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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘Vintage Shoes’

Lady Violette’s Favorite Quote From Marlene Deitrich

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Marlene dressed for image in a white man's suit ~ gorgeous!

“I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men. ”
Marlene Dietrich

I am currently reading Marlene’s biography written by her daughter Maria Riva. I am enjoying the book and highly recommend it. It is not a Mommie Dearest type book. It is informative and unravels many myths about Marlene.

I found this quote while looking at pictures of her online. And I immediately thought, how true! I dress the way I do for the same reason, actually. I love clothes and so did she. But I think we all dress for the image we want or need to convey.

Dressing up is a lot of work and their has to be a reason behind doing it. We all like certain clothes, but we do not like having to be perfectly groomed and turned out 247. That requires a lot of discipline and patience. It is, essentially, a job and a career in itself. It requires a lot of time and effort.

Marlene was honest and intelligent and that is what I like about her, as well as her beauty and her work in films. Of course.

 

Inspiration – Gorgeous Greta Garbo in a Beautiful Fur Trimmed Coat

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Greta Garbo in The Torrent Wearing a Fur Trimmed Striped Coat

Great Greta Garbo.

She did not say I want to be alone. That was a misquote. She wanted to be let alone by the press and the crazy fans. And crazy men.

Here is a lovely photo of her in The Torrent. She is sporting a unique fur coat. At least the hem is trimmed in fur. And the cuffs. I cannot tell what the rest of the coat was made of. Perhaps it is a knitted coat as it is striped and so fitted. I love the whole outfit. Hat, coat, shoes, silk stockings. And the color tonalities. They had to think about how they would photograph in black and white. The stripes and the shading of the different colors in the zone system of greys makes me wonder what colors the coat was in real life color.

The Torrent was Garbo’s first American film. A silent in black and white.

Look at her eyes! Lovely!

Vintage Tweed Coat by Sabrina With Lush Natural Coyote Fur Collar ~ Circa 1967 ~ Identifying Coyote Fur

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Vintage Wool Tweed Coat by Sabrina ~ Circa 1970's With Lush Natural Coyote Fur Collar

Here is a beautiful vintage winter tweed coat with an extravagant natural coyote fur collar made in 1967 by the Sabrina Coat Corporation in New York. The fur is very long and fluffy and is composed of all the brown, tan and cream colors in the nubby tweed fabric. This is a great warm winter coat for cities like New York and Chicago where it gets really cold because it is double breasted, long and full.

The Double Breasted Design of This Winter Coat Provides Extra Warmth and Protection as it Covers the Chest with Four Layers of Fabric Counting the Tweed and the Millium Lining Crossed Over Each Other, While the Criss Crossed & Overlapped Coyote Fur Encompasses the Shoulders, Neck and Chest as Well as Framing the Face.

The double layer of fabric and fur where it crisscrosses across the chest is a great wind barrier and the huge fur collar is soft, snugly and luxurious.

Long Full Skirt with a Generous Amount of Fabric and Wide Back Pleat Layers Well and Fits Over Anything InCluding Sweaters, Skirts, Pants and Suits

The long full skirt fits over everything and is swishy and glamorous as well! It is lined in blush colored satin Millium lining fabric which is insulated for extra warmth. Millium is a trademarked lining fabric which allowed for extreme warmth without creating bulk and was favored for use in women’s suits and coats when a tailored fitted look was desired. The extravagant coyote fur collar creates a flattering portrait frame for the face of the wearer! I feel beautiful and glamorous and very warm when I wear this coat! It is a coat one can wear out in the dead of winter in the coldest place and be warm and comfortable while enjoying being outside.

Shiny and Elegant in Itself the Specially Designed and Insulated Millium Lining in a Feminine Blush Color Satin Finish Fabric Adds to the Warmth and Beauty of This Well Designed Vintage Winter Coat.

Short jackets just do not keep me warm enough in winter! I need a long coat to keep me warm all over. I also love the way this coat is belted, creating a small nipped in waist when the self fabric belt is tied. It has a 1950’s influenced New Look silhouette with the small waist and long full skirt. This coat features a wide pleat in the back of the skirt giving extra movement and fullness.

Generously Sized and Completely Functional Side Pockets are Big Enough to Really Carry Things In and Have the Added Benefit of Being Securely Closed With the Opening Underneath the Overlapping Decorative Placket at the Top. Pickpockets Would Have to Work Hard to Get Into Your Pocket So You Would be Well Aware of Their Annoying Presence. These Pockets Are Big Enough to Carry a Pair of Gloves, a Scarf, a Pretty Vintage Handkerchief, a Folding Pocket Comb, a Compact, a Lipstick, a Cell Phone, Keys, a Change Purse and a Small Wallet Without Creating Unsightly Bulges or Adding to the Impression of the Size of Your Hips. Of Course They Are Also Thoughtfully Lined in a Warm and Soft Flannel Fabric to Help Keep Your Gloved Hands Even Warmer if Needed! They Knew How to Make Good Working Pockets Back in the Day!

The two huge side pockets are also very functional. You could carry your life in them if you needed to! This coat was made in the days when they still did hand bound buttonholes which is a detail I love and sewed a few extra buttons inside the coat in case you needed to replace one.

Well Made, Laboriously Hand Tailored Bound Buttonholes Add to the Quality and Beauty of This Elegant Circa 1970's Coat.

The buttons are also sewed on extremely well! Originally. I always check the sewing on all the buttons of vintage items when I acquire them to be sure they are very securely attached. If any are loose I sew them on by hand so I won’t lose any. It is hard to find replacement buttons and the extras sewn into the lining are a real sign of quality construction.

An Extra Replacement Button is Sewn Inside the Coat Just In Case You Lose One. Also Note the Beautiful Big Sabrina Coat Corporation Label and the Still Attached Cleaning and Care Instructions. I Just Love the Elegant Labels in My Vintage Clothing and It Really Adds to the History and Value of a Garment if the Original Designer Label and Care Labels Are Still Inside a Vintage Piece When You Acquire It.The Labels Can Also Help You to Date the Clothing and Research Its History. Some People Collect Label's in and of Themselves. I Photograph My Favorite Ones and Keep a File of the Images.

The coat is beautifully designed and tailored and it fits over anything I have tried to wear underneath it – from a dress to sweaters and skirt or a sweater and suit jacket worn together. It is rare to find a pretty coat that is cut to fit over a suit without creating a bulky unflattering look.

The Side View Illustrates The Influence of Dior's New Look with Its Nipped in Belted Waist and Longer Full Flowing Skirt on the Lines and Silhouette of this Very Figure Flattering and Feminine Coat.

I acquired this coat at an estate sale during the summer. It is in excellent condition and very clean. I question whether it was ever worn before I bought it because it is in such good shape! I recommend looking for winter coats, suits and vintage furs during the summer months because they are bulky and people who are selling them will want to do so during the summer in order to get rid of them. When you buy a winter item during hot summer weather you can often get a good price because the seller doesn’t want to have to hold onto that big warm hard to store coat for another 6 to 9 months when winter sets in.  The same principal  applies to buying vintage swimwear.  Buy off season when the demand for an item is lower in order to get better prices.

Note the Classic 1930's Influence on this 1967 Tweed Midi Length Winter Coat with its Face Flattering Natural Coyote Fur Portrait Collar. This Coat Was Made at the Height of the Influence on Fashion of the 1967 Movie Bonnie & Clyde.

I think this style of wrapped and belted wool coat with its glamorous and warm natural coyote fur face framing collar is timeless. I have seen similar coats in old black and white movies worn by Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Faye Dunaway wore them in the 1967 movie Bonnie & Clyde which is set in the depression era 1930’s. Faye Dunaway was incredibly glamorous in that movie and influenced fashion accordingly the year the film came out. She wore such coats over tweed midi length skirts with sweaters and textured stockings and T-strapped or gillie shoes. She wore her gleaming blond hair in a sleek Garbo influenced bob with berets and cloche hats. Many portraits exist of Garbo dramatically framed by the gigantic fur portrait collars like this coyote collar. The year 1967, when Bonnie & Clyde was released, every fashionable woman wanted a 1920’s ~ 30’s influenced fur collared winter coat and sexy clinging midi length tweed skirts. In the dead of winter tin 1967 these coats were worn with narrow high heeled taupe suede boots and knitted or felt cloche caps and berets.

A Fashion Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket Part II ~ Philosophy & Ensemble

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket Inside Worn Outside is a Customized Vintage Fur Coat Made For Janis Joplin

The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket ~ a Customized Vintage Fur Coat, Eight Strand Ode to Janis Joplin Love Bead Necklace, and The Styled for Janis Joplin Vintage 1930's Persian Lamb and Fur Felt Hat.

 

I recently posted photos of this Fantastic Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket in my first post about her contribution to fashion  The Fantastic Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket ~ One Way to Use Vintage Ties and Furs.

The Back of The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket Inside Worn Outside

Today I am showing the rest of the opulent characteristic of Janis Joplin Ensemble and The Janis Joplin Accessories that go with it.

The Front of the Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket with the Fur Side Out

Janis loved beads and piled on many strands at once. She was even photographed for Rolling Stone wearing only her necklaces and joked that you couldn’t tell she was nude because she was covered with beads.

The Magnificent Ode to Janis Joplin Necklace

Here is the beautiful eight strand Ode to Janis Joplin Bead Necklace of silver, marcasite, garnets, Swarovsky crystals, rubies, and antique and contemporary glass artist lamp work beads. The ornate clasp is antique silver studded with marcasites.

The Antique Silver & Marcasite Clasp on the Ode to Janis Joplin Necklace

The Ode to Janis Joplin Necklace Over a Wine Silk Burnout Velvet Blouse & Midnight Blue Velvet Tiered Gypsy Style Skirt

The necklace is worn over a wine burnout silk velvet blouse with a dark blue velvet bohemian style three tiered gypsy skirt.

The Crazy Quilted Inside of The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket is Made of Many Kinds of Beautiful Antique Fabrics and Pieces of Needlework Which Make It a Unique Piece of Bohemian Style Handmade Textile Art.

Janis loved opulent fabrics in deep rich colors.

Legendary Ode to Janis Joplin Antique Black Leather Boots

Janis also loved collected and wore antique boots.

Ode to Janis Joplin Real Victorian Brown Leather Boots

Here is a brown pair of real Victorian Boot Janis Joplin loved and a black pair.

Janis was notoriously quoted in ” FASHION NEWS: I went out & bought myself a $35 pair of boots. Oh they are so groovey!! They’re old-fashioned in their style-tight w/buttons up the front. Black. FANTASTIC! When I get back, I’m going to rent a sewing machine & make myself some sort of beautiful/outlandish dress to go w/them. ”
– Janis Joplin, September 1966

The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket & The One of a Kind Eight Strand Ode to Janis Joplin Bead Necklace Worn with A Characteristic Janis Joplin Style Ensemble of a Wine Burnout Velvet Blouse and a Midnight Blue Velvet Skirt is Opulent and Amazing!

Here ~ in the gorgeous exotic fabrics Janis Joplin loved ~ is the Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket with the full ensemble of vintage midnight blue velvet three tiered gypsy skirt, vintage wine burnout velvet blouse, custom made one of a kind eight strand Ode to Janice Joplin Necklace of love beads, real Victorian boots and two men’s silk ties worn overlapping each other as a neck scarf. Her fans loved her homemade dresses, skirts and bell bottom pants, and piles of jewelry. And, of course, her customized vintage real fur jackets and hats.

Ode to Janis Joplin Vintage 1930's New Orleans Hat Trimmed in Persian Lamb and Custom Decorated for Janis with Burgundy Ostrich Feathers and A Jeweled Antique Brooch

To top off her outfits Janis often wore vintage fur or felt hats. This Ode to Janis Joplin Hat is originally from New Orleans and is trimmed in curly black Persian lamb fur and decorated with a fantastic jeweled antique brooch, and ostrich feathers! It was picked up at a thrift shop on a jazz festival tour of New Orleans and further embellished with her trademark curling ostrich feathers dyed a rich pink red and a gigantic jeweled brooch. Like everything she owned it is personalized and one of a kind. Janis loved to add colorful ostrich feathers in this form or in elaborate feather boas pinned into her hair.

Janis Joplin sewed! And she shopped in thrift stores. She sought out fabrics, notions and vintage clothes that inspired her. She put things together in her own way. Because she was on stage she inspired the people who saw her live in the 1960s to do the same thing for themselves in their own way. Everything was individually  done in this way of dressing and one of a kind, This look was very personal. You had to create much of it yourself from found objects so how you combined things became highly personal. You could not go out to a mall and successfully create such a look.  Janis Joplin made and designed many of her own costumes. She also worked with a designer friend to help execute her ideas as she became more successful. She always dressed as a performer ~ simply because she liked to ~ both on and off stage. For her life was really a continual performance. And she dressed accordingly. To her clothing was another form of her artistic expression and she derived great joy in expressing herself this way.

Her fans loved her style. Her influence on the way people dressed in the 60s effected the entire world. She became one of the 100 most influential people in fashion of all time. Because of the way she herself dressed and how much people liked that. Other people wanted to express themselves and their own individuality in a similar way. How she dressed epitomized  freedom of choice and self expression and inspired the rest of the world to do the same. No one copied her exactly. That was not the point of her influence. The main point she got across to other people was it is a good thing to be yourself and dress in your own way.

She collected fabrics. She loved exotic materials such as silks, velvets, brocades and metallic jerseys. She wore luxurious leathers, furs, and many beads and jewels.~ particularly armloads of bracelets and many rings on every fingers all at the same time.  She wore fluffy colorfully dyed ostrich feather boas in her free flowing long naturally wavy hair. The custom made Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket is hand sewn and skillfully embroidery stitched with many of these types of collected fabrics, including ribbons, hand crocheted lace doilies, embroidered birds and flowers and thrifted Italian silks taken from vintage men’s neckties. People loved Janis Joplin for her music and for her fashion sense. And most of all for her sense of freedom of self.

Janis Joplin’s self made image and often home made style and fashion choices perfectly symbolized what was going on in the world and society at the time. She became the bohemian fashion queen of the hippie movement. She had been ridiculed as unattractive and ugly during her high school years and it must have been tremendously empowering for her ~ in a good way ~ to be admired and respected for her artistic taste and fashion sense! She would probably be amazed to know what long lasting effect she has had on fashion today. Janis Joplin was also innocent and pure in her fashion choices because they came from her heart and soul in the same way her music did. It was improvised spontaneously in the same way she interpreted her songs. Janis always put her own unique twist on things!  Her fashions were in no way commercial or mass produced. Her lovely clothes were lovingly chosen and made either by herself or by other artists. She spearheaded a movement to dress the way you wanted to that swept across the world. In her way she was the ultimate dress reformist. And she accomplished this as a side line to her music and unintentionally. She became tremendously influential in fashion just by doing her own thing.

Slashed Fur Sleeves Patched With Silk From Vintage Italian Designer Neckties.

“Do Your Own Thing” incidentally became a catch phrase of the times! And the basic theme and message of many songs and stage musicals like Hair, and Do Your Own Thing, and OH! Calcutta. I think Janis would have loved that! Janis Joplin’s style was not commercially created by stylists and promotion experts.  She did not have a huge clothing budget or makeup artists and hair stylists following her around at all times. She did not get done up with hours and hours of preparation for interviews and personal appearances. She refused to wear makeup because she hated the way it looked and felt and she allowed her hair to naturally do its own thing – which meant grow and be wavy and simply put some scarves or feather boas in it to add color and volume.

I think she got dressed like some 3 – 5 year old girls do! They have a closet full of clothes and a costume box and left to their own devices put on and mix up colors and styles wearing whatever appeals to them with no care for what others think every time they get dressed. They often look great in a mix of colors and accessories worn in unconventional ways. It is all done quite spontaneously and I hear grown ups say, “Wow! That looks great! I wish we could wear those things and those colors and fabrics together!” And the mother of the child says, “I don’t choose her clothes or accessories. she does it all herself!”  I, personally believe that Janis Joplin got dressed in this same way. And, as she made more money and could afford to buy what she wanted she became all the more colorful and free and self expressive in her clothing choices.

These were simple natural choices for her that were fun and lighthearted and easy for her to accomplish. She had a tremendous natural ease and vulnerability and that was very appealing. It came through in her singing and dancing of course, but it was also how she looked. It amazes me to consider this in contrast to the singers of today – such as Lady Gaga, Boyonce, Gwen Stefani, Rhianna, Madonna and many others who have such commercialized, highly manufactured, expensive to produce and high maintenance personal and stage styles. Janis had none of this “Professional Help.” It is important to realize that she was completely responsible for creating her look herself. I find it hard to see the person under the modern stars styling whereas Janis Joplin was personally completely exposed at all times.

In The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket- Slashed Furs Reveal Black Cloth Sections of Inner Darkness Beneath the Outer Layers. Rich Deep Colors of Soft Silk Like the Depths of Janis Joplin's Voice and Amazingly Warm and Beautiful Yet Damaged and Vulnerable Furs Enable the Artist to Wear Her Soul On Her Sleeves.

Janice Joplin sang as if she cut herself open and showed us the very insides of her own self and soul in her music in every performance she did. This was the essence of her style and way of dressing as well. Thus, in the Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket the slashed skin sleeves and torn furs revealing sky colored satin embellished with birds embroidered in psychedelic colors of thread perched next to dark rich silks and patches of exotic brocade that symbolize the person and artist Janis Joplin was to those who saw her in the clothing. There are some important patches of personal darkness too in exposed inner sections of black fabric that are open to view under the the torn away outer sections of the amazingly warm and beautiful, yet vulnerable and damaged fur. The Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket is really just like she was ~ original, unusual, delicate, beautiful but rough and exquisite and raw and different all at the same time.

It is important to note that Janis had no aversion to wearing real furs or leather and openly did both. She also loved animals and most notoriously owned a beautiful and affectionate sheep dog. Janis loved her dog. And other furry animals. As far as I know she only wore vintage furs made from pelts of animals killed long before that she rescued from thrift shops. I think she felt, as I do, that rescuing an old fur and giving it new life by wearing it or making it into a beautiful new article of clothing was a way of honoring the already long dead animal from whom it came.

Two Beautiful Men;s Vintage Silk Ties Are Overlapped and Used as a Woman's Scarf Encircling the Lapels of the Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket. The Navy Paisley Tie ifs Vintage Liberty of London and The Wine Colored Floral is Vintage From the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.

In Janis Joplin’s  characteristically creative personal way of repurposing materials she loved beautiful thrifted silk men’s ties – a vintage navy blue paisley patterned one from Liberty of London and a vintage burgundy floral one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection are overlapped and used as a woman’s scarf to frame the neckline lapels on the fur side of the Ode to Janis Joplin Jacket. This “scarf of ties”  treatment works in nicely with the crazy quilting of velvets, brocades, lace, ribbons, embroidery and antique silks used in the jacket. some of the silk patches in the jacket came from old neckties as well.

Janice influenced other people to do their own thing and express themselves through their clothes as much as she did. Many people, especially in the 1960s and 70s did so really well. Because, like she did, they “got down! ” They got down and dressed themselves with things they found and made and put together in their own way.They created their own version of an artistic and eclectic look. And this really worked. People were very often beautifully and very individually dressed  in that time. It was a very experimental period. People wore things they really loved with boldness and confidence. It was wonderful to see the things they came up with.

Ever since she came on the scene she has been copied commercially. The mass market has tried to benefit from her style and vision by mass producing cheap imitation versions of her look. They usually look like chap imitations too! It is not exactly a mass produced look! To achieve it and pull off something with a similar success you have to get to the soul of the matter of self dressing. You can do it inexpensively or using expensive fabrics and jewels. You can do anything as long as it is honest and original, preferably self made, found or artist made. It is best done by artists that are your friends or do work that is meaningful to you personally.

You will not be able to go to a mall and assemble pieces to give you such a look. If you do that, or follow the conservative commercial version of “Getting The Janis Joplin Look” as advised in a teen or adult woman’s fashion magazines and certain advice online your attempt to achieve the real Janis Joplin Look will fail completely! I have seen some ridiculous articles and advice columns in magazines and online with utterly tepid versions of the look. You cannot be conservative about this. You have to be absolutely fearless as Janis was. She actually often used very fine luxurious fabrics, furs, beads and jewelry and had a passion for beautiful old high quality boots. She found many of her beautiful fabrics and clothes antique and second hand and this can still be done. As an artist Janis gave old things a new life in her assemblages. Her clothes and outfits were actually artistic collages of wearable items and they became art with her interpretation. Again and again and again her fashion interpretations were like her musical interpretations ~ original and unique with a very personal twist. That is the secret to achieving her look. If you can do that for yourself you will be able to achieve a truly Janis Joplin inspired personal look.

All the Ode to Janis Joplin Clothing and Accessories pictured are from Lady Violette de Courcy’s personal collection, The Lady Violette de Courcy Vintage Clothing Collection.  She is a writer, art and vintage clothing collector and fashion historian.

Photos for this article are by Violette de Courcy

Fashion News From Janis Joplin September 1966 ~ One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Quotes

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

“FASHION NEWS: I went out & bought myself a $35 pair of boots. Oh they are so groovey!! They’re old-fashioned in their style-tight w/buttons up the front. Black. FANTASTIC! When I get back, I’m going to rent a sewing machine & make myself some sort of beautiful/outlandish dress to go w/them. ”
– Janis Joplin, September 1966

 

Violette Fantasies ~ An Exquisite Violet Wedding Kimono, Cake & Dance Dress

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Violet Wedding Kimono

This is one of the most beautiful purple, violet, lilac, wisteria, clematis  inspired ensembles I have ever seen! Just gorgeous!

I do not know anything about the garment except that it is a vintage lightweight summer wedding kimono as that was the only caption I found on the picture.

It is so pretty. I want one!

Violet Flavored Wedding Cake!

And here is a beautiful and delicious purple wedding cake ~ violet flavored of course~ to serve at the reception!

Bottega Veneta Spring 2012

And a modern purple dance dress to wear to the after celebration from the Spring 2012 Bottega Veneta collection. They are one of my favorite design houses.

I am just exploring violet and purple options this evening. Violet is my favorite color of course. The color seems so very rare and exotic but I find that I can locate quite a lot of it in my home, in pictures online, and in stores when I go out shopping. It is also currently being featured in fall 2012 cosmetic collections. That is nothing new. They just like to try to make it seem that way to get you to buy more products.  Eye shadows, blushers, check colors, powders and lipsticks are all available in assorted purple and violet shades this fall. I already have a lot of them from past years so I must get mine out and start playing with them again to see what looks I can create. I have plenty of purple makeup products and I do not want to buy more! I’m glad that the media is saying it is a great color though because I have always thought so!

Meet LaMarelle ~ An Artist Who Coutures Her Own Gallery of Unique Designs From Treasures of the Past

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

HER TRUNK RUNNETH OVER! ~ A Still Life Assemblage by La Marelle Featuring a Grandiose Selection of Her Coutured Vintage Designs: photograph by Mike Burnside

 

I have a talented friend named Marelle, an artist and designer, whom I want to introduce to my readers. La Marelle loves vintage fashions and accessories as much as I do! I met her on Etsy where we both have shops. Marelle finds previously owned, loved and gently used vintage purses, handbags, hats, shoes, jewelry and hair ornaments and waves her magic wand over them to couture them into new transformed pieces using the original old piece as a base or canvas, on which to create a unique new piece of fashionable wearable art. She describes what she does to a vintage item to recreate it as one of her own the process of couturing it.

Every item Marelle coutures is different and one of a kind. She has tremendous range and creates items inspired by sources as diverse and varied as the contemporary rebellious youthful street punk scene, to the elegant era of the court life at Versailles, or the refined Victorian period. She is inspired to new levels of interpretation by each vintage piece she finds. Her imagination seems boundless! She is also a painter.

This photo is of a still life composed (by Marelle herself, of course,) of her handbags, shoes, collars, gloves, compacts, photographs, jewelry, perfume bottles and other objects d’art pouring out of a transformed vintage trunk that has been appropriated for a display presentation of her work for the photographer Mike Burnside when he visited her recently in her in her old four bedroom Victorian house and studio where she both lives and works in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania. I like this photo because it reminds me of a pirate’s chest overflowing with choice vintage treasures!

Marelle’s work is so diverse and extensive – she currently has over 400 pieces listed for sale in her Etsy shop alone ~ that I have decided to introduce her in today’s post, with the beautiful still life photo shown above; and follow up with several additional posts that showcase and describe in depth more beautiful individual examples of her work. In this way I will be able to lead you through an extensive  tour of La Marelle’s Gallery viewing and savoring one work of art at a time.

By the way, La Marelle means hopscotch in French, so Marelle named her shop on Etsy Hopscotch Couture. To visit her Etsy store and view the entire gallery go to: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HopscotchCouture.

Marelle sells her work in her online Etsy shop above and also accepts private commissions. She can be contacted  by email at lamarellegallery@aol.com or by telephone at (443) 825.6353.

Her work can also be seen on her website at LaMarelleGallery.com. There is a link on there that will take you directly to her Etsy store as well.

Read More about Marelle and her paintings and designs in this article from The Weekender at http://www.theweekender.com/stories/Marelles-Hopscotch-Couture-One-of-a-kind-finds,61685

The photo for this post was taken by Mike Burnside from Burnside Photographic, Harvey’s Lake PA,  www.burnsidephotographic.com

Be sure to return to my blog soon to see future posts featuring more pictures and descriptions of Marelle’s work.

 

 

Dressing for a Wedding and Your Body Type ~ Lady Violette’s Design Advice to Nancy Shevell & Stella McCartney

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Nancy Shevell in her Wedding Dress Designed by Stepdaughter Stella McCartney and Her Too Big Vegan Shoes

 

This post was inspired by an indignant email message from my  friend and colleague, Lavande Lamour (the long-lost sister of writer, Louis Lamour),
***************
“Nice wedding dress for Nancy Shevell, especially with the Wallace Simpson influence, but I think it would have been much more becoming just below (or just to) the knees. I think Stella McCartney was going with a “young” look and paying tribute to Ms. Shevell’s slender figure, but knees just don’t belong anywhere near a wedding dress, in my opinion. Her knobby knees just kill the whole effect for me
.Also, I wish Ms. Shevell weren’t standing with her feet two feet apart. I swear, women have forgotten the art of how to present their legs in a dress these days. We see either the rugby stance (Ms. Shevell) or the pigeon-toed, slouchy stance (Scarlet Johannsen and many others). The basic ladylike principle of keeping one’s knees in nodding acquaintance with each other seems to have disappeared. Ah well….   Lavande
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And further Inspired, (yes really! ) by the comments below and at the end of my post.

Inspired……you mean copied, Stella McCartney is not a great designer, riding on the crest of her father’s fame……

– Steve Constantine, Noordwijk Holland, 13/10/2011 16:44

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2048237/Nancy-Shevell-wedding-dress-Stella-McCartney-inspired-Wallis-Simpson.html#ixzz1ajpRLWpA

Nancy Shevell looked like a beaming, beautiful bride, regardless of Stella’s ghastly creation. Fortunately, Nancy could make a bin sack look terrific. The happiness on the faces of Nancy and Paul made them seem like 2 delighted teenagers. I wish them a lifetime of bliss and contentment. They seem so well-suited to each other. But I would beware Stella, Nancy. I agree with the person who said the dress looked like it came from a 1960’s McCall pattern – spot on. Of all the bridal gowns to emulate, Stella picks Wallis Simpson’s? Is that the best she could come up with? It wasn’t a nice dress then, it isn’t a nice dress now. I have always maintained that the fawning over Stella’s designs is a classic case of the emperor’s new clothes. The McCartney name is the only reason she’s a famous “designer”. The shoes were ghastly and the dress too short. Is Stella trying to give Nancy a hard time, too? Sometimes I think Stella is more interested in her inheritance than her father’s happiness.

– underwhelmed, london,

13/10/2011 16:13

I thought that the wedding dress looked like one of the horribly ugly polyester dresses from the 1970s & it didn’t look good on the Duchess either….and my mother had one JUST exactly like it back then. So there is nothing about it that is unique or original at all. It’s a bad length for Nancy with her SCRAWNY pale legs, & she would have looked so much better in a longer length or a pantsuit. And what charity shop did they have to go to in order to find those awful shoes? They are so big & loose on her feet…they are either worn-out vintage shoes or she’s too skinny to fill those shoes up. PLEASE don’t tell me those shoes are coming back in fashion!!! – Ashleigh, Austin, Texas,

Nancy Shevell & Paul McCartney

Wallis Simpson & Her King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND NOW, some  CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTARY by LADY VIOLETTE de COURCY  on Dressing for a Wedding and Your Body Type

First, I want to say, Nancy Shevell and Paul McCartney look to be a very happy couple and very much in love and that is the most important thing. I am happy to see them married and I liked the low key simple ceremony and small number of quests invited. Nancy Shevell looks like a lovely person and she has been low key throughout the courtship and wedding process which is fine, but she has married into British Rock ‘n Roll Royalty which is just about as big a deal to a lot of people as marrying into actual British Royalty. As such she has a responsibility, in my opinion, to live up to the fantasies and expectations of the Beatle’s fans of all generations. Sir Paul has made her his princess and she ought to do all she can to live up to the image. In short, she should look like a princess.

It is very important that anyone reading this realize that, I am not being negative about Nancy Shevell’s character, or her as a person, I am simply making observations about style and design and offering my constructive ideas on how she and Stella McCartney, who is one of the top designers in the world, might have dressed her and how she might improve her choices in dressing and personal presentation in the future. She appears to be quite a lovely person, actually, and I wouldn’t mind meeting her myself if I had the opportunity.

It appears to me that Nancy is quite conservative and understated in her dress, that she wants to be appropriate but not blatantly stand out at all. This is another reason why I should think she would want to subtly conceal her negative features and subtly enhance her positive ones. If she managed to do this she would simply come across as charming and understated.

So, let us analyze Nancy Shevell. She has a lovely face and pretty long hair. I found photos of her with a terrible shag haircut and blond hair, so she has learned, somewhere along the way that she should stick closer to her natural brunette color! She has a beautiful smile. Her smile appears to be much improved by having had her teeth straightened and veneered since her high school year book photos were taken!  These two facts lead me to conclude that she is not adverse to self improvement. She also appears to have had the size of her nose reduced.  She has definitely dramatically reshaped her eyebrows which used to be thick and bushy. I suspect she has regular Botox injections to keep her face young looking. She has the glow of happiness and being in love but also the advantages of her financial status for dressing attractively, self improvement and maintenance. I am all for this if one can afford it. In many ways she looks great and is doing a good job of taking care of herself.

She is tall and slender and this is obviously her natural body type. In her case this has it’s good and bad points. She needs to utilize every positive aspect of her face and figure and play down the unattractive ones. ( Everyone needs to do this, of course!) Any clothing designer who works with her should advise her accordingly and the fact that Stella McCartney didn’t do so is inexcusably unprofessional. We can safely assume that both Stella McCartney and Nancy Shevell have all the money they could possibly need or desire to enable them to create any impression, dress or ensemble for such an important event as a wedding no matter how casual they desire it to be. That said, I will express my opinion of the Stella McCartney wedding dress for Nancy Shevell to Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

I dislike the dress. It is totally inappropriate for the woman wearing it and for a wedding dress. I would never recommend that she wear such a dress. So, here is where Stella McCartney failed. If she recommended such a dress it was a mistake. If she was asked to design and make such a dress it was a mistake not to refuse to do so. and suggest something much better using all her talents and training to the fullest extent. This short dress makes both the client, Nancy, and the designer, Stella, look bad. Stella is well educated in the world of fashion design and celebrity publicity. She should know that these issues will arise, that her new step-mother will now be photographed and watched by press and public alike and should be dressed to succeed in her inevitably public position as Sir Paul’s wife.

Many people in the public will be looking to Stella for inspiration in both personality and style and looking at her to critique her. Stella is in the unique position both professionally and personally now, to offer priceless advice and design services. Stella, not only as a world class couture designer, but as the daughter of a Beatle has been in the public eye her entire life and should have known that this wedding and this dress would be covered by the world press. She had a tremendous opportunity to make the bride look her exquisite best and to show the world her own design capabilities. Unfortunately, for both women, she didn’t!

Readers suggest that Stella doesn’t like Nancy and is trying to make her look bad on purpose. If this is the case it is very stupid of Stella because people will be judging her abilities as a designer as much as the appearance of her father’s new wife. I honestly don’t think this is the case. I believe that Stella just isn’t that good or experienced when it comes to analyzing and meeting the needs of an important client. Nancy is now an important client because she is now married to one of the most popular men in the world who also happens to be Stella’s father. This is a fantastic arrangement for Stella. which guarantees her constant free exposure and continual publicity. What an enviable position for a designer to be in! These two ladies should be buttering each other up. For the most part Nancy is pretty good lucking and will make Stella’s designs look nice if she wears designs that both look good on her and look good on someone her age. It can easily become a win win situation. Thus is is a shame it has gotten off to this bad start in the press at the beginning of the marriage,

To me this dress looks cheap and inconsequential. The first thing I see is Nancy’s legs. Miles and miles of bony scrawny, ugly, un~athletic looking, ultra thin and exceedingly unattractive legs! There is so much of her stick like legs showing that they actually over power her face and her smile which is really unfortunate because those are the most attractive and nicest of her features. Her entire upper body is covered up with the gathered bodice and long cuffed sleeves which look like a white blouse that might be worn under a conservative business suit consisting of a skirt or pants and a jacket. Under that is a plain straight way too short and utterly boring skirt! Did they run out of material? Or could they only afford three and a half yards of this white stuff bought on sale at some suburban fabric store like Joanne’s Fabrics?  It takes about 2 and 1/2 yards of fabric to make a blouse and about one yard to make a simple straight skirt like the one in this dress! Surely Nancy, Paul and Stella could have sprung for more fabric! And much more interesting fabric. Stella has access to the best and most beautiful fabrics in the entire world. And money is no object. Nancy’s height and thin figure make her an ideal fashion model for narrow or full length styles. Styles that would cover up her stick thin ugly legs and focus all the attention to her pretty face. Styles that would also make the designer Stella look really good because she made a beautiful dress for an attractive woman. Had Stella designed a long dress for Nancy none of the criticisms that have followed the wedding regarding Nancy’s dress or her super skinny legs would have come up! If I had such ugly legs I would be covering them up in any situation in which I could! Why should she do this? In order to look her best, put her best foot forward as they say, in order to protect her reputation and in order to focus attention on what a beautiful event this is and what a beautiful bride she is ~ rather than on what ugly legs she has! A long dress would have been elegant and would have covered her legs.

Then there is the color, It is stark white. Stark white is very difficult to wear. It emphasizes all the flaws in a person’s complexion – making imperfections glaringly obvious. In this particular case it draws our eyes to Nancy’s way too skinny bird-like legs and her dreadfully bony red knobby knees! She appears to be wearing bare legs and sandals! Her shoes are really terrible. She should at the very least have worn panty hose in an even skin tone slightly darker or lighter than her own skin to de-emphasize her legs and give her a more polished look. Then there are her bizarre shoes. They are flattish sandals with ankle straps. I think she should have worn a classic closed toe pump with at least a slight heel! And, in this case, no ankle straps unless she was wearing a long dress so we could not see them! These shoes look like they were purchased in the old lady’s department at K-Mart. She could have opted for some glamorous vintage pumps! Or Jimmy Choo’s, or anything from Paris or NYC! Her shoes could have been amazing! It is almost heart breaking, as a shoe lover, to see a woman of such privilege not take advantage of the opportunity to wear a fabulous pair of shoes to her wedding! How very very sad! I am sure hundreds of thousands of women are thinking the same thing. Here, again, Stella should have stepped in to advise. she also designs and makes shoes. She could have provided something better! Probably even at the last minute from her very own showroom! I read, after writing this paragraph that the sandals Nancy wore were vegan! They are vegetarians. That is no excuse for ugly shoes. Many beautiful wedding shoes are made of cloth like silk and satin and linen and decorated with beads or lace or silk flowers. Something elegant could have been found or custom made.

Nancy is supposed to be an heiress. She was apparently not sent to ballet lessons or finishing school. I deduce this from observing her stance. Her feet are wide apart, she does not hold her knees together and she holds her fingers in her opposite hand in front of her body in a most awkward self-conscious manner. In every photograph I have ever seen of her, she has stood awkwardly and looked uncomfortable.  Now that she will be followed by the press and constantly observed and photographed in her new position as Paul’s wife, I would advise her to get some training to learn to stand gracefully, to pose properly for photographs and to project an aura of comfortable self-confidence.  I do not want her to change her personality or become a different person. I just want her to acquire poise and self-knowledge so that she shines in her new position of privilege. She is wearing a $650,000 art deco Cartier black diamond ring! She should be doing so with pride and pleasure, not covering it up in a shy and embarrassed way by God, we cannot even see the thing on her hand! I would be getting a tasteful manicure and putting my hands out where they could be seen in a subtle manner. Nancy was wealthy and had the privilege of money before marrying Paul, but she is now privileged to be in his family and social circle and to share in the love his fans have for him and the Beatles. That is what I mean by privileged. He is also privileged to be marrying her. It works both ways. Its just that she wasn’t in the spotlight before. Now she has gotten the privilege to enter his spotlight. That is a big responsibility. His fans expect a lot from her. They expect the exact opposite of what his previous wife Heather Mills provided if you get my drift!! They want Nancy to make Paul Happy and be dramatically drama free! So far she seems to be doing a good job of that!

Hairstyles: Nancy has pretty hair. There are many salons in England that are really good. And the wealthy can afford to hire a good hairdresser for a special event. There are also hundreds of pretty ways to style long hair ~ from classic elegant up dos, through partially braided sections in the long hair, half ponytails, and softly curled but styled long locks Unfortunately, Nancy’s hairdo is just long and limp. It looks like she was going for a youthful look – which she and Stella interpreted to mean washed, dried, brushed out and embellished with one flower stuck in over the left ear. It is so casual that it covers her ears, neck, shoulders and a great deal of the front of her dress!  It ended up just looking limp as if she has spent a day swimming at the beach and is letting her hair air dry. She may have picked a lone flower off a bush on her walk home and stuck it in her hair for fun! This, Nancy, is a wedding, a special occasion! As the audience out here, in the land of the public, we would like to see you go to a little more effort to be really beautiful. You do have the potential! 100% We want you to live up to it!

As for the resemblance to the Wallis Simpson’s wedding dress!  I see only many small buttons and a gathered bodice and long sleeves. I don’t like Wallis’s dress either. And as far as the famous comment she made, “You cannot be too rich or too thin!” She was very wrong, you can be too thin. She is one example of that. Nancy Shevell is another. Neither of them have great bodies. Both look very un~athletic, way too thin,  and awkward. These qualities cannot be covered up by wearing expensive clothes. They can only be corrected and changed through physical training and self-discipline and diet. They both need to eat a lot more.  I am very thin by the way. I do not say this out of envy of how thin they are! I have been very thin all my life, but I have also danced and trained all my life so my thin body type is very different type. I am filled out and well shaped by strong muscles and consequently have strong powerful curves.

Wallis always looked severe and stern. When I have studied old photos of her I have deduced that she was an ugly woman who was beautifully dressed in very expensive jewels and clothes. I think she was actually hideous! Look at the great beauties of her time! They were extraordinarily lovely! I am referring to Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Marlena Dietrich (who had beautiful legs!) Nadia Paley, Moira Shearer, and many many more. Wallis couldn’t hold a candle to them in my opinion. I always wonder what her attraction was? It was not her intellect ( I have read some of her writing.) It was not beauty, so what was it? I am dying to know and hope Madonna’s upcoming movie will shed light on this topic and satisfy my curiosity!

In his Little Dictionary of Fashion, Christian Dior said, “There is no Key to Good Dressing. If there were it would be easy, rich women could buy the key and all their fashion worries would be over!  But, simplicity, grooming, and good taste – the three fundamentals of fashion – cannot be bought. But they can be learnt, by rich and poor alike.”

Both Nancy Shevell and Stella McCartney have led extraordinarily privileged lives. In Stella’s case she has even attended the best schools of fashion design and worked for the best fashion houses in existence. I have seen scant evidence of her talent. I just don’t feel that I am seeing it in the conservative and rather dumpy dresses she designs for her new stepmother, Nancy Shevell.

Look carefully a the wedding dress. If it were a solid dark color it would look like a business woman’s work dress. In a small dark print or jewel tone it would look like a 1980s – 90s librarian or school teacher’s work dress. One man wrote that he thought it looked like an old nurses uniform! From the 1940’s! It actually kind of does! Just put a winged cap on her and she would look like a nurse in a WWII hospital movie! She could throw a Navy Blue Red Cross issue wool cape over it and be ready for work in the field. Personally, I think the top looks like a conservative white blouse and the straight skirt looks like a straight white slip! The kind you might wear under a woolen skirt so it isn’t scratchy., or doesn’t tick to your bum and ride up! These are not images you want to have for a wedding dress.

Some alternative suggestions for Nancy: Suggestions I would have made to her for a small daytime wedding had I been her designer. I imagine Nancy did not want to wear a long classic white wedding dress because she is an older second bride. She probably did that already in her first wedding and didn’t want to go through that ordeal again. I imagine that she wanted something under stated and tasteful, and not overly dressy. I think Nancy could have worn an elegant suit with a longer skirt, or a long dress.

1) A Suit: It was common to get married in beautiful wedding suits in the 1940s and 50s. Look at the glamorous weddings in old Hollywood movies. The bride and groom often got married in daytime civil service ceremonies or small  daytime church weddings and the bride wore a suit. Consider an elegant 40’s style tailored suit in cream colored gaberdine with a fitted jacket with a wasp waist worn over a mid-calf length skirt with a sexy walking slit in the back. I would make this of fine cream wool gaberdine lined in lightweight silk and it would be worn with a beautiful ultra feminine cream lace blouse which would be beautiful worn on its own later, either with this skirt or another, without the jacket.  I would make the jacket double breasted and nipped in at the waist, then flared out gently over the hips, and close it with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. I would suggest graceful T-strap shoes with 3 and a 1/2 inch heels of buff colored kidskin. If she didn’t want to wear leather in order to honor her new husband’s vegetarianism I would suggest a similar style shoe made in cloth of some kind of leather alternative. I would suggest cream colored silk stockings like they wore in the 1920-40s because they would look beautiful with this type of suit and fabric and greatly improve the appearance of Nancy’s legs. These stockings are extremely elegant and also make the ankles look a little thicker which would be a good thing in her particular case.

2) Hair and Hat: I would style her hair in an artful Chignon low on the back of the neck and if she liked the idea, top this off with a beautiful feminine hat custom made of fine cream colored Italian straw with a medium width brim trimmed with  ribbon and handmade silk flowers. This would be an elegant creation – a subtle, classic hat. It would call attention to the bride’s beautiful face, and flatter her. It would in no way resemble any of the hats worn to this years Royal British wedding! Her lush long hair would look beautiful in the back with braids entwined in the chignon at the nape of her long elegant neck. Because her hair would be pulled back her neck and face and shoulders would be shown to best advantage and the shoulders, sleeves, collar and neckline of the suit would be shown off to great advantage. I would keep her hair soft, but elegantly off her face and shoulders.This hairstyle would be lovely with the cream colored suit worn by itself or with a hat like I described.She would have the option of wearing or not wearing the hat and could even change her mind about that up to the minute she walked down the aisle.

3) Hands: She should not wear gloves because everyone will want to see her Art Deco black diamond Cartier engagement ring and the wedding band.

4) Flowers: I would suggest she wear a corsage on the lapel or at the hip of the suit. She carried a bouquet which she might have chosen to do so that she would know what to do with her hands. She obviously feels awkward about them and isn’t sure what to do with them. We would discuss that and practice several alternatives so that she could choose which she preferred. Some brides carry an evening purse, some a bible, or other book, some flowers, etc. I would suggest a spray of white orchids designed with tulle and ribbons pinned to one of the lapels  with an elegant vintage brooch. Nancy wore a tiny white flower in her hair. I felt so sorry for that little guy! It deserved to have a few more companions alongside at the very least! Wouldn’t she have done better to sweep a section of hair loosely behind one ear and place a comb with several flowers and a trailing ribbon attached to it in her hair? I am not suggesting anything lavish. I am just suggesting something more interesting and complete. It could still look subtle and not over power her. Nancy appears to be very careful in her fashion choices. So careful that she misses out on the beauty and pleasure to be had! She is probably just lacking in self confidence in this department.

5) Something old: This could be the brooch pin, the cream colored vintage silk stockings, the antique lace used in the blouse, or? That would be fun to figure out. I have heard no mention of any choice being made for something old in the ensemble she actually wore.

6) Biaanca Jagger wore a white suit by YSL when she married Mick. It was gorgeous and considered an unusual choice at the time, but, at that time, anything went (the past tense of anything goes!) It would have been interesting for Nancy Shevell to take her inspiration from Bianca Jagger instead of Wallis Simpson! It may have been a pantsuit, even, I will have to check that out.

7) A Bohemian dress, a long dress, please. There are many kinds of dresses in this genre that would have worked. A casual flowing bohemian flower child look could have worked. Then she could have worn her hair down and flowing, but hopefully a bit more artfully styled with more flowers intertwined in it.

8) A Grecian style long dress could have worked, with artistic draping and a skirt just a few inches above the ankles. This could have been worn with more elegant sandals if she really wanted to wear sandals. Its length would have concealed her legs from being the main focus. In this style dress her hair could be worn, again, in the type of loose chignon I describe above with a few strand escaping.I would have suggested this in colors other than white. Some ideas, pale blue, dove gray, buff, pale gold, pale silver, peach, pale lilac in muslin or light silk.

9) A simple bias cut Jean Harlow style 1930s gown could have worked. It would have fallen beautifully on her because she is so thin and has absolutely no hips. This cut dress adds a little meat to the frames of women like her. It would have helped her conceal her skinny legs and look curvier and more feminine. I would have suggested cream, the lightest dove grey, peach, or palest blue if she really wanted a reference to Wallace Simpson’s gown,. I would have suggested this style dress be done in a jacquard silk crepe in a sophisticated pale solid  color – so that it didn’t look like a wedding dress, but suggested an elegant cocktail dress from the 1930s Hollywood movies.

These are only a few suggestions to give an idea of how many there are! There are lots! I could go on and on, especially with the Bohemian dresses and the Empire influenced ones. Had I been Nancy’s designer I would have created a very memorable gown, with her input, that she would have been extremely comfortable and happy in. I would even have been happy to make her three or four of them so that she could actually try them out and decide which one to wear to her wedding.! The other designs, I am sure, she would find very useful and great to have on hand to wear for other occasions. All my ideas for designs for her would be wearable for events other than her wedding because none of them are “wedding dress” design ideas. They are dresses you could wear for a small casual, daytime wedding such as Paul and Nancy’s but could also be worn most suitably for many other times. Observing Nancy, from my position out here in the public, it seems to me that she didn’t want a weddingy dress.

I have read that she changed into a long plum chiffon number when she reached the house, also designed by Stella, which Barbara Walter’s really liked. Then,  after a while, she and Paul went upstairs and changed into blue jeans which I bet really felt good by that time! Don’t you?

The marriage of Paul and Nancy gave both Nancy and Stella a chance to showcase their fashion design and styling skills and their stylistic sense. I didn’t like what they came up with. I am not saying that casually either! I have really analyzed why carefully. I hope they will find and read my post! And learn from it.  I even welcome them both, singly or together, to contact me for consultation should they so desire.

Nancy, You have the rest of your life to show off your knobby knees. I am sorry that you did it during your internationally important wedding! I hope you don’t choose to do it in the future, but, should you, you will know and understand how one fan, of both you and Sir Paul, felt about it and advised you to do otherwise!

Finally, poor taste in dress withstanding, I wish Nancy Shevell and Paul McCartney my absolute best. I hope they will be happy together for the rest of their lives!

I just cannot resist adding other people’s posts that seem to agree with me! Here are a few more, just for fun!

The lining was shorter than the hem of the dress. I agree the dress was much too short for a 50 year old woman. And those tacky shoe!!! they must have been borrowed from Rose in Keeping Up Appearances:”>

– honey, Boston Ma USA, 13/10/2011 3:18

Lady McCartney’s wedding dress may have been “inspired” by Wallis Simpson”, however, other than it’s length, the dress was almost an exact copy of HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress from last April. Stella doesn’t seem to have been particularly inspired this time around.

– The Truth, Reality, 13/10/2011 2:05

Madonna has a film out about Wallis Simpson. Stella McCartney is a friend of hers.. dress gets people talking about Mrs Simpson?

– old fashioned girl, Lancashire, 13/10/2011 1:55

The Duchess of Winsor was SUCH an unattractive women.She always looked SO old.

– E S, ex pat, 13/10/2011 6:00

Unfortunately Stella doesn’t have an original thought in her head and wouldn’t have succeeded without the family name. The wedding dress looks like something run up from a 1960s McCalls pattern book.

– Philippa, Louth, 13/10/2011 0:34

It was a woeful dress, looked home made and draped terribly. Stella’s dress was as inspiring as her smile (or lack thereof). All the best though to Nancy and Paul. – Sheryl Osborne, Melbourne, Australia, 12/10/2011 18:15 Thank you, my thoughts exactly and a darn good laugh. Also, she could have used a small veil so that she would actually look like a bride. I think Stella runs a bit on the controlling side and probably trying to keep Nancy down a bit.

– Clarice, Hanover, MA, USA, 12/10/2011 19:09

I agree with Karen from Bournemouth on the comment about the dress should have been to the knee. The dress is okay over-all, nothing special. She has rather unattractive legs, and those sandals look like something my grandmother would have worn, coupled with the big feet, not a good look. And before anyone starts, I have huge feet. It’s just a fact, if you’re wearing a dress at a special occasion, you need a heel so you don’t look like Magilla Gorilla in the foot department!

I wore a dress very similar to Nancy’s for my wedding in the 71 but with an open collar. It looked better than this. I designed my own clothes taught by my mom who was a dressmaker back then. I am no fan of Stella McCartney and think this dress does not do the bride justice. Same with V Beckham with her metal zippers on the outside. Plain old poor workmanship and I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. This looked much better on Wallis. I wonder why she would want to imitate a woman so hated in the country she is adopting?

– Mary, LA, CA, 12/10/2011 17:46

I noticed the design influence but wasn’t the original dress pale blue? Also I suspect Stella McCartney planned for it to be worn longer and it was shortened rather badly at the last minute. I thought the change in colour made it look like a nightie – rather Brides of Frankenstein. I can understand the bride wanting a shorter length for a Registry Office Wedding but there is a recognised way of hemming that sort of fine fabric which has not been followed. Looks to me as if the Bride and the Stepdaughter didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye and some unskilled person was let loose on it.

– J Huxter, Surbiton, Surrey, 12/10/2011 15:12

Wallis was better dressed for her wedding than Nancy by far. You would never have caught Wallis with her skirt above her knees, no tights and sandals no woman past 30 should wear, let alone to her own wedding. She was no beauty but she was elegance personified – a quality very few women possess today – including the new Mrs McCartney. She looks passably nice but that’s all.

– Reubenen

The only resemblance I can see is the nose. The dresses are not the same at all.

Does any one remember the film King Pin with Woody Harleson? The older woman in the film who is romantically involved with him has legs like that. Yuck.

– James , UK., 12/10/2011 11:36

Thank you for your comment, Daddy Longlegs…..I’ve never understand why grown women stand all sprattled-legged or pigeon-toed when they know they are being photographed. Were they reared by wolves? Did their mothers never take the time to teach them how to stand & walk gracefully before their first big “dress-up” event like childhood banquets or proms? Thank you to all the mothers out there who showed their daughters how to stand with their knees together!!!!!!

– Caroline, Dallas, Texas, 12/10/2011 11:31

What’s with the shoes? Her feet are literally swimming around in them like they are 2 sizes too big & too WIDE!!!!!!!!!

– Caroline, Dallas, Texas, 12/10/2011 11:21

She has very boney legs and ankles :

– charley, Surrey, 12/10/2011 11:03

Wallis looks like an ironing board with an ugly head stuck to it. No amount of money could help her – she was always a very well dressed and very ugly woman.

– Sa6, Somewhere, Here, 12/10/2011 9:56

Looks like Stella was taking the p*ss. She obviously doesn’t like this one either but can’t say anything.

– Fiona, West Lothian., 12/10/2011 9:17

She looks dressed for a church pageant not a wedding. Drab and unpolished.

– Kitty, Dallas, USA, 12/10/2011 8:09

t’s nothing like Mrs Simpson’s dress! Who writes this rubbish? Too short for her knobbly knees and those cheap looking sandals. Yuk. I Like the top part though.- Kate, York, UK, 12/10/2011 8:06

OMG, the bride has ugly, skinny chicken legs.

– Mary, NYC, 12/10/2011 7:40

And the groom’s hair was inspired by Ken Dodd! Nancy should have worn a dress more like the original that covered up her sparrow legs. This heiress clearly didn’t go to finishing school – they would have taught her to stand like a lady, with her knees together!

– Daddy Longlegs, Planet Earth, 12/10/2011 7:05

Stella’s designs are awful, she needs a refresher course in dress designing as Ive only ever seen one or two outfits that have looked reasonable to wear.

– Kathy, Birmingham UK, 12/10/2011 7:01

Would have been so much more ‘classy’ if it had come just below her knees. Instead the hemline looks a little understated. Nobbly knees and no tights/stockings – all a little bit unflattering.

– MatildaUK, UK, 12/10/2011 6:2

Yet to see a decent creation from Stella, and the original was far better.

– jack., ashford.england, 12/10/2011 6:28

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2048237/Nancy-Shevell-wedding-dress-Stella-McCartney-inspired-Wallis-Simpson.html#ixzz1ajvcuqFR

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

A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Charles Jourdan Paris ~ Modified Mary Jane ~ circa 1980

I love red shoes. I have always loved them. There is something incredibly wonderful about red shoes.There is also the wonderful 1948 ballet movie The Red Shoes.

Regarding the topic of Red Shoes in my collection. I am in the process of photographing and documenting all the vintage shoes in my collection , The Lady Violette Shoe Collection. I know I have many red ones, but I don’t know how many yet. I still have lots of shoes to go through. Many have been packed up in boxes for several years and several moves. I think I have the most black shoes, then brown and then red! Thinking about this last night I thought it would be a good idea, being a dancer,  to look at them as a sub collection of my collection.  That is as A Ballet Dancer’s Collection of Red Shoes! So here are some of them:

Tie~On Cherry Red Pump by Charles Jourdan Paris 1978

Being a ballet dancer I was introduced to the 1948 movie The Red Shoes starring the red headed ballerina Moira Shearer as a child. I think it is the best ballet movie ever made. It is based on the story of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson about a girl who acquires a pair of demonic red shoes that won’t let her stop dancing. She is unable to take them off and eventually dances to her death. Heavy stuff!

Red Via Spiga Pump with Snake Trimmed Toe ~ Italy 1982

In the film we have Moira as a real life woman who is a ballet dancer who is cast in a ballet based on the fairy tale. More heavy stuff. Life and art intertwine. There is conflict between her personal life and her dance career. Strife! Melodrama! Fabulous dancing and choreography in 1948 technicolor. Incredible French couture suits and gowns. Drama, and eventually, unable to resolve anything and terribly conflicted, Moira jumps off a balcony in Monte Carlo after a performance of The Red Shoes, still wearing her long pink Degas style tutu and red satin pointe shoes. All the people who have been pulling her in every direction rush to the scene where she is now lying on the train tracks covered with blood and barely alive. (I always notice that her feet are still pointed incredibly hard – which is evidence of her excellent training at the Royal Ballet School in London!) and, barely able to speak, she finally whispers, “Take off the red shoes,” which they do and then, sadly, she dies!

Delman New York ~ Red Suede Color Block Pump ~ 1985

This sounds kind of extreme but it isn’t. It is a really well done film based on very real ballet personalities and history that anyone in the dance world is actually familiar with. The acting and the dancing, as well as the writing and cinematography could not be better. And the final result is still, more than 60 years after it was made, the best ballet movie ever. I must also point out that it is not a horror movie like last years hideous Black Swan. It is a good movie about a unique subculture, the world of professional ballet, and a dancer’s life, that is performed by real ballet dancers who do an incredibly good job. The audience leaves loving ballet, wanting to see more of it, and appreciating what is involved in doing it! That is success! You also want red shoes. Not the demonic ones of the fairy story, but really gorgeous ones from Paris, Italy and New York. Perhaps that movie was why I developed a life long love of red shoes! It had to be one reason! I also love wearing them with pink dresses as the girl in the story did and I have often done so.

Herbert Levine Red Patent Pump with Grosgrain Bow ~ Circa 1950s

In contrast, the movie Black Swan, was horror movie in every way including the horrible performance of non-dancer Natalie Portman as a ballerina! You have to be joking! No one can pretend to be dancing ballet! As a former professional ballet dancer and  teacher myself I was not convinced by anything in that film. What is more it did the art form of ballet a terrible disservice by making people who saw the film think that the world of ballet and the people in it were crazy. It was all in all a terrible film and in my opinion should never have won an Oscar, but we know that the Oscars are all politics!

Sweet Red Parisian Pump with Bow ~ Circa 1960s

If you want to see beautiful ballet and a great film find a vintage copy of the Red Shoes and treat yourself to seeing the very best! The vintage clothes in Moira Shearer’s wardrobe are also an incredible visual treat. And the entire movie takes place in Monte Carlo, Paris and London.  It has everything! Like Red Shoes themselves the film is a classic and always will be!

Red Leather Bandelino Pump ~ 2008

Meanwhile, back to the topic of Red Shoes in my collection. I will photograph them all as I rediscover them and continue to add them to this grouping:

Lipstick Red Soft Leather BC Booties

That is:  A Ballet Dancer’s Collection of Red Shoes! From The Lady Violette Shoe Collection. I hope you enjoy it and are inspired to collect and wear red shoes and to see the 1948 ballet film The Red Shoes.

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Tea for Two ~ Herbert Levine T-Strap Shoes ~ Designed by Beth Levine for Beth’s Bootery ~ circa 1970

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Here is a darling pair of classic T-Strap pumps  in black suede designed by Beth Levine for Herbert Levine shoes ~ circa 1970. This design was called Tea~for~Two, all her styles were given names ~ for fun and identification purposes.

Tea~for~Two T~Strap Pump by Beth Levine for Herbert Levine Shoes ~ Circa 1970

She produced this one for Little Shop Shoes as is printed in gold on the insole and it was sold at Nordstrom Best in Seattle, WA., where it was bought by one of my own family members! The shoes were too narrow for her, or any of the rest of us who followed, so they were never worn, just carefully saved, in their iconic red box neatly stored away! They are size 7.5 N and we all have real medium width feet.

Look Inside~ It says Little Shop Shoes!

However, Beth Levine was a personal friend, and we all knew she was going to be really famous! She has already won several Coty Fashion Awards. So it was logical for us to keep her shoes! And we were right! A couple of years ago a museum show was mounted in her honor which I attended in Bellevue, WA. And a book,  Beth Levine Shoes by Helene Verin was published around the same time to commemorate her work and the company she and her husband Herbert Levine owned. Of course we attended this and it was fascinating! If you love shoes, I recommend the book and the show if you ever get the chance to see it.

Little Shop Shoes were meant to be fashion forward for the younger woman. While the Herbert Levine Label shoes were more sophisticated. In fact as sophisticated as you could get! Here is an example, also in my personal collection, of a beautiful red patent Herbert Levine salon shoe purchased at Nieman Marcus. I have shown this pair on this blog before, but I wanted to put them together today.

Red Patent Pump with Grosgrain Ribbon Bow by Herbert Levine Shoes

Beth Levine designed all the shoes, but they named the company Herbert Levine Shoes because, at that time, all the other shoe designers were men. She had worked for most of them picking up her skills by osmosis, first as a shoe model and later as a designer. The whole story can be found in the book above.

What isn’t in the book is the story of Beth and Herbert Levine and me! I met them when I went to New York City to dance with the City Center Robert Joffrey Ballet. Their daughter was a student at the Joffrey Ballet School and we became friends. She introduced me to her father, the famous Herbert Levine, but I didn’t really know how famous he was! He just seemed really nice. Father and daughter took me home to meet Beth Levine and we all ended up going out to dinner. We got on famously. They were very interested in the arts and artists and, after a few get togethers they ended up inviting me to move into their Greenwich Village Apartment. Thus, I ended up living with them for several months, getting to know them and many of their friends and getting a first hand education from them on what made good shoes good shoes. Beth was high energy and extremely funny. She was also under a tremendous amount of personal pressure with the responsibilities of running her company and constantly coming up with new ideas and designs. I could see that the life of a famous shoe designer was not 100% glamor! It was a lot of really hard work. They were under an immense amount of pressure to come up with new ideas and stay on the cutting edge. She worked all the time. She seemed very tired a lot of the time.

Herbert Levine was a wonderful flamboyant man who wore a dramatic burgundy long cape overcoat as a trademark and literally swash buckled in it. He was very fashionable. He liked the theater and actors and always was attending plays. It is no wonder that their daughter eventually decided to become an actress. She is Anna Levine Thompson and has had a long and successful acting career in New York City in theater and films.

Photos by Fredric Lerhman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Images of Garolini Shoes in The Lady Violette Shoe Collection ~ A Wardrobe & Personal History of Five Pairs of Special 1970’s Garolini Shoes.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I am in the process of going through all the shoes in my collection to photograph and inventory them and  take stock generally of what I have. After writing about the Poached Moose Shoes made by Garolini yesterday I decided it would be a good idea to take a look at all the Garolini shoes that I have and post pictures of them on the same page. So here goes!

I decided to list my five pairs of Garolini shoes as a seasonal shoe wardrobe for an imaginary fashionable 1970’s woman living in New York City who loved Garolini shoes and owned all five of these pairs! I have listed the shoes, what type of 1970’s appropriate high end designer clothes and jewelry she would have worn them with and some places where she would have worn them. What fun our fashionable 1970’s NYC friend must have had dressing up each day!

Classic Black Silk Satin Evening Pump by Garolini 1972! 

The first is an elegant black silk satin evening pump lined in silver and trimmed in sparkling crystals! Something our fashionable woman could wear with her slinky black Halston cocktail dress and her diamonds. They were her “practical Italian workhorses” that could also be worn with long gowns to black tie events at Lincoln Center.

Shining Silver Garolini Slingbacks for the 70's Disco

Next: A shining silver kidskin slingback pump was popular footwear for the Studio 54 disco scene paired with slinky solid color jersey dresses and Elsa Peretti’s silver jewelry from Tiffany.

Creamy Leather Garolini Cutaway Sandal with Delicate Ankle Straps was Perfect Wedding Footwear!

A stylish 70’s wedding called for a dressy feminine cream colored high heeled sandal to wear with an elegant cream lace designer gown and miles of Mikimoto Cultured Pearls.

A Perfectly Elegant Burgundy Leather Garolini Peep Toe Slingback Pump with Graceful Three Inch Heels.

For a fashionable 1970’s shopping spree and lunch with friends at Saks Fifth Avenue this elegant burgundy pump could be paired with a tweed designer suit one day and a floral print silk dress the next. The rich deep wine color was a beautiful foil for her piles of real gold Italian jewelry, matching designer leather handbag, large lens designer sunglasses and couture silk scarves. The burgundy colored Garolini leather even smelled like expensive perfume!

Garolini's Poached Moose Hide Pumps Were Made as a Specially Commissioned Gift for this Client in 1970.

She could wear them with subtle understated confidence with her Calvin Klien cashmere suit and border printed silk wrap dresses while attending both town and country meetings. This extra special personal pair of Garolinis was soft and comfortable and relaxed business could be conducted in utmost style, grace and comfort while wearing them. The custom designed moose hide pumps served as a secret talisman. The soft dove gray leather served as a perfect background for her collection of fine art jewelry made of stones and metals by international jewelry artists.

Story to be continued…

Photographs by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection.