Archive for the ‘Fall 2008 Shoes’ Category
Is it designer shoe deja-vu when it is high-end borrowing from high-street and/or alternative fashion?
I have seen a lot of online rants over copycat and designer-inspired fashion. Certain consumers hate the idea of brand-dilution that they perceive to occur as trends spread out into the general populace. Others love the opportunity to get a designer look or similar style at a fraction of the runway price.
Interestingly, I rarely see discussions on brand-dilution or concerns over intellectual property when this situation occurs in reverse.
I’m also curious when this style-borrowing happens at the haute-couture level. At what price range and perceived quality level do shoes move from being outrageously stripperlicious (thank you jitterbugbaby for adding that word to my vocabulary) and instead transform into glamourous, runway-quality, high-fashion objects? If these styles were made by anyone other than shoe-royalty, would women be lining up to own such styles?
Today’s case in point:
This hybrid sandal boot is straight out of the ‘more buckles, more skin’ school of footwear-as-lingerie. Heck, if you are a size 6, you can get a very similar look on clearance over at 6pm.com; and at a fraction of the above price:
I actually prefer the Report boot over the current season Louboutin version. I like that the Report boot has a softer feel due to its natural leather upper and its more-rounded cut-out styling.
Anyway, I’m of the opinion that fashion is cyclical. High-fashion borrows from low and low-fashion borrows from high; this back-and-forth cycle helps keeps fashion feeling fresh and dynamic.
Here’s a question:
What type of consumer criticisms might have occurred if the Report shoes had appeared the season after the Louboutin’s instead of before? I’ve seen enough folks cry ‘Copy!’ ‘Get your own designs!’ over the appearance of a plain black platform pump that I have to admit to being curious to the answer on this one.
I welcome your thoughts and observations.
I know it’s been several weeks since I introduced you to the pet-able ‘Tsar’ shearling-lined boot (brand-new and out of the box):
Now, here is what they look like after a bit of casual wear & tear. I’d like to think that hint of slouch is just starting to give them even more character:
Oh, and I did promise you a review. So, on to the details.
First of all, I have managed to wear these in conditions ranging from temperatures hovering just at freezing (32F) to a crowded trade-floor with temperatures approaching the high 70′s to low 80′s (which I was only able to do since I had otherwise dressed lightly, I wouldn’t recommend making this a habit). So, I think I can give you a fair idea of how these babies performed and exactly where their strengths and weaknesses are in everyday settings.
Reasons to Love ‘Australia Love Collective’:
1. These boots are cozy and warm. In most temperatures at the 40F to 60F range, these are warm enough that socks are simply not required. At about 34F outside during soft hail (poofy tiny snowballs), I was able to tolerate 45 minutes of open-air soccer-momming before hitting a point where I actually felt the cold begin to penetrate my toes. Conclusion? These are not meant to replace anybody’s ski boots, but they are perfect for errands around town on chilly days or as super-fun ski-lodge wear. The shearling lining is warm enough for most indoor/outdoor winter errands while the sheep’s wool acts to wick away moisture. An added bonus is that the lanolin content of the shearling acts as a natural moisturizer against the skin – incidentally helping to combat the dry skin that many of us encounter during the colder months.
2. The boots are gorgeous. They are not for folks who are trying to blend into the crowd. As evidence, I simply need to let you know that while I attended my annual pilgrimage to the Puyallup Sew Expo, I became ‘the lady with the fabulous boots’. I am even now uncertain if any of the women who approached me ever noticed my face … But comments such as “I love your boots”, “Where did you find your boots. They’re fantastic!”, and ”Those boots are amazing!” will follow you wherever you wear these. These are, no question, an attention-grabber.
3. These boots are low-maintenance. It wasn’t until after a third day of wearing these that I was able to get to the store and pick up some suede cleaner and suede protectant (Rain was predicted). Before applying the protectant, I noticed a slight dirt smear over the toe area. Horrors … and fears of permanent damage were on my mind. However, a touch of cleaner and a damp washcloth were all it took to restore the original color and nap of the suede. Since applying the spray-on protectant, I have noticed no other dirt or blemishing on the suede.
4. These boots are comfortable and reasonably supportive for a flatter boot and have a generous tread. The interior shearling lining extends onto the foot-bed and acts almost like memory foam; compressing at the side of the foot, the heel, and toe areas while keeping its original shape in the arch area. This resulted in a touch of gentle arch support and a remarkably comfortable fit … appreciated since I usually have to add monster inserts into the majority of my shoes to accommodate a medium-high arch and prevent foot fatigue.
5. These boots are wardrobe investment. At $450 they are not inexpensive; but they are well-crafted to last you many seasons of loving wear. And, with many designer dress shoes increasing this season to record highs of $750-$2000 for a pair of special-occasion pumps and $1500-$6000 for a pair of designer boots, the purchase value on these becomes even more obvious. Oh, and for those with simpler tastes, there are plain styles at a lower entry point starting at $175-$195 for the ‘Cosy Short’ and ‘Cosy Long’ styles:
Now, I just need to mention a few things to be aware of, though they aren’t stopping this gal’s fuzzy-boot love-fest.
1. There may be a break-in period for these boots. The length on my right foot is about 1/4 shoe size shorter than my left foot. As a result, I experienced a small amount of heel ’slippage’ with the right boot. On the second or third day wearing these boots, when I had a chance to wear them continuously for about 8 hours, I did develop a very small abrasion (about 2mm around) at the back of my right ankle. It was nothing a little circle band-aid or medium weight socks didn’t fix.
2. This style may not fit wider or excessively slender calves. If you are below or above average calf circumference, one of the lace-up styles in this collection may be more appropriate for you. My calves (mentioned previously) are right at the edge of standard circumference fit by most boot manufacturers. On the ‘Tsar’ I can put 2-3 ‘fingers’ worth of space between my calf and the boot while they are being worn; that is a bit of extra space where the shearling has a touch more room to compress.
3. These boots will stretch. This is important when determining size. Australia Love Collective boots are made from natural sheepskin and require you to get the right size (your size or the next size lower if you normally wear half-sizes) to allow for normal breaking-in and stretching to occur.
4. These boots are not for the shy. If you are not comfortable with people approaching you to comment on your appearance, you will likely be interested in a more conservative style like the ‘Fame’ or ‘Vixen’:
5. You may find yourself needing a new pair of skinny jeans. Okay, maybe this isn’t a bad thing per se. I’m not much of a tunic and leggings gal, so skinny jeans are the next best thing to tuck into a pair of lined boots … and I don’t own any; too many memories of skinny rocker-boys from my high school days, perhaps. While It is possible to to the boot ‘fold and stuff’ with straight-cut jeans, that seems like a lot of work and bulk. Me, I just wore them with my normal just-below the knee skirts and hoped that I didn’t look too much like a Russian Nesting Doll; at 5′-2″ there’s always a little chance that bold styles will make my look fall more on the ‘cute’ side.
All in all, the experience of wearing these boots has been thoroughly enjoyable. If you are at all like me, you might find yourself being a bit less reserved than normal while wearing boots like these. They are simply not something that allows you to be shy when they are on your feet.
If any of this has you curious about more boots from the Australia Love Collective, you can view their current collection here.
posted by: brianka in 6pm.com, Boots, Comfort Shoes, Endless, Fall 2008 Shoes, Flats, Heels.com, High heels, Hot Shoe Deals and Steals, Michael Kors Shoes, Michael Kors Shoes, Oxfords, Platforms, Sandals, Spot the Shoe on Sale, Spring 2008 shoes, Via Spiga Shoes, Zappos
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Folks!
Are you wearing your green today? I certainly wouldn’t want to see anybody getting pinched. And why is it that this is one habit that most so-called adults that I’ve known have never outgrown? There really are few things less dignified than adults being gleefully pinched by coworkers. Oh well ….
I’m wearing my green …. My kids made certain of that. My outfit today is primarily courtesy of my four-year old son’s foray into my closet this morning. Given that knowledge, it is not nearly as cartoonish an ensemble as one might imagine.
So, in the theme of green, here are a few earthy-green shoes for your consideration:
And more Heels:
As for me, I am wearing my patiently stalked Pour La Victoire ‘Penelope’ oxfords – which I picked up on clearance at Amazon last Fall:
What did one stiletto say to the other stiletto?
Okay, so I couldn’t resist a cheesy riddle like we used to get on the old Valentine’s Day Cards back in elementary school.
And, I seem to recall that the best Valentines had treats attached. So, since I can’t give you all candy hearts that read ‘Stay Cool’ and ‘Cutie Pie’, I will give you a peek at these:
Don’t these call to mind the Candy Conversation Hearts that we all used to give and receive every Valentine’s Day?
A sweet treat for your feet … Happy Valentine’s Day!
I haven’t owned any Baby Phat shoes. It’s probably because so many shoes from the brand have a tendency to go just a tad overboard on the whole Bling scale of adornment.
But, at the moment, I find myself drawn to this pair of Baby Phat pumps:
At the most basic level, these are just a simple variation of the neutral-tone logo pumps that are produced each season for many labels. So what do I like about these?
It’s definitely that little crest over the toe. Very cute.
Perhaps I am also sensing a need to channel my inner Hermione Granger? Whatever the case, I certainly like the whole combo here. There’s definitely a bit of a playful wink and nod to that whole Hogwarts / boarding-school setting. Can’t you just see this on the foot of the stylish Gryffindor 7th-year witch?
So, this is a perfectly sassy pump for gals looking to show a bit of that college-coed attitude. Plus, these are affordable on all except the most belt-tightened budgets (which is always a plus to those of us cursed with a healthy dose of shoe-obsession).