Archive for Rag Trade

As the eye gets lost

“Sensuality, elegance and creativity are the key words of the stiletto creator, whose objective is to highlight a silhouette, reveal a personality or a style, through shoes and accessories collections combining sophistication, seduction and innovation.”

This quote jumps out at you from the Web site of Charles Jourdan, shoemaker. M. Jourdan himself died in 1976, and the company continued to be operated by his family until 2002.

During his later years, Jourdan commissioned fashion artwork from surrealist photographer Guy Bourdin. If Bourdin did his job, you spent twice as much eyeball time on the Jourdan advertisements, which, were they released today, might be considered to have a high WTF factor.

This fall-1979 picture for a relatively conservative dark-green pump is a case in point:

Guy Bourdin for Charles Jourdan, 1979

The downside, of course, is that you spend most of those extra seconds not looking at the shoes, but wondering how the bloody heck Bourdin did that.

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Not expecting these at the shower

Unless, of course, you have friends willing to spend $250 on your moppet-to-be:

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Put on your hi-heel sneakers

Okay, maybe this doesn’t look like a high heel. But, as the phrase goes, it’s higher than you think:

Race Runner metallic leather sneakers by Balenciaga

This is the Race Runner by Balenciaga in a color scheme they call “prune,” and here is the scoop:

Demna Gvasalia’s signature touch infuses these Race Runner sneakers with a dose of urban glamour. Panels crafted from metallic leather, mesh and elastic are united by a chic purple colour palette. The streamlined sole disguises a wedge heel — perfect for giving fashion uniforms a little lift.

About an inch of lift is hiding under there.

The other odd twist here is the simulated laces: you just pull these on. Probably not ideal for running, but it goes nicely with your red dress, baby, cause we goin’ out tonight. And Lorna Burford approves.

(How much does it cost? My Theresa prices them at $665 Australian; Net-A-Porter’s UK branch asks £445; Net-A-Porter’s American outpost wouldn’t even show them to me. I figure $600 US.)

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But no shorter

I was not expecting to see a full-height picture of Fillyjonk, yet there it was, with the following disclaimer regarding skirt length:

This is as short as I will EVER go in a dress, even this makes me a little uncomfortable.

Which is more or less consistent with the observations I’ve been making since approximately age ten, when I first noticed things like this: just about every woman has a sense of “This far up, but no farther.” I have since come up with a rule of, well, not exactly thumb:

[A] hemline should be low enough to conceal anything that might be better off concealed.

Still, this comes off as unsatisfactorily subjective, so I went hunting about, and turned up a rule perhaps more universally applicable:

The short answer is that you want your hemline to hit a relatively small part of your leg. If you look at the natural shape of most women’s legs, the widest part is the mid thigh and mid calf while the most narrow part is the knee and ankle.

This makes sense, because the eye (or at least my eye) is inevitably drawn to that intersection of hem and leg, and the first rule of fashion is always to draw the eye to what you want to be noticed, and away from anything you’d just as soon nobody noticed. Bad hair day? Either shorten your skirt, or find your deepest V-neck top. No one will say a word about your coif.

The really short dresses, of course, are best left to women who don’t have a whole lot of thigh taper and who have no qualms about letting you know about it. You may know someone like that. I don’t. (I know someone who qualifies on the first part, but at age 70 she’s not about to show off.)

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Cutting edge, sort of

I’m not so sure I’d name a shoe “Knife,” but then there are good reasons why I don’t work in the fashion industry:

Balenciaga sells two variations on this theme: this high heel ($995), and a lower-heel mule version ($750). The official explanation:

  • Extreme flat pointed toe, inspired by a keen knife
  • Very thin heel (Ice pick heel)
  • Abs piece laid on lasting insole simulating an even higher arch and keep the comfort
  • Very small space between the sole and the heel for an extreme arch allure
  • 110 mm / 4,3 inches arch
  • Made in Italy

I dunno. You want some serious “arch allure,” you might want to hunt down a d’Orsay pump. Even Balenciaga has offered such from time to time.

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Strappier than thou

Not sure what to think of these:

Anyway, this is “Erienne,” and in addition to Honey Brown, it also comes in Black and New Cobalt. The upper is beaded microsuede; the midsole uses memory foam. Reviewers at Amazon have been generally favorable — 4.6 stars — and prices are wildly variable depending on size and color. (I think a range of $31 to $119 qualifies as Wildly Variable.)

Still, there’s one question still to be asked, based solely (sorry) on the photo provided: “So you only get one?”

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The other end of the spectrum

Apt. 9 Bell Sleeve flare dress in Scatter GrayHaving shown you a dress that costs as much as a car, it seems only fair that I follow up with a dress that costs about as much as an oil change:

I did also buy two dresses. Well, Kohl’s had a sale. I originally went in there to see if they had pantyhose (long story, but: I find I suffer less from hives-on-the-legs when I wear them. I don’t know either.) I buy the most dead-cheap kind I can wear (L’Eggs “Everyday” or whatever they call the multipack boxes). But, of course, even most Southern Ladies (let alone Southern Women) have given up on pantyhose so they can be hard to find.

I didn’t feel like buying one pair for the cost of 4-5 of the cheaper kind, so I didn’t. BUT I found two knit dresses, ON SALE (and there was an extra 15% off). They had them both in my size. And they are super cute, especially this one (it’s sort of a taupe, with tiny “squares” made of lines in pink and cream. And it has bell sleeves, which I kind of love.

It’s an appealing style, and it hits her just below mid-knee, which is about as short as she’d care to go.

And of course Kohl’s earned my everlasting regard with a Black Friday commercial in 2011.

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Fancy frock

Gucci gown 26000 from Net-A-PorterMaybe it’s just me, but I’d expect to be knocked out a lot more thoroughly for that kind of money:

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to score one of those fabulous dresses that the stars wear on the red carpet? Well, believe it or not, some of those babies cost tens of thousands of dollars. One of our favorite luxury sites, Net-a-Porter, keeps a stash of high-end designer duds on its virtual shelves, and the most-expensive dress in the brand’s inventory right now is from the beloved fashion house Gucci. Yep, the same brand that makes those $10,000 glitter boots that all the stars are wearing.

If you happen to have an extra $26,000 lying around, the velvet-trimmed gown is all yours. The regal dress features two parrots on the bodice. And in between them, you’ll find shiny crystals and pearls, which are surprisingly faux. But the twirl-worthy fabric is made from 100 percent plissé silk-chiffon.

I’m sorry, but I’m not prepared to Ooh and Aah over a dress that costs more than a Toyota Corolla yet inspires imitation Monty Python snark. “Two parrots on the bodice,” indeed.

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Permanent scent

Kim du Toit, as is his wont, thinks of fragrances for men — “foo-foo juice,” said a relative of mine — in terms of, well, other things. He dismissed a 6.8-ounce spritzer of Paco Rabanne 1 Million, on sale at Macy’s for $114 (fifty bucks off!) thusly: “That’s five boxes of quality self-defense .45 ACP, at the discount price!”

Polo by Ralph LaurenRight at the point where he wearied of Macy’s, he landed on my turf:

$105 for Ralph Lauren? It is, as they say, to laugh.

You should know that a mostly identical bottle sits in my bathroom, and has for nearly four decades:

In 1978, as a newlywed, I was persuaded to switch to Ralph Lauren’s Polo, which was new that year. I got an eight-ounce bottle, which at the time, as I recall, was somewhere around $40, a price I thought was outrageous. (It’s now closer to $100.) The bottle is not yet empty. Then again, it gets brought out for use maybe twice a year, and I must concede, the stuff does seem to retain its potency, even at its advanced age. I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

And du Toit found some foo-foo juice more to his liking, at (where else?) Amazon.

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Zimbabwean thrift

Police in Harare are gonna pop something, and it isn’t tags:

Zimbabwe police have arrested a journalist at a privately-owned daily over a story claiming that President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace had donated second-hand underwear to supporters, lawyers said Tuesday.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that Kenneth Nyangani, a NewsDay journalist, was arrested on Monday night “for allegedly writing and publishing a story over the donation of some used undergarments by First Lady Grace Mugabe.”

Nyangani was being detained in the eastern city of Mutare and is likely to face “criminal defamation” charges, the organisation said in a statement.

In 2015, Zimbabwe imposed a ban on second-hand clothing, but later rescinded it.

Mrs Mugabe, fifty-three (Robert is ninety-three), has something of a reputation as a big spender, so if this stuff came from the back of her closet, it’s probably the good stuff, if you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Nyangani, the reporter, is free on $200 bail and must appear before the authorities on Wednesday, 18 October.

(Via Fark.)

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The warmth of autumn in Canada

I’m not about to object to these particular pitches by the Canadian outpost of Skechers, but something about the timing bumps up against my brain:

Maybe they’re just gearing up for spring. (Canada does have a spring, so far as I know.) Because they’re not giving up on this ultra-toasty theme:

I’ll follow them for a while and see what happens. (Admittedly, their Twitter profile page is showing boots.)

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Meanwhile, north of Havana

As the phrase goes, For a Limited Time Only, by which we mean Today Only:

Barry Manilow T-shirt based on a Metallica theme

Here’s the source. Other merch with this image can be had.

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Balls to the wall

“Pourquoi sont-ils vendus dans ces petites boules?” Why are they sold in these little balls?

I’m guessing this was the French response to L’eggs, circa 1970:

Scandale hosiery advertisement, 1970ish

Scandale is still active today, though they’re not currently selling hosiery packaged in spheroids:

In 1932, Scandale’s founder Robert Perrier was manufacturing corsetry and hosiery in a small factory in France when, inspired by the new fabric introduced to him by a visiting salesman, he replaced the traditional laced-up restrictions of the day and created a girdle that was so delicate and so light to the touch that when his assistant saw it she exclaimed “C’est un scandale!” (It’s a scandal!)

Combining elegant, timeless French beauty with the sophistication and knowledge of its creator and his company, Scandale has a rich heritage that few can match. As the fashions evolved from the 1930s to the modern day, Scandale continued to meet the needs and desires of women, for the last 80 years bringing modernity and innovation to each new decade.

Come to think of it, L’eggs switched to a cardboard package in the 1990s.

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Not to be noticed

I have said before that my taste in women’s shoes seems to run toward the insubstantial. I am not sure how much this particular preference is due to an early-childhood overdose of Disney’s Cinderella and those wacky glass pumps — bibbiti-bobbiti-who? — and how much due to the ongoing desire for a proper cloaking device. One thing is for sure: a shoe I can barely see will command my attention.

There was a piece on InStyle.com last week about a “clear shoe” trend which featured about a dozen styles and a whole lot of Lucite. One of the featured shoes was a Steve Madden slingback pump with a leather toe cap and ankle strap; the rest, except for the footbed itself, was clear plastic. I duly went to look it up elsewhere, and found something clearer:

Clearer by Steve Madden

This is in fact called “Clearer”; there’s practically no upper at all, and the heels are hollowed out and filled with nothingness. Quips the copywriter at Zappos: “Pull out all the stops in your future-ready ensemble!” I want to see that ensemble when it’s assembled. “Clearer” sells for $110.

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Not at all down at the heels

They’re slick enough to make finding an exact match out there trickier than I expected. The shoe this most resembles is “Skipper,” which is pretty sharp for $119.

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Your eyes should not be here

The word to be heard from Coffs Coast:

Ask any woman for the top 10 banes of her life and I swear she’ll say “bras”.

For such an insignificant — though often pricey — piece of upholstery, bras routinely fail at their key performance indicators — namely to support, be comfortable and look reasonably attractive.

Too much lace and you look like there’s an echidna scrambling around under your T-shirt.

Too padded and you’re sure to let someone down. Too wired and the damn thing will twist out of shape in the washing machine and torment you for the rest of its viable life.

Which is why the new bra advertisement from Berlei is so spot on it made me laugh out loud.

This is the ad. It’s here because social media had a hissy fit about it.

Why on earth are Facebook and Instagram banning it on the spurious grounds that it’s “offensive”? Offensive to who?

Surely not to the half of the population who endure bra contortion every day of their lives. Surely not to the other half who could do with a reality check on what it’s like to live with a pair of, at times, pesky mammaries.

For a site that’s been accused of imperialism in India, live streaming of human rights violations, propagating fake news and spying on users, it’s laughable that the social media giant has come over all prissy when it comes to breasts.

Berlei, founded in Australia 100 years ago, has expanded only to New Zealand and the United Kingdom. I suspect they know what kind of response they could expect, were they to run ads like this in the State.

(Via Breaking Shame [NSFW].)

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Is this the shoe for you?

Made by adidas specifically for Oktoberfest, this shoe addresses many of the issues associated with that legendary German celebration:

“Durable Puke and Beer Repellent.” Why didn’t someone think of this before?

HelloGiggles reports that you can buy these in the States for a lofty $240. Try to hold back your reaction until the shoes are actually delivered.

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Our new selfie queen

Actually, my daughter, while she fears no lens — she has a YouTube channel, fercryingoutloud — is not one to spend time on the art of the selfie.

Then this turned up:

Rebecca Carson 2017

I know that look. It says “I’ve got to do this.”

Of course, I asked about the shoes:

Chase + Chloe Kimmy-36 T-strap shoe

The Chase & Chloe Web site says firmly: wholesale only. Just the same, you can find this shoe on Amazon for a price less than $40. (It varies somewhat with size and color.) It was chosen, though, not because it was inexpensive, but because it has a definite retro look to it. I think. It certainly wasn’t because I am perhaps overly fond of T-straps.

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My week in unblocked ads

Variations on this theme have been appearing, for me anyway, on Fark:

Advertisement for MM.LaFleur

We will stipulate that their model, dressed thusly, does indeed look great. But I admit to wondering about that Bento Box business, especially since “bento” as I know it is basically a Japanese box lunch.

So I dialed over, and found:

Let us help you build your ultimate professional wardrobe — no shopping necessary.

We’d love to send you a Bento™ Box of office-appropriate staples that will fit you to a T. We currently carry products that fit women who typically wear sizes 0P–22W, and your dedicated stylist will hand-pick pieces based on your fit and style preferences. There’s absolutely no commitment — we’re not a subscription service.

And in that box?

Each box contains 4–6 wardrobe staples that might include dresses, separates, knits, or accessories. Prices range from $110 for a chic work top to $325 for a statement dress.

Three twenty-five does not strike me as a lofty price for a statement dress. (Your mileage may vary.)

Okay, how does it work?

We’ll deliver your Bento right to your door (U.S. only for now). You have four days to try everything on free of charge, and returns are insanely easy. Keep what you like; send back what you don’t. Shipping is free both ways, and there’s absolutely no commitment (we’re not a subscription service).

My pesky Inner Child, a girl not yet ten, is already fangirling over this idea; she’d almost certainly get involved with something like this, if she ever bothered to grow up.

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Sorry I missed you

When the Cheezburger Network first exploded all over the Net, a couple of dozen sub-sites appeared, one of them called Poorly Dressed, which might be considered a godmother to People of Wal-Mart. The poorlydressed.com domain seems to have passed to new owners since then, but some of the pictures were memorable, if only because they were so horrible.

Then there’s the one picture I kept from those days, and frankly, I’d substitute “cleverly” for “poorly”:

She blends right into the upholstery

This borders on trompe l’oeil. In fact, it could possibly trompe both les yeux.

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Whatever you Choos

Jimmy Choo left the company that bears his name in 2001; last month, that company was bought by Michael Kors Holdings for £896 million. A few of those pounds came from Lorna Burford, in exchange for this pair of shoes:

Jimmy Choo Romy 100 Glitter shoes

She says:

These are the Jimmy Choo Romy 100 in Peacock Glitter and they’re literally one of the most sexiest and prettiest pair of shoes I have seen. I’m hoping the photos do them justice, but they don’t capture their beauty in real life as well unfortunately, but I’m sure you can see just how sparkly they are! They are part of the AW17 collection and feature the classic pointed toe and stiletto heel that the Romy is known for. This pair is in the blue ombre glitter, called Peacock, with a metallic blue heel and leather piping details. They’re of course made in Italy and are a one of a kind shoe, which I simply cannot fault, so here they are!

In this instance, “100” denotes the heel height in centimeters, a smidgen short of four inches; some versions are also available in a slightly less lofty 85 cm. On the acquisition, Lorna says:

This particular pair of shoes I purchased on Farfetch last month when I had a discount code (they usually have them). They are quite pricey and have a retail amount of £475, but that is pretty good for Jimmy Choo and on the ever so slightly cheaper side for a glitter shoe from a high end designer label. As an example, a pair similar to this from Christian Louboutin would cost about £485 (and are nowhere near as pretty), so it’s an average price.

For certain values of “average,” I guess. Still, at $618 that’s a whole heck of a lot of sparkly, even though, as Lorna says, “they are not extremely versatile.”

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Runway, indeed

Actually, they’re not running at all; but Chinese fashion models move at high speed just the same:

In television and movies, modeling photo shoots are often portrayed at a leisurely pace. The subject might strike many poses over the course of a minute, but there’s no real sense of urgency to them. That’s not the case for fashion models in China, where such time would be seen as a luxury. In reality, they’ve got to make over a hundred outfit changes in a single day, so posing fast is a necessity. And as behind-the-scenes videos demonstrate, these female model poses are done at an effortless-yet-lightning speed.

Taobao is to China what Amazon is to you or me. And they’re in a hurry:

Modeling for Taobao is no easy feat. According to Chinadaily, some of these models make more than 700 poses over the course of 150 outfits, all within the span of a work day. They have one minute to change their clothes and a 10-minute lunch break. The intensity, however, is worth it — top models can earn up to 元10,000 (or around $1,500) per day.

I am duly impressed.

(Via @ShoeTease.)

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Pass it off as color block

A Sunday-afternoon discussion between shoeblogger and, um, me:

This was the shoe being debated:

Choca by Christian Louboutin

The official Louboutin description:

“Choca” plays up the strappy sandal inspiration this season. The slender cross straps overlap and curve around the ankle, anchored by a chic covered buckle strap. This pair in multicolored patent leather is a head-turning beauty.

This heel stands 100 mm (a hair under 4 inches), and the price is a moderate (for Louboutins) $845.

And shoeblogger will not be daunted by my mockery:

Confession: I’d love to see her in these, but I suspect this isn’t happening.

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We scorn eating records

But someone on roller skates — high-heeled roller skates, mind you — spinning three hula hoops? Now that’s proper material for a world record:

If you aspire to following the example of Marawa the Amazing, you’ll need something like this:

Roller-skate stilettos by Saint Laurent

Three-inch stiletto heels, with a roller-skate wheel attached to the bottom and a kick-stop brake — because it’s just so easy walking in a normal pair of heels.

Aptly dubbed the Anja 100 Patch Pop Pump Roller, the heels are part of Saint Laurent’s autumn/winter collection and are yours for a mere $2,600.

Not mine, they aren’t.

Nor is this Marawa’s only record: she has spun 162 hoops at a time. Wearing proper sneakers, I might add.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Here we go loop de loop

I remember these; I don’t remember them being so goshdarn new at the time:

Have you ever wondered why there’s a loop on the back of button-down shirts? At the point where the pleat meets the yoke (the tailoring term for a pattern piece that fits around the neck and shoulders), there’s a tiny loop of fabric. But does it serve a purpose?

Well, according to TODAY, the loops first came about back in the 1960s and were called “locker loops.” They were designed for young men to hang up their shirts in Ivy League locker rooms, so they would stay wrinkle-free while the students played sports or exercised. Pretty clever! After all, there’s not really room for a hanger in a small locker. Sailors also used the loops to hang up their shirts while changing on the ship.

Permanent press? Never heard of it.

I did hear of this, though I was never involved personally:

The loops later took on more significance. Also known as “fruit loops,” the little pieces of fabric would be pulled off by teenage girls to indicate that they had a crush on the boy wearing the shirt. Wearing a shirt sans loop would signify that a man was taken, and a lady would wear her beau’s scarf to show off her relationship status. Wow, dating rituals sure have changed, huh? Think of it as an old-school promise ring.

Fool that I was, I handed over an actual ring. Her parents, while they had no particular objection to me, thought this was entirely too presumptuous of me, which it probably was.

(Via Patrick’s Place. You already know the song.)

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The vanishing bra

No, this isn’t a reference to the fact that many women would just as soon do without. It’s a clothing hack that startled me, and I’m passing it on to you:

[S]omewhere toward the back of that drawer there’s a stash of lovely unmentionables that are rarely worn because your skin-toned favorite is on such constant rotation. Ready to add a little color to your life and give your boring bra a break? Here’s a secret: You can wear a red bra under a white shirt (and no one will be able to tell).

Wait, what?

Although it seems like this defies the laws of color theory, that’s exactly what makes this work. “We all have some element of red or pink in our skin, so once you layer white over it, the red blends in with your skin’s natural undertones,” explains Candece Etafo, a stylist for lingerie company Rigby & Peller. There is a tiny caveat, however. “I like to compare it to red lipstick,” says Etafo. “There is a perfect shade for everyone, so you might have to try a few different hues to find the perfect red for you.” Meaning some lucky ladies will be able to pull off a bright scarlet bra under a white tee, but darker skin tones will have better luck with a deeper shade, like burgundy. Others may want to consider reds with tones of pink or even orange.

If you test this for yourself, we’d love to hear from you. (Because we’re not going to test it ourselves.)

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Stretching a point

Or half a point, anyway, but that’s not happening. First, a word from the designer:

Susana Traça is a former model and Angola native who has used the memories, experiences and expertise gleaned from years travelling the world to produce a range of exceptionally crafted footwear that’s imbued with her own personal style and international aesthetic. Watch out for her unique take on classic designs, from chunky-soled, neon bright espadrilles in animal prints and glitters to tasselled sandals in sun burnt shades of amber, russet and chocolate brown.

I can appreciate this take, I think:

Pump by Susana Traça

Tatyana had picked out a gorgeous dress (by Alberta Ferretti) to go with this shoe. And, as always, she was more than prepared to explain her choices:

Angles and bands/stripes thing that’s going on is corresponding to the dress’ angles/bands — look at the neckline, it’s just like the “nose” of the shoe.

The color is the same (good) but the texture is not (great!), it adds variety — there is nothing that says “trying too much” as matchy-matchy texture.

The curve from sole to the stiletto is elegant, not too high — which is not only uncomfortable to move in, it would make for a wrong silhouette (leaning into toes, too strained).

The maryjane buckle is high, almost at the ankle, but it’s still not a “dog collar” around the ankle: unusual for contemporary party pump, it makes it look like 1920’s flapper shoe — which I simply love!

Nothing here I could possibly take exception to. However, it was never meant to be:

The dress is 2 sizes too big (not per label), the shoes ½ size too small and look like something from a circus “parade alle”.

I feel some of her disappointment.

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FLOTUS blossoms

From the increasingly misnamed neo-neocon, a bit of political fashion commentary:

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, I said that one thing I planned to enjoy was Melania’s fashions.

And so I have.

I especially love the simple, elegant suit that Melania wore today on her visit to France. Not everyone can wear these midi skirts; it helps to be tall, and Melania is almost six feet tall even without her heels, so she can wear it with tremendous panache (hey, that’s French!).

Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, side by side in Paris

I point out merely for completeness that Michelle Obama is almost six feet tall even without her heels, though I concede that this red suit would not have been ideally cut for her; Mrs O would not have looked her best with that skirt length.

Then there’s Mme Macron’s dress, which is not especially loved:

I feel for Macron’s wife Brigitte having to stand next to her. Not only is she about fifteen years older than Melania, but she’s so much smaller she would look like a pipsqueak in comparison no matter what she wore. But I see her choice as especially infelicitous. A miniskirt? Why? I know she must think her legs are her best feature (I share that conceit about myself) and the legs tend to be the last thing to go, but miniskirts except for the most casual of occasions are not flattering to those over 60. Maybe not even for those over 50. They make us look somewhat desperate, I think.

Brigitte Macron on the beachI admit here that I’m not entirely sure about that last bit. In my experience — caution: small sample — women who think their legs are their best feature are usually correct in this judgment, and with few exceptions, they know how to deploy them for maximum effect. This shot of Mme Macron on the beach, wearing a presumably tiny swimsuit and a short coverup, persuades me that she knows what she’s doing. Admittedly, beachwear is expected to be somewhat abbreviated, and it seems unlikely that she’d wear a dress that short, but the First Rule of Hemlines — you can go as high as you like so long as you don’t expose something that really ought not to be exposed — tells me that she could go at least a couple of inches above the knee without any hint of scandal. (And, come to think of it, she has.) For a woman my age (we were both born the same year) this isn’t exactly miraculous, but it is something I would never, ever want to discourage.

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To know a veil

In 1933, Alfred Angelo Piccione and his lovely bride Edythe Vincent Piccione set up a shop catering to other lovely brides. You have to figure, given the American tendency to spend like crazy on weddings, that this business would be as recession-proof as you could possibly imagine.

And today it’s dead. Sixty-two Alfred Angelo stores nationwide, including one just up the street from me, were shuttered today, and the scene at the corporate office in Florida was pretty much an evacuation. No mention of it on the company web site, though.

At the Oklahoma City store, employees were telling customers to come pick up their orders before 8 pm. Similar stories are being reported nationwide.

And elsewhere? Wednesday this episode of Undercover Boss USA aired on a British TV channel:

Paul Quentel, president of Alfred Angelo, the second largest bridal retailer in the United States, goes undercover to solve any problems as quickly as possible. Posing as a contestant on a reality TV competition, he works among his own staff.

You just might have been a little bit late on that, Paul.

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Like walking on pillows

Cristina has a pair of these in teal, and that’s exactly how she describes them. Of course, this obligates me to check their papers:

Vionic Rest Nala Leather T-Strap Triple Stud Sandals

You’re looking at the red version of the Vionic Rest Nala Leather T-Strap Triple Stud Sandals, which Dillard’s has recently knocked down to $80 from $100. There are also black and white versions, though only the teal (at this writing) remains available in all the even sizes from 5 to 11. The straps are leather, the footbed EVA wrapped in microfiber.

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