Monday, May 5, 2008

Endangered Species

In my mailbox the other day was this heads-up from alert reader Karen:


who recognized these shoes are the Alexander McQueens that made me swoon a while back, and thought of me. (Thank you so much, Karen, for associating me with these amazing beauties, and for the e-mail!)

Interesting. There seems to be much hysteria lately over the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow has been wearing high-heeled shoes. More on this later, but may I just point out that these are not, as implied by this article (click the photo to read it), 7-inch heels. They are 5-inch heels and the shoes have a 1-inch interior platform, which makes them for all practical purposes a 4-inch heel. I have friends who get nosebleeds just contemplating a 4-inch heel, but the truth is I have scads of 'em, they are not uncommon, and they hardly qualify as fetish shoes.

This is a true fetish shoe


about which perhaps the less said the better. These shoes are not about fashion -- they serve other purposes.

But the McQueens -- those are shoe shoes -- they are fantastic, aren't they? So beautiful, I'm still absolutely smitten. Problem is, so is everyone else. Already they are becoming the hen's teeth of shoes.


These, which are from, are sold out in every size but one. (Mine, as it so happens. Upon learning which information I must do deep breathing exercises and chant to myself, "Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week," over and over again.) The black ones look to be following suit soon.

These darlings

are only left in three sizes (more chanting -- oh my god, that gold toe cap makes me dizzy and if that pink sole does not destroy you, well, then, you have no soul of your own) and even the fabulously pricey crocodile version (How fabulously pricey? Click on the photo and see -- I can't even bring myself to say it.)
are about half gone. Style Spy had entertained hopes of waiting out the season (and her No Buy) to potentially score some of these on sale later in the year, or find some in an obliging outlet store at some point, but at this rate, that is not going to happen. What I'm witnessing here is a pair of shoes that I feel I shared a previous life with slipping through my fingers and I fear there is nothing to be done.

Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week. Apartment on the rue de Seine for a week...

This is not making me feel very charitable towards Ms. Paltrow. As a matter of fact, my response upon seeing that photo pop up was, "That skinny beeyotch stole my shoes!!!" Which is not a very gracious or charitable, (or, strictly speaking, true) thing to say. But it was un cri de coeur, so you'll have to forgive me. I'm sure she did not steal them. I'm sure she just sat meditatively drinking organic herbal tea while her stylist presented her with them, free of charge, unrequested, undeserved...

Must get hold of myself.

But let us turn our attention to Ms. Paltrow, which will give us A) an opportunity to once again behold The Shoes in action and B) provide us with a little fashion critique fodder.


This is from the London premiere of "Iron Man," in which Ms. Paltrow stars. (I'm not going to call her Gwynnie. Unlike -- apparently -- almost all of the other fashion & gossip bloggers on the web, I have never been introduced to Ms. Paltrow.)

Now, that is one short dress. (It's Balmain, by the way.) It's absolutely gorgeous, but it is shorty-short-short. On one hand -- would you look at those stems and tell me that if you had them you wouldn't parade around with them exposed every dingdong chance you got? It would be hard not to. I do not have an issue with the fashionable-ness of the dress or of the "questionable" appropriateness of a woman of Ms. Paltrow's "advanced age" wearing it. (You can practically hear me rolling my eyes, right? But it's true -- I read dozens of comments on celebrity blogs scolding her for being too old to wear such dresses. I'm all for age-appropriate dressing, I think we know, but Ms. Paltrow? Is a methuselan 35. It's not like Judi Dench strapped herself into a Rudi Gernreich, for pete's sake.) My quibble is this: How on earth does she sit down in that thing without making a spectacle of herself??? She is going to a movie premiere after all, and at some point I think there is a reasonable expectation that she will sit down to view said movie. Does a personal assistant magically appear at that moment to throw a lovely Hermes shawl over her lap? Do they synchronize the dimming of the lights in the theater with Ms. Paltrow's approach to her seat? Not to mention (and I've said this before) the Ick Factor. Put me in a dress that short (and really, you should not) and you'd find me at said movie theater several hours in advance, steam-cleaning my assigned seat to my own specifications. Not to mention climbing into whatever chauffeured vehicle was conveying me to the event with a bottle of Lysol and a sponge.

But maybe that's just me...

Ms. Paltrow is doing a lot of press and premieres for this movie, and she seems to have settled on a wardrobe of exclusively black. These were her choices for events in Rome:


Gaultier and I don't know who, respectively. The dress on the right is Alaia-esque, but everyone rips him off these days. Maybe it's Givenchy. The accompanying shoes


are pretty darned good. The right-hand ones are Zanotti, and the ones on the left, I'm pretty sure, are YSL from the latest collection -- the one I swooned over in March. Those shoes make me especially envious, not because they're superfantastic (although they are great), but because they are the sort of things you can get your hands on only if you are a celebrity and can wave your hands and snap your fingers and make exclusive French fashion houses fork over stuff for you to wear. For free. 'Cause Miss Thing did not march into a store and buy those -- those were just on the runway in February and won't be in stores for about another year.

And that Gaultier dress -- that's from the same collection that Marion Cotillard's Oscar dress came from, the Spring 2008 Couture collection, the one with all the nautical, sailor, mermaid references. I really liked it at first glance, and I think it looks great on her, but after I really looked at it close up


it called to mind this


which was Christian Siriano's dress for the Hershey's candy challenge on Project Runway this past season and was made of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups wrappers. Anyone else think of this, or am I the only nutcase who noticed?

Lastly, here's her wardrobe for the "Iron Man" premiere in Hollywood.


Well. Um. Sorry, this one gets an "Eh, not so much" from me. I really dislike the fit on this -- it managed to make her middle look awfully thick, and as we can see in the photos above, she does not have a thick middle. Not flattering. Can't tell what the shoes are like here (high-heeled and black seem like a pretty safe bet), but it doesn't matter. They wouldn't help, no matter what.

Photos:,,, Antony Jones/UKPress,,

Stumble Upon Toolbar


tmp00 said...

Well, as much as I don't quite get Ms. Paltrow I have to give her props for the look.

As for her sitting down, I'm sure she's mastered the knees-nailed-together with one ankle hooked behind the other pounded into girls for years (see Patricia Hearst In "Serial Mom" for visual how-to) Those years at Spence most likely taught her how to slither up a drain pipe feet first without letting us know that the curtains were rather lighter than the floor...

Anonymous said...

Great post! I like the Rome dresses but the first black dress with the jacket just looks incomplete to me. Like it's a top without the bottom. Maybe it's the jacket that makes it look top-heavy. (Reminds me of the days in high school, when the girls' skirts had to reach their fingertips. Am I dating myself?)

Karen said...

Aw, shucks, Style Spy--thanks for the credit!

And thanks, also, for a) confirming that those weren't 7-inch heels (which I found highly doubtful) and b) pointing out that Alexander McQueen does NOT make fetish wear.

And dear lord in heaven thank you for giving us a close-up of those Zanottis! I think I'm in love...

r r s said...

Non-age appropriate fetish-wear, eh? A few things:
1. I'd much rather see a WOMAN in this getup than Miley Cyrus, and Ms. Paltrow pulls it off well;
2. I wear four-inch heels TO WORK, in an OFFICE. Yep. So there.
3. This is the sort of thing I'd wear I'd wear to a West Austin cocktail party to p*ss off all the other wives. (Yeah, I'm that b*tch.)
You're right about the jumpsuit thing, too... bleh.
*When I wear something that short, I don't sit down. At all. When entering or exiting a vehicle, I just keep my knees and ankles together.

Anonymous said...

Give Gwyneth a big hug when you see her ( LOL) as she had her hair cut. I had mine cut and hated it until seeing this post ,now I see we have the same lenght hair. So I now can console my self as I have the Gwennie cut.
Spanx ....are a great help getting down in a short skirt without pulling a Britney. One thing it proves is you can't buy class but things like spanx make sure your left ovary is not winking at the camera ! k

Tricia said...

Still laughing at fetish shoe - point graphically and editorially well made!