Archive for May, 2007
Peacocks get a bad rap. Proud, vain… not flattering adjectives for birds that are so exotic and unique. Dammit, those birds deserve to be proud of their looks, and we deserve just as much to incorporate their pretty pretty feathers into our fashions. Peacock feathers have inspired such great and daring fashion moments as Nicole Kidman’s 2005 Golden Globes dress and Margaret Cho’s 2004 Grammy Awards dress:
And of course, there’s Aubrey Beardsley’s famous ”The Peacock Skirt” illustration for Oscar Wilde’s Salome.
I mean, even Nike has jumped on the peacock bandwagon with the Peacock Air Force One sneakers.
Have I got you excited about peacock patterns yet? Personally, I’m a sucker for them. I have peacock feather earrings, necklaces, barrettes, and at one time a peacock shirt. Not to mention these fantastic ICON peacock slides (which, by the way, I got for a song, with some sale-hunting assistance from Shoesense).
They’re fun, they’re different, and who says peacock feathers ever go out of style? They’ll always add something unique to your wardrobe. So let’s take a look at some proud options.
If you’re looking for something a little more neutral than the standard green/blue iridescent colors, try these thongs by Mystique ($106):
But if you’re ready to embrace the full-on peacock strut, then here are some diva-licious ways to do it.
Casual girl? Check out Chuck Taylor’s limited edition peacock hi-top ($72)
Rancher gal? Go for these Purdy Peacock cowboy boots… well… if you’ve got a spare $1,795 lying around for em.
I’m still on the hunt for these peacock-patterned Irregular Choice shoes that I saw at the Zappos outlet in Vegas (sadly, too big for me). If anyone has any leads on where I can buy them (style 2915-1A), I’ll be forever in your debt.
If you feel like being patient, these gorgeous and classy Gucci peacock-enhanced slingbacks show up periodically on eBay.
And if peacock shoes are really too much for you to wear, but you like the idea, then hunt down this retired model shoe and put your treasured feathers up on a shelf.
I saw two good friends wearing Poetic Licence flats one after the other, and I have to say, their shoes delighted me. (Besides, I’m a sucker for all things British, AND for British spelling.) They are a whole ‘nother level of cute:
This particular model, called ‘Check Mate’ is beyond adorable, comes in four color combinations, and is only $73.
Finally, my biggest fave this season, the criss-cross peep-toe, has an adorable incarnation in this patent flat ($93):
When good, wearable, cute design is married with reasonable pricing, a sense of well-being suffuses me. Birds sing of happy summer days, the clematis unfold purple and pink flower explosions, the stars align, and all is good in the universe. I thank my lucky shoe-gods!
Some of you may recognize this as the catchphrase from my favorite reality show, Project Runway. Oh god, do I love this show. And I love Heidi Klum, too. She’s adorable and she’s married to Seal and she has adorable babies and she’s one of those mogul types like J. Lo: model, singer, mother, tv show host, great Halloween costume creator, and fashion designer. I’m specifically thinking of her Birkenstock line. Shoesense’s last post sent me seeking out attractive Birkenstock’s, and I thought I’d pass on my findings.
Now, previously, my image of Heidi Klum’s Birk line was this hideous radioactive thing (and for $200, no less):
And I thought to myself, there has to be something more than this to have made a profitable line of shoes. And Heidi… what were you thinking? I needed to find something to redeem her in my eyes. And lo and behold! I have found it. Check out some other offerings from her Birkenstock collection.
Are these not gorgeous?! I’m particularly coveting that first one with the ankle straps. Of course, these will all set you back from $250-$370, but the idea of comfortable shoes that are good for your feet AND this pretty… Heidi… you’re back in my good graces in a major way.
For those of us with high arches, or sensitive feet, wearing flimsy-soled shoes in the heat of summer can often prove to be a painful experience. You may end up to feel every grind and bump in the road, and your arches may ache by the end of your trip. Fashion designers don’t really seem to care about these issues, as they know their target-market pretty well. Thus, as long as their footwear looks dainty and pretty, they know that the alternative is often Birkenstock, and Birkenstock wearers tend to (somewhat wisely) put comfort ahead of fashion–thus, they’re not their target clientele. Problem solved!
As you all know, I love my comfort as much as I love my fashion, and so I couldn’t help but wonder: isn’t there some compromise in between? Can’t I have my molded, anatomical footbed, and my fashion, too?
Turns that why, yes, I can! There are a variety of anatomically friendly sandals out there, which in addition to offering arch support, metatarsal support, and plenty of cushioning, are also quite easy on the eyes. Just let’s get one thing clear: dainty delicate things, they’re not, and they’re not meant to be. That doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful, though, and that they won’tt keep you comfy during the hot summer days.
Without further ado, here are some of my top choices:
The Rafe ‘Kate’ jewel sandal. The suede-covered footbed is secured on a crepe bottom for plenty of cushioning. The upper is vintage-finish leather decorated with antique brass and agate resin stones. Not only will they make you feel comfortable, but also rich and fabulous, too! Barefoot Tess has a fantastic sale on these ($69, down from $245), although, sadly, only in a size 10. Oh wait, that’s MY size! Yay!
It’s hard to top these in glamor, but these next contenders put up a strong showing:
Also available in a natural cork color, these Pedro Garcia thongs with crystal-encrusted suede uppers and molded footbed lined in metallic leather are on the pricey side ($375 at Neiman’s), but they will make you feel like a barefoot princess.
Alternately, these Donald J. Pliner toe-loop sandals will unleash the wild woman in you:
They are lined in the softest suede and are supremely comfortable. Neiman Marcus has them for $165, but you wanna know a secret? Endless has them currently on sale for $55, plus they give you free overnight shipping and pay YOU $5 if you order from them–so really, they would only be $50. Not only that, but they’re also available in a variety of attractive patent uppers (red, blue, and black) in addition to the Congo print (pictured). God, I love a good sale when I see one! I almost need to smoke a cigarette now, this one was so good.
I was of split mind about these Mephisto ‘Violette’ sandals, but on closer inspection, I think they pass the comfort-cum-style inspection:
….They’re also available in red or black, although red is my favorite, and they’re 140 at Shoes.com.
I’ve heard a lot of praise for Naot, though I can’t say I’ve tried them myself. However, I would wear these in a heartbeat:
Finally, anything by Think! will be both well made and reasonably stylish. The footbed is molded and supportive and the upper sturdy and funky:
I’m also favorably inclined towards these Marc Jacobs cute-and-comfy patchwork slides ($204 at Zappos):
So, if you want to give your feet a break (and you should, they’ve served you well all these years), wear a comfortable sandal several times a week, or whenever you get a chance, really. You don’t really have to compromise on style–and the only downside is that you’re going to get so used to the comfort you’ll never want to go back to the flimsy, delicate, strappy things that fashion dictated you to wear.
I hate to come down on a designer I generally adore, and in relation to a shoe that is, admittedly, sort of fun:
The original mouse shoe by Marc Jacobs was only subtly hinting at a mouse’s whiskers and beady eyes through a stylized, cutesy design that retained its whimsy while not compromising on elegance–kind of like this:
By contrast, the mouse hair-calf flat with the black-on-white spots, the black beaded eyes and the gold nose and relief ears (they stick out, people!) are foregoing the elegant and landing solidly on the ‘whimsy’. Honestly, if you’re over 10 years old, it would be kind of hard to wear these with a straight face.