Monday, March 31, 2014

Diane Von Furstenberg - Journey of Dress

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” - Diane von Furstenberg

The year of the wrap dress...1974.

The year that Diane von Furstenberg created a simple dress, and in less than 2 years would hit over a million dresses sold.

Over the past 40 years, there have been solids, prints, copycats and pantsuits, to name a few.  And, the iconic wrap dress continues to remain popular and relevant among women of all ages. Last weekend, I visited the exhibit, "Journey of a Dress," which celebrated 40 years of the famous DVF wrap dress.

Visually, the exhibit was intoxicating. Bright colors, signature prints and literally hundreds of dresses on display. The dresses seemed ageless, and as you moved from year to year, you could barely distinguish a 1974 dress from a dress four decades later. 

Even more impressive is the story behind Diane von Furstenberg. She started her business in her twenties, with a $30,000 loan and a vision. In several articles, she retells the story of growing up, and her mother pushing her to tackle her fears. 

Although I have never met the legendary DVF, I became even more enthralled after the museum visit. The good news is you too, can own a DVF dress or live vicariously through the exhibit, open through May 1st. Until then, enjoy the pictures from a well curated exhibit.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

To Mule or Not...That is the Question

Shoes have always been quite instinctual to me. When I see a shoe that I love, I don't ask the type, the history or the brand. I just know.

So, when a friend of mine recently asked the history of a mule, I balked. Mule, I thought...offspring of female horse and male donkey........translated to shoes?? 

I admitted that I had a good clue of animal husbandry and the history of a mule, but no clue how it applied to shoes. Thank god for wikipedia. 

"Mule, a French word, is a style of shoe that is backless and often closed-toed. Mules can be any heel height - from flat to high."

What did I do before google?

A mule, a backless shoe that happens to be quite popular this season. Upon further review, I found an article in last year's W magazine, writer Caroline Weber described it aptly:

"While the farmyard mule is generally incapable of bearing offspring, however, the footwear has a seemingly ­endless capacity for self-regeneration—having appeared on the feet of popes and courtiers, concubines and cavaliers, and leading ladies from Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe), history (the Marquise de Pompadour), and art (in Manet’s Olympia) alike. ..."

Mules are probably exiled in the animal world, but embraced in the 2014 fall fashion shows. But I hesitate, because I can't quite seal the deal and buy a pair myself. They are beautiful when done right - but often times, they are done wrong.

When I investigated further, mules had been quite popular in the 18th century. Seen as more functional and indoor shoes, they quickly gained a following for "night" shoes. Easy to slip off, and lovely on the leg.

This season, I made it my mission to find the best mules of 2014. If you decide to hybridize (that's a made up word) your wardrobe, here are my top 20:

Clockwise, Top Right:

Clockwise, from Right
Tibi // Steve Madden //  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SJP Lineup

I'm not worth, I'm not worthy.

Seriously, I have been a Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) fan since I initially saw her on Sex and the City. I remember the first episode I ever saw. I didn't have enough money in college to afford HBO, but I had stumbled upon the first season of SATC in VHS. Yes, VHS. 

Anyhow, I loved the show from the beginning, and envied the styling work from Patricia Green. Carrie's shoes were always on the edge, and I found myself spending multiple hours scouring my local Nordstroms Rack trying to find that "it" pair. 

So, when SJP did her first line "Bitten" for Steve and Barry's (they liquidated their stores in 2009), I was curious. Everything was $15 and under, but there were some interesting clothes that were certainly worth the money.

This time around, SJP went higher end, designing her own shoe line, sold exclusively at Nordstrom's. For those of you that love SJP like I do...stop now. Stop reading, leave my blog, and pretend this didn't happen.

For those of you that remain curious about her shoe line, read ahead.

All in all, I wasn't impressed. For as much as I love SJP, I was pretty disappointed with the shoe line. I spent a couple of hours at Nordstrom's trying on shoes, checking leather and quality. And, for shoes that range from $300-400 a pair, these were not a buy. I would recommend checking out the shoe line on your own, as each person has their own taste and priorities. 

Here are the hits and misses from her shoe line:

Hits: Great color
Miss: Uncomfortable shoes

Hits: none
Misses: craft store like flowers

Hits: Great red color
Misses: Shoe unstable and hard to walk in

"Alison Bootie"
Hits: None
Miss: Cheap ties, poor color, overpriced

"Maud Sandal"
Hits: interesting colors
Miss: Granny shoe style

Hits: Great design, flattering on leg
Misses: wobbly heel

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ladies, It's Time to Avoid the (March) Madness

I never understood how humans (largely men) could watch basketball non-stop for a 14 hour period in one day. But, it happens.

Ever year, NCAA basketball hosts it's basketball tournament, informally known as March Madness. Most of you probably have some idea what this is. It's in's mad...and it involves college basketball.

For some people, this is one of the holiest days of the year. The day they are always sick...the day that productivity shrinks to it's lowest day all year. Estimates are that the U.S. economy looses $1.2 Billion dollars in revenue for every unproductive work hour. Yet, the man that is considered one of the world's wealthiest people, Warren Buffett, is offering a $1 billion payout to the person with a perfect bracket. Confused about whether or not we should care about this madness?? I am.

But, with an ever focused mind on shoes, I urge you to avoid the (March) madness, and instead focus on a time with no interruptions from your male counterparts, where you can peruse the internet wildly for shoes, clothes and unnecessary home purchases from OKL. Yes, you are free today to do whatever you want, as most of the men in your life will be focused on those 14 hours of men's NCAA basketball.

Just in case you need some cover today, I have devised a short 30 second video that you can play on your laptop in the case that someone may step away from their tv/ipad/iphone/computer while watching the game. Simply have this flipagram ready on your laptop, and you too can be perceived to have joined the fray.

For those of you shoe lovers that are legitimately watching the tournament, I wish you all the best of luck, as I believe those winnings can without guilt go straight to a shoe purchase. Until then...the tool is your's to use as necessary for the next 2 weeks.

Happy shoe shopping...March Madness (or not) free.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's Your Lucky Day

Have you ever entered into a store, and found that fabulous pair of shoes for a fraction of the price? Sure, it is often the things that folk tales are made of....that some women tell at a lunch with their friends to incite extreme jealously.

But, on this St. Patricks Day, I brought out these green lovelies that I got at the Prada outlet in Italy. I had been scouring the store, and trying to quickly calculate the Euro to Dollar conversion to estimate the price. A lot of great shoes - but I had to be selective in my purchases giving the weak dollar.

I landed on these green treats, and have been happy with my green snakeskin Miu's Miu's ever since. So on this lucky St. Patricks Day, what might you come home with??

Miu Miu Sandals (similar here)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Get Your Green On...Shoes, That Is...

With only a couple of days until St. Patrick's Day, it's time to forage through your closet for any semblance of green clothes, and hopefully shoes. Now, if you come up empty handed, there are still a few days to grab a pair of green shoes. But, are green shoes really that versatile? Will you have any reason after Monday to wear these green delights?

I know, I know, I can justify just about any shoe purchase  but listen to me here. Green shoes can be an added pop of color during the work week or weekend. Pair them with a pair of white pants during the day, jeans at night or a boring black suit, and you're set. 

And secondly, we should always adhere to Irish sayings during St. Paddies Day....this one is particularly relevant to shoes. (I think it's relevance was intended during drinks at a bar...but I extended the meaning!)

"It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money!"

Top Right, Clockwise:

Top Right, Clockwise:

Top Right, Clockwise:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Brand to Watch

I stumbled upon a new brand, Oscar Tiye during some shoe research last week. After scouring the internet to find more information on the brand, I realized that this is a legit up and coming shoe brand.

Although they only sell it at a number of stores online, I have a feeling you will be seeing these shoes at more U.S. stores. The lead designer, mina Muaddi is Jordanian born, and a number of her shoes have inspiration from architecture, butterflies and beetles.

After my many hours of research, I realized a couple of things:

1. I have a predilection for offbeat shoes.

2. Shoe research = finding like minded lovers of shoes. 
I learned about a fabulous shoe blog called Shoerazzi. Seriously good shoe stuff. She has a great piece on the designer and the new 2014 collection.

3. I buy and love shoes for a life I don't lead (cross reference realization #1 above).

4. I wish I had better instagram skills. 
I mean, look at this amazing shoe pic from Oscar Tiye:

and last, but not least...

5. I know want an Oscar Tiye shoe in every color.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

the Nudist

Ah yes...warmer weather is coming, I promise. To my friends in the two-thirds of the U.S. that have undergone cold, cold and colder weather over the past 4 months, there is hope ahead.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last month, predicting 6 more weeks of winter. And, most weather predictions show that the Northern states will see snow and cold lingering in agreement with Phil. But, there are planes and trains to take us to warmer places, and having a staple of nude wedges is always a good idea for the Spring and Summer.

Nude shoes always maintain a prime spot in my closet for their versatility as well as how great they look on your leg. Oh, and there is the comfort piece. With warm weather, I tend to be out and about more and so my shoes have to be comfortable. These are six of my favorite pairs this season that combine style and comfort.

Clockwise from top right
// Jessica Simpson // Dolce Vita Niro // Rachel Zoe // See by Chloe // Aquazzura // Dolce Vita Jarona 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shoes to Inspire

"If we don't get lost, we'll never find a new route."

One of my favorite coffee table books is by Paul Arden, "It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be."

It is short read that I pick up when I am feel uninspired or stuck. It helps me embrace challenge, change and the unknown. But hey, this blog isn't about's about shoes! So where do the shoes come in, you ask?

Well, shoes can play a similar inspirational role. I always find that I feel more creative and ready to tackle the world with a fabulous pair of shoes on my feet. And, there is no problem too big that a pair of animal print CL's can't tackle.

I once had a mentor tell me that when she went into important meetings and negotiations that she wore her best "kick ass" shoes to intimidate her opponents. Sure, most men won't be lusting after your animal print d'orsay pumps, but there is a certain confidence that shoes can bring.

Whether it's creativity, motivation or confidence, a great pair of shoes can take you places.

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