Shoe Customization: Gold Oxfords

I hate when I can’t find (or afford) a pair of shoes that I totally fall in love with. Sometimes they don’t have my size or they run out. Not that I usually accept those reasons at first. Typically I will still attempt to hunt them down. I’m very patient and will search all over. But if I’ve already done my shoe hunt and I still can’t find them, I’ll still try to find a way to get what I want.

The latest pair that I fell in love (okay obsession!) with were these boyish gold oxfords that Kelly Wearstler was wearing on the Domino October 2008 cover. Ever since then, I’ve been searching and searching for them or for a pair like them. This is how obsessed I was. First I looked at the magazine’s “resources” section. Not there… hmmm… Then I tried a simple online search. Nothing. I then contacted Domino editorial. I mean they were bound to know, right? Nope! They said they were Kelly shoes that she had brought with her and that they were custom made. This gave me hope. All I needed to know was where she got them made. Time and distance are no barrier these days, right? Sadly, the Domino staff didn’t know where they came from (and apparently they had received a number of inquiries besides mine).

Okay, now I was determined to find out. This was getting ridiculous. So I called her offices. Yes, yes, I have a problem, I. Know. This.

If you can believe this I actually spoke to someone on her staff (alright, I’ll admit it. I made up a pretense of wanting them for a photoshoot or something. I told you, I am obsessed with getting something I want). They told me that she had them custom made somewhere in Italy or they were vintage from Europe or something but they/she didn’t remember where so there was no further info they could give me.

Yeah. Sure.

I finally gave that all up as a dead end. I figured I would just need to do a search online and see if I could find a good substitution.

But you would think I was searching for the Holy Grail or something. I mean there is a serious opportunity in the marketplace because I found nothing. Well, I actually did find a lot of gold jazz shoes but not a lot of this style of oxfords.

The closest pair I found were this pair from Toast. They were pretty good but first of all they started at size 37, which is way bigger than my 35, although I did actually consider them. But they are around $300 and not quite the right color. Still, as a back up, not a bad choice, right?

Then I was sifting through the YOOX sale and found these Apepazzas. The style is pretty good, albeit a bit too pointy. They describe the color as gold. I’m not sure if I believe them, though. And still $130 plus shipping. Not that that is a huge amount, but it is a lot for a third choice.

Then I remembered I had a pair of vintage deadstock oxfords that I had bought on eBay a while back when I was looking for a off-white bucks alternative. I wasn’t too thrilled with them at the time and considered reselling them. This would be a good option for another shoe customization project!

The shoes cost me about $15 and I bought black and antique gold acrylic paints, varnish and a gold leaf pen from Michaels. Total – $15.

The shape is slightly more elongated and these have holes where Kelly’s didn’t but I couldn’t be too picky at this point.

Pristine vintage!

I love the heels on these.


I started out by testing on an interior spot if I could paint the gold right on them or if I needed to do the basecoat of black. I determined that I did need the black to get the right depth of color I wanted. I used the paint pen on lace holes which are metal.

One shoe done with the base coat.

I ended up doing two coats of the black and then I did the gold as each shoe dried. I was worried that the paint would dry and make the leather too stiff but so far that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Both shoes done…

I then did a coat of satin finish varnish to protect them. I could do a few more coats but I’m impatient. I don’t put my shoes through too much abuse so I think they’ll be okay.

Once they were all dry I had to lace them up. I had a vision of using ribbon laces but I still need to find the perfect color. After going through my boxes of ribbon I picked a few to use for the time being. But I think I’m going to end up getting a pair of black regular type laces for them. More cord-like.

For now I put the mauve-y wire-edged ribbons in, which I think are cute with the gold.

Bows! I edged the ribbon ends with some Fray-chek to stop them from shredding.

What do you think? Of course, they’ll look closer to the “inspiration” pair when I get the black laces, but not bad, huh?

I think they are super cute! Now I just need to plan an outfit around them. And the good thing is I can swap out the laces and touch them up if I get any scuffs.

Now I have what I want (sort of), am recycling by giving a vintage piece a new life and saving myself a good amount of money. I like the customization projects I’ve done so far. Maybe I need to plan on doing more in 2009.

A Flat Bargain

While I was sifting through the online sales (it’s getting crazy cheap out there) I did wander into the “new arrivals” section.

Even at full price, Old Navy still has some great bargains, as usual. I found these cute faux-suede flat boots. They grey is pretty and you can see the details.

But I think I like the black ones better. They’re kind of a mix of English riding boot and Western cowboy boot styles and I think they would look great with tucked in jeans and an oversized sweater.They look very snuggly to me.

At only $39.95, you can still get a bunch of the sale items too!

Christmas Recap

We don’t do a lot of presents for each other during Christmas. We’ve actually convinced the family to cut out the presents. We just feel that we have so much already and don’t really need more.

A big part of our “gift” was spending time at our favorite Grove Park Inn in Asheville. My hubby’s parents came down from Chicago to join us for the long weekend (even longer for them due to all the crummy service from NorthWest) and we enjoyed the town and dining and the hotel.

This is a perfect time of year to go because you can enjoy cold mountain air, the big fireplaces and see all the entries for the National Gingerbread House competition. And I got to have a pedicure and spend some time in their delicious spa.

I did end up getting some things while we were there. I bought some sale items at JCrew. We got a bunch of jams from Imladris Farms and some Christmas treats for the pets. It’s a weird mix of things that I got – from light blue fishnets and black fleur-de-lys lace stockings to…

(does this picture look a bit pervy to you? WeLoveColors are you the next AA?)

… and a really cool polished septarian nodule like this one. So sex-ay tights and geological samples… that’s a pretty good example of the range of things I like.

As for actual gifts, I bought the hubby some neat shirts from Threadless, a graphic novel based on Lovecraft stories and, for both of us, a chess set for the library. He also got some absinthe sugars, slippers and a movie in his stocking.

I got an iTunes gift card, some of my favorite chocolates and my big gift was a pair of these Bose over the ear headphones!

I was so happy to get them. I can’t wait to wear them at work because they are uber-comfortable. Better than any others I tried on.

Of course, right now I’m just hoping to feel better so I can get up out of this bed and get some stuff done. This feeling crummy sucks.

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday filled with joy. Did you get a great gift or a big surprise? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy Holidays!

UPDATED: In my delirium, I forgot to add this. I was searching through some old photos trying to find a photo of this hideous clown statue that my aunt got from her mother-in-law years ago. It was made of poorly painted shells and weird bulgy pipe cleaners. Her MIL used to give her an amazingly hideous gift every year. So horrible that they had to be on purpose because you could never imagine that someone would actually give them as a gift with good intentions. But after seeing all of the Ugly S**t on Etsy via Twitter and the Craftastrophe site (my new favorite site, I think)… I’m not so sure.

Now if only I had that clown, I could be selling it for big bucks on eBay.

There’s Still Time

I thought after all the stress and craziness we had this year, I would be done and safe coasting into 2009.

As always, I did tempt fate to my own detriment. We had a few snags during our trip last weekend but that actually wasn’t so bad.

But then yesterday I was betrayed by my favorite soup!

We had a few of these in the house and I eat them all the time at work but I guess a got a bad one. For the last two days I’ve been sick in bed with food poisoning.

Another one to add to the Bummer Christmas* list. Right now I’m amusing myself by napping watching A Christmas Story and drinking Gatorade. I do plan on being more productive, so bear with me.

Did you all have a wonderful holiday???

*What is Bummer Christmas? It has long been a thing in my family that we have more “bitter Christmas memories” than good ones. Tales of bad vacations, where the name was coined, to childhood jealousies and, now, feeling deathly ill when it’s not even for a good reason. Bah!

Near Misses

One of the shoes I really really wanted this past Fall were these Chanel spat ankle boots. I didn’t do a lot of searching because I had already bought the two-toned mary janes and the tights. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want them if I found them.

But then yesterday I thought I was in luck! Haute Macabre featured these adorable booties on Urban Outfitters.

Aren’t these great? Wouldn’t these be wonderful and a great option since I couldn’t find the Chanel ones?

Yeah, too bad… They’re sold out.

Now I’m bummed all over again. Maybe they will come back in stock. It would be a very merry Christmas indeed if they did!

A Perfect Pairing

This may not be news to everyone because it hit a day or two ago, but I’m still catching up!

It seems, to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday, Mnsr. Louboutin will be creating a pair of special pumps in the Barbie Pantone 219 Pink.

Barbie in one of her many fashionable guises – © Rex Features via I actually have this orginal bathing suit, along with a number of other outfits, handed down from my mom

“Barbie needs to wear great shoes because every girl needs to wear great shoes,” Louboutin tells WWD. “I guess I always had a little ‘girlie side’ who liked Barbie.”

Mattel is also planning on hosting a special runway show during New York Fashion week featuring 50 other designers creating Barbie-ispired looks. According to –

Fifty designers will produce life-sized outfits inspired by the doll, setting off a string of celebrations. In 2009 a new range of beauty products – boasting such names as All Doll’d Up – is planned, while collaborations with the likes of Vera Wang (a life-size wedding gown which includes a Barbie wearing its own mini version too) and Jeremy Scott (a capsule collection inspired by her), as well as the opening of an House of Barbie in Shanghai, are among other fun and games.

But the power of Barbie doesn’t stop there – Mattel will embark on a three-year partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America from next February (the first toy company to do so) as well as sponsor New York’s IMG organised Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

If you’ve seen some of the Designer Barbie collector dolls, I’m sure the fashions will be fabulous… and not all pink. I just wonder how many will look back to some of the original outfits, which were amazing, and which will come up with more modern designs. Personal I love the old outfits, of which I have many from my mom and aunts – they had the original blonde Barbie and the Barbie with the black hair in the bubble-cut. They were amazing.

They had great accessories too, including quilted metallic gold clutches and white and cork wedge shoes. Not the plastic junk you see now. So, there are a lot of directions Louboutin could go with his Barbie shoes. He could do a frothy sandal, like the ones from the Resort line (which I love!)

Of course these bright bright pink wedge sandals would be perfect for Barbie’s California girl lifestyle.

But I like the more modern glam Barbie. Wouldn’t these Clichys be perfect? I have these and they are HIGH! So they would work with Barbie’s tippy-toes.

But, of course, what could be more iconic or classic than the Louboutin Simple Pumps in super girly pink? I mean, I know I had Barbie in mind when I bought them!

Barbie pink shiny heels and Louboutin red soles. Yummy!

I hope they sell them too!

More Reading:

– – here and here
– WWD – here
– StyleHog – here
– Barbie –
– Barbie for Grown-ups
– Barbie Collectors

Subliminal influences

I’m still watching all my favorite old movies when they come on, trying to get back into good spirits. Tonight I was watching Mary Poppins and realized I recognized something familiar.

This is my jacket and my Lou Lou Loves You bow. I thought it was a bright and cheerful combo, right?

Then I realized I must have looked like Burt from the painting scene!

Not that I don’t like this. I was just hoping I usually look more like Mary (practically perfect, right?) than Burt dancing like a penguin.


Of course, it goes without saying I want that pink pony from the merry-go-round.

Also, I can’t believe Dick Van Dyke. This man is 82 (+?) but he still can kick some ass. Did you see him in Night at the Museum? He does not age!

And since we’re still on the subject of musicals… here’s a clip just for fun. The most romantic scene EVAH!


Pet Me Poppa

When I’m upset I tend to self-medicate with old movies, especially musicals.

After crying over lost files for a while I’m watching Guys and Dolls.

I especially like this act – Pet me Poppa.

You have to watch a better version of this, if you’ve never seen it. I love love love the outfits. Can I go around all day like this… and I want those pom-pom shoes and glittery stockings.