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avatarEven if you don’t have young relations dragging you through the toy aisles, you may have heard that Monday is Barbara Millicent Roberts’ (aka Barbie) 50th birthday!! I know, I know, she looks like she’s barely aged a day (or does she?!). My shoe-conscious readers will likely have heard about this event because Christian Louboutin was snagged to design the shoes for the Barbie runway show held during February’s New York Fashion Week – in addition to their selecting 50 different designers to each do an outfit for the show.

Louboutin made the shoes, pictured below, in Mattel-owned Pantone Pink 219 (I still find it strange that some companies can own colors, like Tiffany’s blue). But honestly, I’m a little disappointed with his design. When I think of Barbie shoes, they’re pumps (although, yes, I know there have been many different Barbie shoe styles manufactured). I also understand creative variety and giving the shoes a fresh taste for her 50th anniversary, but he decided on plain d’orsay peep-toe heels with an ankle strap. He should have either used the iconic Barbie pump style or made something way less basic. There’s just nothing special about these shoes.

Louboutin Barbie shoes
So I decided to look for some alternative directions Louboutin might have taken (besides the obvious option of just adjusting the color of his Very Prive pump to Barbie’s trademarked Pantone pink – you couldn’t fault him for using his own classic shape) and I also searched to find some suggestions for you (if you want to join me on March 9th, I’ll be in hot pink ;)).

My 3 suggestions in the first row by Payless, Davis by Ruthie Davis and Dior are a classic Barbie homage done right. I am completely in love with the flash of yellow on the front of the Davis platforms, but I wonder now if I’m biased because all my Barbie dolls were a product of the neon 80s, haha. Anyway, even something simple like a not so ordinary fabric, as in the velvet fuchsia Kate Spade slingbacks in the second row, can be enough to re-invent a classic style and make it your own. A bit of ruffled frill like that on the Poetic License t-strap heels also works.

Payless Lance Flex patent pink pump Davis by Ruthie Davis Sushi mary-jane pump Dior Miss Dior II stawberry patent pump
Kate Spade Grammy slingback heels Poetic Licence Body Talk heel

And now for those creative deviations I was talking about before. A few of the guest clothing designers made some questionable Barbie outfits for the runway (the bondage-inspired bathing suit comes to mind) but at least they tried to show their own interpretation. So, with that in mind, my favorite not-so-basic and totally fabulous real-life Barbie shoes are these pyramid studded wedges by Betsey Johnson and these cut-out bootie sandals by Givenchy. I’ll try to remember to have my camera out on the New York streets on Monday – wear a pair of Barbie inspired shoes that speak to you and make me proud!

Betsey Johnson Deborah wedge heel Givenchy cutout shoe boot
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Congrats to Barack Obama, the President-elect!  So, what did his wife, Michelle Obama, wear on November 4th? There’s been a lot of talk about her Narciso Rodriquez dress, but I’m looking a little more south, to her feet! Looks like low black heels (mules?) to me. Her daughters were in cute black ballet flats. Think what you want of her bondage-inspired dress, you can’t say the shoes weren’t a good choice to go with it: an understated shoe for a outspoken dress.

michelle_obama

In an election shoe summary, this Associated Press Article is all about what Obama and McCain’s (and their wives) shoe choices say about them. An interesting read even though the election is over. An except: “Michelle Obama has a hint of Midwestern sensibility, coordinating her accessories and her clothes, Cleary says, noting one recent outfit that paired a melon-colored cardigan with color-blocked ballet flats that featured maroon, melon and brown… Michelle Obama also has a very personal style, Macko says. “It doesn’t look like someone is putting her look together for her.”

And, to be fair, here’s a pretty good list of some of Palin’s shoe choices too – did you know she favors red shoes?

On a side note, did you see this picture of Barack Obama with his feet up on a desk? Apparently, he wore shoes with holes in the soles! It’s okay Obama, I know how it is. The comfiest shoes ever, right? I have a few pairs like that too.

Want to steal Michelle’s shoe style?

marc-by-marc-jacobs jeffrey-campbell-deb

avatarBlake Lively and Leighton Meester, stars of the CW’s Gossip Girl show, were featured on alternating covers of Nylon magazine’s latest Young Hollywood issue.  One of many programs halted recently because of the recent writer strikes, Gossip Girl started their season again this week (Can you believe that yogurt toss?!).

In addition to being having lives filled with delicious drama as their alter egos: Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, these girls are equally stocked with stylish shoes both on the show and off. Below is a picture of Leighton Meester in a blue dress and some cute white pumps; shoes which would also pair nicely with the diamond-print miu miu mini dress she shows off in the Nylon spread (also below!).

 Leighton MeesterLeighton Meester 2
Pics from justjared.buzznet.com and bussbuss.com

Inspired by photos of the GG girls, I have found some cute white heels for those of us without a personal stylist. The first wedges below by Faryl Robin have a nice crackle finish that I hear we’ll be seeing on more and more shoes as stores start featuring fall 08 collections. And the Steve Madden wedges, second, have some nice detailing and pleating over the toes that really make them stand out.

In honor of Earth Day, I’ve decided to include these next two shoes. The first (that is to say, the third) are patent leather peep toes by Jessica Simpson which feature a lightweight cork heel and platform. And the last are these gorgeous Salvatore Ferragamo leather heels with a molded cork heel in a stacked snowball design with gold trim. What’s so eco-friendly about these shoes? Well, Cork is made from the bark of a tree, not the wood, so the tree does not have to be cut down in order to harvest the cork. Since the cork oaks will keep growing the bark back again and again (for up to 250 years!), cork is a renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly material. It also is a little springy, which provides a bit of extra cushioning!

Faryl Robin Joy Steve Madden Aventura
Jessica Simpson Amy Salvatore Ferragamo Arabia

For something easy to do for the earth today, change your lightbulbs!

avatarNylon magazine’s March 08 cover-girl is the always adorable Rachel Bilson. Nylon Magazine CoverIf you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve probably already deduced that I’m a little height-challenged. So I admit this makes me have love all the more for fellow shortie Rachel (she’s anywhere from 5’1″ to 5’4″ depending on your source – but since most actresses are 5’6″ or taller, any of those heights still meet the short category).

Knowing this, Nylon‘s stylists, of course, put her only in platforms. The Marc Fisher heels below are almost a dead ringer for the Marni’s she’s wearing on page 169. And I can totally picture her in the polka dot Irregular choice heels. Polka dots, by the way, are also one of Nylon‘s key Spring trends according to their article on graphic patterns: checks, stars, stripes and spots. See the mag’s page 126 for more ideas. (Am I the only one who has a tiny hope in their heart that the heart and star shaped frame sunglasses come back? I’d be completely entertained seeing them on a crowd of faces when walking the streets).

If you’re a tall glamazon, please don’t pull a Nicole-Kidman-with-Tom-Cruise, you definitely can and should still wear the platforms! Just look for a slightly smaller platform like the traffic-stopping patent red version below by Tapeet (imagine with a mini black shift dress or creamy tan wide-leg trousers and a billowy white top- too cute!).

marc fisher fedie tapeet shopbop
carlos santana rhapsody irregular choice

 

Left to right: Marc Fisher black patent Fedie d’Orsay heels, Tapeet red Cutout Heel Gladiator Sandal, Carlos by Carlos Santana blue and gray Rhapsody platform wedge sandals, Irregular Choice black and white 3137-3D espadrille platform heels.

avatarAnd now for the boys… ok, for the girls shopping for the boys (although if a guy comments here, I promise I will retract this statement and heretofore speak directly to your gender as well). Edited: This is the promised retraction. Thanks Jack!

Nylon magazine (Feb 08) published an interview with The Kills because of their new album, Midnight Boom (and I’m sure also because they’re awesome). One half of the band is Jamie Hince (he’s currently dating Kate Moss according to tabloids), the other half is Allison Mosshart and both have excellent style. The Nylon spreads show Jamie in various weathered, vintage boots and shiny black shoes on the long, pointy side (no laces please). Want to walk around with a rock star? Start with any of the shoes below, put skinny black jeans in his hands and tie a muted, thin scarf around your boy’s neck:

via spiga studio Kenneth Cole Reaction Army Bregade
Carlo Botrini Radda Kenneth cole

Left to right: Via Spiga Studio black loafers, Kenneth Cole Reaction distressed olive Army Bregade boots, Carlo Botrini black leather Radda slip-ons, Kenneth Cole Reaction distressed olive Box Office slip-ons.

Writing about weddings in yesterday’s blog also got me to thinking about the boys. Of course the polished black shoes above would look equally good with a tuxedo, but I do love creative dressers. It’s so easy to just toss on a black tux and after all the trouble girls go through to get dressed every morning, let alone for their wedding day… well, it’s nice to see an even playing field with the guys trying something else. Here are some ideas: For a summer wedding, try a light tan colored linen suit with shoes in a similar hue (I’m thinking white shirt, no tie, with a big, bright, single-colored boutonniere maybe in red or yellow). Or you could also pair the same color suit in a heavier fabric with dark brown shoes (a light blue shirt and a tie with colored stripes). For spring/fall weddings, I love seeing gray suits with bright white shoes (If only I could convince my fiance – the most he’ll go for right now are black shoes with white spats, but I’m still working on him). If you’re cooler than he is, check out these snazzy styles:

Espedito Mustang johnston & murphy houseden
Marco Evani

Left to right: Espedito tan Mustang dress shoes, Johnston & Murphy brown Houseden lace-up shoes, Marco Evani white Vitello loafers.

Come on boys – If you’re reading, let me know!

avatarDid the Oscars this year feel a little empty to you? There are at most like 20 top actresses pictured on even the ABC’s Oscars website (thanks for the pictures). Anyway, and of those few, how many wore long dresses and did not flash their shoes? Pretty much everyone! Grr. But I dug deep for you to see what I could find so here it is, your Shoe-xclusive Oscar fashion report!

Ok, the two major shoe styles I saw were peep-toe heels and sharp pointy-toe heels. There were a few of the straight-out classic evening open-toe heels but not many and I saw no rounded or square toes at all (but maybe they were all hiding under the dresses).

Top shoe designers of the night were Sergio Rossi (4 confirmed: Miley Ray Cyrus, Marion Cotillard, Calista Flockhart and Keri Russell) and Christian Louboutin (2 confirmed: Renee Zellweger and Kristin Chenoweth).

For colors we were looking at mostly silvery shades with a very few black (Nicole Kidman and Ellen Page) and red numbers (sadly the red shoes were only worn with red dresses). Cameron Diaz, Renee Zellweger and Cate Blanchett all chose silver hued pointy shoes.

renee zelweiger cate blanchett

If anyone saw a peek at the feet of Kristin Chenoweth, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Calista Flockhart, Keri Russell or Jessica Alba (all I know is that hers were Jimmy Choo’s), please pass it along.

Try these for some Oscar style during the day… and at night!

Steve Madden silver flats silver heels

Left to Right: Steve Madden sybel flats and Liz Claiborne Baronet heels.

avatarHappy St. Valentine’s Day!

Wondering what to wear out on your date tonight? Star magazine (the February 18, 2008 issue) has Heidi Montag, Dita Von Tesse, and Hayden Panettiere (oh, Heroes, when you you be back on the air?!) among others, rocking dark peep-toe platform heels recently during their various celebrity events. But don’t blow $500+ on what they got for free in a goodie bag, try these real-person priced copycats:

marc jacobs peep BCBGirls Pesto peep
carlos santana elise peep Steven NV peep

Left to right: Marc Jacobs black peep toe pumps, BCBGirls black Pesto platform wedges, Carlos by Carlos Santana red Elise platform heels, Steven black NV patent leather pumps.

Also in the same issue, Miley Cyrus looked cute in white cowboy boots (remember- her dad is a country singer). If you want to be just like the Hannah Montana star (but updated!), try these new versions of the style (don’t worry, white is still a big color for the winter- which is now!):

Steven Deacon boots steve madden flirts boots

Left to right: Steven ivory suede Deacon boots, Steve Madden bone white leather Flirts ankle boots.

avatarPeople magazine and Mary-Kate Olsen agree that gladiator sandals are definitely one of the major “it”s for spring. If you already have some of the flat gladiators that were around last spring and summer, here are some new styles moving the trend forward.

mk kia
via spiga tonn melissa

Left to right: Steve Madden Kia wedges in rust, Via Spiga Tonn sandals, Nine West Heech wedges

But as some of the magazine sources from our previous blog (Putting Trend Tellers to the Test) state, gladiators of the flat variety are definitely not out of the picture. Here are some picks and ideas to fill up your closet. Don’t you love the green jelly style by Melissa? I’ve seen some adorable Fendi jelly flats on the spring pre-order lists so watch for more jelly styles. I think they’ll be a nice surprise trend (Remember all the jelly shoes Marc Jacobs put out last year? Like those perforated peep-toe mini wedges? yum).

melissa gloria steve madden spirro
steve madden trinnity steve madden 2

 

Left to Right: Melissa Gloria mini wedges, Steve Madden Spirro flats, Steve Madden Trinnity sandals, and Fornarina Pefam metallic thongs.

avatarSo many hollywood stars and starlets are having babies lately: Christina Aguilera (boy- Max Liron), Nicole Richie and Joel Madden (girl – Harlow Winter Kate Madden), Toni Collette (girl).  Jessica Alba, Hallie Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Lynn Spears, Lily Allen, all pregnant. Matthew McConaughey’s girlfriend Camila Alves is pregnant, Jack Black and wife are expecting…  And before that, of course, Katie Holmes, Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt, Kate Hudson, etc.

 Anyway. Lots of babies around equals a booming baby industry of cute baby things. And, if you look at Katie Holmes and her baby’s identical haircuts as any indication, we’ll probably also see people looking for cute adult stuff (I think I even saw a picture of Heidi Klum wearing matching antler hats with her kids).

Bringing it around to the conclusion: I predict society as a whole will start allowing fun, colorful, cute things for the “older” crowd more and more as the babies keep coming. Almost everybody allows themselves to be silly when a baby is around (one word: babytalk – the consciously imperfect or altered speech used by adults in speaking to small children). With that in mind, what better buy for the winter than a bright pair of rubber rainboots?!   Embrace your inner child and go splash in a puddle.

 

sigerson morrison kelly rain steve madden flood rain boot
coach paisley rain boot stuart weitzman Drizzle rain boot

 Left to right: Sigerson Morrison Kelly boot with spectator details, Steve Madden skull print (!) Flood boots, Coach pink, red and purple Paisley boots, and Stuart Weitzman dalmation print Drizzle wedge boots.

avatarNatalie Portman has collaborated with Te Casan to design a collection of limited edition vegan heels and flats.  Since only 100 will be sold in each style and color and they’re pretty well priced for being limited edition ($185 to $275) and the website’s allowing a pre-order… well,  my size was already sold out.  So, to make myself feel better, I searched for some man-made shoe alternatives (I’m not vegan, but I totally support the lifestyle).  Save the leather supplying cows! Ok, all the cows. I mean, all animals everywhere!

Rampage Juicy Style and Co Eliza
Steve Madden Pleatt Calivin Klein Ella

Left to Right: Rampage metallic brown Juicy pumps, Style&Co teal Eliza satin heels, Steve Madden bone white Pleatt flat boots, Calvin Klein silver Ella espadrilles.

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