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· Spotted, Dolce & Gabbana pumps...
· Cuttin' teeth...
· Spring 2005 Couture: Christian Lacroix (part 1)
· Spring 2005 Couture: Christian Lacroix (part 2)

· 7:19 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· 12:54 AM by Blogger Dain
· 3:44 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· 10:15 AM by Blogger Harrods Girl
· 12:46 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog

Spotted, Dolce & Gabbana pumps...
Posted by Dain, Saturday, August 27, 2005 9:14 AM (Eastern)

In a cognac crocodile or alligator (as if I know the difference). This is really more Cathy's taste than mine, but it is by anyone's understanding singularly exquisite. And, though Dolce & Gabbana always screams "Euro trash!" to me, there is something about their heels—they match my instep exactly, so that even the most skyscraper heel molds to my feet like butter.

The given original price says $995, to a reduction of $555 (this is at a local store). Not a great price, but I found the same shoes on Raefaello, and they're actually supposed to be $1500, in which case it is a deep, deep discount. And they are classic and gorgeous, no? They scream fabulousness, or at least, conspicuous consumption (like I said, Euro trash). A bit too aggressive for me, really, but it breaks my heart to think someone I do not know will get away with a deal like this.

A humbler, but equally versatile pump is also available in black leather, at the far more allowable price of around $200 (from $500). These are highly respectable, if a little boring (and a half size too large).

I want a single pair of designer shoes. One, to wear with my fall capsule wardrobe (forthcoming), which must therefore comply with cool greens/blues, paired with a cream lace skirt and grey/blue plaid trousers. The coat is a khaki trench, the schoolbag, a cognac leather (more russet-toned than amber-y, but you can see why I'm leaning towards the alligator, yeah?). Two, to commemorate my first paycheck. Three, I've been very good about my other purchases—two sweaters, a skirt, a pair of trousers (which I haven't purchased yet, actually), a single palette, and two Eye Kohls (it totals to approximately $300; very good for total wardrobe/makeup expenditures for a season... I usually spend that much on makeup alone)—so a single splurge seems perfectly doable. Four, it should be a purchase, by dint of beauty and quality both, that lasts me a lifetime, and therefore worth the hundreds. I like shoes with character, anyway—so exquisite that they justify themselves, not to be "matched" necessarily, with any ole outfit; they are outfits unto themselves.

Here are the options:
Dolce & Gabbana cognac alligator stilleto pump ~$555 (from $995-$1500): Classic shape, luxe material, sexy style, neutral color, exquisite make... what can I say? There is nothing to be said against this pump, save the price. It would match my fall wardrobe, as well as anything else besides. But reptile skins creep me out a little, I must admit (it took me a while to get used to leather, even), and alligator is an aggressive skin. Does a $500-$1000 markdown merit a $500 shoe? I don't know. It is faultless, but... $500? But then, the comparable Manolo brown croc is $3000. It seems criminal not to buy.

Dolce & Gabbana black stiletto pump ~$200 (from $660-$500): Similar to the alligator, in that it is classic, sexy, neutral, and exquisite. It's more wearable, given that it's a simple black pump, but I don't really do black, and I don't really do simple. It's exquisite on the foot, but it bores me. Still, a fantastic deal. When will I find such a basic, wearable shoe at such a great deal again? but then I think, I am still paying a couple hundred dollars, and all details should be perfect. The cut of the shoe is a little plain, and I'd like something racier. Overall, it's just a little too conservative. (There's a green one as well, as well as a taupe snakeskin, and a beige snakeskin.) But say, if I find a nice, red bag for school, these would be better than any of the others.

Christian Lacroix violet velvet / rainbow pump $149 (from $423): In the right size this time (one hopes), and while I would objectively prefer black, I have no real objections to the violet, particularly since it would match the "outfit" even better. These are perhaps a bit more mod-ish and aggressive for the "outfit" as far as style goes (hmm... against the cream lace skirt? I would remove that gumball thing), but as I've said, these have enough character on their own to disregard the clothes entirely. Honestly, what could you match these to? I've handled a pair, of course, and the quality is beyond belief. The velvet is the plush, dense silk velvet, and the gumball is tightly screwed on (not merely glued), and even the sole is top-quality leather. They're hugely aggressively, but the way the alligator pumps are. They're quirky almost to the point of the ugliness, but the dark velvet and the round toe, I think, restrain them. It is simply a more interesting shoe. As Cathy said, looking at them, it is a Carrie Bradshaw shoe.

Manolo Blahnik beige floral-embroidered "Carolyne" $513: I had to include these. Of them all, they're the most beautiful of all. The picture doesn't do it justice. When you try them on, oh, jesus. Gorgeous. And so beautiful they meet anyone's standards, without being the least bit odd or aggressive, so that they meet anyone's sartorial needs, too. It's pure poetry, this shoe. And I bought it. I was convinced to take them back, on the argument that, although they were beautiful, they were not $500 worth of beautiful. But alas, I hardly knew ye, o Carolyne. I miss them already.

J. Crew dark red Patent Leather "Sloane" $158: I'm not inclined towards these, as they are not a designer shoe, but, I love the contrast of the shiny red against the colors of my "outfit" (washed out greens, blues, and neutrals, as you recall). There are several points against this shoe. One, as I said, they're not a sufficient "treat" (I do actually want to spend money here). Two, I'm not really into red, to be honest. Three, I'm choosing this, therefore, for its ability to match, whereas I really should be choosing them for stand-alone beauty. It's pretty, but hell, not that pretty. I won't even pay $150 for a shoe unless it's love. Four, I don't like the heel. Five, it costs more than the Lacroix! I suppose that settles it, then.

Balenciaga fuschia crystal bow sandal $2240: By and large, I don't like sandals. It would not, in practical terms, work well for my outfit (though they would aesthetically), since they look completely painful and not suited to New England weather (though, are any of these?). I just think they're out and out gorgeous, and wanted to post a picture, if you like. I don't know if I could ever afford them. That is really, really a prohibitive price. But they're wonderful to look at, aren't they? I just wanted to share.

What should I do? I'm leaning towards the cognac alligator pumps from Dolce & Gabbana, if I can't find a nice red bag. The black pumps if I do. And the Lacroix, I think I'm gonna get anyway, because it's such a nice deal. The Manolos? Maybe someday, if I have flippin' thousands of dollars to throw around. The Balenciaga? GET REAL.

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7:19 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I like in order:

1.) the gumballs. They're different.

2.) the Balenciaga's. I can see that they wouldn't be practical, I'm just saying.

3.) the grey Manolo Blahnik's. They're quite pretty but the gumballs just look nice to me.

4.) everything else. I don't care for the crocs. They don't scream Eurotrash! at me but they seem too old for you.

The black shoes look dull.

The J.Crews, I don't gravitate toward red shoes either. I think they'd pop best if you wore a lot of neutral colors, like grey, taupe, khaki...or even yellow or blue. Red won't go with green. I'm prejudiced; I wear a lot of green, and I'd hate to have to go fishing around for another shoe.

Well that's mho. It's close between the gumballs and the Blahniks. I would personally prefer the Blahniks only because the heel is lower. *smirks*

12:54 AM, Blogger Dain said...

You know, I got a chance to look at them all again, and I think you're right on the money with all your assessments. The Lacroix it will be. They're... hmm... well, witty. The Lacroix, the Manolos, and the Balenciagas--they're not shoes intended to be a reference to other clothing, the way the others are. Why buy a pair of expensive shoes to treat yourself if they will only be humble? Aaand, they're a great deal.

3:44 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I like the idea of Dolce & Gabbana. I don't know why, it just sounds cool.

But it would have to be a more distinguished pair somehow. Something you would notice.

I'm liking this idea of getting a designer pair of shoes on a paycheck, especially the first one. I'm not planning on doing it myself too soon, but I am up for a job...I'll find out on Monday, hopefully.

10:15 AM, Blogger Harrods Girl said...

Oooh, I love the Dolce & Gabbana aligator skin ones. They're absolutely gorgeous!

12:46 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

One vote for the gators.

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Cuttin' teeth...
Posted by Dain, Saturday, July 30, 2005 12:31 AM (Eastern)

I've bought my first pair of designer shoes, with the first of the money from my first job. At first, I was awash in a sea of ugly shoes (not a fan of Fall/Winter 2005), but then, I thought, wait... aren't there massive sales right now for the Spring stuff? And sure enough!

They are a pair of pumps from Christian Lacroix. Christian Lacroix is better known for his exquisite (there is no other word for it) couture collections, but I like his cheerful, pretty shoes as well. As my two favorites, Christian Louboutin and Dolce & Gabbana, were sadly lacking in interesting shoes (as far as my taste was concerned), this seemed like a perfect way to toast my first paycheck.

They're just fucking fabulous, or stupendously hideous, depending on your taste. Like any shoe that inhabits aesthetic extremes, there are no two ways about it. As far as I'm concerned, they're perfection. And utterly unique. So fancy and quirky at once. Black velvet (there is also one in violet, but I thought the rainbow color enough!), with the rainbow lucite details and... a pink gumball. The shape is classic, the details are mod. A scion of Audrey Hepburn and Elton John (as implausible as that sounds), chic with a sense of the absurd. It's an eccentric shoe, but not disharmonious, for all that. I'm not one for wallflower clothes anyway—I like each and every piece to have its own distinct character. Most women aren't comfortable with that notion, except with shoes or bags, and these are an outfit unto themselves. And better still, they were on sale, $149.95 from $423, with free shipping at How? Well, they're from the Fall 2004 RTW collection, two seasons old. And not worse for the wear, I think.

I hope this isn't the beginning of a lifelong addiction, but... [shrugs] I figure my minimalist philosophy will hold me steady (the same as for makeup, but perhaps with less conscious involvement). I'm eyeing a pair of flats from Valentino, as well as a pair of sandals, a gold leather/cream and chocolate snakeskin pump from Dolce & Gabbana, and those amazing platform loafers from YSL in plum velvet... But, in all likelihood, it shan't be so (except for the Valentino flats, they're also on sale). Like I said, I don't like to buy things I don't love. Admiration is not enough, not at these prices.

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Spring 2005 Couture: Christian Lacroix (part 1)
Posted by Dain, Wednesday, May 11, 2005 1:08 AM (Eastern)

RIGHT   Very simple elements—a jacket (reminiscently Chanel, how French!), a blouse-ish element, and a skirt—in the simplest color combination available, black, white and silver. But each is an intrigue in itself, from the exaggerated jacket that sits more like a camisole (giant buttons, giant lapels, and plenty of embellishment at the hems just in case your eye glossed over its jacket-y outlines), to the silver mesh shirt, to the gathered and ruffled and rose-d up and nearly ungainly skirt.
LEFT   This makes me laugh! Look, it's a Burberry plaid trench, a bastion of classic style, and it's been made to float in the breeze like a ephemeral raincoat! Paired, with all things, a violently patterned and sexy plunge blouse and very plain long shorts.

RIGHT   I love this jacket. Its lines are simple and clean, but the hem, the cuffs, the pockets, and the collar are frothed asunder with lace and beading and what all. What an amazing jacket that is. The gold lamé dress is cute, too, but o, the jacket, the jacket.
LEFT   More Burberry-inspired tongue-in-cheek. A classic trench, from the masculine lapels, the nondescript khaki, and the waist-cinching tie, but it billows and ruffles like a jacket for a 17th-century fop!

RIGHT   What a pretty shade for a jacket! It's got a lot of structure in some places (the collar, the shoulders), and the embellishments are just right, from the sparkled cuffs and stiff collar, to the inconsistent bows. I love the cute, frothy pouf of a skirt, too (rather like lemon meringue... with uhh... flies).
LEFT   This dress kind of reminds me of a candle, it kind of reminds me of a flamingo (the colors and the feathers), and kind of 20s-era flapper style. Though it's a complicated dress, it gives the sense of simplicity, and... I don't know... it's a pretty dress, and it wouldn't be impossible to wear.

RIGHT   Wow! The little black dress in sculpture! The spare bodice (sparkly, but very minimal), the simple but altogether complicated gathered skirt (talk about "full"), and the petticoat underneath, which doesn't so much resemble lace as ivy leaves growing willy-nilly. It just hits the right extremes, and doesn't fall apart doing so.
LEFT   Tiered ruffles, done to the max, but with a delicate, soft material that only hints at structure (if the previous dress resembles the stiffness of sculpture, this dress is more like a rough sketch), in a shade of crimson beautiful to behold. (And only one strap! Did you notice? How odd.)

RIGHT   Just marvel at the gorgeous fabric (luxe!), the nigh architectural gathers, and all the little details (lace frothing up at the collar, the anticlimactic drawstring hem, the Mahometan-style trousers (in tinted, sequined, and tiered chiffon, no less), the skin-tight vest, etc.).
LEFT   That's a great jacket. The mandarin style touches in the front, cropped to the point of being a bolero in the front, but look at the back (see picture below) and it's long, slit, and pleated à la Sun King style. The dress is pretty too, layers of ruffled watercolor chiffon.

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Spring 2005 Couture: Christian Lacroix (part 2)
Posted by Dain, 12:14 AM (Eastern)

RIGHT   Goddamn, doesn't that look like a giant, walking orchid to you? And yet, it doesn't. It also just looks like a pretty dress. But it's perfectly evocative of a giant, showy flower, without sacrificing its clothes-ness. (Whatever that means.)
LEFT   Hmm... I really like the boudoir feeling about this dress. A silky sheath of satin, overlaid with sheer black, some sort of gold medallion over the stomach, reaching some sort of pelvic culmination at the crotch (giftwrapped with a bow, even), before billowing open like a robe.

RIGHT   Wow, isn't that amazing? It must be awkward to walk around in, but that's just magical. It looks as if some violent watercolor were draped onto her body.
LEFT   I think this is just lovely. It seems like a gorgeous but ordinary enough dress, exquisite tailoring and all that, in a lovely color. But then, turn to the back, not only for a plunging back, but that surprising blue hem!

RIGHT   Oh... I think this dress is spectacular. The color, the satin, the embellishments... how it's so form-flattering and billowy at the same time. The material and the color make it soft, but the shape is so constructed. She looks like a walking flicker o' flames.
LEFT   How cool is that? Now there's a ball gown. How can a single piece have so much going on (sleeveless, gathered bust, sheerness, velvet bows, pewter embroidery, chiffonic extravagances in gathers and poufs and layers, and most likely, a train), and yet still seem austere?

RIGHT   I love the orange (it's really a very special sort of orange, don't you think?), the regal draping (even down to a cape), with a bit of tongue-in-cheek asymmetry.
LEFT   Flamenco, done ballroom style. Gorgeous, from the dense, decadent bodice (rather resembles a breastplate, don't you think?), exploding into scarlet silk, which looks precariously wrinkled but is actually stiff with structure (and then you realize it's something like a glorified apron over a gold-embroidered gown), then the waves of embellished petticoats coming to life below, and, if that weren't enough, topped with bows.

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