Sunday, July 31, 2011

Model sparkles and drag walking

For once I was not the one in the room in the tallest, most ostentatious shoes. This weekend's fashion show for the the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) brought out the tallest and sparkliest shoes in the city, as well as lots of behind the scenes drama, which is probably normal for events like this.

Designers under pressure were freaking out when models flaked out and didn't show, cancelled last minute, or designs weren't fitting correctly. Models backed up in lines waiting for hair and makeup, blown fuses from too many blow dryers and broken air conditioning.

Oh my sparkles. Just a normal pile of shoes at the show.
The broken air was of course made worse by the fact that a hundred people were in one staging area and there were a million blow dryers and curling irons going at full speed. The heat was further exasperated by the fact that I was modeling a sweater and had to wear pantyhose.

Once the show got rolling though it was smooth sailing from the models point of view and any problems that may have existed were taken care of quickly and quietly. So the only thing I had to focus on was staying in my shoes on the runway.

The name of the line I was modeling is called petals, so when the designer saw my pink and red Chinese Laundry heels with the red roses, she wanted me in those. The only problem being those damn nude pantyhose (which I never wear), but they look better than bare legs under the lights. Pantyhose with a slingback can equal slipping straps, and on a stairs and under the lights of the runway and camera flashes...I'm just happy I didn't fall.

If you ever want to see real talent in heels though, check out a drag show. There were drag performers who were better in heels than some of the models, and who danced, jumped and sashayed around the stage in six in heels in ways I wouldn't dare on a normal day.

Maybe I need to take lessons. According to my shoe closet and makeup case I'm already about halfway to drag anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cat on a runway

Every so often I do something nice.

Actually I do lots of nice things, but sometimes it involves volunteering my time and being part of something really cool. So when offered the chance to walk as a model this Friday at Threads of Equality, a FashionEsque Show benefiting the Human Rights Campaign at Spin Nightclub, I jumped at it.

I'm not a runway model by any stretch of the imagination, my first problem being that I am an underwhelming 5'4" without heels on, and the other problem being that I do not have the figure of a runway model.  But for those wonderful people who don't care that I'm not a size zero and eight feet tall, I'm totally willing to be part of something fun.

Local designers and Chicago boutiques will be featured on the runway, and there will be dance and burlesque performances by some amazing local performers. I'll be walking the runway in sweaters by Emily Rohrer, which I am totally excited to see.

Any of these shoes could be options.
As for shoes, I actually get to bring my own, and they have to match pink. My husband asked me if I had pink shoes and I actually laughed at him. The issue is not whether or not I have pink shoes, but what shade of pink matches what I'm wearing. So I could go with a pair of black heels to play it safe, but I also every shade of pink from pale white/pink to hot pink, bows and embellishments or standard peep toe. Even my Iron Fist zombie shoes have pink on them and can be awesome with the right shade.

I think there will just be a big bag of shoes accompanying me to the club that evening.


If you're interested in attending Threads of Equality, you can purchase tickets ahead of time here. I've been told the event will sell out, so you better get them soon. The event is being organized and produced by Hesperidian Productions and HRC Chicago

Monday, July 25, 2011

Walking through pain

The most common question I get about my shoes is, "How do you wear those?"

Gel inserts are a foot saver.
It's not a question about one pair of shoes, but every pair of shoes. I got that question at my wedding, at work, walking through the mall, at family parties and street festivals. Even the shoes I think are totally conservative and comfortable are apparently someone else's version of a high heeled Hell.

Maybe it's because I have tiny little toes that easily smash into small spaces. Or because my feet and legs are so used to being inches higher than Mother Nature made them. Maybe I'm just a masochist.

Anything's possible.


Platform shoes are the best. They give you extra height and hurt less because the platform makes the shoe look higher, and in reality the platform lessens the angle of your foot, allowing for higher heels and a longer leg.

I do have a limit though. If I'm going to be standing for hours, or if the shoes don't have a platform, I am a firm believer of inserts.
In the event you have a pair of amazing heels that are sans platform, I use removable gel inserts for the balls of my feet. Dr. Scholl's makes a great pair. I prefer the gels to the padded inserts that you stick in your shoes, and they have the added advantage of being removable, so you only need one pair.

Five inch heels and Foot Petals so I didn't have to hem my dress. 
Sure, they look kind of like part of a breast implant, or a flattened jellyfish, but they will change your life.  Or at least your feet. For a day.

It's a small life changing event, but whatever. Take it where you can get it.

They also make gel inserts for the whole length of your shoe, which I have never tried. It's never my heel that hurts, so I ignore it all together. Plus inserts can change the fit of the shoe, so always try them on and take a quick stroll before committing.

If you have a favorite pair of heels and don't want to mess with little breast implants for your feet every time you put on your shoes, Foot Petals are the best. These are what I wore for my wedding, and I spent an entire day in a pair of five inch heels without feeling hobbled at the end of the night. Plus they come in fun animal prints, which I love, even if no one else sees them.

A little added padding that you never have to tell anyone about. It's like a push up bra for your feet. Makes you look great, others marvel at your height, and the secret is all yours. So when someone asks how you stand in heels all day, just shrug and say, "It's no big deal."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beer on gold

This weekend I took my boozing out of the house and went to a bar to celebrate a friend's birthday. I dressed up, donning black and gold stripe heels and an Armani tank with sequin straps.

I swear no one who was in the bar that night owns a mirror. There was also a memo that went to half the bar that stated that you no longer have to dress up when you go out and summer is a totally OK time to wear flip flops to the bar and dress like a hobo. And not like cute, "I don't care" totally, casual kind of hobo. More like the "I've been sleeping in this for days, and I kinda stink" hobo.

Beer covered shoes
The other half of the bar tried to dress up and failed. A note to the girl in the in the polka dot dress: Polka dots are not slimming, and don't wear Iron Fist wedges with eyes on them just because the eyes are circles. That doesn't mean they match your dress. Although they are cute shoes.

Apparently the total lack of fashion in that place was noticed because my shoes got a lot of compliments. Which is always nice. Except when some drunk bitch was marveling at my shoes (they have stripes, in case I didn't notice) and knocks over an almost full beer, which promptly lands on my right foot.

Foam is spraying all over the place, mostly on my pants and shoes, and Beer Girl just stares.

"Was that yours?" she asked.

"No, but it got on my shoes," I said picking up the now almost empty can, setting it on the bar and dabbing my shoes with napkins, convinced they're ruined.

"That sucks," she said, drinking what was left of the spilled beer and getting up.

Stunned, I wiped my shoes clean and cursed at her as my husband and friends came back.

"Some whore just spilled a full beer on my right shoe," I explained.

They all kind of stared at me, knowing that trying to console me would do nothing but fuel the fire.

"I'm sure they're OK," my husband tried. I shot him a look, called Beer Girl another nasty name and went back to my drink.

Really, what kind of person spills a drink on another person's shoes, doesn't apologize and then finishes a drink that isn't theirs and was just on the floor of a bar?

I bet she was in flip flops.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Accessorizing feet

Accessories are a cruicial part of a woman's life. Or at least they are in my life. I love a good necklace or pair of earrings as much as the next person. Once you're done adorning lobes, fingers and toes, there's still the shoes.

Removable studs give added versatility.
Shoe accessories seem to have been popping up more and more. From the uniquely named, and brilliant Heel Condoms that transform a pair of shoes, to your basic Foot Petals, each pair of shoes heels can be modified and trussed up from the inside out. Online boutique Erica Giulani offers such a wide range of beautiful, high-end accessories you can practically double the shoes in your closet with everything from bow and chains to fur covers and straps.

Then there's the other weird crap that people try to pass off as acessories. The Heel Protector (creatively named) "stop tears, nicks and scuffs to your favorite high heels caused from sidewalk cracks, car mats, cobblestones, lawns and much more."

The downside to all this is that they look stupid and you're obviously not qualified to walk or ride in cars if you're ripping your heels up on cracks large enough to rip a heel and floor mats.

Seriously, how do you tear a heel on a floor mat?

Then there's the Heels Above or Sole Mate High Heeler which allow you to walk in grass without airating the lawn. This hideous little disc slips on the bottom of your heel and provides a large, cheap plastic surface for you to stand on. They're recommended for weddings and outdoor events.

I bet these look cool on. 
I have an idea for outdoor weddings and events. If sinking into the ground is really something that concerns you so much you'd ruin your shoes with these plastic things, maybe you should get different shoes. Like a wedge or a flat. Cute and not made of the same plastic as dollar store stoys. 

And in case you were thinking that these hideous little contrapions are clear so they wouldn't be noticed, that's only one of the available colors. They also come in black, gold and silver glitter and glow in the dark.

Why in the holy hell would you want to highlight the fact that you can't walk on grass in your shoes?

Maybe the non-plastic accessories are for the people who don't wear heels a lot and can't walk in them anyway. Or maybe it's for the truly neurotic who don't want anything to happen to their precious shoes. But if your obsession is keeping stuff clean, I highly recommend finding something to love that you don't put your feet in and walk outside on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Guarding my shoes

There have been better weekends than the past one I just had.

It started out well enough. Food, festivals, a bunch of crap to do, and poof, it would probably be over before it really started. That's generally how weekends go.

By Saturday afternoon it was rolling along at warp speed, just as predicted, when it came to a screeching halt as I walked in the door in the middle of the afternoon to find my entertainment center torn apart, cords all over the place, wood littering the floor in front of the door where the frame splintered, and more missing electronics.

As I surveyed the damage, ushered people out of the house, and all I could think of was my dog Thor, who was home through the whole thing.

He may not be a watchdog, but he guarded the shoes. 
Apparently a chihuahua isn't a good deterrent to thieves, even if he is a freakishly tall 11 pound dog who loves shoes.

Luckily (is it lucky?) there really wasn't a lot taken. It was a small hit that went after electronics. Aside from the splintered door and missing stuff, we were lucky. They didn't hurt the dog, and as the news began to spread among friends yesterday and I got a phone (because the asshole stole mine), texts started coming in asking what was taken, and how are my shoes.

I guess my friends realize that a missing shoe (or pair) would have sent me into orbit. I can get a new phone. I cannot replace a lot of those shoes. One friend proved she's an evil mastermind, and joked that they could have really destroyed me and only stolen the left shoe from every pair.

That would have been awful.

Instead they proved they had no taste (thankfully) and didn't even bother going in my closet. They looked in there, and were probably annoyed there wasn't another stock of X-Box games or smartphones sitting on a shelf. Shoes and handbags apparently don't do well being sold on the street and at pawn shops.

So all is well. I have a computer and phone again, and all my shoes and purses are well. And Thor is good too. And oddly enough I've caught him stealing a shoe from the closet and cuddling up with it a few times since then. Maybe they have a kinship of some kind now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Price is relative

The Internet has been all abuzz for the last few days over someone in Missouri who bought $10,000 worth of Christian Louboutin shoes off their website.

I'm not sure if this is news because it was the largest purchase on the site in it's one year existence or if it's because someone spent $10,000 on shoes. In fact, I'm not really sure why it's news at all.

I want to wear these to the airport.
Louboutin's range in price from $600 to over $1,500, so that's only like 7 to 9 pairs of shoes if you're buying the higher priced stuff on the site. That's also assuming it was all shoes and this woman didn't purchase a handbag or any men's shoes, both of which can also run well into the $1,000+ range.

Really I'm just jealous of the fact that she had $10K to spend on shoes and handbags. Or anything for that matter. I could spend 10 grand pretty quickly if given the opportunity. A dining room table, shoes, clothes, handbags. Who can't spend $10,000 on frivolous bullshit if allowed the opportunity?

I've spent a good chunk of change on shoes before, but that's all relative. My Fluevog boots were over $200, which was a crap ton of money for one pair of shoes when I was single and living on my own only a couple years out of college.

Now that amount of money doesn't even make me flinch. It doesn't mean I routinely spend that amount on a pair of shoes, but it's not nearly as out of the question as it was a few years ago.

I think I need these. I can't think of anything more amazing.
How much you have to spend on non-essentials is really all relative. Maybe this woman has been saving for years. Maybe she won the lotto or got a great new job. Maybe there are some really rich people in Missouri. Maybe she charged it all on a brand new credit card, instantly maxing it out. It's her money and her credit card bills. My feeling is good for her.

People spend all kinds of asinine amounts of money on all sorts of goofy shit. At least this woman got a couple pairs of shoes and a purse out of the deal. Hermes Birkin bags regularly go for well over $10,000 and people don't post news stories every time someone buys one of those. 

So good for the lady in Missouri. Maybe she wears a size 7 and wants to send me a few pair when she's bored of them. I think I could use a few pair of Louboutin's. Too bad I don't have $10,000 lying around for a few pair.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cork it up

I should have bought these
This season I became a little obsessed with cork shoes after seeing Sam Edelman and Stuart Weitzman both made heels that were all cork. 

Not ready to take the plunge for an all cork shoe, and needing a pair of sandals, I decided instead to go for a more “practical” and budget friendly pair of sandals from Wild Pair by Bakers Shoes. Black patent criss-cross straps with a cork split wedge heel. 

I should have just spent the $200 at Nordstrom and bought the Sam Edelman peep toes with the towering platform because these shoes suck. 

Since they were on final sale I couldn’t return them when I discovered that they were too small in that really special way that doesn’t involve the shoe bed, but instead is correlated to the space between the straps and the bed. You know. The shoes that make you feel like you have fat feet. 

So I jam my fat little foot into the sandal and think, “Fuck it. They were on sale and they’ll stretch,” and go on my merry way. 

Two pairs of cork soled sandals.
But they didn’t stretch. Instead they just kind of hurt the top of my foot where the straps cross and make me feel like I have fat feet.  And I keep wearing them (they are great work shoes) in the hopes that they’re slowly stretching and my fat little foot is just going to slide in one day and they’re going to be the ultimate sandal. But it’s just not happening.  

So in a fit of rage about these shoes not fitting I order a pair of black leather split wedge sandals from Blowfish. They were really my first choice sandal anyway (regarding black cork sandals) and they were on sale too. So they show up and they’re everything I want. Comfy, you can walk in them…and they turned my feet black. 

Really, this is all just bullshit and I have no idea why I’m even bothering anymore. I should just wear peep toe heels and sky high shoes all the time, because obviously buying something “sensible” is total bullshit.