Shoes: A Religion

A Place To Revel In And Learn About the Glory of Fabulous Shoes

Bargain Shopping

Posted by Allison Filbert on April 28, 2009

Money doesn’t equal happiness.  Nor does money equal fabulousness.  I know that in all of my previous blogs I have shown you pictures and given you examples of exorbitantly expensive designer shoes.  Don’t get me wrong, all of those shoes are wonderful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find fabulous shoes at a lower price.

“But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? … And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin.” –The Devil Wears Prada

This quote, is a great example of how the fashion world works, but it applies to more than just sweaters; it applies to shoes as well.  Designers create shoes and debut them on the runway. Eventaully, lower-end shoe producers replicate these designs with cheaper materials and then sell them at a much lower price than the designer would.  There is no shame in partaking in these shoes. Not all of us, including myself can afford a pair of Chanel’s everytime we need a new pair to go with an outfit.

So, these fabulous and cheap shoes can be found all over.  Stores like Sheikh, Payless Shoe Source, Target, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe all carry knock-off designer shoes.

Compare this shoe from Sheikh to this shoes by Christian Dior.  They are identical beyond the color of the under-sole.  The Christian Dior costs $790.00 at Neiman Marcus while the Shiekh shoe costs $44.97 at Shiekh. The thing is, no one will know that you’re wearing a knock-off unless you show them your in-sole, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway because your shoes should remain on your feet at all times.

Now look at this peep-toe from Target compared to this Steve Madden.  Why pay $98.99 for the Steve Madden’s when you could pay $26.99 for the pair from Target.  No one will be able to tell the difference and you will be able to afford more shoes for you’re money. And I won’t tell if you don’t.

Rule # 5: Never give-up a fabulous shoe-wearing friend for wearing a knock-off pair of heels.  It’s traitorism and it’s unforgivable.

Shoes of the Week: Akeemi from Foever 21.  This shoe is also a Steve Madden knock-off and only costs $26.80.

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Sandals

Posted by Allison Filbert on April 23, 2009

I know that up to this point in time I’ve ranted and raved about heels. The truth of the matter is that just because a shoe doesn’t have a heel doesn’t mean it’s not fabulous.  This comes into play especially in the summer. One may find it entirely impractical to prance around in heels in the sweltering heat of summer, and I wouldn’t blame them.  Living in Phoenix, Arizona, how could I?

Now, just because you can wear sandals doesn’t mean you can wear just any pair of sandals.

To begin:  If your trying to maintain fabulousness about you, then you won’t be seen walking around in a pair of rubber or plastic flip-flops from Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle or PacSun.   I would even go as far as to say don’t wear Havianas.  They’re generic and boring and unoriginal.  They scream, “I can’t think for myself.”

When shopping for solid summer sandals think detail.  It’s the detail in the shoes that will set you apart.  Anything from studs to gemstones to weaving to zippers can make a pair of sandals unique and wonderful.

This summer look for high-top gladiators.  I know that gladiators were coming in last summer, but this summer, the higher the better.

Sandals in bright colors and with embellishments, such as plastic links, make your feet look original and well-dressed.

Summer is about fun and comfort, so make sure that your fabulous sandals express just that!

Shoe of the Week: These Studded Flat Gladiators by BCBGMAXAZRIA encompass everything that a fun summer shoe is.  They aren’t chessy but they are original.  They aren’t obnoxious but they are daring.  They’re flat and comfortable.  You can’t go wrong with a shoe like this for the summer.

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Summer Shoes

Posted by Allison Filbert on April 21, 2009

As spring comes to an end and summer quickly approaches, there is a definite shift in the kind of shoe that is appropriate to wear.  To begin, there are a few things that are not appropriate to wear:

1. All-patent shoes or all-suede shoes

3. Booties, especially closed-toed booties

4. Leather boots

All of these shoes are considered winter shoes.  Fabrics such as twill, velvet, heavy leather, patent and suede are all worn in cold weather.  In some cases suede or patent can be incorporated into a cute wedge.  Try to avoid dark colors suc as maroons, dark greens and heavy blues.  Bright colors signify summer.

When considering summer shoes, the most classic prototype is the wedge.  Wedges are usually made with cork, straw or wood, which are all appropriate materials for a summer shoe.  Cotton, linen, and plastic are all appropriate for a wedge.  Other pumps that are peep-toe, or strappier may also be appropriate to wear in the heat of summer. Classic labels such as Tommy Hilfiger always offer clean and cute versions of their summer wedge.

Summer also offers fabulous shoe-wearers a window of oppurtunity that is only available in the short time between Memorial Day and Labor Day: White shoes.  There is absolutley nothing wrong with white shoes, when they are worn between these two holidays.  So my advice to is take advantage of these summer months to rock a pair of cute straw andwhite linen wedges to that barbeque that you’ve been looking forward to.

And finally, don’t forget espadrilles. Summer is the perfect time to wear this lace-up version of the classic wedge and add spice to any outfit.  They are fun and flirty and make a statement about your sense of style.

Shoe of the week: Genevieve by Cole Haan.  This is a white-leather wedge with a cool twist on the woven straw heel.  It is fresh yet innovative.

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The Art Shoe

Posted by Allison Filbert on March 5, 2009

If fabulosity was a real word in the English language, the definition next to it would be the art shoe. The art shoe has no boundaries.  They can make your feet look like animals, sculptures or even lethal weapons. Anything you can dream up can be transformed into a shoe, and that is what the category of art shoe is for.

Now, I can’t make a list or give you guidelines to what is right or wrong when it comes to the art shoe because there is no right or wrong. If you’ve made the decision to encompass your feet in whatever outrageous creation have you, you’re not the kind of person to be told what or what not to do, because you obviously don’t care.  And more power to you.  This shoe is about self-expression, insubordination and the statement that you want to make about yourself to the world.

I’ve decided that the best way to convey the glory of the art shoe is to simply give you some examples of downright bangin’ shoes.

This platform by Giuseppe Zanotti is structural. The unexpected cuts in the heel, as well as cut-off of the heel before the toe makes this shoe so unique. The magenta accent is perfect and modern.

These 2 pairs of shoes by Emilio Pucci are good examples of the Art Shoe. When you look at them you don’t think “shoe” but rather “creation.”  Not to mention the pumps look like the straps have been painted.

This heel by Proenza Schouler is just unbelievable. It’s structural, colorful and eye-catching. People will wonder about you when you have these on your feet.  Here is a variation of that same shoe, from the same Spring 2009 collection. No one can contest that these are just cool shoes.

In this Prada, the art is very literal.  The heel is a flower and it’s very pretty, much like a floral painting.

And finally, this Vivienne Westwood is just such a statement in itself.

Rule #4: There is a big difference between trashy and different. If you look like a hooker in the shoe, admit it to yourself and put them back on the rack. If the shoe is edgy and sexy, head to checkout. Often times people confuse what is artsy with what is skanky. This happens because when searching for an art shoe, you’re usually out of your realm. You don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it, and sometimes in those moments when you’re lost, you find yourself dressed like Christina Aguilera in 1999.  It’s okay, we’ve all been there.  For reference, no.

As a phenomenal shoe-wearing, fabulous women I encourage all of you to get out there and wear a pair of crazy shoes. It’s the kind of thing that gets you noticed, whether it be for your keen sense of fashion or just because someone wants to know more about the kind of person who is confident enough to wear such an outrageous pair of heels. The Art Shoe can be your best friend, and it gives you the chance to make a statement without saying a single word.

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Boots Boots Boots

Posted by Allison Filbert on February 17, 2009

There is no shoe that will ever be more hip than a boot. Boots make more of a statement than any other kind of shoe, no matter how crazy you think that shoe may be. Boots make such a statement because of the simple fact of square footage covered. There are no other shoes that encompass more of your lower half than boots, and that is a physical fact.

When wearing a boot, a fabulous woman wants to say something about the way that she dresses. Confidence is apparent in one who allows an extension of her footwear to expand beyond its “normal” boundaries. That is why boots are often accompanied by powerful women in the media.

Because boots do cover up a significantly larger amount of your body than any other kind of shoe, they become more of an integral part of your outfit. Now, don’t get me wrong, every phenomenal shoe is an integral part of every outfit, but a boot is more than just a part of your outfit.  It’s a piece of your outfit. My point is that when you choose to wear boots, your boots have to be a necessity to your outfit; the outfit must be nonexistent or of significantly lesser fashion-quality without them.

Boots come in three sizes; ankle, mid and tall.  Their heel sizes obviously also differ.

Ankle boots are best worn by women with skinny legs as they do often times cut off at an odd spot that may not always be the most flattering. Although some women do fall victim to this, there is probably not a shoe that will shake up an outfit more than an ankle boot. It is not usually cute, but rather couture, nor is it conventional, but rather original. Ankle boots are best used to put a twist on an outfit.

Mid-boots, in my opinion, are the best kind of fabulous shoe to wear on a daily basis. Mid-boots, also known as calf boots, help to take any average outfit to a new level of trendiness. If any kind of respectable shoe could be played down and still look couture, it would indubitably be the mid-boot. As a matter of fact, I’m wearing a pair of Steve Madden’s as we speak.

And finally, the tall boot. This is what people think of when they hear the word “boot.” It is a very classic shoe and every woman should own a pair. Tall black boots can be worn to work or out on the town. They can be provocative or conservative. They are extremely versatile. Although black boots are great and I do love them, I’d ask you to extend your eye beyond the black boot to a further horizon because there are so many possibilities when it comes to tall boots that should never be overlooked.

To clarify any confusion that there might be lets go over Rule #3: Ugg boots are not fabulous shoes, nor will they ever be fabulous shoes. They are made to be worn by people living in Antarctica, and since Antarctica is inhabitable, no one should be wearing them. Do not wear them with jeans, do not wear them with velour track suits, and for the love of all that is holy do not wear them with jean shorts or skirts because not only is that contradictory, but it’s just plain Uggly.

Shoe of the week: See “Marta” by Frye. These boots are original, fashionably forward, structural and pretty much everything else you could ever want in a boot.  These would look great with jeans, leggings, a dress, a skirt, naked or with any other ensemble you might come up with.

Shoe of the Millenium: Let us never forget the oh-so-rugged, yet classic, Dr. Martens. This shoe has been rocking the fashion world since the 1960s when the social outcasts of England adopted them as an element of fashion from their counterparts in the working class. Pretty soon everyone from mod chicks to punk rock junkies were sporting them as their podiatric casing of choice. Never be afraid to wear a pair of Dr. Martens with anything, anywhere. It’s iconic.

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Heels With Platforms: Not Just for The Skanky.

Posted by Allison Filbert on February 12, 2009

So in the last post I talked about the glory of the most basic of heels, the pump.  Today let’s address the issue of platforms and wedges.

Now, to the naked eye, these two types of shoes may not seem the same but they do, in fact, have many similar qualities.  From a visual perspective, they both have elevated soles in some way or another.  A platform has an elevated fore-foot and a wedge has an elevated, or solid, midfoot and hind-foot.  Most wedges also have an elevated forefoot, although that’s not always true.

To begin, platforms.  Like I said previously, shoes are complex. Platforms can be pumps, and those called platform pumps, but we’ve already talked about pumps so lets focus on a true platform. Platforms have been in existence since the 16th century where they were used to elevate characters in Greek theater.  They were also used by “classy” prostitutes in Venice, Italy around this same time. This is funny (or not funny) because even in today’s society, the uneducated shoe-public has a pre-concieved notion of trashiness about platforms.  In the 18th century platforms were used to avoid mud and muck in the streets in various countries throughout Europe. This is most certainly not what you will be wearing your platforms for.  Stay far away from mud.

I, personally, love platforms.  This may be due to the fact that I wish I had been born in the 1970′s, the same decade that the platform became an American Instiution and Elton Joh ruled the world.  Yes, even men were wearing platforms in the 70′s.

But anyway, platforms.  If you want skinny legs, throw on a pair of platforms and there will be miles between your thighs. Believe me, I employ this tactic often.  The key to wearing platforms is all about their accomplice, otherwise known as your outft.  If you’re going out in the light of day, don’t wear anything too short or too low-cut with platforms because it often times creates a look of slutiness. If you’re going out, wear whatever you think will get you free drinks.

Platforms come in many shapes and sizes and can range from a low platform to a lofty platform and can be a closed or open toe.  The platform may also be hidden or exposed.

The difference between platforms and wedges lies in the mid-foot and hind-foot.  A wedge is somewhat self-explanatory. Rather than having a heel, a wedge has an entire sole that is elevated.

Wedges are traditionally worn in the summer and often have a cork, wood or straw wedge.  They most often are a sandal or a peep toe, although, again, that’s not always true.  Boots are often times wedges as well, but that is another topic for another blog.

Rule #2: When wedging or platforming, never under any circumstance, combine patent with cork. That is the work of the stripper industry and no woman with any kind of class, dignity or taste would ever combine patent and cork.

I don’t care how inebriated, desperate, blind, high, lost or derranged you may be, never violate this rule.

On that note, I’ll leave you with my shoe(s) of the week.  This fine week I have two for you, because you just powered yourself through my grueling shoe lecture.
Firstly, this little geometric delicacy by Miu Miu (which can be found at a discounted price at bluefly.com) is a bangin’ platform.  The class an validity of this platform would never come into question and the structural deviations that the designer has incorporated into the heel are subtle but freakin’ awesome.
Secondly, this wedge by Sam Edelman is phenomenal.  The colored straw heel gives it a carpeted-bohemian look that is very unique.  This wedge is a testament to how classy and fabulous a very tall heel-wedge-platform can be. This is the kind of shoe that makes other girls jealous. I promise.

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Time to Learn About Shoes

Posted by Allison Filbert on February 5, 2009

Today is a day for education. Today is the day that we learn about the types of shoes.

This is the United States of America, and even though the majority of fashionable shoes are made in Italy, shoes are democratic in that they are all created equally.  No one type of shoe is more important or better than any other type of shoe, unless it’s a kitten heel, which doesn’t even count because they’re a terrible invention and aren’t considered fashionable at all.  Remember this.

So, they are as follows:

  • Boots
  • Platforms/Wedges
  • Pumps
  • The Art Shoe

Shoes are complex.  If you’re reading this, you probably already know it and if you don’t you’re about to know it.  In light of the complexity and difficulty of the fashionable shoe I’ve decided to break down each shoe per post, starting with the pump, as its structure is the basis of all heels.

It is by far the most classic and the most worn of any type of fashionable shoe. In the world of pumps there are many different varieties ranging in shape, color, fabric, texture, embellishments and so much more.  Of all of these wonderful varieties there is a superior flavor, and that is The Little Black Pump.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel once said, ” Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult.”

In ShoeWorld, the little black dress is equivalent to The Little Black Pump.  It’s easy to take a basic pair of pumps and throw feathers and metal and glitter and dye, or what have you, all over it and make a wonderful and original shoe.  It is difficult to take one color and one style and turn it into a great shoe.  The Little Black Pump is about contour, structure and elegance, and the ultimate is achieved when they come together.  That is the magic of The Little Black Pump:  It’s simplicity is complexity.

Now with that being said, every woman should have at least one pair of basic black pumps in her repertoire. I, for example, have four pairs of black pumps. Of those four pairs of black pumps they only have one thing in common, the fact that their black. Just because shoes are the same color does not by any means mean that they are similar. I have a patent pair, a rounded-toe, a vintage leather pair, and a plain black pair. They’re all black pumps, but none of them are the same.

Shoes are like math in that there are some rules that are indefinite and unchanging. Rule number one: A woman can never have too many pairs of black pumps.

Of all shoe designers Christian Louboutin indubitably has crafted, in my opinion, the most classic black pump. Its simplicity and perfect structure makes it timeless. The red under-soles are the subtle statement of a woman that speaks to her knowledge of fashion and her appreciation of a beautifully-made, high-class shoe.

Although I have chosen exquisite, French Christian Louboutin as my black pump designer of choice, he is by no means the only designer that makes a solid and durable black pump.  If you take a second to look at any collection of any shoe designer for any season, there is always a variation of The Little Black Pump.  And there always will be.

Obviously the reach of the pump extends far beyond The Little Black Pump but no woman should ever forget where her roots are, and every luxurious, shoe-wearing woman’s roots lie in that simple, yet so complex, Little Black Pump.

Fabulous pumps come in every shape and style that your mind could ever possibly wander to, and then beyond that. The possibilities are literally infinite.

Shoe of the Week: Because I just preached about black pumps, and obviously provided you with a link to view the classic Louboutin pump, here’s a crazy and phenomenal pump that is a little bit different than the latter.  Allow me to introduce Half d’Orsay.  This eccentric, canary yellow pump is crafted by shoe legend Manolo Blahnik.  The color is absolutley exquiste.  The leopard insole is like a little secret that you keep to yourself, and those lucky few that catch a glimpse of it are left to wonder more. The peep toe screams “spring flower” and the contouring of the open side will lengthen any leg.  And in case you were wondering, the Blahnik still, to this day, carves the wooden soles of his shoes himself.

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A sad, but true, stereotype.

Posted by Allison Filbert on January 29, 2009

A striking shoe emits confidence.  A unique shoe says originality.  A fabulous shoe makes people stop and stare as you’re walking down the street.  And every shoe makes your legs look damn good.

When I say “shoe” I’m not talking about beach flats or tennis shoes or Ugg boots. I’m not talking about flip-flops or slip-ons or the long-lost gelly.  I’m talking about shoes.  Shoes that real women wear.  Shoes that make men think you’re high-maintenance and women think you’re a total bitch.  I’m talking about shoes that you pedal backwards to see when you walk past them sitting in a store window.  I’m talking about shoes that you wear to a party and girls huddle up and talk shit about but really, deep-down inside they’re jealous that they don’t have the gall or confidence to wear them.  I’m talking about fashion.  The kind of shoe that you buy and then plan an outfit around, because that’s the way it always should be.  That’s the kind of shoe that fabulous women wear.  That’s the kind of shoe that boring, plain people don’t, and never will, understand.  And that’s the kind of shoe that has been empowering beautiful, self-motivated and confident young ladies for a hundred years.

Unfortunately in today’s world, shoes have somehow developed a negative reputation about them.  People think that women that take an acute interest in shoes are dumb, shallow, high-maintenance, materialistic, etc.  The list goes on, believe me.  I know, because I’ve been called all of these things.  I find it amusing that a dumb, shallow and intellectually inferior girl like me, who has a passion for the beautiful things that encompass her feet, has somehow managed a 3.8 GPA at the best journalism school in the country, while holding down a 27-hour-a-week marketing internship and managing this bangin’ blog.  I mean, if I’m stupid, let’s think about how stupid Beverly Feldman is.  The woman has a shoe empire and is raking in millions of dollars a year selling her wonderfully shocking podiatric creations.  She makes her living picking out feathers and colors and rhinestones, which she has translated into one of the world’s most renowned shoe labels for young women.  She must be really stupid.

So, I hope that with this first blog I’ve taken a step in striking from the record the misconstrued, pre-conceived notions that the uneducated shoe-public has about fabulous women that wear fabulous shoes.

Shoe of the week: Leather Bow Pump by BCBG This shoe is beautiful.  I know that everyone is geared towards the Spring 2009 collections now but the fact of the matter is it’s still winter, and it’s going to be winter for about two more months.  This shoe is a winter shoe because of it’s dim color scheme.  It can be worn out or to work.  The gemstone embellishments make me crazy, I love it.


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