The Magic of Easter Shoes

Posted: April 18th, 2014 by Paula

Paula Mangin easter 1960's

Me + my brother Brad, in front of our house in Hayward, California. Note the shiny new Mary Janes!

While I cannot deny my undying love of See’s butter-cream easter eggs and Peeps, my favorite part of Easter, as a little girl, was the new pair of Easter shoes I got to pick out.

Cottontal Twinkle Heels, Modcloth.

Cottontail Twinkle Heels, Modcloth.

They were usually very shiny, very girly, very mary-janed, sporting a little heel. I loved the click- click sound they made on the sidewalk while we hunted for eggs, and how grown-up and stylish they made me feel. Those Easter shoes made everything better, even the long ride home from my cousins’ across the San Mateo Bridge, no matter how car-sick or full of candy I was.

Simone Rocha shoes, available at Susan.

Simone Rocha shoes, available at Susan.

And so it was with this spirit of Easter that I found myself at Susan, hunting for Easter Shoes, and practically tripping over the flowered Simone Rocha Mary-Janes with the clear perspex platform heel. They were perfect.

There is no way to rationalize this purchase. They don’t go with anything yet they go with everything. They look clunky and odd off the foot, but on it, well, they were like a way-back machine, transporting me back to the ’60s and that rush I felt trying on Easter Shoes with my mom.

Jeffrey Campbell "Easter" shoes. In case of emergency, break wedge and eat the Peeps!

Jeffrey Campbell “Easter” shoes. In case of emergency, break wedge and eat the Peeps!

I will wear them with glee come Easter Sunday, to my cousins’ for Easter Brunch, and on to Fremont for Easter Dinner, and I’ll look at them and feel like a little girl again, all fancy and grown-up.

Whatever you’re wearing or doing this weekend, take the time to remember what it felt like to find the big pink egg hiding under the bush, or to bite the ear off the chocolate bunny, or to pluck blades of plastic basket grass from your hair, or that magical feeling of slipping into brand-new shoes and how wonderful they made you feel.

Happy Easter from Blank Stare, Blink.

Kinky Feet

Posted: April 16th, 2014 by Jennifer

Black & White shoes, blankstareblink.com

I felt the happiness from 3,000 miles away. The joy buzzing off the front page of the New York Times. The words heralding the end of Winter. A long, hard and brutal three plus months that had more than a few die-hard East Coasters jumping ship and hitching a ride to the sunny shores of the West.

Wherever you call home, feet from coast-to-coast will be traveling sockless and sweating through the coming months in all sorts of foot ornamentation.  No matter your shoe (or slide) of choice, instead of frostbite, your feet will now be contending with blister making conditions.

Rising temperatures can be an aphrodisiac of sorts. How about getting freaky with your feet and lubing them up? I recommend a foot glide that promises no more unsightly and aching blisters that come between the shoes you love and the feet you should love even more.

Foot Glide, blankstareblink.com

Wishing you a beautiful spring with pretty toes and excellent footwear.

Foot Glide available here.

Go Backless

Posted: April 14th, 2014 by Paula

Shag some slides: my collection: Birkenstocks, Celine Furkenstocks, Chicco Ruiz fur, Senso Igloo, Adidas soccer slides, Dr. Scholl's.

Shag some slides: my collection: Birkenstocks, Celine Furkenstocks, Chicco Ruiz fur, Senso Igloo, Adidas soccer slides, Dr. Scholl’s.

It’s been almost eight months since I moved from the heart of San Francisco into it’s soul, and it’s finally feeling like home. I’m not looking back.

Jslow and I both made big moves last year: hers much more dramatic, as she crossed the country, with kids, from her Brooklyn brownstone to land in a sleek Mid-Century pad tucked high in the hills of Pacific Palisades. My move, mild in comparison, took me from Nob Hill to Golden Gate Heights, a neighborhood so un-trendy no one has ever heard of it, least of all the techies and tourists I fled.

I panicked at first. Suffered huge buyers’ remorse and depression. I felt isolated, overwhelmed, under financial pressure, confused as to why I was so unhappy and uncomfortable when anyone asked how I liked the new house because I couldn’t fake “I love it!” Worst of all, I felt like a stranger in my home because I was.

No longer.

I’m sliding into home, and that makes me incredibly happy. I’m going backless, not back. I don’t want to buckle you, fasten you, tie you, strap you or struggle in anyway to get you on my foot. I’m done struggling for now. Hooray!

Oh, and one of my favorite things about slides becoming the big spring sandal? Fewer flip-flops slapping the streets of San Francisco. Now that’s a good move.

Slide sandals blankstareblink1:  MSGM slides, Shoescribe.com. 2: Birkenstock “Arizona”, Birkenstock.com. 3: Rick Owens slides, Shoescribe.com. 4: Adidas mi-adilette custom slides, Adidas.com. 5: Chloe slides, Shoescribe.com. 6: Asos Fracture slides, Asos.com. 7: No 21 lace slides, Farfetch.com. 8: Isabel Marant Holden slides, Forwardforward.com.

Consciously Uncoupling From Pleats

Posted: April 11th, 2014 by Jennifer

My daughter has had a life-long habit of getting the names of things wrong. I love this little quirk of hers and often don’t correct the inaccuracies because I find them so damn cute. Gloves, for much of her life, have been called Glubs. Alcohol, as in the rubbing, is Unclehal. And divorce: Divorshun.

Since Gwyneth Patrol tried to elevate divorce into a breezy lifestyle choice by publicly announcing her “Consciously Uncoupling” on Goop a few weeks back, I’ve thought more about my daughter’s use of her own word to describe breaking-up. Divorshun. Isn’t divorce shunning your spouse or shunning your marriage? Isn’t that more accurate than Conscious Uncoupling? Or maybe it’s just that Divorshun is so much more honest and palatable than Gwyneth’s version of things.

What’s not palatable anymore is my continued attempts at trying to make things work between my short-waisted, fatty midsection and pleats. I’m filing for a divorshun immediately. I’m shunning extra fabric from my stomach and out of my closet forever!

For any gal lucky enough to have a healthy relationship with a long torso and lean waistline and can afford added volume, may I make a suggestion of a beautiful union? I hope you have a lifetime of happiness together!

pleated skirts, blankstareblink.com

1. Maison Rabih Kayrouz @ farfetch.com, 2. Maxmara @ matchesfashion.com, 3. J.W. Anderson @ matchesfashion.com, 4. Tibi @ netaporter.com, 5. ACNE @ thecorner.com, J.W. Anderson @ thecorner.com

Frankie Says Relax

Posted: April 9th, 2014 by Jennifer

why be normal, blankstareblink.comLast week I had a full-on normcore vacation…skiing. Instead of my usual packing anxiety, I felt relief in knowing for 5-days straight I’d be wearing the same indescribable all-black Burton ensemble of helmet, goggles, parka and pants from 9 till 4.

Completely faceless, nameless and ignored while on the mountain.

I was so into not thinking about what I was going to wear, that I packed just two aprés outfits to relax in. An all-grey jean/sweater/fur/boot combo. And of course, the prerequisite all black jean/sweater/fur/boot combo. I’ve never packed lighter in my life and my husband kept asking, “Why is my bag so much heavier than yours?”

I barely left the house after being on the mountain, opting instead to stay inside, take late-afternoon naps still in my thermal underwear, too tired and worn out to even peel them off before nodding off. I devoured You Before Me and drank copious amounts of hot chocolate.

I enjoyed my normcore vacation, but I’ve never been normal even clad in normcore ski-wear. Paula’s post reminded me of that 1980′s denim jacket staple — remember the Why Be Normal button? The motto still applies…to me anyway. Available on ebay or on your trip down memory lane. Make sure to get off at the ’80s.

1980's buttons, blankstareblink.com

Suffering Style Exhaustion? Try “Normcore”

Posted: April 7th, 2014 by Paula

Jslow, going "Normcore" a few Halloweens' back. Always the trend setter!

Jslow, going “Normcore” a few Halloweens’ back. Always the trend-setter!

Talk about waving the white flag in the face of fashion.

A new term has been coined, “Normcore,” that describes a supposed fashion movement away from labels and trends, towards the lack of labels and embrace of the nondescript . From the New York Times:

Normcore (noun) 1. A fashion movement, c. 2014, in which scruffy young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire. (See Jeans, mom. Sneakers, white.)

2. A sociocultural concept, c. 2013, having nothing to do with fashion, that concerns hipster types learning to get over themselves, sometimes even enough to enjoy mainstream pleasures like football along with the rest of the crowd.

3. An Internet meme that turned into a massive in-joke that the news media keeps falling for.

Seinfeld, a show about nothing, style by Normcore.

Seinfeld, a show about nothing, style by Normcore.

The Times article continues, “As envisioned by its creators, “normcore” was not a fashion trend, but a broader sociological attitude. The basic idea is that young alternative types had devoted so much energy to trying to define themselves as individuals, through ever-quirkier style flourishes like handlebar mustaches or esoteric pursuits like artisanal pickling, that they had lost the joy of belonging that comes with being part of the group. Normcore was about dropping the pretense and learning to throw themselves into, without detachment, whatever subcultures or activities they stumbled into, even if they were mainstream.”

I get the liberation that comes from throwing your hands in the air and saying, “screw- it, I just don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m too tired and too poor to stress and spend my way to cool”.

Yet, for me, the opposite is true: Normal scares the crap out of me.

I have spent a life running away from normal. I grew up in the most normal places of all, Fremont, California, in a normal suburban tract house, raised by pretty normal parents with normal professions (teachers) and normal values. Yet I never felt normal, never felt I fit in. I guess it’s no surprise that the idea of joining a college sorority was a no-fly zone. Sports bars and flash-mobs, same thing.

Wearing normal clothes from normal department stores has always made me uncomfortable; As a teen I’d chop my sleeves and ric-rac my hems, and scour thrift stores for vintage pieces no one had. I still do all of this, sans ric-rac. Jslow always laughs when I try something on — something perfect, tailored, clean — and all I can think of is what to cut and where to rip.

So sorry Normcore, I’m not buying what you’re selling.

I’m not normal, don’t want to be normal, want to flee normal.

Who’s with me?

Denture Adventures, Part Two

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 by Paula

"Apex Predator" shoe by fantich&young

“Apex Predator” shoe by fantich&young

After reading Monday’s post about my dream/nightmare of lost teeth, loyal and lovely Blank Stare, Blink reader and friend, Andrea, was kind enough to send us the above photo of shoes somebody (uh, many bodies) sunk their teeth into.

Creepier angle.

Creepier angle.

They are the work of Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young of fantich&young, East London-based artists who subvert Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution into what they call “Darwinian voodoo.”

They create these works of art by affixing dentures to Savile Row (men’s) and Jimmy Choo (women’s) shoes. They even make them for little boys (brogues) and girls (bright red Mary Janes). Sartorial fun for the whole family! Some sport a gold tooth for more street cred.

Most may find them scary. In fact, these images may provoke more nightmares then dreams. Talk about a legit version of “creepers.”

fantich & young tooth mary janes

But me? I think they’re pretty sweet. I do have to ask these questions:

1) If you step on candy, will the shoe get a cavity?

2) If you chip a tooth, will your foot hurt?

3) After years of wear, will braces be available?

fantich & young tooth pumps

They note that “price is on request.” Dare I?

I think I’ll sleep on it.

Thanks again, Andrea!

And Stacy, I hope you don’t fall off any dream-cloud cliffs before we delve into the meaning of that. xo

 

Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young are East London based artists and have been working together as Fantich and Young – See more at: http://fantichandyoung.co.uk/about/#sthash.MDs3GzIQ.dpuf

Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young are East London based artists and have been working together as Fantich and Young since 2008.

Fantich and Young create art that subverts Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with elements of supernatural ceremonial ritual. The concepts of nature and super-nature are explored in the work . Fantich and Young view this process as Darwinian Voodoo.

- See more at: http://fantichandyoung.co.uk/about/#sthash.MDs3GzIQ.dpuf

Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young are East London based artists and have been working together as Fantich and Young since 2008.

Fantich and Young create art that subverts Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with elements of supernatural ceremonial ritual. The concepts of nature and super-nature are explored in the work . Fantich and Young view this process as Darwinian Voodoo.

- See more at: http://fantichandyoung.co.uk/about/#sthash.MDs3GzIQ.dpuf

Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young are East London based artists and have been working together as Fantich and Young since 2008.

Fantich and Young create art that subverts Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with elements of supernatural ceremonial ritual. The concepts of nature and super-nature are explored in the work . Fantich and Young view this process as Darwinian Voodoo.

- See more at: http://fantichandyoung.co.uk/about/#sthash.MDs3GzIQ.dpuf

Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young are East London based artists and have been working together as Fantich and Young since 2008.

Fantich and Young create art that subverts Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with elements of supernatural ceremonial ritual. The concepts of nature and super-nature are explored in the work . Fantich and Young view this process as Darwinian Voodoo.

- See more at: http://fantichandyoung.co.uk/about/#sthash.MDs3GzIQ.dpuf

Denture Adventures

Posted: March 31st, 2014 by Paula

Diane Wednesday Denture-Print Pullover, H. Lorenzo.com. Did viewing this last night before bed spark the nightmare?

Diane Wednesday Denture-Print Pullover, H. Lorenzo.com. Did viewing this last night before bed spark the nightmare?

Last night I had one of those dreams, or nightmares, that a lot of my friends seem to have, and it goes something like this:

I wake up with a pile of teeth on my pillow.

My teeth.

Last night’s was the same theme, different story:

I wake up, and pull out my lower Invisalign retainer, only my teeth are attached to it. And then I go to pull out my top retainer, and more teeth and debris come tumbling out. To make matters more maddening, this is taking place on vacation somewhere surreal in those lands that only exist in dream clouds, where thick persistent fog makes it hard to see, and sidewalks spin like treadmills making forward motion impossible. Meanwhile, my mouth has no teeth, I am freaking out and need a dentist STAT.

Dreams have been analyzed to death. I had always assumed this particular dream was about the fear of aging, which makes sense to me. But just to be sure, I Googled “Dreams about losing teeth” and found thousands of sites that posit theories on what this dream means, with “aging” being but one of the reasons. Here is a partial list of what the “teeth falling out” dream could stem from, in no particular order:

• Fear of loss

• Depression

• Lack of control or power over life’s circumstances

• Anxiety

• Fear of embarrassment

• Letting things slip out of your mouth that shouldn’t — like gossip (this one courtesy of Dr. Oz)

• Telling lies (from the Chinese)

• Money worries (based on the tooth-fairy story — if you lose a tooth and leave it under your pillow, the tooth fairy brings you money)

• Failing to really dig into or “bite” into an issue with spouse, co-worker, friend, family-member

This list is not helping.

I woke up from the dream and shoved my hand in my mouth to make sure my choppers were safe and sound. I also patted my head to make sure my hair hadn’t fallen out. I’m sure that dream is next. Meanwhile, I’m going to wear my latest “teeth” dream on my sleeve, around my neck, on my feet…..

Tooth apparel

 

1: Oscar De La Renta houndstooth jacket, Matchesfashion.com. 2: Mimi Et Toi tooth necklace, Farfetch.com. 3: Venessa Arizaga Sharky enamel necklace, Liberty.co.uk. 4: Larissa Hadjio teeth bag, Not Just a label.com. 5: Saint Laurent Blood Luster sneakers, Neiman Marcus.com.

Got My Spikes For Opening Day

Posted: March 28th, 2014 by Paula

me in barneys

Me, in Barneys, snapping the Saint Laurent shoes I took home. It was love at first sight and I know we will be very happy together.

While Jslow chose pearls, I went spikes.

Nothing beats the excitement I feel when I set foot on the softly carpeted floor of a shoe department in one of my favorite stores. I imagine it’s a bit like how Buster Posey feels squatting behind home-plate on opening day.

This elation breaks down something like this:

First, my gut fills with butterflies. Yes, just like those first date/first love/first anything insects.

Second, my heart beats ten-times faster, and I can feel it racing from beneath my wife beater.

saint laurant shoes

My new Saint Laurent spikes. I scored!

Third, my body temperature rises 30 degrees which is why I always shop sans sleeves to avoid excess sweat.

Forth, my IQ drops 80 points and I lose all sense of perspective, reality, and time. I have the metallic Comme Des Garcons clown shoes to prove it.

Fifth, my blood alcohol level rises past that dreaded .08% line even though I am sober. I feel drunk with shopping power!

Sixth, my strength and reaction times triple — I can lunge across the Chanel display at warp speed, cradle dozens of shoes in my arms, and leap tall mannequins in a single bound to grab the toe of that Balenciaga boot dangling from that foot in the sky.

Anyway.

Quick sketch post shoe detour. Pink shoes elevate her simple jeans and T.

Quick sketch post shoe detour. Pink shoes elevate her simple jeans and T.

Jslow wrote about how “friendships trump shoes”, and she’s right; my purchase was made all the more sweet as I bought them on my way to meet my new friend Silvio in Union Square for an afternoon of sketching.

As I detoured through Barneys and ascended those stairs, I started to hyperventilate and experience the six stages of shoe-mania listed above, and came back down to earth with my new pair of Saint Laurent spiked ankle-strap kitten-heel pumps. I love them.

Silvo lounging at Crate & Barrel with his Freitag Bag full of pads and pens.

Silvo lounging at Crate & Barrel with his Freitag Bag full of pads and pens.

I know that when I’m high on shopping I’ve made many bad purchases I’ve regretted – we all do stupid things and have taken home stupid men while high on anything, but when it’s right, you just know it. And you’ll have them forever. And these shoes will always commemorate my first afternoon of sketching with Silvo, someone I hope to keep around forever, too.

Go Giants.

Check Please!

Posted: March 26th, 2014 by Jennifer

pearls and spikes, blankstareblink.com

I’m just guessing here, but I equate the ladies shoe department in department stores to the wine list in fine restaurants. It’s where the money is made.

Buying shoes is as easy as ordering a glass of Prosecco and just as delicious. The last several years has seen a boon of new designers and interesting concepts in how one can adorn the foot. Besides being a sunglasses junkie I have a serious, god-help-me, footwear fetish.

I spiral quickly out of control  feeling the panic of “I-need, I-want, I-have-to-have” amongst the leather, studs, stilettos and ankle straps that are beautifully displayed and whispering “buy me” on the sales floor. I broke out into a sweat just yesterday inside Neiman’s with my Brooklyn friend, Hillary.

hillary, blankstareblink.com

After fueling ourselves at Farmshop, Hillary was in pursuit of jeans; Me, of pearls. Hillary is the wiser one finding her perfect pair at the gap for $35. She bargain shopped at Zara, J. Crew, Madewell and Guess. I, on the other hand headed straight for Chanel. No bargain there and swooned over the above pearl festooned platforms. And just-like-that got distracted with Giuseppe Zanotti’s spiked kitten heels.

Nothing says Gemini like pearls and spikes. Wish I could pick a side and stick to it. It sure would save me a lot of money.

What’s worth every penny however, is spending the day with a friend. We all get caught up in our day-to-day work grind, but it’s essential to cherish the ones we love and take the time to reconnect. Friendship trumps shoes any day.