Set aside, for a moment, that this dress is Marni and costs a squillion dollars and just riddle me this:
What species of woodland creature have we here? Bear? Bird? Raccoon? Please share your best guesses.
Lip prints are the red-headed stepchild of the print world—like stars or hearts, they’re always happening somewhere on the fashion landscape, but usually only in a minor key. Once in a while, something will break out big, like in Prada’s Spring 2000 collection (revisited in 2010, as you can see here). And there are certain designers who return to it repeatedly—like Diane Von Furstenberg, who can be counted upon to scatter them everywhere from iPhone cases to earbuds to cosmetic bags, depending on the year.
I prefer a nice strong single lip as opposed to a print, and for that lip to be more punk-pout Rocky Horror in mood than kissed-a-napkin sweet. I love this outfit—slightly mad though it may be—and the way the sparkly Markus Lupfer tee pokes out from under the jacket instead of hogging all the attention. It would come off great styled more subdued as well—with jeans and maybe a simple moto jacket or blazer, for instance. (Also: here’s a super-duper bargain-priced Forever 21 version of the tee.)
There are two things I like about this necklace. One: it’s on a ball chain, which is so fun and contrasty. And two: it reminds me of this splurge-tastic ring by Solange Azagury-Partridge, but is the merest fraction of its price.
If these Marc by Marc Jacobs studs were anything other than quite petite, they’d be way too look! I’m kooky! But as it is, they’re fun and winkingly chic.
And finally: be the greenest art girl on the block with this Marilyn Minter water bottle.
I can not wear high heels, due to a foot problem that it’s rather surprising I haven’t gotten around to boring you with yet. So, briefly: neuromas are rogue nerve growths that, when they rear their ugly heads, make walking uncomfortable and walking in heels excruciating. When, about eight years ago, they became part of my reality, my podiatrist insisted that I wear an orthotic all the time, with flats and only flats. This was back when I was still an editor, and following this edict did not exactly make me feel like a paradigm of attractiveness and femininity in an office full of fashion gazelles. Summer was particularly unbearable, as nothing work-worthy accommodated the orthotics but ballet flats, which provide no height whatsoever (even the flattest boots give you a smidge) and weren’t my thing to begin with. Soon I grew to loathe them, and not just for vanity’s sake either: to be a woman denuded of her heels is, in this particular venue, to be a woman denuded of some of her power. This may sound nuts, but is one thousand per cent true. Even those female editors-in-chief at the company whose magazines weren’t fashion titles clickety-clacked to important meetings in their Louboutons: they signified confidence, and polish, and authority, and believe me, it was tough to make quite the same impression in Repettos.
Today, the neuromas have subsided a bit, and my footwear options have broadened to include platforms, as long as the slope of the heel is reasonably undramatic. That means either keeping things on the lower side altogether, or taking a bit of a risk with a couple more inches—which can come off a touch Frankenstein-ian. This Robert Clergerie pair has a little of that, but I have not let that deter me from coveting them deeply. They are supremely comfortable (yes, I have given them a test run) and the little inverted V on the sole is the very essence of funky 70s LA chick. They’d also be perfect with the dress I’m wearing to this thing I’ve got this evening. Do I buy them, guys? They’re an investment, but are going to be excellent on the cost-per-wear front, I can just tell. And they’re just around the corner at Otte, so I’ve got until this afternoon to decide. Thoughts?
This tank, based on the floral lithographs Andy Warhol produced in the 60s (and made by Uniqlo in collaboration with the Warhol Foundation) can be yours for the low, low price of $19.90—a steal by art world standards!
A leopard print wrap skirt that’s just exactly perfectly cut and A-line enough to make a person forget that she once swore off wrap skirts forever.
No two ways about it: this cell phone print is way too much. But happily so, no? And matching it up with such a simple, lady-ish silhouette makes the whole thing actually kind of work in its own quite lunatic way.
If you live in a large urban area where your feet are your primary means of transportation, it’s important to own at least one pair of sandals that is both walkable and un-shleppy—not the easiest combination to swing. But not impossible: this handmade pair from Japanese brand Nom & Ada is like a cleaned-up, slightly French-ified version of a huarache. And the rubber sole adds just a touch of height without any incline at all, which is never bad.
And also: Worishofers, which hit it big around 2005 or so—although I have strong recollections of uber-indie rock types like Kim Gordon wearing them all the way back in the the mid-90s, and wanting desperately to know what they were. Designed by a German podiatrist for old ladies with bunions, they happen to look genius on hipsters—just check out how cute the mule version is on Michelle Williams.
I’m partial to these myself. All Worishofers are under $100, and they’re all deathly comfortable too. Not so much on the sexy side, but that’s not the point of this exercise.
And for something a little more your-first-Kiss-concert: Kork-Ease! Just exactly the same as they ever were. The heel on these only appears to be high—look a little closer, and you’ll see the platform is so hulking that the incline is negligible. If you’re really not the platform type, they make the exact same sandal in a much lower version too.
It’s hard to believe I’m only just now getting around to writing about Of A Kind, because it is one of the most creative indie shopping sites out there and a personal favorite too, with a premise as innovative as it is simple. A few times a week, the Of A Kind crew—who are expert at spotting talent, both established and emerging—introduce limited runs of highly desirable clothing and (mostly) accessories. Unlike other sites that specialize in limited edition runs, prices here are more in line with the way most us shop, with some pieces starting at $40, and nothing ever priced much over $240. One quite recent collaboration was the ballet tote you see before you from Fleabags, and—thrillingly—we’re got one to give away! Just go here and follow the directions. And do so by Thursday, March 28.
It seems not quite right that I can’t remember anyone actually wearing Birkenstocks while I was in college, even though they’re the shoe I most closely associate with the kind of hippie chicks my school specialized in—back-to-the-earth types with unshaven legs, Give Peas A Chance T-shirts, ankle beads and secret wealth. I’d imagine this probably has something to do with the fact that directly after graduation, I moved to Seattle, where you would have to stay locked in the house to avoid them. Everyone wore Birkenstocks—not just hippie chicks, but bearded weekend rock climbers and preppy type-A coffee boutique owners, and anyone else who valued comfort over chic. Seattle has come a long way in its style evolution since then—and, as it turns out, Birkenstocks have gotten more fashiony. That’s because ultimately, Birks turn out to be remarkably adaptable: you only come off like a cast member of Hair if you’re already dressed like a cast member of Hair. Check out how completely of a piece this pair looks with the whole outfit here. Perfectly sophisticated and city lady, but totally relaxed too.
Birkenstocks have been talked up in the fashion rags this season, all due to the appearance of two rather auspicious shoes from big-name designers. This one is from Celine, and I don’t know how to explain it to you.
And here’s Giambattista Valli’s.
Somehow—even putting aesthetics aside—these miss the point for me. The fashion people I know who wear Birkenstocks—stylists and market editors who’ve seen so many trends come and go that they’ve adopted uniforms, and who always look pulled together—wear Birkenstocks exactly the way they’ve always been worn. And that’s not as Big Fashion, but as kicking about shoes, a nice alternative to flat sandals for traversing the city on a Saturday, for example, or driving into town for grocery shopping on a country weekend. Here’s Ashley Olsen, wearing another classic style, the Gizeh. The stripes, the jeans, the perfect red bag: it’s as classic an ensemble as a person could imagine—and the hippie chick sandals just fall right in.
A question to those of you were there: I know we are supposed to look back at certain items we wore in our youth and laugh—oh, how silly we were! What fun!—and for the most part I can. I can view photos at myself in my Candie’s mules circa 1978, for instance, and think it is positively a scream that I had no idea I was wearing hooker shoes. But I can not do this with Earth Shoes, and I am wondering: can you? Can anyone? Anywhere? My brain positively bends upon considering their fug. And we all wore them—even the popular girls at my high school in Houston, which was like the capital of priss. I recall studying ads like this one quite seriously in the months before my mom bought me a pair, and being fascinated by the Euro-hippie science behind the “negative heel,” which was supposed to approximate walking in the sand, which would in turn improve your posture. (And a lot of good that would do, when you were wearing the shlumpy-ass shoes of the universe.)
Earth Shoes stopped being sold in the US at around the end of the 1970s, but you can now buy versions from an updated line. Every once in a while, a trend writer will do a story about how Earth Shoes are coming back, but that’s just because sometimes there are very serious trend shortages, and editors are forced to improvise. This Etsy seller is promoting these as the pair that Lindsay Weir wears on Freaks and Geeks, and they’re probably the best of the old-school bunch, because they could just almost pass as Wallabees.
On the other end of the spectrum, I feel the world is not only ready, but entirely overdue, for a Famolare comeback of some sort. Remember that comfy, happy, wavy sole? Those Richard Avedon ads with Joe Famolare holding his famous sandals up to his face? That crazy-catchy Famolare jingle (which 30 years later is seared in my brain)? I found this picture of shoe designer Ruthie Davis and hope she doesn’t mind me posting it, because she looks so awesome in her blue Famolares. (I had that exact pair, by the way, except mine were rust. I feel like every pair of shoes I owned for the entire decade of the 70s was rust.)
The Famolare orthopedic magic lays in its “synchronized 4-Wave Sole,”—each one of those cute little waves performs a separate and equally important function with each step you take, adding support and comfort. I’m not certain any magic wave juju could make this rainbow bright super-platform all that comfy, but I’m trying not to care. And I’m trying not to care that they’re used either, because used shoes usually skeeve me out, and I totally want these.
Joe Famolare retired to Vermont some time ago, and brought the company with him. Most of the stuff they’ve got now doesn’t quite hit me, but sometimes—particularly when I’m feeling especially, stupidly, nostalgic, I like to think this happy red pair would do in a pinch.
*Part 1 Was the Dr Scholl’s post on Monday. But I did not know it at the time.