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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Archive for September, 2011

Instructions for Tying the Grace Kelly Hermes Scarf Sling for a Broken Arm ~ by Lady Violette de Courcy

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Having broken my Right arm, and wrist, for real, last Saturday night, and had surgery for a compound fracture with metal plates and screws inserted on Tuesday, I have learned a lot about slings over the last few days. This is my Left handed typing too, which is getting pretty good, pretty quickly! This is a serious injury and actually quite painful. And, of course, I have to keep my arm elevated. It also feels like it weighs a ton!

I am small and the two slings I was issued from the hospital, one from the ER and one after my surgery, were both way too big and slipped all over the place and were, consequently, inadequate! They were both terribly uncomfortable and would not stay in place at all! I  found this very annoying!

I immediately remembered Grace Kelly using her Hermes scarf as an elegant sling in a similar situation and got right down to trying it. There is nothing unusual about using a square piece of cloth or a scarf for a sling! It has been standard emergency medical practice forever. I found quite a few how to directions online. One instructed actors as well as injured people on how to make a proper sling until you could get professional medical attention.Being an actress I wondered if Grace had studied this in acting classes? It was easy to follow so it is the one I decided to use and link to. How to Make a Sling Out of a Scarf Instructions. This is from eHow Trusted advice for the curiuos life.

They didn’t give specific Instructions for Tying the Grace Kelly Hermes Scarf Sling for a Broken Arm or Hermes or Other Scarf Sling Size Instructions so I will. They assume many scarf shapes or sizes will work.  And they probably will with experimentation. I was interested in what Grace Kelly used and how she did it. So here is that specific information.

Instructions for Tying the Grace Kelly Hermes Scarf Sling for a Broken Arm

And Hermes or Other Scarf Sling Size Instructions

by Lady Violette de Courcy

1). Grace Kelly used a 35 inch square Hermes silk scarf laid out on a flat surface and brought the opposite corners together folding the scarf in half in a triangle. She then tied the diagonal corners into a secure knot.

2) Grace then placed  the knot over her head so that the scarf draped down over her chest in a loop and the knot rested on her shoulder just to the side of her neck. (Not directly on the spine as that can injure the neck and or spine.)

3) She then gathered the Hermes scarf loop together and pulled it up in front of her injured arm. She positioned her scarf with the wide striped outside border to the outside (her shoulder side) as you can see in the top photograph.

4) Then Grace slowly slid her injured hand and injured arm into the scarf loop. She continued to gently slide the injured arm into the loop until the entire forearm was tucked inside.

5) Grace then tucked her elbow and hand into the loop ensuring that her entire arm was protected within the sling. The Hermes scarf was large and she had excess fabric on the end of the elbow. She folded this excess fabric over the front of the arm and pinned it to the sling with a large 24K gold safety pin, concealed discreetly inside the folds of the Hermes scarf for extra support. This last step kept her elegant Hermes scarf sling from slipping and held her injured arm secure and close to her torso.

I followed these instructions to the letter with a friend’s help tying and pinning my 35 inch square Hermes scarf the first time because it was impossible for me to do it alone with a broken arm! I am quite sure Grace Kelly had to have help as well when her arm was broken! However, once we got it sized and adjusted and perfectly tied to fit it stayed that way and I could slip it on and off and slip my injured right arm in and out of it quite easily and safely all by myself! I, incidentally, used a sterling silver pin, instead of a 24K gold one! And it worked just perfectly!

I made note of the fact that Grace Kelly had also broken her right arm!

It is perfectly fine to use a Hermes scarf or any other strong scarf, vintage or new, designer or not, to make an elegant, secure custom fitted sling! The point is to make it out of a scarf you like and to have a tidy fit that will be secure and stay put while your injured arm heels safely.

Thank you Grace Kelly for this wonderful stylish idea that makes me feel better both physically and psychologically while recovering from an unpleasant injury! It helps!

 

 

Safe, Sound, Stable & Elegant Purple Hiking Boots! A Search by Lady Violette de Courcy

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I am now determined to find a very stable ankle high hiking boot for walking and hiking safely for exercise without the risk of twisting my ankle on a small piece of gravel and turning my ankle as I did with my notoriously unstable Dansko clogs. Note, I did not injure my ankle, I injured my right wrist when I intuitively reached out to catch myself as I  fell. While recovering from my broken wrist/arm I have time to look for some options. Thank God for the Internet! I can research this from home while recovering. I had surgery yesterday for a compound fracture and now have steel plates and pins in my wrist and arm. I  want a safe and stable ankle high boot to run around in this winter! Here are a couple I have found so far! (It has to be beautiful & stylish too, and purple if possible!)

Women's Adirondack Boot II

Here is one. The Adirondack Boot II in Blackberry Wine! By UGG. I found this one online.

 

Women's Ahnu Montara Boot

Here is another: The Ahnu Montara Boot which I found in REI in Seattle.

A Friend took me to REI to see what might be available. The sales people said nothing, but I  looked upward and saw this boot gleaming on the highest shelf and saying, “Lady Violette, try me. And, Lady Violette, buy me, for I am perfect for you & I will not let you (fall) down! Please try me!”

It was impossible to resist that! So we got them down to take a look and try them on. They felt good. Even able to use only one hand (which will be a problem for me for weeks while I am heeling from this break and surgery,) I was able to get into them quite easily. The high tops are soft and pliable while also supporting the ankles firmly ~ something my Physical Therapist in London was recommending. The soles of these shoes are considerably wider than the upper on the heel and the front part of the shoe which creates a strong stable base to stand on. They were one and a half inches wider than the street shoe style ankle boots I worn into the store! They are also fairly light weight for a hiking boot which is something I need because my ankles are hyper mobile and very heavy shoes and boots actually pull on my tendons and ligaments and stretch my ankles out even more which could make them even looser and more prone to twisting over time.

I am looking for the boots to use on walks in the city or wear on easy to medium grade hikes. And to support my ankles in exactly the kind of situation in which I got hurt this weekend so this wont happen again!

I have excellent heavy duty strong high hiking boots for rough terrain already. They are great for use in the mountains, but are too hard, too high, and too difficult to lace and tie in my current injured situation. They have steel toes, are made of very strong hard leather, have tough leather laces and lots of grommets that require a lot of pulling and strength to tighten, wrap ’round the ankles and tie securely. They are heavy duty to say the least! I need a softer gentler more ladylike boot in my current situation.

I noted that these boots are a soft gray lavender purple, like the lavender plants flowers! The color of purple that bumble bees like! It is a water proofed soft suede upper surrounded by waterproof oiled leather along the sole. The shoe is designed for breathe ability and to have excellent traction.

No one said anything in the shoes or the literature on them about their color combination, but I noticed that it is the soft lavender, soft black, gray and accents of yellow ~ the exact favorite colors of bumble bees and why they are attracted to lavender plants and flowers! When studying up on what flowers and plants to put in my garden, to attract the most bees, butterflies and birds, I learned that lavender ones were naturally the most favored flowers of all by these little creatures! This is because purple flowers produce the best honey! I noticed this right away about these shoes and it made me like them! In the same way a bee might! This instinctively seemed like a good sign too!

I did a search for one handed methods of shoe lacing and tying online and found several tutorials which I tried with success, although they will require practice to become really efficient.

This boot is soft and comfortable around the heel and ankle and the heels are really snug and narrow on my feet which is unusual to find and a real plus as I often have trouble with heels of sportif shoes being too wide and slipping up and down with every step making my socks slip down and bunch up around my heels. The soles are Vibram which provides extreme durability and traction and is well known for its safety and stability ~ features that I really need right now!

This seems to be the Cinderella’s slipper of hiking boots! It seems to be made for a lady, particularly Lady Violette de Courcy ~ from its color through its lightweight construction through its design elements! The fact that it is royal purple in color is its crowning glory! There are very few purple hiking boots on the market! In fact you are looking at the only two pairs of good quality that I could find online!

The bee has always been a symbol of French royalty as well! Thus, the subtle color references to the bee ~ the black, the yellow, the dark gray and the lavender of the bee’s favorite flower are another subtle and distinctive plus! These hiking boots seem to be made for HRH Lady Violette de Courcy.

The fact that this shoe is purple is an added bonus, because all its other features are also exactly what I need and want in my current circumstances! The color is like the lavender flower in nature attracting the bee to the source of honey so they can find what they need to survive. The purple color acted as a lure to draw me to this particular boot, to make me look it over and realize all its other positive characteristics!

I brought the Ahnu Montara boots home to try out in the house ~ REI allows you to return merchandise if it doesn’t please you completely after you try it out at home. Putting them on and learning to lace and tie them one~handed is a good thing to practice while stuck at home over the next few days! And I will be able to test them out for stability and comfort over true in~house terrain ~ carpets, hardwood floors, stairs, linoleum, etc. This will be a real life in~castle use test ~ thus a good hard and realistic analysis of this boot! If they pass muster I will wear them outside walking on the cement pathways, sidewalks and streets and into my hand surgeon check back and hand therapy appointments on Friday! I am really hoping they work out! I love their look for a casual hiking and walking boot.

By the way, the hand therapists asked me if I wanted a black or a white splint which I get to wear after 10 days! (I am in a white one after leaving the surgery clinic!) I chose black because it seems so much more streamlined and elegant.

There are still a few fashion and style choices you can make during hand/arm surgery and recovery! I can picture myself wearing all black, including my black splint and arm wrap which you make out of your own dark colored tights or socks by cutting them. Wearing all black I think I can accent my look with my purple Ahnu Montara boots, and a scarf with a purple print tied up for use as an arm splint as Grace Kelly did when she broke her arm! I tried a few methods of splinting over the last few days. I’ll report on that soon!

I also just happen to already have an REI sun protective hiking shirt in the exact same shade of purple cotton as the boots! They go perfectly together! And it looks great with black. Yet another sign these boots were meant for me, isn’t it? And I can get my ring with a purple amethyst stone onto my left hand for a bit of a jewelry accent! It has been a noticeable drag not to be able to wear jewelry over the last few days! You aren’t allowed to wear any metal during any Xrays or while in the hospital. And, of course, no perfumes, lotions, cosmetics or haircare products. I  normally do wear them automatically without really thinking about the fact that I am doing so! I am programmed from years of being glamorous!

This is an amusing and amazing tidbit though! I had given myself a manicure with Butter of London’s bright purple polish called HRH right before I broke my wrist! The doctor liked it and wanted me to leave it on! She marked my wrist for the surgery with a purple pen to match! I had a woman doctor! Male surgeons have always required me to remove my nail polish! “So we can see your circulation in your fingernails.” they said! This doctor, and her nurses, said that it was not necessary to remove nail polish and they can see your circulation through the sides and tips of your fingers. And she said, ” Why ruin a good manicure just because you are having surgery if you don’t really need to?” So I got to leave my Butter of London HRH bright purple nail polish on and it really did cheer me up throughout this dismal process of wrist and arm surgery! Amazingly the polish is still perfect on the right hand! There is not even a chip! I’ve had to use the left hand a bit more and it is barely starting to wear and chip off, but I am amazed at the durability of this polish given the circumstances it has been through! Do they even have rating systems for polish in situations like these? Once again I am convinced that Butter of London ‘s HRH bright purple is my personal signature nail polish color!

 

 

Lady Violette’s Wrist, Hand, Arm Surgery A Success So Far!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Just a quick update here. Had surgery today, so far, so good… now have my first metal plates and pins in my body!

So I can look forward to setting off alarm systems in airports, court houses, and stores, etc! The Bier block hasn’t worn off yet and that is a horrifying feeling! I do not like not being able to feel or bend my arm at will. And it feels heavy as lead! Which is awful! It is supposed to wear off in the early AM ~ about 5AM.

Need to lie down and elevate it, so that’s all for today!

From Violette, herself!

Update, Lady Violette is Having Wrist/Arm Surgery Tomorrow!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Lady Violette has three bad breaks and a shifted bones in her wrist. Must have surgery tomorrow with metal plates and pins put in. It is the Right wrist and hand. It hurts like hell! Surgery tomorow, Tues. at 3 PM.

Thus, there will be a slight break in the blogging schedule for a while! I’ll be Back as Soon! as I can! And I’ll keep you posted!

XXOO ! Lady Violette!

Lady Violette Broke Right Arm!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Hi Friends

Turned my ankle wearing Dansko clogs in front of my house last night. Broke my R arm in 2 places! Very painful!

Uhg!

It was the damned shoes!

Never injured myself ever in yrs of ballet or wearing high heels!

Am practicing my L hand typing!

Will never wear clogs again! Too instable!

I stepped on a tiny pc of gravel and that is what caused me to turn my ankle!

Hope U had a better weekend!

Violette

A Vintage Violet Cover Girl Model on Love Magazine 1931~ from Lady Violette’s Media & Print Collection

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Here is a charming and oh so soft image of ideal beauty on the cover of a magazine called Love from 1931. The innocent blond model with soft curls and blue eyes seems a far cry from the models of today!

A Soft and Gentle Beauty Holding a Bunch of Violets on the Cover of Love Magazine in 1931

How sweet and gentle she looks! What an interesting contrast to the tough babe sexuality on the covers of most magazines today! I don’t think general public is conditioned to find this girl attractive anymore. They seem to need blatant sexuality on the cover of magazines to even give them a second look! I wonder, in contrast, what a cover model holding a bunch of violets on the cover of a magazine today would look like! Perhaps Lady Gaga in a shining purple patent leather bra and thong with a violet nosegay stuffed in her cleavage and thigh high purple boots? Yawn! She is so boring! I find her outfits actually so repetitive and derivative of what so many others have done before! Yawn, again!

Take note of the pretty scary story titles here! This cover was torn off its magazine so I don’t have the stories to read! I wonder what happened to Mary Lou in her Experiments with Life? Or at The Devils Alter? Scary stuff! Good titles for Halloween stories! The Haunted Wedding, The Devil’s Alter, 12 Questions From the Spirit World, Fate Traps Three Women and the clincher, Mary Lou Experiments with Life! They had no TV or Video back then. They could read for entertainment or go to the movies.

I love looking through old magazines like this for a taste of life in the days they were printed. They are very revealing of their times. And full of vintage fashion tips from the eras! I enjoy looking at the ads and the fashion layouts. I recently acquired a pile of magazines from 1952. They are full of great things but the pages are moldy and I can barely stand to look at them. I get instant allergic attacks. I have to store them in my garage and can only look at them outside in the fresh air and sun.

Butter of London Made HRH Expressly for Her Royal Highness Lady Violette de Courcy ~ the Perfect Violet Nail Polish Colour

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I have been searching for the exact right shade of Royal Purple Nail Polish in the perfect formulation for literally years! Yesterday I stopped by Ulta because they were having a one day promo on Butter of London polishes. They actually had a two for one sale ~ very rare for Butter ~ at least in the US. I’ve never seen it on special purchase pricing before. Their goal was to get you to try it if you had been putting that off due to the fact that is costs twice as much as most other major brands. The colors are amazing. And the names are a lot of fun.

The minute I saw it I knew which one I wanted! The deep dark shiny and amazingly beautiful HRH purple one! It is the color of velvety dark purple petunia petals. And of the rare and beautiful purple precious stone Alexandrite. It is not gothic and it is not a vampy dark purple. It is more romantic ~ the color of very dark purple natural flowers and stones and shiny bird feathers and butterfly wings. It is the naturally risky natural purple color of the belle dona blossom and  the mysterious and highly poisonous monks hood flower!

HRH

I rushed right home and gave myself a manicure. It is so beautiful I just can’t stop looking at my nails! I recruited my friend to snap a quick picture of it this morning before running off to work so I could post it. I love it! I have never before been so excited about a nail polish color! I now feel as if I have a personal color ~ a personal trademark nail polish color! It is so perfectly Her Royal Highness Lady Violette de Courcy! There is no other purple nail polish like it. I have looked at every brand in every price range and bought and tried out many of them. None of the others even come close! HRH by Butter is, by royal decree, officially IT!

I had tried some other purple shades with disastrous results! I got a terrible allergic reaction to one that caused me to get horrendously split cuticles and rashes and itching hands and feet and become systemically really sick! I got terrible headaches and blurred vision. Yes, all that is possible from a nail polish! I am sensitive ~ like the Princess and the Pea. I am a perfect test case for cosmetic products because I will have an allergic reaction if anyone will! No kidding! I am a notorious dermatology patient! I am really careful about what I uses as a result! I was anxious to try Butter of London because I had heard it is nontoxic. I am happily wearing it reaction free! Which makes it even more beautiful! I do not feel beautiful when I am having an ugly allergic reaction or getting sick from a product.Nobody does!

The names are fun ~ This one  HRH, of course suits me perfectly! And there is another one called No More Waity, Katie! which is described thus ~  “A soft, elegant greige shade with a splash of lilac glitter is the perfect marriage to combine fashion and fun.” I was initially interested in this one because I like the new grey/plum shades and glitter, but it was sold out! I was very amused by the name too!

The Purple Alexandrite Stone in My Ring Looks Great with Butter of London HRH Polish

I chose British Racing Green as my second color. It is a dark hunter green and will be perfect with my winter tweeds and forest greens. And emeralds! Both HRH and this green are rich dark jewel tones which are perfect for me with my pale skin. I pulled out my Alexandrite ring too because it is a perfect match with the polish. There is too much reflection it the first photo above to see the color of the stone. It shows better in this one! I am a firm believer of matching ones nails to one jewelry! I love color and I love to paint everything. That is why I enjoy wearing nail polish and make up. I see it as artistic self expression. I enjoy people’s reactions to pretty color. It really seems to cheer them up. I had to do a few errands last night ~ go to the grocery store, my pharmacy, a book store, a local coffee shop for a meeting with friends ~ and everyone commented on my beautiful Lady Violette de Courcy nails. I was in these utterly mundane venues and people really did take notice. I was quite surprised because I could easily assume that no one in these places would ever take notice of what I was wearing on the tips my fingers! Because they did I am really convinced that this color is perfectly suited to me and I am meant to wear it. I have never gotten this kind of reaction to a nail color before!

If the masses notice it truly sets me, Lady Violette de Courcy,  apart as HRH,  a true Lady, a natural aristocrat! Everyone enjoys beauty. Not snobby fashionable intimidating beauty, but colorful, charming, enjoyable beauty. Like the beauty everyone enjoys in flowers! If one can achieve this she brings pleasure to the world. I got wonderful comments from people! They wanted to know what this color was, they were curious if the company made more colors, where to get them, how much it cost, etc. This kind of interest is good!  – it will get more people to take good care of their nails, try the polish, look for a signature color for themselves and express themselves!

Butter was getting their money’s worth from their 2 for 1 promotion sale through my exposure of their product alone!  In 24 hours I had at least 50 people ask me what nail polish I was wearing! That is absolutely amazing! And an experience I have never had with a nail polish before. I own more polish colors than I can count so this is really saying a lot! I am going to write Butter and let them know.  How else will they know unless a customer tells them herself? I imagine nothing is better that a real true testimonial.

My fun "Heirloom" Quality Synthetic Alexandrite Ring

Somebody said, I can’t do that, I don’t have beautiful hands like you do. I took a good look at her hands and told her she actually could. She just needed to choose a suitable personal nail polish color! In her case, because her complexion was dusky a medium rust colored wine would be suitable And, key, she needs to use hand cream several times a day and file her nails regularly.

I seldom indulge in professional manicures. I file my own nails religiously 2x every week and use hand cream several times per day. I always put it on before I go to sleep at night! I paint my own nails when I have the time to let them dry! As for pretty rings, I find rings in flea markets, and discount stores, and from artist’s booths. I love looking for artsy unusual rings in artist’s booths at art fairs and festivals. I have several very distinct ones. I have never bought an expensive fine jewelry designer ring in a jewelry store. Many beautiful high fashion rings make it to discount stores six months after they come out in major high fashion stores. When they make it to the discount stores they sell for approximately 1/3 of the original retail store price.

The beautiful ring I am wearing in the photo came from a small boutique and is a synthetic created Alexandrite. I looked at it for several months. I saw it and liked it, but initially waited and when I went back with a friend three months later it was still there. The little shop was going out of business and having a final close out sale. My friend also loved it! She agreed it was a Violette signature ring and that that was why no one else had bought it! She talked me into it! She said it looked like an expensive family heirloom and could easily pass for that. Her idea was, “Say it is a family heirloom and wear it as your only ring all the time! ” They had another version of it ~ the same exact setting with a synthetic created  Aquamarine stone ~ which she bought! She was on her way to Paris the next day. She wore her ring on the plane and every day she was in France for the next two weeks.  And it was a huge hit!  Everyone admired it and wondered where she had gotten it, how old it was, who created it!” We don’t know who made these rings! They are not signed and the store is gone!

I must confess ~ our beautiful “heirloom” Alexandrite and Aquamarine rings cost us very little each! We have both really enjoyed them. We also enjoy them because we both have one! That part is fun too! At that rate a girl can afford pretty colors of nail polish at $7.50 per bottle and gorgeous rings to compliment or match them. Oops! We were at the right place at the right time the day we got the rings so we got them on sale and I was in the Ulta store the day they were promoting Butter Polishes on a buy one get one free special. The normal price of their polish is $14 per bottle. I actually think it is quite worth it for the adventure of wearing it alone!

The rewards a woman receives in terms of appreciation and recognition for taking good care of herself and being colorful and entertaining and beautiful are well worth the efforts to do so! In fact looking great and having real style is often more about attention to details and creativity, knowing yourself and making the right selections than spending a lot of money!

I think it is a really good idea to paint your nails a lovely unique to you color for fall! It will give you a lift and make you feel happy. And you can get a lot of mileage out of one bottle of nail polish! You get about 30 full manicures out of one bottle of polish! That is very economical!

Lady Violette’s Diaries ~ Do check This Out! ~ What Do You Think?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This is a Free Premiere to a Fake Movie! : It is produced by Heineken Beer as an Advertisement for their Beer. The movie is is titled Lady Violette’s Diaries. You can watch it by clicking on the live link below. I urge you to do so as it is really really bizarre! It is short so it will only require a couple of minutes for you to watch it. Please read this first so you understand what you are watching.

Being the real Lady Violette de Courcy I have to try to keep up with what is happening in the media regarding me, my image. and my name. Yesterday, quite by chance and unexpectedly, I came across this bizarre entry Lady Violette’s Diaries for a fake “romantic” movie put out as an advertisement for Heineken Beer. At first It really confused me ~ there were hundreds of entries. I couldn’t tell what it was. I could tell that it was creepy and weird and I found it disturbing.

It took a beautiful name and romantic concept and mocked it. It promoted drinking oneself into oblivion in a sleazy dirty pub as an alternative. It promoted immature and irresponsible male drinking behavior at the expense of mocking women’s desire to be inspired by something interesting and beautiful. By this I mean it endorsed wanting to go to a bar with your buddies and get drunk as super cool and being dragged out n a date with a woman to see a romantic historical movie about a woman’s life as tedious, boring and a complete drag. There was no actual movie ~ just the concept of one, and some initial credits on the screen, but the idea of what they (the Heineken Beer People and their add agency) endorsed and promoted are as I stated.

You should also note that this commercial was slickly and expensively produced. It costs a great deal to bring something like this, with the commercial production values involved, to the screen!

This is the advertising agencies scam: In their own words! To remember their consumers that it is always better going out with friends for a beer while maintaining an easy going attitude than becoming an adult and losing some sacred moment with friends. (Note this “sacred moment with friends” is a group of bawdy coworkers gathered in a smoky tavern for a few of beers – on which they are becoming decidedly inebriated. ) ~ to illustrate this point they invite many of their beer drinking consumers to a cinema, to view the opening of a new film, Lady Violets’s Diary, or Lady Violette’s Diary (It is spelled both ways!) where they trap them, creating a singular event. (Note: it is implied, with a heavy hand, that attending a romantic movie, which is also intellectual, historical ~ with your girlfriend or wife is a real drag!)

For this occasion they created a few minutes of a fake film based on a very long romantic paradoxical story. This film was shown at the cinema on one selected night. During the screening suddenly appeared the claim, “Are you still with us?” to remind their consumer that “fell in this trap” that it is always better to stay with friends in an entertaining way. (Note: Meaning getting drunk at the local rowdy tavern, ) rather than, attend a romantic, intellectual and most likely historical movie on a date with your girlfriend or wife! or any other kind of  “intellectual” performance or entertainment such at the ballet, an opera or the symphony.

After sitting through some very tedious and long minutes of film credits (Note: for a film that never really happens because it is fake and does not exist! ) they offered the audience an opportunity to watch an action movie (adapted for beer drinkers!) : like G.I.Joe; The Rise of Cobra, etc!

In this commercial the totally bored beer drinking male faction of the audience who were falling asleep has suddenly perked up and found the hidden energy they lacked during the screening of The Diaries of Lady Violette! .

Note: Are the women (wives and girl friends) supposedly going to enjoy the action movie as well? This is not addressed. Personally, I doubt it. And I base this reaction on personal experience!

I had to read the ad agencies comments on this add several times to figure out what they were actually trying to achieve. I found the entire thing insulting and chauvinistic to the max!

This commercial has been shown at the Cannes Film Festival, The Art Director’s Club of Europe and The Art Director’s Club of Italy.

I will be most interested to hear your opinions on this. It certainly makes one think about naming things, the associations in names, film making, and making art. At least if your name actually is Lady Violette de Courcy! Please note: I had no involvement of any kind with this project.

 

Va Va Va Voom Violette! Lady Violette’s Personal Essense Actually Captured in a Bottle! ~ Tom Ford Violet Blonde Perfume

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Amazing Va Va Va Voom Violet Color!

As you might imagine I, Lady Violette de Courcy, love perfume. Real perfume! Not the weak, fake watered down stuff, but real full potency perfume. There’s been a lot of buzz about Tom Ford’s new Perfume, Violet Blonde, and I tried it today! And I’m delighted with it! I love the scent, the colors and the intensity of the ad!  I’m plum delighted with it!  Aren’t the colors in the Advertisement  Fantstic? Fantastic! It’s pure Lady Violette de Courcy captured in a bottle! It’s Va Va Va Voom Lady Violette de Courcy Actually! I collect perfumes made with violets and beautiful violet perfume bottles to house it in. It’s great to have a new one and a modern interpretation of the scent of these beautiful flowers. I put it on early this morning and I’m still enveloped in the pleasures of it at 10 this evening! I’ve enjoyed it’s various stages throughout my day. Fortunately, it is only sold at Saks and it is very expensive – which is also a good thing because not everyone will buy it and wear it! Violet Blonde is one of those special and beautiful fragrances that is only for special and beautiful people! You will have to decide if you are one of them! I know I am! I love this makeup too!

An Amazing New Suburban Shoe Shopping Opportunity ~ DSW ~ A Designer Shoe Warehouse Has Opened in Lynnwood, Washington

Friday, September 16th, 2011

A few days ago a new DSW  store opened near my house! I currently live north of Seattle Washington in a suburb called Lynnwood. It is near a mall called Alderwood Shopping Mall which features a Nordstrom and a Macy’s. There is a Nordstrom Rack just outside the mall on a side street. Across the street is a large Barnes and Noble Store with a Starbuck’s Cafe in it. Next to the Barns and Noble in a gigantic Ulta beauty supply and makeup store and a beauty salon. All of these shopping establishments feature copious amounts of free parking in gigantic lots which surround the businesses. Free parking is important. It is conducive to shopping and browsing: going out to lunch, having your hair done, meeting your friends in a leisurely manner. Without free parking you have to worry about running up a huge parking fee or getting a parking ticket. With that in the back of your mind it is hard to hang out and look for ways to spend money! Retailers know this. Of course!

About a year ago large several businesses around us closed down. One was a huge Linens and Things Store. That space was directly across the street from the Nordstrom Rack. The Rack, as people around here call it, is famous for its discounted designer shoes. Only problem is they are always trashed by the time they make it to The Rack! I have never bought a pair of shoes at The Rack because they are always scratched and damaged beyond recognition and that is not a bargain to me! I want my new shoes to be in good condition and my vintage shoes to be in beautiful shape! I take very good care of my shoes. Damaged shoes and clothes are not a bargain in my opinion.

Well, I was in the Alderwood Mall and a woman admired the shoes I was wearing. She asked where I got them. They were Alligator shoes from the 1940’s that I bought about 20 years ago in NYC. After I told her that story she asked if I had been to the new DSW. I said no. She advised me to check it out immediately, so, accordingly, I stopped by on my way home.

The Immense DSW in Lynnwood WA

Check it out! It is huge. And they carry all the name brands that Macy’s and Nordstrom’s carry in the suburban stores. The only difference is that they do not carry only two or three styles of each and one or two colors. They carry every color and every style offered by any given line and they carry it in every size. And they are all in stock right there today, now. The inventory is huge and vast and amazing. The shoes are neatly packed in their boxes under the displays. Everything is well lit and well organized. It is genius, actually. The staff is very nice and available.  It is semi self serve. You walk around, find the shoes you like and pull out the box to try them on. This is great as you do not have to wait for help. but the help is there if you want or need it.

Prices are great. They are discounted way be;ow Macy’s and Nordstrom’s in every case. The percentage of discount differs from shoe to shoe but it is really substantial – due to DSW’s massive buying power I am sure! For example a pair of Nine West shoes I had just seen at Nordstrom for $79 was $59 – the same shoe in the same color. Also available in 4 more colors that Nordstrom didn’t offer!

I had tried to try it on at Nordstrom, but they didn’t have my size in stock. They had called 4 of their stores in the area and looked on the computer. No Nordstrom stores in the state had it. I had paid for it to be shipped to me from another state in my size. Four days later I received an email and a call from the Nordstrom store telling me they could not get it! Even though they had said they could and had made me pay for it already. This has happened to me twice now and I am very tired of it! Nordstrom doesn’t carry enough stock. They won’t transfer items into the store for you to pick up. (They used to do this. No more!) They insist that you pay for them first, promising you it is available. You go home, wait for it, then four days later receive a call and an email saying your order has been cancelled and the item is not available any longer. They pretend it was so popular it is all sold out. The actuality is that they had not ordered enough of it and it is nowhere to be had. This means all the time you spent looking for the item, and coordinating it with your wardrobe was wasted. In the two cases in which this happened to me I also had to return the other items I had shopped for and bought to go with it. This takes up a huge amount of time and is extremely frustrating! It is terrible service. It is no wonder customer’s are fed up!

I am! I am finished with shopping at Nordstrom forever! I find the customer service dreadful. Just today, however, only a week after the above experience, I went back because I needed an item from the cosmetics department. I bought several things. When I got home I emptied the bag to look at my purchase and something major – the blush I had gone there to buy – was missing! The absent minded saleslady had not put it in the bag! This means that I will have to return to the store to get it! She was waiting on several people at once! I called the store, got them to put one aside with my name on it. They apologized. The problem is, I am missing the blush, I cannot do my makeup until I go back and I have to make another trip to the **** store to get this straightened out! This will eat up a big chunk of my time! I do not like it! It is amateur! I do not have time for it!I am busy. I have a lot of other things to do.

Back to DSW. Theoretically, I can drive up to it, park, enter the store, stroll down the aisle until I find the shoes I want, quickly help myself to my size, check out and pay and drive away. I think it is brilliant! I love the immense selection and style availability. They tell me it will be growing every day! We shall see!

The store is vast. It is divided into logical sections. Boots in the center, 3,ooo styles of women’s boots to select from! High heels in two long rows, then flats, then sandals. Sports shoes in another few rows. Handbags in another area. Then a huge wall of tights and stockings. Zillions more styles, colors and sizes than Nordtroms or Macy’s offer.

The great thing is that once you have figured out how to shop there you can get the thing you came in for very efficiently and get out of the store. This is good. I will be using the place.

They have a great selection of vegan handbags from many good designers. Same with shoes. Many people will be really happy about that! I have seen only one or two options elsewhere in the Seattle area.

The only thing I didn’t see there was the very high end shoes carried downtown and in Bellevue in the designer boutique sections of Nordstrom. This would be names such as Prada, Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, etc.I suspect that Nordstorms has exclusives for these lines in this area of the country.

DSW does carry Marc by Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Jiimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren, Via Spiga, Cole Haan, Frye, Joan and David, Matisse, Steve Madden, Franco Sarto, Ann Klein, Softt, Dansko, Seychelles, Ellen Tracy, Bandelino, and a zillions other very nice brands. I will check out what they carry and report on that more extensively in the near future. I did not have enough time to do a comprehensive study of the brands they carry. It looked, at my initial quick glance, like they carry full lines of bridge and better quality shoes and moderately priced shoes. The quality level is very high. The merchandise is current styles, not old out of date styles. The styles, size ranges and color selection are really extensive. So extensive that it will take you time to find what you want when you go there to buy! Be prepared to have a lot to choose from! You will be able to find options you like and want! I saw several I really liked. I will have to go back when I have a bit more time!

I think this new store is going to be very successful and very exciting. I think it will kick Nordtrom and The Rack and Macy’s where they need it!

I, for one, am going to enjoy driving over there, parking free, getting a coffee at Starbucks, and wandering the aisles till I find just the right pair of boots I need for a particular outfit! With 3,000 pairs to choose from in my size I am sure I can find several that will be acceptable!

I am sure The Lady Violette Shoe Collection and The Lady Violette Handbag Collection will acquire a few contemporary additions where they are needed from the DSW!

Are They Out of This Shoe World? Wild Shoes!!! by Kobi Levi Avant Garde Artist and Israeli Shoe Designer

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Here are some really interesting designs. Sent by a friend in Spain! Would you wear these? They are from avant garde Israeli artist and shoe designer Kobi Levi.

You are invited to comment on these interesting designs! Are they Art? Sculpture? Shoes? Shoes to wear or furniture to sit on? At least they make you think!

About shoes and why you wear them, love them or hate them! They are not my cup of tea!

I like my shoes to be elegant, beautiful, flattering and functional! I actually do not even like any of these! I would not add any of them to my eclectic shoe collection!

And I consider myself quite open minded when it comes to shoes. These just don’t appeal to me. I feel as if they mock the beauty of the foot and the wearer.

But I know that that is just my personal reaction. And someone else may just love them! What do you think?

At least they make people look. And think. And analyze their reactions to shoes and footwear and that is a good thing! So, as art, they are succeeding on some level!

I encourage you to leave comments on these shoes and on the other shoes I am posting. We need to get commentary and interaction going!

Please express your opinions and feelings about shoes! These shoes, modern shoes, vintage shoes, antique shoes. any shoes!

That will be interesting!

The captions are mine. The shoe photos came to me without titles.

Stepped on Bubble Gum!

Slide

Swan

Tropical Bird

His & Hers Combined Shoes

Plastic Laundry Basket Shoes?

Lady Gaga & Her Microphone

Is She Coming or Going?

He Calls This One Mother & Daughter!

Homage to the Rolling Stones!

Sling Shot

Lounge Chair?

Bottoms Up!

Little Old Lady Shopping Cart?

Bow Wow!

Arf!

Banana Peel Shoes!

Contemporary Red Carpet Worthy Red Patent Modern Ultra High Heels ~ Circa 2011~ From the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Sky High Contemporary Red Patent Leather Pumps From White House/ Black Market ~ Circa 2011

I have learned through experience that I can often find unusual and exotic things that I want by thinking consciously about them ~ sending a certain kind of energy out into the world to locate them and draw them toward me. When I do this I eventually find these rare and interesting items I want. That is how I found this pair of red patent pumps. I began thinking about such a pair of shoes about a month ago when I decided to write about the red shoes in my personal ballet dancer’s collection! I had a lot of red vintage shoes. I didn’t have an example of one of the latest styles ~ the sky high red patent high heel platforms that have been so popular on the red carpet of late. I would need to get one!

Beautiful Sleek Modern Lines

I’m an artist, working on a tight budget, too. Of late I am photographing and writing a lot and designing a line of clothing. I do not have the budget to go out and buy a $795 pair of shoes. In fact, I am even staying out of both regular shops and thrift stores so that I don’t find goodies I feel I must have to expand my collections! I haven’t been in a TS for a month! (TS is thrift store.) I have however, been cleaning out my closets to free up space and making donations to thrift stores and charity groups. I am very proud of the fact that I have been donating five to seven shopping bags full of clothes and household items to charity organizations every week this summer. I am trying hard to do my part to recycle things I am no longer using. I also want to free up my space. It is easy to fill up your house with too many things. I made a rule for myself, for every bag of new stuff I bring into the house, a bag of equal size must be taken out of the house, in order to maintain a balance of stuff.

In Profile ~ These Are Perfect For The Red Carpet!

This summer I have also taken a load of appropriate upscale newer designer items to a nice Seattle consignment shop where I hope to sell them and I have put about 60 choice vintage items up for sale on my Etsy store Ladyviolettedecourcy and another 25 on my Bonanza store Ladyviolettedecourcy. The rules of what you can put up for sale are different for each store.  For example: In the consignment shop nothing can be more than 2 years old! On Etsy everything vintage has to be at least 20 years old. On Bonanza you can sell anything of any age providing the quality is high. Doing all this is a lot of hard work! You have to take the pictures, write good descriptions, post everything on the computers then follow up on questions and responses from potential buyers every single day!  When you finally get a sale you have to box and wrap it and ship it off to the buyer. If international buyers are interested in an item you have to go to the PO or UPS offices to get accurate packing, shipping and insurance rates. Every case is different, because every item is a different shape, size and weight and every buyer lives in a different country and has unique requirements. I have also sold several things on eBay over the last few years! I had no idea until I did it myself that it would be as hard as it is to sell things online! It is hard work!

So far I feel I have mostly done set up! I have also been writing and posting on my blog Ladyviolette.com every day. This has been going on for four months. Sales are sporadic. Everyone on Etsy, Bonanza and eBay says that. The economy is in a slump and this is what everyone I know who is selling says is happening. I have to be philosophical about it. Therefore, I have just decided to continue to plod along ( and blog along!) and keep posting things to my blog and putting items on my store sites! I am very happy with the amount of response of a positive nature I am getting to my photographs and descriptive writing on a daily basis. It is encouraging to know that intelligent people with good taste like it. I like hearing from them even if they cannot afford to buy something right now. The interaction is valuable in its own way! The people participating on these sites are the most interesting thing about them! And ultimately that is more interesting than making sales, but, it would also be very nice to be selling briskly!

Last week, when I took my clothes to the consignment shop I had to wait while the owner looked through them and made her selection. So I walked around the store looking at the other items she had for sale. In the back of the store, on the floor, by a full length mirror, I caught sight of these beautiful shining red patent pumps. I edged closer! They looked as if they might just be my size! I couldn’t resist. I had to pick one up and check out the size! The bottom was marked 8B! I wear a 7.5B usually, but 8 was close enough. I stepped out of my shoes and tried them on. Of course they fit quite nicely. The super high heels allow me to go up a half size! So I had to check out the price. It was $49. They were unworn. They still had the original price sticker on them for $99.99.

I carried the shiny red shoes up to the front desk with me as I went back to see what the owner was selecting from the items I had brought in to consign. She was taking almost all of them. There were about 20 items which is the limit on what they will look at in one day. She saw the red shoes. She said, “I just got those in.” I said, :”I think I want them, But what are you going to take here?”  She told me she would take all but three items which duplicated items she already had. She said she would consign them through November. After that I can choose to pick up things that don’t sell or donate them to The Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. I opted for the later. She said, “The stuff is nice and I know I can sell most of it. Do you want cash or store credit on the items that sell? ” You get more if you take store credit so I chose that.

I know the owner of this store very well. I consign and shop there regularly. She then said, “Do you want the red shoes?” I said, “Well, that depends, on how I can arrange to pay for them. I am trying not to spend money. ” She said, “How about $9.99 cash and I’ll take the balance in credit off the things you will undoubtedly sell that you brought in today?” I said , ” Okay! That sounds good to me!”

Here is how it works if you want to know. She had obviously paid $9.99 or $10 cash for the never worn red shoes. She was hoping to sell them for $49.99. but, here I was, a good customer whom she knows well,  She decided to take $9.99 cash from me to cover her initial financial outlay for the red shoes and take the remaining $40 in credit off of the sales of the items I had just brought in. This was a good deal all the way around because she was guaranteed to get rid of the red shoes, and she knew she would be able to get the remainder of her money soon from the sales of the items I just consigned with her. Normally consignment stores do not do things like this, but I know her and shop and trade with her on a regular basis. Had she not done this with me she might have had this pair of red shoes for months. In NYC or LA they would sell right away, but in Seattle few people actually wear shoes like this! She was lucky that I had come in.

For me, the arrangement was good. I had just gotten rid of a huge pile of clothes freeing up usable space in my house and I had acquired a great pair of shiny modern red high heels in my size for my shoe collection! My financial outlay was only $9.99 for a pair of brand new $100 shoes. I could justify spending that much ($9.99) on this pair as I had been wanting some for quite a while! A gap in my red shoe collection was filled! And I had just gotten rid of a big pile of unused items so I could justify bringing home just one pair of pretty new shoes I would actually use!

I know I will also get usable credit for future clothing or shoe trades at this store, and I know she will have have things I will want in the future. I think I should explain that this is the only store in Seattle where I will trade or buy on a reliable basis. Most of the vintage clothing and designer clothing consignment stores in this town are not dealing with sophisticated enough items or high level enough merchandise for me to bother with. I was lucky to find this pair of red patent shoes in this particular situation. And they are just what I had been wanting. Just what I had been hoping I would find, as I explained in the beginning of this post, and I did! This is why I think my theory works!

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Styled by Violette de Courcy.

Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection.

 

The Ballet Dancer’s Red Shoes ~ Retro 1940’s High Drama Cherry Platforms & How Ballet Slippers Originally Came Into Fashion as Street Shoes ~ From The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Red shoes are everywhere! So are ballet slippers being worn as street shoes. You just have to keep your eyes open for them. I am always on the lookout! I recently found this great pair of red shoes by Chinese Laundry in a thrift shop near my house. They were in brand new shape, never worn! They are a perfect fit and have that great 1940’s retro vibe ~ perfect with WWII era rayon print dresses and navy blue 1940’s suits. Note the high drama platform sole, the raised four inch heel, and the thin, but practical and feminine ankle strap. And the just right shade and color of 1940’s blue tinged cherry red! I had to pick up a matching red lipstick to wear with them!

A Terrific 1940's Look From Chinese Laundry!

 

Combined with a great little 40’s era hat they make me look and feel like I’m waiting for my man to come home from the war! Amazingly, I got these for a post World War II Era Price, too! I only paid $9.99 for them! Of course that made me feel great as well!

Chinese Laundry makes sexy reasonably priced shoes that are sold in malls at stores like Nordstrom’s and Macy’s. I have a great pair of black silk satin ones ~ on high platforms, as well, ~ that look like like something  from a 1970’s Yves St. Laurent runway show. And a pair of midnight navy ones that channel Isabella Rosellini in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. There is a gorgeous pair of black lace ones, again on their trademark dramatic platform soles, that has just come out for the holidays! These sell for the amazingly reasonable price of about $69.99 as I recall! Part of the reason this can be done at this low price is because of the types of materials used for the shoes.

These shoes are not leather and many of their designs are made of cloth like satin or velvet or lace ~ again just like the shoes that were made in France were during the wars because they were not allowed to use leather that had to be allocated to the war effort for soldier’s boots and shoes. In fact the French designers were so clever during the wars with their use of cloth and other materials in the creation of inventive attractive shoes, that British women were extremely envious of them.

During this time period platform soles evolved, and colored printed fabric was used for espadrilles and wrapped like ballet dancer’s ribbons around the ankles to secure the wearer’s shoes. Ballet shoes were not rationed. They were made of leather or canvas and were relatively inexpensive. An insole could be cut of cardboard at home and inserted inside to give the shoe more shape and solidity for street wear. It could be tied on with ribbons or secured with attached elastic. All these tricks for customizing ballet slippers were commonly practiced by dancers. Dancers, then fashion designers, then regular women discovered this and showed ballet shoes worn with shortened gathered skirts thus developing ballerina length cocktail and evening dresses and ballerina length dresses for day! Ballerina length skirts used less material than long ball gowns. And ballet shoes were charming and feminine and cheap! That is how the evolution of ballet slippers being worn as fashion shoes that is so popular today, began.

Chinese Laundry is a company that deliberately and successfully makes a line of shoes that look like some other designer’s shoes from the past.They are meant to wear with one special outfit and not set you back a fortune! They are essentially a costume shoe! I think it is great that they make shoes like this for reasonable prices when you want them for one wearing! These 1940’s styles are also so dramatic they would work well for period stage costumes. I find these shoes comfortable too! I have had no problem wearing them for several hours!

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Styling by Violette de Courcy.

Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection.

Red Shoes by Chinese Laundry in a 1940s Inspired Platform Style

Exotic Red Silk Embroidered Chinese Slippers From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Shoes in the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Friday, September 9th, 2011

I now have all kinds of red shoes ~ from boudoir slippers to ballet slippers, from dance shoe to clogs, from tennis shoes to party shoes! Even a pair of red patent leather boots! The first pair of red shoes I remember having were a tiny pair of exotic red silk Mary Janes with dragons embroidered on the toes and flowers all around the sides. I was born in San Francisco and lived there when I was a little girl. My mother got me the dragon slippers in China Town when I was about three years old. She had a black pair for herself. They were to wear in the house like slippers because the soles were very lightweight. I liked mine so much that I insisted on sleeping with them! I would not go to bed without my favorite shoes! My father had to move my bed up against the wall and tuck me in, then line my favorite shoes up on the side of the bed next to the wall! Even then I liked pretty colorful shoes! I had black patent party shoes, pale blue ones, white ones with little bows on the toes and my red dragon ones! And I would not let them out of my sight! I insisted on keeping them right next to me while I slept.

When I outgrew the red dragon shoes the got me another pair, and I recall they were decorated with hearts and flowers. Eventually I had a royal blue pair, And a black pair! And another red pair. By now, I have had several red pairs! These are always available pretty much everywhere Chinese imports are sold in sizes that will fit babies through large adults. They are usually sold folded up in a clear plastic wrapper and are stocked in bins or baskets on the floor. They generally retail for under $10! They look very exotic, but are sold for under $10 ~ I am always amazed at the low price and how the Chinese can they make something  so pretty and manage to sell it to us for a profit! I love to give them to people as Christmas presents along with a few other pretty colorful gifts. They make great affordable stocking stuffers! They are available in sizes that will work for all ages and can be worn by men as well as women. The black ones with dragons on them are particularly suitable for men.

The Pair! So Pretty and available in all sizes for all ages!

There Is No Such Thing As Too Many Pairs of Red Shoes! ~ The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Sweet Red Suede Pumps by Sara Kent

These are red suede trimmed with pheasant feathers by Sara Kent. Found in a little boutique in Seattle ,WA. Made in Italy. Positively Irresistible! These are from 2004.

Butterfly Bows in Suede on Shiny Red Leather Flats ~ Circa 1980s by Sesto Meucci

Following is a pair from the 1980’s designed by Sesto Meucci with a suede bow on the vamp that I think looks like a butterfly. I remember pictures of Princess Dianna wearing a pair just like these so they always remind me of her. She wore them with knife pleated skirts.

They Were Made in Italy and I recall reading that she wore them to play down her height.

 

 

Cherry Blossom Festival Hand Painted Clogs Sized for a Little Girl – from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

I love hand decorated and painted shoes. And I love ethnic costumes. And fantasy ensembles. I grew up with a constantly evolving and expanding dress up trunk. That trunk eventually became a costume room. My mother and I went thrifting almost every Saturday and came home with many treasures which she would alter or remake in my smaller size for me to wear and play with. I could honestly dress like a princess every day! And I did. When I was at home I could wear whatever I wanted and it was usually something absolutely fantastical.

Adorable Child Size Cherry Blossom Clog Sandals ~ About a Size 8 for Little Girls ~ Fits A Four Year Old

We had a big old house. There was an extra room – formerly a nursery or playroom and it eventually became the sewing and costume room where all the dress ups were kept. We had a sewing machine set up in there and we rigged up a three way mirror at one end of the room. We had a little wooden platform with three steps up, then a flat surface at the top with about a 2×3 foot rectangular “floor.” I would climb up there, stand on the platform section in front of the mirror, and my mother would help me into some fantastical frothy old ball gown or prom dress we had found. This was a typical scenario. I was about 5 yrs old and the ornate tulle dress was made for an adult woman. But no matter! My mother was an expert seamstress. She would cut the dresses way down and alter them to fit me.

Thus, she could indulge her hobby for sewing fantastical costumes – fairly tale princess gowns – and I could dress up to my hearts content. She also restored and remade dresses for herself when we found attractive vintage pieces that she liked. That is how my interest in all things vintage and beautiful clothes began and eventually evolved to the point it is today!

Soles are Solid Wood But Have a Non~Skid Black Rubber Piece Attached to the Bottom

When I found these beautiful pink cherry blossom wooden bottomed shoes in a grungy second hand store I instantly thought these would be perfect additions to the child’s costume collection. They are beautiful little works of art! I have no idea what they were originally made for or to go with or where. I am hoping someone who sees them here can help me to identify them. If you read this and know anything about these, would you please let me know? They have no markings or sizing of any kind on them.

I do carry on my family tradition of creating and maintaining a child’s costume trunk and stash. I make costumes for it too. Most recently a pair of boys pirate pants, by special request as a birthday present. And a little girl’s version of a very elegant black raw silk and tulle Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s long party dress for a 4 year old to wear for her birthday party with black silk party shoes, a crystal Eissenberg Ice Brooch at the waist, an aurora borealis necklace and a rhinestone tiara!

Working on my child’s costume trunk is really fun and a constant work in progress. I enjoy keeping is stocked with all manner of fancy dress up and play outfits, finding ethnic costumes in small sizes, tiny beaded purses, small sized Asian style pajamas and “smoking jackets” and, of course, the outrageous party dresses which I transform into Jean-Antoine Watteau inspired miniature ball gowns.

Cherry Blossom Child's Shoe in Profile

I discovered old bridesmaid dresses in raw silk or silk dupioni are common finds at thrift stores and run about $9.99 in my town. They are normally white or cream real silk and the skits contain several yards of silk fabric! Yes! Expensive silk fabric. I carefully remove the skirts by picking out the seams with a seam ripper. Sine the dresses are commonly long (and really ugly designs!) this often yields 3 to 4 yards of nice silk! Silk that would cost at least $20 per yard at a fabric store new. The fact that is is white or off whit is a plus because I can easily dye it. The dresses sometimes have borders of elegant lace or over skirts of lace or applique. Sometimes large bows or sashes. Sometimes flowers made of silk and used as trimming.This is a great source of material for creating new and fantastic elegant princess gowns. In this case, gowns worthy of Charles James, Valentina or Norman Norell. It is good practice for me, the designer – to see what I can come up with working with inexpensive materials in small sizes. These are my training dresses as a designer.

I have done a dove blue grey one, a subtle gold brown one, a black one, and a soft yellow gold one. and the recent black one. I aim for antique looking colors and styles from Watteau paintings. I will photograph some of them soon when I can get the model who is now 4 years old to cooperate! Fortunately she loves this kind of play!

I have recently been collecting old style straw children’s large straw hats to add to my Watteau inspired vision of child’s dressing.  And very small sizes ~ like old fashioned tiny ladies size 4 ~ of vintage high heels and party shoes and boots and other types of old fashioned shoes.

I am planning ahead so that my in house model, will be able to wear them when she is about 6 to 8 years old! You have to train little girls from an early age to love vintage clothes and elegant jewelry, hats and shoes. And to walk in high heels, of course! That is very important! And it is a skill that should be passed down from generation to generation. That is how I learned! Playing dress up in my mother’s and aunt’s hats and jewelry and high heels and being allowed and encouraged to do so. They played with me and had a wonderful time too! Our house was a constant fashion show. And it was a great education! Women need to pass these skills down to each other, and it is a privilege to be able to both give and receive in this respect!

Just one last thought! Don’t these shoes look like lovely little liquor flavored Petits Fours? And don’t they make you hungry for some of those?

How Charming! I Wish I Could find These in My Size! They Are so Pretty and Flowery!

 

Photographs by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Painted Red Clogs ~ circa 1970 From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Red shoes go with many things. If they don’t match they often provide a nice accent. They cheer you up for some reason. Christian Louboutin has put red soles on the bottom of many of his shoes for years. The red sole has become his trademark. That red sole, with all the other colors in his designs works, no matter what women are wearing with his shoes. And they love it. They love it because it is cheerful red and because it gives them a status jolt to be seen, coming and going, with that bit of red on the bottom of their shoes.

Alas I do not own a pair of Louboutins.  They haven’t come to me yet. They probably will some day, but the time has not been right yet. If anyone wants to send me a pair, my European shoe size is 38 medium width and I would love to have a some! It is possible that somebody out there has some and doesn’t like wearing them and would like to pass them on to someone who would!

Meanwhile, I will tell you about my Danish country shoes. My mother was 100% Danish. The Danes traditionally love red shoes, and clogs, or wooden shoes, as some people call them. They also love to paint things to make them pretty around the house. This is one of the traditional Scandinavian Feminine Arts.

Red Leather Clogs Hand Painted with Scandiavian Designs by My Mother

Red Leather Uppers on Traditional Wooden Clogs Handpainted with Scandinavian Motifs by My Mother

My mother painted everything with traditional Danish and Swedish motifs and it was very charming. We had small tables, dressers, bedroom furniture, stools, chairs, lamps, vases, baskets, and of course, shoes, painted in traditional Scandinavian patterns. Here is a pair of bright red leather clogs that my mother decorated. I have a navy blue pair of this type as well. She also painted this little lidded picnic basket which can be used to carry lunch for one person or is small enough to use as a casual purse.

Red Clogs & Small Handmade Wooden Picnic Basket Hand Painted With Traditional Danish Motifs ~ Can Be Used as a Lunch Basket or as a Small Casual Purse

We had clogs lined up in a row on the porch to put on when we went out in the yard and garden. We were supposed to jump out of them to come into the house in our socks so we would not get the wooden floors and rugs dirty. Since we had worn clogs in this way from the time we started to walk we had no trouble walking or running in them at all. I wear them at home this way to this day because they are so convenient and easy to use. I love the fact that you can just slip them off and jump into them when you are ready to go outside again ~ with no tying or buckling or time required! They are very good for your feet too. And they are so durable they never wear out. I have a black pair too. They have tiny blue forget~me~not flowers painted all over them. It is fun to have your shoes personalized in this way too. We would get a pair and choose what flower to have her paint on them for us and she would decorate our shoes however we liked. I will do a post about clogs sometime soon and show photos of all the ones we have. I am showing this pair, now, as part of my red shoes collection.

I have red dress shoes, casual dress flats, clogs, boots, and casual sports shoes in my red shoes collection. I also have several pairs of red shoes made specifically for ballroom dancing  so they have soft suede soles, and a pair of amazing thigh high red real patent leather boots that were made as part of a very glamorous theater costume for a production of The Merry Widow. I have a sweet pair of traditional Chinese flower embroidered silk slippers which were very inexpensive and are easily available in Chinatown stores everywhere. I like them because they are so colorful and folkloric. In contrast  I have a pair of specially made red suede Flamenco dance shoes which are beautiful and exceptionally sturdy as they must be to with stand the rigors of flamenco dancing. It is a good thing that I am getting them out and going through them now to blog about them!

I will finally figure out exactly what I have, how many pairs, etc. My faithful sheep mascots below are helping me! They will see to it that I finish this project! They are really determined! Plus, they like experimenting and playing with all this vintage stuff.

The Sewing Sheep Showing the Picnic Basket, or Purse, Being Used as a Sewing and Knitting Baslet

My little sewing sheep mascots, the measuring sheep, and his mother, the knitting sheep, are quick to point out that this little picnic basket also makes a nice small portable sewing basket! They are demonstrating that they have no aversion to being put inside it along with a little sewing project and coming along to the local sewing store to pick out buttons or ribbon or going to a friends house for a session of knitting visit! Air can get into the basket through the slats so they can breathe if they are inside. They came up with this idea. They said the basket looked very versatile to them and could probably also be used as a sewing basket! Sheep are very smart! The small sheep has a tape measure inside him. You pull on his tail to extend it, then push on his tummy, to roll it up inside. His mother is filled with sand so she stands up securely. Her tail is a long black grosgrain ribbon to which I have tied my embroidery scissors so they don’t get carried off to some far corner of the house! She is addicted to knitting. She uses toothpicks for needles and makes mufflers for other small animals. The toothpicks are the same size as # 1 or #2 sock needles. I did a small piece of sample knitting with a sock yarn I was trying out, then slipped it off my sock needles and onto her toothpick needles to help her get started. She has been knitting ever since! I have her make all my gauge swatches of sock yarn and she just loves helping out this way!

Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection.

Basket Purse from The Lady Violette Handbag Collection

A Pair of Famous Paradise Kittens Circa 1950 From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Here is an additional pair of wonderful red vintage shoes from my personal ballerina’s collection.They are Paradise Kittens Spectator Pumps from the 1950s done in bright blue red leather with black accents.

Paradise Kittens Blue Red Leather Spectator Pumps with Black Accents ~ circa 1950.

Paradise Kittens were famous for their comfortable construction and fashionable styles. They emphasized comfort. They took out charming well done ads in major 1950s magazines. These made it into every upper middle class and upper class home and fueled the desire for their shoes. The women in the ads looked like they were living the life you wanted to be living and the implication was that you would be as soon as you owned several pairs of their fabulous shoes! They are beautifully cushioned inside and incredibly comfortable. And the styles are very appealing in that Town and Country super elegant tasteful lady like way. A feminine and charming look which I, for one, thoroughly approve of!

Paradise Kittens Emphasized Comfort and Beauty ~ The Heels were About 1 and 1/2 Inches High and Really Quite Elegant in Their Understated Way.

The heels on this typical style example are low – about one and a half inches high. The Kittens were made in America and emphasized patriotism in their add campaigns. The ad campaigns also showed the three to five styles you would need to get you through a typical day as a well dressed socialite, wife or mother.

They cleverly advocated buying three to five pairs every season to be prepared for every event you would need to attend as well as day to day activities. I heartily agree with this type of plan! Three to five new pairs of shoes every three months year after year sounds just fine to me! My grandmother loved them and actually played by their recommended numerical rules. She did buy that many shoes each season. Not all were Paradise Kittens, but many were. She loved the name too. So do I. It speaks of softness and luxury, don’t you think?

The shoes were made to last. They lasted way longer than a season. In fact she wore them, then passed them down to her daughters, who wore them. I finally received this pair. I think it lasted so long both because it was very well constructed and because it was an unusual color combination that was only worn with an outfit or two and was not used as often as their caramels brown and black ones. I also remember a pair of dark green, blue and purple ones with a cute loafer styling and a tassel. They were often designed to look good with tailored dresses, skirt suits, tweeds, capes, and wool coats ~ in general,  all elegant sportswear.

I have an adorable 1950s red plaid wool skirt suit from Bobbie Brooks which would have been one of the types of outfits originally intended to be worn with these Paradise Kitten Red and Black Spectator Pumps. The skirt is a narrow mid calf length pencil cut and the jacket is a boxy cut with padded shoulders. It is a strong red and black plaid from head to toe. I recently got it out to have it cleaned and tried it on, to decide what to do with it. Altogether it seems like way too much red plaid to me all at once right now! I have two ideas on how I want to use it now. I think I want to break it up and use the jacket with an original era appropriate solid black longish pencil skirt as one look;  and, as the second look, combine the red plaid pencil skirt with a modern black narrow tight fitting knit sweater top as another. I see wearing black opaque tights with both.

For me these shoes will be perfect with both looks. Today’s current fashions would dictate a high heeled black leather platform shoe with both of the looks I have described. Such shoes would definitely add height and elongate both looks, and look really great with both parts of the red plaid suit. It would require me to spend another $300 minimum ~ up to $800 for such a pair of on trend shoes. Personally, I have two reactions to this: I don’t want to spend that amount of money on that kind of shoes right now, and I actually prefer the look and the feel of this perfect little pair of 1950s Paradise Kittens for me. They are more comfortable and better for my body! Plus, I have them already! And I am a vintage purist. I like putting my outfits together using real components from the original eras! I think it is much cooler to be absolutely authentic in this way.

I am lucky in that I am the right size for these vintage looks proportionately as I am on the small fine boned side. They were designed for women about my size and height originally. When I get my two red plaid outfits completely worked out as I have described here, I will photograph them and post the results. It is the first of September today! It is time to start planning how to dress for fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the season and the fashion possibilities. I love getting my capes and tweeds out at this time of year! And the cooler weather will be coming along soon. What a treat that will be!

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection