Archive for November, 2006
I was just brewing a post in which I was asking out loud the question, &amp;quot;What is your ultimate shoe wish for this gift season?&amp;quot; when–oops! I had the good fortune of gifting MYSELF the very DREAM GIFT that I was about to hope for. Hope that makes sense.
In short, my dream was to own a pair of Thierry Rabotin shoes. Thierry Rabotin used to work for Taryn Rose, until they had a non-amicable parting of ways, from what I understand. These days, from what I understand from various shoe salespersons, Taryn Rose is foraying more into fashion and putting comfort second, whereas Thierry Rabotin is unwavered in his pursuit of comfort with simple, classic cuts that will fit anywhere on the walk of life.
Thierry is famous for using the "saccheto" construction and lightweight materials such as Poron. What is "saccheto"? Well, I’m glad you asked! The answer is right there on Rabotin’s website:
What does "sacchetto" mean? During the sewing phase, the lining, which substitutes the innersole is assembled to the upper by fixing it like a sac along its edge. It differs from the other working porcedures because it does not use a metal reinforcement and thermoplastic glue and this way the shoe becomes lighter. A lighter weight means that it becomes easier to walk, the shoe permits the natural movement of the foot since all the components that usually make it rigid are missing. During the hand assembly, the lining, for which only the best nappa is used, is fixed in two steps to the upper, conserving in this manner softness and capacity of transpiration and providing a perfect ambience for the foot. Only water solvable glues that once dry do not develop harmful vapours are employed. A shock absorbing and transpiring material is inserted between the sole and the lining, to lighten the articulations all along the foot, which thanks to its open cellular structure maintains its volume for a long time.
I had tried a pair of his shoes and found them heavenly–just like walking on clouds. Superbly constructed, very lightweight, supremely comfortable–in short, a dream! However, the price for this foot Nirvana is quite substantial, usually between $300 and $400 (more for boots). I was forced to admire them at a distance, especially since they’re almost never on sale.
This morning, however, almost on a whim, I entered the Benjamin Lovell store downtown Philadelphia–and found this this model, Colette, on sale, for $139! They originally go for&amp;amp;nbsp;$325, so you can see how I couldn’t resist them, especially as they did have them in my size!
Now, let’s be clear: these are not&amp;amp;nbsp;exciting shoes. They’re not cutesy, or pretty, or jaw-dropping in any way. At best, they are classy and elegant, at worst, a whisker shy of stodgy. This model is quite nice, in my opinion–has the peep-toe, a classic cut, will go with virtually anything, and hopefull last a lifetime. However, the comfort is unparalleled, and just the thought of it makes me burst into song:
I’m singing in the street–
Or something like that…. At any rate, highly, HIGHLY recommended….
So I’ve been eyeing these Espace ‘Rubens’ Mary Janes (gold nubuck) for quite a while now. Problem was, at $230, they were kinda out of reach.
I’ve been following the sales with great interest, though, and when the price pretty much hit rock-bottom ($43, or 82% off), I just couldn’t resist anymore. I just had to have them. Like all the other 5 (five) Espace shoes I have, they’re quite comfy (well, the exception is this red suede strappy wedge sandals where one strap gnaws away at my big toe; I’ll have to have that stretched). Anyhoo, I’m wearing them right now with brown pants and a Banana Republic sweater and later when I go out I will throw on a pashmina shawl IN EXACTLY THE SAME COLOR, what are the chances of that? Colors look a bit different online than in real life (the gold/mustard color of this one is a bit deeper, could almost pass for orange)–and I didn’t realize I had clothing items that are basically the same hue.
Cautionary word: They’re a bit too flat, if you know what I mean–in my opinion, they can’t be comfortably worn without an orthotic insert (I won’t walk anywhere without mine, even when the shoes do, in fact, have arch support). Otherwise–cute as a button!
Every once in a while I bump into a pair of shoes that are simply too adorable to pass up. I mean, they are SO darn delicious I want to order them for lunch. With a side of strawberry and cream, if that’s possible, thank you. And a glass of something bubbly and refreshing.
These Pedro Garcia ‘Iara’ flats are part of this select group of (quasi) edible shoes—I mean, c’mon, can you ramp up the cuteness factor more than this? Pink satin? velvet trim and bow? round toe? flats? You secretly want to have them for dessert, too. I just know it. A pretty expensive dessert, that’s true ($379, ayyy!) but hey, one fit for a princess.
These flats remind me A LOT of these BrunoMagli ‘Reizel’ flats, with a slightly more bearable price tag ($175 on sale on Zappos). Which in turn remind me A LOT of these other Marc Jacobs cross-bow grosgrain cross-bow (see below; unfortunately, I don’t have a link since I haven’t been able to find them for sale anywhere on the net–if you do know of a place, by all means, do let me know!)
I’ve coveted both the BrunoMagli (in bone leather) and the Marc Jacobs (in white kidskin) for such a long time, that next time I find them on sale, I might as well snatch them, roll them in vanilla and honey, and have myself some crepes for Christmas brunch. Yes, they are that good!
If there was one item I could add to my otherwise bloated shoe collection, it would be one pair of awesome riding boots. I can’t, nor have I ever been able to, ride horses; but of course, you will necessarily laugh now– poor soul, so naive to think fashion should actually stay true to its (original) practical purpose! Sure, and winkle-pickers were meant to pick winkles–what else now?
No matter how practically inclined I may be, I simply looooove riding boots. There’s something about the sturdiness of the leather, the classic hardware details, the firm embrace of the tall shaft, the solid comfort. Of course, they’re also pretty flat–why would you want to ride horses in high heels?&nbsp;unless you’re Madonna, but let’s not even go there, ok?
So, if, theoretically, I&nbsp;had wads of money just dying to come out from under my sofa cushions, I’d get myself a proper riding boot, not unlike this classic number from Celine, what with the beautiful leather and golden studs that are at once understated and distinctive and the ring ornament and the classic line.
This boot says that you’re your own person, that you’re strong and don’t take no BS from no one,&nbsp;that you mean to walk with confidence and conquer the world and the world had better get out of your way. Love it! I’m less enamored with the price, $880, which puts it out of my reach for, oh, I don’t know, forever? Still, it’s nice to dream about it….
&amp;quot;I used to be Miss Femininity. My goal was to be Miss America when I was a teen (it was not revealed to me at that age that I was not tall enough or rich enough to do so) so I got up every morning at 5 am so I could spend two hours making myself &amp;ldquo;pretty enough&amp;rdquo; to go to school, and the culmination was tottering to the bus stop in little spike heeled pumps hoping they wouldn&amp;rsquo;t catch on a crack in the sidewalk and spill me most unfemininely to the ground. Then after school, I took ballet, wore en pointe shoes, and starved myself appropriately in hopes of being the ultimate feminine slender graceful icon of beauty which would make lesser ugly females cry in despair (and of course, make all men want to protect me and take care of me and buy me a big house in the country and tenderly look after me and however many children I bore to him.)
Of course, the whole blog and subsequent discussions are worth reading, but do enter at your own peril: this is a radical feminist blog of a radical feminist who espouses entirely radical feminist notions (such as ‘fashion is a tool of the patriarchy’), so be advised! (I’m a hypocritical feminist by Twisty’s standards, since I do love fashion, but I can’t help it. I love Twisty&nbsp; and consider myself a feminist,&nbsp;but I also DO love fashion. C’est la vie, toujours ambivalent.)
PS: In case you wondered, the shoe pictured above is an 1890 English fetish shoe (really, look at those curves: who could possibly walk in it?). If you’re familiar with a bit of the history of the stiletto, you’d know it has its origins in fetish wear. So, behold an early precursor!