Giving Target Another Look

I was at Target today and had also received a new promo email from them about the new Romantic collection in the Go International line. So the evil empire was doing its best to influence me.

So I’m trying to over expose myself to everything to keep me from indulging on the site. You know, really soak it all in. And they’re quite a few new options to tempt me. Click on any of the images to take you to the online page. I haven’t seen any of these in person (some are on Online Exclusives) so in-person quality is an unknown.

These cute t-straps come in black and grey and brown and creme. They’d be great with dark tights for winter and fall.

These would be fun with some dark slacks or jeans.

Red double-strap mary janes. Can’t go wrong with these, no matter who makes them. So now everyone can have a pair.

These tweed kitten heels are perfect for the office. I’d like to get a skirt with a large scale plaid that has this tone in it, a nubby brown sweater and some wool tights.

I’m not sure how good the gold on the heel of these looks but I like the cream and black combo and the big strap and buckle.

These seem very Queen Michelle to me. Tough, strappy, classic. I could see these on someone wearing really really skinny jeans.

Yellow and grey look so fresh together. Plus, the ruffles remind me of Loeffler Randall elements.

When did Target get all snazzy? Look at these funky snakeskin wedges? Where did those come from?

Miss Bubble? I think these would be fun for you to dress up. And dress down. And all around.

These little peep-toe pumps have a Betsey Johnson element to them. I think it is the adorable floral pattern.

Metallic snakeskin – very Nine West which are very Dior but for even less.

Target’s Skylar pump. Now in a cute cute cute black with white polka-dots. I have the patent version and they are very cute – plus you don’t have to worry about messing them up.

These azure chunky sandals will still be great for summer with the floaty and floral dresses. Plus could be fun with tights transitioning into fall.

Almost all of these come in different colors, so check them out. And if you see them in person, let me know.

Blast from the Past

On Sunday a local group was putting on a Summer Solstice Celebration which included vendors and bellydancing and face-painting. They invited people to come out and dress up.

I was debating dressing up all princess/pixie but in the end opted for more of a Victoriana-inspired idea. I already had these petticoats, for lack of a better description. There are actually two of them. The bottom white one is multi-layered and very fluffy and ruffly. The top one is tulle edged in black lace. I wore a portrait collar jacket and a black straw top hat/riding hat with a long black satin bow down the back.

I also had these funky striped stockings that remind me of the Can-Can.

Not a great set of photos, I know, the lighting in our room here isn’t great.

The back of these boots lace-up all the way, much like a corset. I little saucy, I’d say!

So we drive all the way over to the event and are getting ready to park but it was not well organized. I guess the pixies aren’t good at traffic control.

Also, we, uh, did not see a bunch of folks dressed up. Yeah…..

So we decided to drive down to the other lot and see if we could get a closer look and tell if anyone was dressed up. There were a few folks but there was no parking to be found. As we talked with someone working the lot it started to pour down rain. We were like, the heck with that, and decided to head back.

Just for fun we wanted to get something to eat so we went to the bistro just up from our house. In our “outfits”. I mean, we looked awesome, right! So we walked into this little restaurant where they know us, in these get-ups. It’s funny when you see that look on a person’s face that is obviously “Okay, what the h**l do we have here?”

They thought we were a bit nuts I’m sure, but I don’t mind looking a bit silly. Actually, I liked my fluffy skirt, stockings and boots, so I didn’t mind. I’m not saying I’m going to wear this to work or anything.

But you never know, right?

More to love from JCrew

I know I’ve said this in the past, but I just love the accessories coming out of JCrew. They are really investing in interesting styles of jewelry, bags and shoes.

The only thing is I am resistant to spending the amount of cash they want me to lay down. I don’t know what it is but I just can envision that their shoes should go for $225+. They’re gorgeous and all but the connection just isn’t there.

That said, I love love the Penelope Mary Janes in Silver and Yellow. Yellow looks like crap on me in clothing but on shoes I can work it in. I even forgive their Miu Miu stealing elements.

These Penelope peep-toes caught my eye first. I love that combo of tan, red and navy. It’s very classic American with out looking like a flag in all red/white/blue.

Both of these come in other color combos, but I think these are the best.

Twenty Questions with Hetty Rose

As we all know, I’m a big fan of Miss Henrietta Rose, a.k.a. Hetty Rose. I thought it would be cool to learn more about her and how she got into designing and what her influences are.

Miss Hetty took the time to sit down with me and answer a whole bunch of my questions

1. When did you first get into fashion and shoes?
My first memory of shoes having an impact on me was my first day at nursery school. My mother asked what my teacher was like and I proceeded to tell her all about her red shiny shoes. My obsession isn’t just how shoes look, I am very interested in how shoes are constructed too. I make clothes and have done since I was little and I enjoy sourcing vintage fabrics and trimmings from different countries when I travel.

2. What path has your life/schooling/career taken to get you to this point? For example, when did you decide this was what you wanted to go to school for, what schools did you consider/apply to, what internships, jobs and mentoring did you have? When did you decide to go into business for yourself and start your own line?
Prior to my footwear degree, I spent my art foundation year, after high school, de-constructing shoes and experimenting. I then I studied at the London College of Fashion and gained a degree in Footwear Design & Development (also known as Cordwainers College). During my time at university, I also gained an industrial placement for one year of study with footwear designer Georgina Goodman. At every stage of my learning I was/am very focused about what I want and my direction in development.

Since graduating I have worked in both London and Italy for handmade shoe companies before setting up the Hetty Rose company just over a year ago. I wanted my name in the shoe and took a risk by starting up something new, but I knew I had something unique and wanted to share it with people who would appreciate and enjoy the shoes.

3. How did you decide to work with vintage kimono fabric?
The concept of the company has grown from research and development I conducted during my degree. I was traveling in Japan 4 years ago and came across some tiny shops selling vintage kimono fabrics. These fabrics have already been un-picked and are panels, which lend themselves to shoe patterns. Therefore, I left my clothes in Japan and filled up my case with kimono fabrics and started to experiment with them in my workshop. I love it when I find a really beautiful piece of fabric. As the fabrics are one-offs they cannot be re-produced, so when I find something gorgeous, I have to do it justice by making it into something really wonderful. I go back each year to source more fabrics and be inspired by the beauty of the country.
4. Describe the process of creating one of your pairs of shoes? With inspiration comes design. I have the last form made in the last factory left in the UK and also the heels by craftspeople. I then make the patterns and cut the fabric and leather. I’ll then stitch them and mould them around the last by nailing it in position underneath. After the upper is lasted I’ll add the sole and attach the heel and finish of by putting the padding and cover inside the shoe. The entire process can take up to 6 weeks as there is lots of drying and molding required. In just hours it takes around 2-3 days per pair to make from scratch.

5. Do you have a team that helps you?
I have 2 press agents in the UK and Italy, an Japanese agent and 2 assistants who help in the workshop a couple days a week. When I am really busy I sometimes rope in sisters, boyfriend and friends to help with little jobs!

6. What influences your designs?
Objects, places, colours and dreamt-up ideas influence me more than looks or trends. I can pick up fashion developments and movements and translate these where appropriate.

7. What are your inspirations?
I am a self-confessed hoarder. I keep everything that inspires me or that could be useful. The idea of wasting something which could be transformed into something functional and beautiful is the reason I do what I do. Sustainability in the fashion field can be a challenge, so by having a concept which adheres to ethical and ecological sensitivities, I can be free with my designs.

My magpie tendencies often lead me to be inspired by trinkets and found objects.

8. What have been your biggest successes?
Being selected to show at London Fashion Week in my first season was great, also commissions from exhibition are always exciting. I enjoy traveling for my job and most of all I feel great satisfaction by having happy, lovely clients.

9. What have been your biggest roadblocks?
Financial constraints can be a challenge to juggle for a small business. Sourcing components in the UK can also be hard work. I have build relationships with small crafts people who can create to my specifications. Working everyday can be tiring, but I love my job and feel so lucky to be able to be creative everyday.

10. Can you name some of your favorite (and or famous) clients?
From Poochie: All clients are kept anonymous. Press coverage can be seen on Hetty’s site
11. What is your favorite part of your job?
My clients are so delightful, I love meeting people who like to be unique and individual in their fashion style. It is so great to hand make something totally exclusive to them.

12. What goals and milestones have you set for yourself? What are you looking forward to and planning over the next few years?I plan to steadily build up my business and profile. Through ongoing research of the market and materials, I aim to develop the brand, be reliable and build credibility through providing a quality product, excellent service with definitive branding. By creating an experience for customers, I aim to gain loyal customers and buyers.

I aim to design the Hetty Rose trans-seasonal collections with the ethos of making a collection which has typical signature style to be recognisable as Hetty Rose brand. This will enable customers to grow alongside the company and be loyal and enjoy each collection.

I like to collaborate with other designer/makers to create something really unique, and I would like to carry on doing this within many varied disciplines.

I would like to expand to a shop in the UK and then abroad in Europe, US and Japan.
I also enjoy explaining and demonstrating my practice to others and would love to carry out educational workshops.

13. What have been some of your most interesting or unusual special requests?
I have made shoes out of different fabric for the same pair for a client’s wedding. The result was really beautiful and striking. Some clients like matching accessories; purses, bags, belts, hair bows and baby shoes!

I am currently working on a project with a stylist for an exhibition which will travel in the UK, New York and Tokyo. It will involve hand weaving a shoe in vivid bright colours.

14. Who are your favorite designers?
Roger Vivier was a pioneer in footwear. I have a lot of respect for designers who do things you wouldn’t expect and play with materials in a creative way. Also, Nicholas Kirkwood, Gil Carvalho and Georgina Goodman have amazing vision.

15. Do you wear shoes by any other designers? If so, who?I wear mostly vintage designers or my own shoes. I have a few pairs of Georgina Goodman shoes, Hermes, some high street brands and often wear real ballet shoes which I customize.

16. What are your favorite books and magazines?
I rarely get time to read books. When I have time I flick through Vogue, Dazed, I.D and Japanese Street Style magazine. I tend to buy a lot of foreign magazines when I am traveling, Italy do an entire Vogue magazine decided to shoes, its wonderful (Vogue Pelle).

17. What are your favorite musicians and songs?
My tastes are very eclectic, I like anything from Kings of Leon, to Justice, Hot Chip and Nina Simone. I love abit of 90s dance when I am working late in the studio to keep me awake!

18. What’s your favorite color?
A real coral pink.

19. If you could be anyone in history, who would you be?
I wouldn’t be able to choose between Charles Rennie Macintosh, Christian Dior and Henry Moore. (Funny that they are all men!!)

20. What is your favorite city?Nagoya, Japan.

Thanks, Henrietta!

Red Hot Shoes for Sale

So I bought these red hot Stuart Weitzman Fever pumps in Red Quasar…

… and they are very sex-ay. Look at that gold heel.

But you know, they just didn’t do it for me. So I’m considering selling them.

These heels have been worn once on carpeted surfaces and that is it. They were just a little narrow for me. I think they would look especially good under pants. But I don’t wear pants a lot so I’d rather send them off to a good home.

Size 35. If you’re interested, drop me a comment or an email and we’ll talk price.

From the Luxury Institute

Limitied Edition Louboutins from

Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate Most Prestigious Women’s Luxury Shoe Brands:
Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Hermes

High net-worth female consumers rated Christian Louboutin the most prestigious women’s luxury shoe brand in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute.

Respondents who would recommend Christian Louboutin say, “They have shoes that catch the eye and the red soles are something everyone recognizes,” and “they have great styles that make you feel feminine and sexy.”

Manolo Blahnik and Hermes ranked second and third, respectively.

“The women’s luxury footwear is crowded, and it is very difficult to differentiate a brand,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Louboutin and a few others have managed to break through the sameness with unique
styling and signature features that wealthy women are willing to pay a premium for and to recommend. Our impartial surveys provide a detailed map of wealthy consumer perceptions of this critical fashion category with details as to why consumers are, or are not, willing to recommend each and every brand. Hundreds of luxury firms that buy our ratings surveys tell us this data has had a dramatic impact on their strategies and tactics in recent years.

Following are the 29 luxury women’s shoe brands that were rated (alphabetical order):

1. Bottega Veneta
2. Burberry
3. Chanel
4. Chloe
5. Christian Louboutin
6. Cole Haan
7. Dior
8. Dolce & Gabbana
9. Fendi
10. Ferragamo
11. Giorgio Armani
12. Gucci
13. Hermes
14. Hugo Boss
15. Jimmy Choo
16. Louis Vuitton
17. Manolo Blahnik
18. Marc Jacobs
19. Michael Kors
20. Miu Miu
21. Prada
22. Ralph Lauren
23. Stella McCartney
24. Stuart Weitzman
25. Tod’s
26. Tory Burch
27. Valentino
28. Versace
29. Yves Saint Laurent

To me it sounds as if “status” drove the ranking more than quality or style. I hope that was not the case. Yes, status is an element to the purchase but I don’t think that should be all of it. Frankly, given the group surveyed and the trend of “stealth wealth“, I would think that the flashiness and obvious id of the shoe would be a negative to some degree. That because every celebrity is wearing them that this may be a turn off.

But, what do I know?

Real Flowers, Not Faux

My outfit today was pretty boring – black on black. The jacket had a cute cut but other than that not too special.

But I did take the opportunity to wear my Prada flower heels and I thought I would share some real life pics since I didn’t get to when I wore them to the wedding.

So here you go…

They are much more comfortable to wear this time than at the wedding. Maybe because I was having to focus on not stepping into a cobblestone crack and breaking the heel or my ankle.

Not that these pictures are amazing but I put up a bunch more on Flickr –

More Accolades for Manolo

Speaking of Manolo, it looks like there are even more awards for our favorite designer.

Now, as noted by Vogue

Manolo Blahnik’s contribution to fashion will be immortalised in September when he receives the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award in LA.

Recognising the UK-based cobbler’s impact on fashion within the entertainment industry – most recently in the Sex and the City movie – The Rodeo Drive Committee and the City of Beverley Hills has awarded Blahnik with its 12th annual Walk of Style Award.

Following in the footsteps of Giorgio Armani (who won the first award in 2003), Salvatore Ferregamo, Gianni and Donatella Versace and Tom Ford, Blahnik will receive a plaque to adorn with his signature and a quote that will sit on the famous Los Angeles sidewalk.

Aside from Sex and the City and Absolutely Fabulous, the designer’s iconic shoes won a costume design award for Marie Antoinette and he is now a household name, known for luxury and elegance.

(He deserves that award. Look at these! I want them)

As Wanda McDaniel, chairman of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style selections committee tells The Daily: “Manolo Blahnik’s relationship with the entertainment industry is legendary.”

Congratulations, Mnsr. Manolo!

Blue for You

UPDATE – If you are interested in getting the Something Blue Manolo Blahniks, they are on pre-sale at the Bergdorfs site for $895 (and fixed on the Neiman Marcus site too – they were previously listed for $945, weird huh?).

I’m not sure what’s going on with the pricing changes but I would go for the order asap. And take a screen grab too.

If you don’t live in the state of New York, Bergdorfs is the better way to go. There is free shipping and you won’t have to pay sales tax.

Just an FYI!

UPDATED AGAIN on 6-28-08 – Now they’re both at $945! What the hell is going on here?