Thursday, March 8th 2012

Buy Now: The Essential Flat Sandal

The Elizabeth and James Cree Sandal in three colorways.

The promise of winter’s end is in the air. Heck, the last three months could hardly be called a winter in much of the Northern Hemisphere, but nonetheless, there’s been a tickle of spring in the longer days and brighter sun, and with it comes a desire to dress for warmer climes. The most essential piece to a warm-weather wardrobe? The flat sandal. Walkable on city streets, an effortless no-brainer for outdoor music festivals, and a general everyday go-to, a single great pair can take you from the early days of spring right through summer’s high heat.

A few of my favorites include the Elizabeth and James Cree Sandal (pictured); Sam Edelman’s Gigi, an exotic take on colorblock; and perennial favorite K. Jacques sandals (see: every pair). They’d each make a fine addition to a relaxed summer uniform.


Shop flat sandals.

Thursday, September 15th 2011

NYFW S/S 2012: Tibi

Favorite looks from the Tibi spring 2012 runway.

The spring 2012 runway was another strong showing for Tibi. Styled by Swedish blogger Elin Kling, the collection was heavy on pants and light on the party dresses that once defined the brand. The look was clean and simple, airy and effortless—the picture of chic wearability.

--Kate Ciepluch
Fashion Director

Shop Tibi fall 2011.

Wednesday, July 20th 2011

Fall Footwear Best Bet: The Smoking Slipper

Footwear is feeling a little bipolar lately. The extreme wedge is as covetable as the flat sandal, the embellished bootie as popular as the classic pump. And emerging as a must-buy for fall (so says WWD Footwear News): the smoking slipper, in variations both basic and bejeweled. It comes with fashion’s return to the leisure class, and thanks to the industry’s obsession with androgyny, ladies are wearing the footwear once reserved for cigar-puffing, scotch-swilling men in velvet jackets.

Sam Edelman offers haircalf variations that feel both decadent and practical, as well as a houndstooth version that’s funky, yet appropriately preppy. Steven by Steve Madden got in the game with leopard print—best worn with a white Equipment button-down and cuffed J Brand skinny jeans. And keep an eye out for Charles Philip, coming soon to Shopbop. He gives the classic silhouette a playful twist, using fun prints and unique fabrics.


Thursday, June 30th 2011

First Fashion: Memorable Shoes

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Like a princess in a fairytale, I spend my days sitting in a room full of boxes and boxes of shoes. At this point, it takes something truly special to catch my eye. These three spell-casters stood out as the fairest (and most unusual) of them all.

(1) Sam Edelman updates a classic smoking slipper shape in a toe-die-for haircalf. I don’t quite understand how I got through my life without these. Sam Edelman – Alvin Smoking Slipper Flats

(2) Language fails me in the face of these glitter-coated Badgley Mischka pumps. So sparkly. Badgley Mischka – Humbie Glitter Pumps

(3) These streamlined 7 For All Mankind flats were a new visual experience for me: burnout haircalf. Burnout crocodile-print haircalf. 7 For All Mankind – Addison Haircalf Flats


Tuesday, June 21st 2011

Colorful Soles: Bright Shoes

Forget my eyes—with me, my shoes are a much more accurate window to my soul. Though otherwise a little on the reserved side, there’s no footwear specimen too bright, bold, or bedazzled for my taste: the louder, the better. Fortunately, this puts me right in step with summer’s shoe trends.

While Havaianas and Soludos are a no-brainer, my fair-weather crushes are Diane von Furstenberg sandals in bright lemon and Missoni flats in a knit chevron pattern (that’s right: knit chevron shoes). Add to this a few pairs of Pour La Victoire and Michael Kors pumps, and I’ll have a perfect palette of eye-catching kicks appropriate for whatever the summer may bring.


Thursday, June 9th 2011

Living in Flat Sandals

Flat sandals by K. Jacques, Ash, and Pelle Moda.

Towering heels are a fashion staple (and surely always will be), but when summer cranks up the heat, I won’t be found in anything but flat sandals. Equally adept at navigating sandy beaches as they are at pounding the city pavement, a strappy sandal with an easy flat sole is pure practicality, and if chosen wisely, as stylish as any platform. Start your collection with a selection or two from Saint-Tropez-based K. Jacques. The French brand has been getting sandals exactly right since 1933. Then, add a little flash with Pelle Moda sandals (wear the pair pictured with cutoffs, a KAIN tee, and minimal jewelry), and round out the bunch with an earthy interpretation by Ash Shoes. The innovative beaded cuff on the sandal above is uniquely chic.


Monday, May 23rd 2011

Ask a Stylist: How to Wear Pointed-Toe Pumps

Pictured: ADAM blouse and skirt, Vanessa Mooney necklace, and Edmundo Castillo pumps.

While some shoe styles are no-brainers (think ballet flats and casual sandals), others require a little more panache to pull off. An example? Pointed-toe pumps. Figuring I needed expert advice on how to style them, I asked Shopbop Stylist Loni for her expert tips.

Tonya: My feet aren’t tiny to begin with. How can I wear pointed-toe shoes without making them look bigger?
Loni: Take advantage of all the cute flares out there this season, and let the pointed-toe shoe be a peek-a-boo accent instead of on full display. Another thing to look for is a pair with a short toe box–Giuseppe Zanotti pumps tend to have them. Also, the higher the heel, the shorter the shoe looks!

T: To me, pointed-toe pumps feel a little vintage-y. How can I make them more modern?
L: There are so many fun pairs out there that feel contemporary and very now. Try my fave of the season: the pointed-toe wedge! Jean-Michel Cazabat makes great ones. Otherwise, fun colors, textures, and metallics can make them feel updated too. Also, you can wear a pair with an unexpected outfit. Stay away from business gear and toss them in with cutoffs and a cute blazer, or try a feminine flirty dress that shows some leg.

T: Will you be wearing pointed-toe shoes this season? How will you style them?
L: Heck yes! As I mentioned before, flares are a fave pairing for pointed-toe shoes. I'll be sporting mine with my red ADAM bells and Alice + Olivia flares. Cutoff shorts from J Brand are just begging for a casual pointed-toe heel or wedge. Tone down the sexy factor with a blousy peasant top and layered necklaces. Of course, a pointed-toe shoe always looks so smart with something modern and crisp. Try them with the Helmut Lang jacquard blazer and shorts, with your hair in a low, center-parted ponytail, and clean and minimal accessories.

Wednesday, May 18th 2011

The New Oxford: A Fresh Spin on the Menswear Favorite

Editors started stepping out in them, then Alexa Chung was spotted in a pair or two, and before we knew it, menswear-inspired oxfords were pounding the pavement from LA to Australia, New York to Beijing, high end to high street. And, as trends tend to go, once ubiquitous, the magic began to wane, but designers are bringing it back with unique takes on the classic silhouette.

This season, Madewell and F-TROUPE did two-tone versions that are just unusual enough to feel fresh, and Tibi kept the silhouette the same but gave it a little spice with wild prints like Dalmatian and snake. But my personal favorites are in the cutout family: Opening Ceremony took a futuristic turn with elastic bands, while Jean-Michel Cazabat homed in on that French je ne sais quoi with elegant curlicues.

I’ll be wearing mine with full-skirted shirtdresses and Ray-Ban sunglasses this summer. How about you?


Friday, May 6th 2011

First Fashion: Standout Sandals

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Toe rings, ankle wraps, and sky-high wedges: this is a season of stellar sandals, and I’m giving myself a carte blanche to do something immoderate. Don’t be surprised if you see me wearing all three of these strappy stunners in the near future. (Though not at the same time, of course—even I have some restraint.)

(1) With their old-world craftsmanship and on-trend styles, Pedro Garcia shoes are investment pieces to cherish for seasons to come. Pedro Garcia - Teri Wedge Sandals

(2) The refined essence of a Riviera summer, these Diane von Furstenberg sandals are my favorite flats of the season. Diane von Furstenberg - Kaiti Thong Flat Sandals

(3) High-contrast straps and a wondrously high heel give these Tory Burch espadrilles an urban air. Tory Burch - Contrast Elastic Wedge Espadrilles


Thursday, April 28th 2011

Raffia Sandals: A Love Story

Before I found a pair of vintage Ferragamo spectator pumps on a lonely thrift store shelf, I had interacted with shoes in a purely functional way—I had utilitarian ballet flats, a handful of flat sandals, and a pair of Hunter boots for those days when nothing else would do.

Those gateway pumps changed the entire lay of the land, and now I’m in the grips of a shoe obsession. As luck would have it, one of spring’s most notable footwear trends, the raffia sandal, harkens back to my first great shoe love. Along with his other genius invention, the wedge heel, Ferragamo was the first to create high-fashion shoes from raffia during a leather shortage in World War II. While raffia had been used on utilitarian espadrilles, Ferragamo was the first to use the rough-and-ready material on delicate heels and feminine sandals.

I know you didn’t ask, but let’s pretend you did: which ones are my favorites? There’s a ravishing pair of Sam Edelman pumps with an oh-so vintage Navajo print that stole my heart, and, as always, all Diane von Furstenberg sandals and Jean-Michel Cazabat heels are to me as Kryptonite is to Superman.


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