ½” heel gives you a chance to enjoy a stiletto-like presence.

They’re the party heels of the season, and you can don them with any knee-length or mini-dress for Oscar night or beyond.

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