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Archive for ‘Shoes’

Snakeskin Slings Are Back (Who Says They Ever Left?)

By , 22 October, 2009, No Comment

Snakeskin slingbacks are a classic — so much so, Joan Blondell wears them on the beach!

Joan Blondell Wearing Snakeskin Slingbacks

Joan Blondell Wearing Snakeskin Slingbacks

I don’t think snakeskin and sand would be a great combination, let alone high heels, but hey, it’s just a promo photo, right? However, with these faux snakeskin slingbacks by Guess, you certainly could risk it — especially as they are on sale. Originally $98.95, now just $39.58 for this classic fashion look! (And no snakes died for your fashion needs!)

Chandrika 3, Peep Toe Platform Slingback, By Guess

Chandrika 3, Peep Toe Platform Slingback, By Guess

Modern Boots With Vintage Style

By , 10 September, 2009, 3 Comments

You might not appreciate everything about the “return of 1980’s fashions,” but I’m getting a huge kick out of the number of fabulous vintage inspired boots & booties available this Fall!

The Hannah ankle boot from Annie’s Shoes is about as practical as a classic vintage inspired bootie can be — quite a few color options too.

Hannah Ankle Boot

Hannah Ankle Boot

Fioni’s Mason Button Boot is a fab modern re-do of the classic side-button bootie (often called the “granny boot”) — love the feminine scalloped edge that’s mirrored in the button placement too.

Mason Button Boot

Mason Button Boot

Love, love, love the grand patent leather button on these grey suede Aerosoles Rolette boots with ruching.

Aerosoles Rolette Boot

Aerosoles Rolette Boot

The Corso Como Gianna Ankle Boot in black suede has an elegant close-to-the-ankle cuff accented with a dramatic bow.

Corso Como Gianna

Corso Como Gianna

If you really love cuffs and bows, check out Fioni’s Whitney Cuff Boot with layers of soft (faux) suede, a very over-sized cuff, and one unmistakable bow.

Whitney Cuff Boot

Whitney Cuff Boot

All of these are lovely, but I think my current favorite is this Chie Mihara boot by Nysataupe suede boots with flowers?! *swoon*

Chie Mihara Boot

Chie Mihara Boot

Back To Fashion School

By , 7 September, 2009, 4 Comments

The trouble with girls & young women today is they just don’t know enough about fashion history.

Overheard at the mall (and no, dear daughter, I wasn’t listening to you & your friends; I heard this while waiting in the food court for you), a group of teens discussing the 80’s fashion comeback. They apparently, if my teen-to-adult translator was working right, were disappointed to find that stores weren’t selling “classic 80’s Madonna, like from her Desperately Seeking Susan days.”

Desperately Seeking 80s Madonna

Desperately Seeking 80s Madonna

“Where,” they snarkily commented, rather than asked, “are the short skirts, the wild boots?” — “That stuff was rad original and iconic!”

Clearly these girls didn’t know that Madonna had ripped-off — or borrowed — from Joan Crawford, so how could I tell them that pretty much everything from Madonna’s “rad original & iconic look” (save for the neon colors – ugh) was the vamp revamping past fashions?

Sure, they might have guessed that the “granny booties” were a version of antique boots or Victorian shoes — daringly paired with short skirts. But clearly they didn’t have a clue that this had been done before too. And with cuffed (decorated, even!), slouch, calf-height boots yet.

Movie Makers: Short Skirts & Boots (1919)

Movie Makers: Short Skirts & Boots (1919)

Even the disheveled hosiery can be traced back to someone else… Now that’s old school!

Marie Prevost with Stockings (One Over The Knee, The Other Rolled Below The Knee) And Cuffed Slouch Boots

Marie Prevost with Stockings (One Over The Knee, The Other Rolled Below The Knee) And Cuffed Slouch Boots (1918)

If those teenagers would have listened to the creepy old lady who rambled to them at the mall — or if they visited here and read this post — and got back to fashion schooled, can you imagine the “No way!”s? *wink*

If you’re in the mood for some boots inspired by 1980s Madonna, 1910s Marie Prevost, et all, check out Jimmy Choo’s ‘Jinx’ Cuff Boot & Jeffrey Campbell’s ‘Us’ Ankle Bootie.

Jimmy Choo's Black Cuffed (With Grommets) Boot

Jimmy Choo's Black Cuffed (With Grommets) Boot

Jeffery Campbell Black Studded Ankle Bootie

Jeffery Campbell Black Studded Ankle Bootie

“Bee” A Deco Flapper Girl

By , 2 September, 2009, 2 Comments

Sure, “bee” is a pun based on the flapper expression “the bee’s knees,” but it’s also an art deco color scheme. Because most of what we see of flapper attire is in black & white, you may not know it, but a pretty warm yellow paired with dramatic black was a rather common color combination (often leaving the yellow looking like “white” or at least ivory in vintage photographs).

Since the straight “tube” flapper style of dress (combined with smaller sizing) can make most actual vintage flapper clothing too small for most of us to wear (or be unflattering when we do!), you can add in touches of the roaring twenties with fabulous flapper art deco touches.

I found some lovely yellow & black art deco designed (so that’s vintage style, not actual vintage) silver plated barrettes with black & yellow enameling and Swarovski crystal accents — what a pretty way to manage your bangs while you work on growing out that bob!

Vintage Style Art Deco Hair Barrett in Black and Gold

Vintage Style Art Deco Hair Barrett in Black and Gold

If you’d like something a bit softer, less geometric, in design, how about this lovely actual vintage art deco enamel and Czech yellow necklace with flowers and feminine ovals:

Vintage Art Deco Necklace with Czech Glass & Enameling

Vintage Art Deco Necklace with Czech Glass & Enameling

To add to your flapper look, finish off with some actual vintage shoes. These silver shoes with a top ankle strap match the metal of the barrettes and necklace and go with nearly any modern ensemble too.

Silver Leather Flapper Shoes With Top Strap

Silver Leather Flapper Shoes With Top Strap

Of course, if you’re looking for more of a basic & casual shoe (with more size options too), try these Cortny flats with three ankle straps by Elizabeth & James — a more modern version of the flapper shoe in versatile (and popular this season!) ballet flats.

Cortny Ballet Flats with Three Ankle Straps

Cortny Ballet Flats with Three Ankle Straps

Are You A Shoe-In For This Contest?

By , 25 August, 2009, No Comment

August must be “contest month” or something… Well, at Twolia, there’s a contest every month *wink* But along with the other recent contests I just posted, ShoeHunting.com has a giveaway. To enter, all you have to do to enter is upload a picture to the Runway. That’s it! Show off a cool pair of shoes & one winner will be randomly selected to receive a $100 gift certificate to Zappos.com. Contest ends August 31st at Midnight EST.

Don’t Step On My Wine Suede Shoes

By , 18 August, 2009, No Comment

I’m nearly drunk with desire for these burgundy wine suede shoes from the 40’s.

1940s Burgundy Suede Silk Bow Trim Shoes

1940s Burgundy Suede Silk Bow Trim Shoes

Shoe Shopping With Barbara Stanwyck (Or, Stanwyck Exploits The Power Of Shoes)

By , 10 August, 2009, 1 Comment
Barbara Stanwyck In Lady Eve

Barbara Stanwyck In Lady Eve

OK, so these scenes of Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve (1941) aren’t exactly about shoe shopping…

But if you’ve ever seen The Lady Eve, the shoe scenes are difficult to forget — even if you don’t love shoes.

Those that believe in the power of shoes, well, let’s just say you’ll find Stanwyck’s sacrifice of a pretty shoe — stretched out from under the table into Fonda’s path tripping him — a grim but understandable tactic to get the attentions of one’s Prince Charming.

Stanwyck Trips Fonda In The Lady Eve

Stanwyck Trips Fonda In The Lady Eve

Once she’s made him literally fall for her, she stands above him and complains that he has broken the heel off her shoe and has him escort her back to her room to help replace the shoes he has ruined with another pair.

Once back in her room, Stanwyck seductively leans back on a wardrobe trunk and toys with the shy, awkward Fonda with a flirtatious, “See anything you like?”

Barbara Stanwyck Shoe Fitting

Barbara Stanwyck Shoe Fitting

Now that he’s confused by her sexual aggression and drunk on her perfume, she points to her compartmented shoe bag with fifty pairs of shoes & commands him to select another pair for her — all the while, making suggestive lines to further distract him. Once he’s found a pair, she proffers her nylon covered foot — exposing her nylon covered leg via the generous slit in her black evening gown — and bids him to put the shoes on her feet.

He is as mad about her now as many fashionistas are about shoes in general; he is in full swoon.

If you’re looking for some shoes with the power of Stanwyck’s, try some strappy peep toe pumps from the 40’s.

Saucy vintage maroon suede peep toe shoes with a wooden heel!

Strappy Suede Vintage Peep-Toe Shoes

Strappy Suede Vintage Peep-Toe Shoes

Black Mary Jane peep-toe shoes never go out of style.

Peep-Toe Mary Jane Pumps, 1930s-1940s

Peep-Toe Mary Jane Pumps, 1930s-1940s

If you don’t have an evening gown, or the occasion to wear such dressy ensembles, these lace-up green leather peep toe shoes from the 1940s allow for more casual thrills.

Green Leather Lace-Up Peep-Toe Shoes, 1940s

Green Leather Lace-Up Peep-Toe Shoes, 1940s

Boomin’ Barbarella-esque Boot Sale

By , 1 April, 2009, No Comment

A Slip of a Girl alerts us to what she calls the “To Heel With The Economy!” sale of United Nude shoes at Juxzy — where I found these incredible retro-style, Barbarella-esque boots! At 65% off!

Sharpei Hi Naval Camo Boot by United Nude

Sharpei Hi Naval Camo Boot by United Nude

I love the neutral white & grey colors pallet — but still, the geometric designs are boomin’!

Because the sale is at Juxzy.com, a private sales boutique, the sale is while supplies last and open for a limited time only. (Membership to Juxzy is free — but by invitation only. Luckily, Slip of a Girl can get us in! Just use her email address as your referral: slipofagirl@gmail.com.)

Putting Zebra Stripes On Your Spring-o-lator Steps

By , 23 March, 2009, No Comment

Currently I’m lusting after these 1950’s Spring-o-lator heels with a wild zebra print — and the matching vintage handbag.

Vintage Zebra Pring Heels & Handbag

Vintage Zebra Print Heels & Handbag

What a fabulous way to change the look of any little black dress!

Antique Week On Collecting Shoes

By , 11 March, 2009, No Comment

Antique Week literally covers shoes this week with a front page article by Christie Garland, These shoes were made for collecting, in which Garland discusses the history & collectibility of the shoe.

Antique Week Shoe Article

Antique Week Shoe Article

Gently chiding the Carrie Bradshaw-esqe shoe lovers and “well-heeled socialites” who imagine they are the first (or best) to love the shoe, Garland writes:

What our fashionable frau probably doesn’t realize is that she isn’t really a trendsetter. We need only go back into history to make our case: beginning in the 1860s, “Girl of the Period” became a catchphrase signifying a woman whose enslavement to fashion preempted all else – even common sense.

I especially loved walking about in in the historical footnotes:

But the War years brought with them a shortage of leather, the necessary introduction of cloth-topped shoes and boots, and black mourning footwear. The end of the War brought the Victory Pump, a long slender shoe with a long Colonial tongue and a Louis heel (a fluted heel that flares at the bottom), and shoes in a patriotic color known as gunmetal gray.

It didn’t take long, however, for shoes to revert back to their former fashionable status. In the 1920s, as footwear became visible beneath short dresses, heels were at least 2 inches high, and shoe styles included the Mary Jane (a round-toed ankle strap button shoe), gold and silver kid Charleston ’sandals,’ T-bar shoes with buckles and bows, and sequin or diamante trims.

Great descriptions of the shoes! But it’s the context, both in terms of economics and popular culture, which really helps me ‘see’ the love affair with shoes:

One would surmise that the Depression years brought another dearth in shoe styles, but surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. For the lady of the house, a vast variety of rounded toes, peek-a-boo toes (showing toe ’cleavage’) pumps, flats, ankle straps, slip-ons, lace-ups, buckled, spectator, two-tones, baby doll ankle boots, and sandals emerged. Men also demonstrated that they were no stranger to the power of celebrity: two-toned brogues, the favorite style of Fred Astaire, became all the rage, as did the wing-tip Oxford, worn by the likes of Clark Gable and Errol Flynn.

As was the case with the World War I, World War II brought with it government restrictions on leather, and the embellishment of fashion items. Heels were lowered, buckles and lacings were exchanged with elasticized gores and vamps, and leather was replaced with alternatives that included reptile skin and faux frog-skin.

Nevertheless, we have World War II and innovations in steel technology to thank for the stiletto heel. Until the 1940s, in order to support a woman’s weight, heels had to be short and narrow or high and thick. Once manufacturers were able to extrude thin steel rods, the stiletto heel was inevitable. Following the war, stiletto heels became a fashion must, remaining in vogue throughout the 1950s as movie stars like Marilyn Monroe modeled their virtues.

While older women may have held onto their stilettos into the next decade, the 1960s reflected an emerging youth, and their rampant experimentation with vibrant colors, exotic textures and shapes – even space-age style. But the 1960s may best be remembered as a decade of the sexy boot – from Nancy Sinatra’s shiny white go-go boots featured in These Boots are Made for Walking to those vampy black boots donned by a leather-clad Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) in The Avengers.

Fast forward through the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and beyond, and you’ll discover designers that have incorporated the best – and sometimes the worst – of shoe history. Platform shoes, for example, first appeared on the runways and pages of Europe in 1936, but they didn’t catch on in North American until 1941. They resurfaced in the early 1970s, and more recently in the mid-1990s as a statement of “Girl Power” with performers like the Spice Girls. It’s just a matter of time until they resurface once again – right alongside thigh high, shiny black leather boots and stiletto heels.

However, Garland subscribes to that horrible old adage, “If you were old enough to wear it (fashionably) the first time around, you’re probably too old to wear it now.” Ugh. I hate that saying. With fashion flashbacks cycling every 20 years or so, that’s like saying you die fashion death at 40. (I could go on and on about this, but it really should be for another time/post.)

But I really enjoyed the rest of the read.

Collecting Shoes Article Page 35

Collecting Shoes Article Page 35

The author also recommends the following shoe museums/URLs — unfortunately, Antique Week doesn’t link them, but I do! *wink*

The Wenham Museum, 132 Main Street, Wenham, MA 01984 Tel: (978) 468-2377

The Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1W7 Tel: (416) 979-7799

The Shoe Collection, Northampton Museums, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP Email: museums@northampton.gov.uk

I also found this official page on the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and this article on the Followers of Fashion, the permanent shoe gallery at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Conclusion Of Shoe Article

Conclusion Of Shoe Article

Perhaps the most surprising thing I read though, was this “Did you know?” part which didn’t make the website:

There’s an ancient superstition that hiding shoes in a house as it was being built would ward off evil. Hundreds of these concealed shoes have been found in buildings in Europe and the Eastern United States.

Has anyone every heard of this? Are they found in single, or in pairs? Have you ever found any — and if so, may I have them? *wink*