Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sensible for Tuesday

Well, I'm just mean, aren't I? I just throw some unbelievably beautiful shoes up on the blog for everyone to drool over & dream about, and very conveniently neglect to inform you that they cost over $800. Now, I'm all about you-get-what-you-pay-for and quality-not-quantity and I believe that saving up for an important/expensive purchase strengthens the character and all that, but $820 is... a buncha samoleons.

So I spent a large chunk of the weekend surfing the Series of Tubes to come up with some more reasonably-priced alternatives. It wasn't easy -- there isn't much out there with the elegance and beauty of those Louboutins. But I did find a few things. Click photos for links.

Kenneth Cole in black, red, or brown. These are on sale for under $50, but there are limited sizes, so if you like them you'd better jump quick.

Very pretty Isabella Fiore. These are embroidered rather than laser-cut, but I think the effect is similar. These are not cheap shoes, but they're still only about half of the Loubies.

Taryn by Taryn Rose -- chunkier, but that's always the way with Taryn Rose shoes, sadly. On the upside -- probably very comfortable, and a great shoe for work. Those would spiff up an office outfit nicely.

These are probably the closest thing I found. They are by someone called N.Y.L.A., and I don't know this brand so cannot speak with any authority about the quality of the shoe. But they're quite literally about a tenth of the price of the Loubies, so they'd be a good way to scratch the itch. (If anyone orders them I hope they'll let me know.) They also come in three other colors, including a very nice blue.

Happy shopping!

Photos: Piperlime.com, Saks.com, Zappos.com

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shocking for Monday

Would you just look at this shoe?

Isn't that pretty? That's not just pretty -- that's downright hot! Classic black patent pump with the added fillip of the high mary jane strap -- and look at that sexysexy lowcut side and toe cleavage. Really gorgeous. Imagine those with a little pencil skirt and a tie-necked blouse -- very Naughty Secretary, very hot. This is the sort of shoe that men actually notice and when they compliment you on them they actually mean it, as opposed to reciting some line from "The Rules for Men" (if there is such a thing) in an effort to override your common sense and better judgment.

Now sit down.

This shoe is from Naturalizer!

I'm not kidding!! When I think Naturalizer, I think "sensible," I think "comfortable," I think -- forgive me -- "butt ugly." But I was shocked to see several pairs of very, very attractive shoes on that website, not to mention extremely reasonable prices (those beauties above go for a measly 79 bucks -- click for the link).

I feel awfully happy about being able to show you a really good-looking shoe for under $100, especially considering I tortured you with that Louboutin miracle on Friday, which retails for a cool $820. I felt guilty about that all weekend and I'm still tracking down some more reasonable alternatives -- I have had a long hard day slogging through the internets and I have found some things I'm going to show you tomorrow, but right now my clicking thumb is exhausted and I'm going to have a drink and watch "Bridezillas."

Photo: Naturalizer.com

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Pretty for Friday

I just wanted to send you off to your weekend with something beautiful to dream about.

It's bittersweet for me, since because this is a Christian Louboutin shoe I will probably never own it (not being able to squeeze my giant mudflap of a foot into it); but just knowing this shoe exists makes me feel better about the world.

My own foot is doing pretty well. I'll probably get my stitches out on Tuesday and while the foot is sore, it appears to be on schedule. Occasionally, I sneak into my closet to peek at my motivation for healing:

As yet virginal, they wink their little crystals at me in the darkness, waiting patiently. And last night, I had a dream about running -- oh, it was bliss. It may be the first time in my entire life when a pair of shoes from Saucony excites me even more than Manolo Blahniks. (Which tells you how completely off-kilter things have become.)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Photos: Net-A-Porter.com, Style Spy

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Eyes!!! My Eyes!!!

I'm still on the prowl for replacement booties for the Miu Mius. I'm seeing lots of great booties out there for fall, so I am hopeful; but today while I was roaming around on the Series of Tubes I came across a few pairs I wanted to warn you about. See, I saw the Harry Potter movie last night and (spoiler-ish alert) and took note of the way that Harry takes it upon himself to help his fellow students learn to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. Think of me as your Fashion Harry Potter, preparing you to ward off the likes of the following. I have provided links, God forgive me.

(Giuseppe Zanotti, who sometimes gets it right and sometimes really, really does not)

Good googly-moogly. Shoes for the unholy spawn of Victoria Beckham and the Yeti.

What the Wicked Witch of the West wears for a hot night out on the town. Because you can't always be wearin' them damn ruby slippers, girl!

Brown shoes with built-in blue corduroy ankle warmers. Golly. Why didn't someone come up with this sooner? Seriously, who does that??? Sometimes the best thing about these ridiculous shoes is the reviews that people have posted about them. Here's one for these:

"Love these, they are perfect for what I need them for."

The mind reels, trying to imagine exactly what that might be.

Shoes? Or office furniture? Who can say?

These shoes are from House of Dereon, the label designed by Beyoncé Knowles' mother Tina, a.k.a. the woman who thought that this

was a good idea. Knowing that, it's hard to be surprised by the explosion of bad going on with the shoes above. Honestly, it could be worse.

So. You've been warned. Be careful out there -- it isn't always pretty.

Photos: Zappos.com, Getty Images

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Local Blogger Makes Good!

Pleased as punch to announce the addition of the lovely and hilarious Plumcake to the Manolo's stable of superfantastic contributors. Plumcake is an Austinite with a thing for shoes, just like me. She will be one of the two posters handling the duties at the newest branch of the Manolo's family tree, Manolo for the Big Girls. Go check her out -- she's great!

Hearty congratulations to one of my Shoe Sisters!!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Throwing Focus

There's a term in theater -- "throwing focus." It's when you direct attention away from something you don't want the audience to pay attention to to something you do. Since this is the state of my foot:

(Shine doesn't like it. It's too clunky & a little scary.)

I figure I need to emphasize some other part of me right now, huh? (It's better than it was -- I've managed to rub off some of the gorgeous orange Betadine that covered every millimeter of skin and I painted my toenails last night.) Don't get me wrong, I'm used to people looking at my feet, but it's usually for happier reasons.

At any rate, it's got me thinking about my other limbs, so I went tooling around online (which is the only way I could tool around for a couple of days) looking at some nifty rings. Click on the photos for links.

Nifty clear lucite -- goes with everything, and a great price!

Carved red lucite by Alexis Bittar, who does super-cool stuff. I have a glass ring that's similar:

I just love that big, bright jolt of color.

This one has my birthstone -- peridot.

It comes with the stones in other colors, also. I think I really like this, but the dangly bits might be bothersome. I'd have to try it on.

Great enamel, also comes in other colors. I also have one a lot like this, that I bought at my favorite jewelry store in Paris

called Aventurine on the rue Francs Bourgeois in the Marais. I adore this ring -- you can't see all the detail in it, but it's a beautiful example of how good French enamel is.

This one is wonderfully sparkly, and reminds me of yet another of mine:

I got this one at Agatha in Paris -- still more fantastic French costume jewelry.

This is just cooool. Classic and geometric, but still has a handmade vibe about it. It's a real amethyst, and it's also on sale!

This is by the amazing Robert Lee Morris -- the guy who does all Donna Karan's jewelry and accessories, including the bottle for her latest perfume. I adore his jewelry -- it's sculptural and sensuous and statement-y. It's also pretty pricey, so I'll be waiting a long time to add any to the collection, sadly.

Not so humongous as the others, with a more delicate feel. Also on sale.

Very Chanel-y, for a much more reasonable price. We heart Kenneth Jay Lane, he does great costume jewelry.

This next one is driving me to distraction because I waaaaaaaant it.

Enormous lucite paisley with gold. Good googly-moogly, I'm completely smitten with this.

Isn't it gorgeous?? And it's really not that spendy -- only 60 bucks! I'm thinking this may need to be a birthday present to myself...

So, this is how I've been distracting myself the last few days. Things are actually going really well with the foot, but it was a great excuse to spend hours window shopping online.

Speaking of shopping: Nordstrom's anniversary sale is on now. I gimped myself up there yesterday & bought a couple of new bras, including one by Felina that is almost exactly like the Wacoal I featured here, with the added bonus of some pretty embroidery, two other colors, and matching underpants. I highly rec. I also got a chance to check out the potential substitute boots and I've decided against them. They just aren't... quite. Ah, well. The search continues.

Photos: Style Spy, Fragments.com, ShopBop.com, RobertLeeMorris.com, LaurieSolet.com

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Making Do

So what do we think of these?


I just got the catalog for the Nordstoms sale and they were in them. They don't have quite the same feel as the Miu Mius, but they're certainly in the neighborhood, and a fraction of the price. And if I get the ones that are a fraction of the price, I could potentially also get this:

(Maxx New York)

which is also at Nordstrom and hopefully on sale as well. (Also, pretty darned cute and I have been a-hankerin' for a red patent bag.) My problem is that I've had a few pairs of BCBG shoes and while they're decent quality and usually quite cute, they've all been really rough on my feet. Also, I'm afraid they're not... quite. I may be ruined forever by the Miu Mius.

These would have done me quite nicely:

(Stuart Weitzman)

but they're only available in black or brown suede. Not what I'm after.

It is truly hard for me to believe that every shoe manufacturer on the planet has not heard my piteous wailing after red patent ankle boots and instantly responded with alternatives. I'm a little hurt, frankly. Is this any way for the Shoeniverse to treat someone as devoted as myself? I think not.

So, what do we think, people? My inclination right now is to go ahead & order the BCBGirls and see how they are up close & personal. I can always give them back, right?

A personal note (who are we kidding, this whole post was a personal note): I'm getting my foot fixed tomorrow. After about 1:00 pm, my plantar fasciitis will no longer plague me and I can wear whatever shoe I want whenever I want to. (After the first two weeks of recovery in a surgical shoe and then sneakers, of course. THAT is the part I dread. Seriously -- I have dinner plans at a nice place this Sunday. I can't believe I have to wear one of those silly things out in public. It will be infinitely more painful than the foot itself. I may have to get drunk to even leave the house...) At any rate, you may not hear from me for a few days -- evidently there are painkillers involved in this whole endeavor and I think it would be ill-advised to post while I was high.

Photos: Nordstrom, Zappos.com

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Twenty-Dollar Giggle

There are things in a person's closet that are investments. The sorts of things you know will last for years, that you will wear many times over, that form the backbone of your wardrobe and personal style. A great winter coat, for example. The perfect pair of boots. The go-to cocktail dress that always makes you feel gorgeous & glamorous. A classic handbag that smartens up everything you wear with it. These are the sorts of things everyone needs, and they are also the items you should spend a little extra money on. It makes sense, if you're going to rely on something for the next 10 or 15 years, to get the best version of it you can possibly afford.

On the other hand, there are the giggles. The goofy, whimsical, or totally of-the-moment items that you may wear for one season or with one outfit and that's it. Funny or frivolous things that are just for giggles. Like these:

(Beverly Feldman, boop-boop-a-doop)

I've been seeing them at the Neiman Marcus outlet for a while now and while they always made me smile, I just couldn't justify spending even the outlet price on them. However, this weekend I was poking around and dicovered that evidently the folks at the outlet are tired of looking at them, and they were marked down to 18 bucks and change -- with tax the total was $20.56. Seriously. Well, I think a $20 giggle is not a bad bargain. And believe it or not, I'd actually been looking around casually for something fun & colorful to wear with this little cutie-pie from DVF:

Great little crisp cotton sundress with a nice full skirt that is actually the proper length for a grown-up! I love this dress, especially when the weather in Austin reverts to its usual hot, muggy mid-July self.
I only have one other pair of Beverly Feldman shoes:

which are equally, um... eye-catching and, as I recall, which I also bought waaaay on sale. (Although I truly love these boots and wear them with surprising frequency -- they went to Paris with me last winter. Parisian women admired my boots! So there!) Ms. Feldman's shoes are usually pretty over the top; sometimes wonderfully so:
and sometimes not so much:
Ya know, I'm a pretty adept stylist and I just can't think of a single thing... It's like these were made at some Pole Dancers' Quilting Bee. I just don't get it.

I wore my new $20 giggles to a Bastille Day celebration Saturday night (Vive la France!) and they seemed appropriate somehow. I can't help but feel people should call me Fifi when I'm wearing them, n'est ce pas?

Photos: Style Spy, BeverlyFeldmanShoes.com

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Monday, July 16, 2007

More Things I Didn't Know I Needed

Continuing on with my avaricious coverage of the Fall 2007 Couture Collections, I bring you a few more things I may or may not (probably not) be able to live without:

#1: A patent leather beret.

(Also, Helena Christenson's cheekbones & cleavage wouldn't hurt)

This is from Dior. I do like hats, I wear them, although they do regrettable things to my curlycurly hair. (If you're me and you put on a hat, you're committed to the hat for the duration. Because when I take off the hat, my hair behaves as though it's still wearing the hat. Someone with stick-straight hair was complaining to me the other day about how she can't wear hats because her hat head is so terrible and I looked at her like she had three... well, heads. Was she kidding me?? How could it make any difference? Me, on the other hand -- I look like some weird topiary shrub after I've worn a hat for a while. But I digress...) I'm very taken with this hat, I think it's adorable. I also love pretty much all things patent leather, although I predict this little chapeau may mark the apex of the patent leather trend -- there's pretty much nothing left to make out of it, so I think the pendulum will swing back in the other direction. This means snap up all the patent you can find while it's out there, because it won't be around forever.

#2: This dress

(Lefranc Ferrant)

I just love this. (But not the puffball headgear.) I love the idea of a long, easy shirtdress, that skirt whipping around your feet as you waltz around your fabulous penthouse apartment making sure all your friends' wine glasses are full. So elegant, so cozy.

#3: Long leather gloves

(Lefranc Ferrant)

Because they're just cool. Admit it, there's something very sexy about an elbow-length glove, especially a leather one. Also, since I think the bracelet-sleeve coat is still going to be around this winter, they're practical. I picked up a black pair last year and I really love them, but this year I think I need them in colors:

(Valentino -- gloves AND feathers! Heaven!)


I'm still eating my heart out about the gray patent leather ones I saw on sale at Saks last winter and didn't buy. Look at these with all the fabulous buttons:

(Nicolas le Cauchois)

#4: A gorgeous little jeweled evening minaudiere. I just can't think of anything more glamorous. (These are all from Valentino. Mr. Valentino is responsible for quite a lot of acquisitive impulses on my part this season, and I suspect I won't be alone in that.)

#5: I'm really not at all sure what's going on with these but I love them anyway

(Jean Paul Gaultier)


And finally, since I'm asking for stuff, how about this guy:

He closed the show at Dior. I feel he would be a lovely addition to my wardrobe, don't you?

Photos: Elle.com, Style.com

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Wonder Drug

The shoes below are all from the Fall 2007 Valentino Haute Couture show. (This show, by the way, was absolutely stunning. It's a celebration of Valentino's 45 years of designing, and the entire thing was beyond beautiful. Be sure to check it out.)

These are the sorts of shoes that should come with warning labels and lists of potential side effects.

Warning: may cause sashaying, seductiveness, rampant flirtation, and uncontrollable giggling.

Exposure to shoes may bring on sudden, intense fits of envy which may be followed by delusional conspiracies to commit crimes against person wearing shoes, or absentmindedness characterized by persistent daydreaming about a relationship with shoes.

Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery, light machinery or even open the door to a four-star restaurant while wearing shoes.

Exposure may cause lightheadedness leading to intoxication and euphoria.

Best administered with champagne. Valet parking required.

I'm pretty sure that when my podiatrist told me to wears heels as much as possible he was talking about these, and yet they do not appear to be on my insurance company's list of approved drugs. I'm going to need to speak with someone about that, stat.

Photos: Style.com

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