Archive for the ‘Icon Shoes’ Category
Last month I had a short telephone call with Courtney and Philip Mason, the owners of a young art-to-wear brand named ‘Studio Jellyfish’. Call it a mini-interview, if you wish.
And, despite the writer’s block that has been for some reason confounding me on this article (this is at least the 3rd draft I have worked on thus far), I am determined to finish this today. Luckily, the hand-painted artwork of these shoes and handbags is striking enough to speak for itself, so I’ve decided to start with a few images to ‘get the conversation going’.
These painted ladies all have their own personality – and names. Names like ‘Golden Goddess’, ‘Blueberry Girl’ and ‘Bubblegum Girl’. You won’t find any generic style numbers here.
Of course, with every pair carefully embellished by hand, would you expect anything else?
Per Courtney, each ‘girl’ has been designed prior to appearing on a shoe or accessory, and is then free-handed onto the fashion canvas using a paint pen medium. The handmade nature of the creative process makes each pair of shoes subtly unique.
When asked if she had a favorite, Courtney answered without a bit of hesitation, “Bubblegum Girl, and some new ones that are in the works.” (Bubblegum Girl is on the second row at the left.)
According to Philip, one of their goals is to bring fine art into everyday accessible fashion. “all day, every day”. And it looks like they have a growing consumer fan base that agrees. In fact, in the just over 4 months that they have been operating their various websites (online shopfront & etsy.com), they have had orders ranging from the United States to Ireland, London, and Saudi Arabia. They also have plans in the works to expand into more mainstream fashion which will include denim and shirts and will continue to feature their signature ‘girls’.
So, who are their favorite designers or other influences? Ferragamo was immediately mentioned for classic appeal and style. When I mentioned how much their visual style reminded me of the bold simplicity of Patrick Nagel’s works – but with a hint of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls, Philip agreed, saying, “You pretty much nailed it on the head.” He also noted in a separate comment that “We have twelve years working as graphic designers. We love what we do. We wanted to do something for ourselves and it seemed like a natural transition to move that onto shoes and fashion.”
Oh, and about the name; why Studio Jellyfish?
(Politely interrupting each other)
“That goes back to when we first met. We both loved, still love the ocean. There was this South Beach hotel with a jellyfish tank in the lobby. It reflects our love of the sea and has a lot of our past and memories in it.”
So, writers block defeated. Plus, there’s even a small positive to come from it; Studio Jellyfish is now holding a spring sale which ends on March 30th.
Want a closeup of those thigh-highs?
Meet “Sassy Sally“:
If you are one of those (not me) tall gals who can wear high boots, these won’t be around forever. Truly a statement shoe if ever there was one.
Shoesense’s post reminded me that I haven’t checked out ICON’s new season of styles recently. And then I thought, we haven’t featured this brand much, even though we both own their shoes and approve of them and all. So, it’s Focus on the Brand time, this time for ICON.
ICON is a California-based company that was formed in 2001 with the express purpose of showcasing art on shoes (well, and handbags and wallets, too, but we’ll focus on the shoes here, OK, because after all, the name of the game here is SHOEblog). Neat, huh? They incorporate images from all walks of art: Renaissance masters to early modernists to contemporary artists. The artists’ images are bonded to the leather of the shoes’ uppers, which makes for some very accurate reproductions of the original images. Plus, the footbeds and soles are comfy to boot. And some even come in multiple widths.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think all of their shoes are successful. Sometimes I think they’re pretty downright hideous. Case in point, this clunky, style-less sneaker in an overly loud print:
Sometimes the concept of ”art on shoes” goes way too far into Crazy Old Lady With 80 Cats territory for me.
But when it’s done right, this idea makes for gorgeous and unique shoes. Apart from the pair I already own, there are several styles that I think are chic, classy, and fun.
Check out these retro 40s-esque platform wedges ($170). I just love this look. Very kitschy, but in the best way.
Or these delightful thong wedges that scream SPRINGTIME! ($99 on sale)
If you’re a lucky size 10, you could snap up these purty purty coral pumps that are wonderfully cheeky and stylish (also $99 on sale)
Or how about these ballet skimmers ($295) that use the ”art” in judiciously-chosen places, so it doesn’t overwhelm the whole shoe.
All the above links go to the official ICON site, where you can buy their products, but they’re also available at other online retailers, where you may be able to find other shoes from different seasons that are also adorable, like these modernist mules ($213 on sale).
It’s a great company to spice up your shoe wardrobe with something stylishly unconventional.
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.
Icon is one of those shoe brands I can’t help but love because of the uniqueness of the art-print on leather concept, combined with soft, supple, luscious materials, rubber sole and leather insoles with great arch support for absolute walking comfort. Naturally, I haven’t tried their high heels or even wedges, so I can’t speak for their comfort, but my ‘Carcel Street’ sneakers and my ‘Illumination’ skimmers are among the most comfortable pairs of shoes&amp;amp;nbsp;I own. This is not to say that some of the designs can’t be a tad stodgy–but I’m inclined to forgive and forget, if only for the sheer joy of the colorful art prints. Icon makes shoes that will get you noticed anywhere–no matter wot.
The shoe above, the ‘Mosaic&amp;amp;nbsp;Rose’ print leather with black suede&amp;amp;nbsp;caught my attention for being particularly resplendent. It’s from their latest collection and available for just under $300. I know, I know. Still, it’s a beautiful shoe, and from experience I know it’s well made and with plenty of arch support–just what this shoe lover dreams of.
If you don’t mind owning a pair of Icons from previous collection, the Icon website allows you to have one for $99 and less–unfortunately, in a limited selection of sizes, but who knows, you might get lucky!