High heeled shoes are part of our universe as women and reveal a bit about who we are, what we are and how we see ourselves. But above all, they strike the right chord when it comes to our femininity. I invite you to discover the contents of this site. Browse through the pages and have access to our workshops, special events, tips and exercises, videos and articles. Soon you’ll want to free from the closet those unique shoes you never dared to wear in public and will be ready to reveal the true nature of the woman who lies dormant within.
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by JENNIFER FLYNN
Jeffrey Campbell, Alexander McQueen, Annejet Kosters… these are the names that come to mind because of their creative, outer-worldly vision when it comes to shoe designs. They have a certain flare and we revere their strange, wearable art. Some of us might even want a pair. Why not? We have the confidence to pull them off, the insane wardrobe to match, and the friends who will think they’re cool, too.
So we order them, and wait for them to arrive with great impatience and apprehension. We think about them daily, already have the outfits lined up for them… and then when we finally get these wacky shoes, try them on stand in front of the mirror with a big smile and strike our model poses, the thought finally strikes:
“When am I going to wear them?”
That’s the trouble with statement shoes. They are clearly not practical, and most of us don’t have haute-couture events to attend. The workplace, outings with friends and family events don’t usually provide us with the environments that suit the shoes. They’re not that comfortable to wear as house slippers either. Why did we buy these shoes?
Right before you decide to sell them back on eBay, or build a shelf to place them on and stare at whimsically for all eternity, here’s a few ways you can wear them without feeling (too) weird:
-If you’re going to wear them to work, try to tone them down: under slacks or coloured capris gives a laid-back feel, while a knee-length skirt with a blazer will give you a professional look with an edge.
-Out with friends gives more room to be adventurous. Wear your high-fashion heels with tights and an oversized blouse, or a girly dress and biker jacket (a la Cindy Lauper),
-This would be a good time to colour block: if you’re wearing shiny, studded, colourful kicks, then try to remain neutral at the top, or match the colours. Being too flashy may not work in the best interest of your shoes. Like with make-up, the rule of thumb here is to bring out the best features and not create too many distractions.
-Plan opportunities and outings where you can wear them and feel part of the in-crowd! Underground scenes, fashion shows and raves are some of the places where wearing your stacked boots will be part of the uniform (and it’s mandatory to dress to impress!)
Accept that these are extraordinary shoes, and so if you wear them, you will be gawked at, wondered about, and probably see a few raised eyebrows. The key to these shoes is to wear them and make them look natural: learn to walk in them, make them look easy to wear and learn to take in the strange glances. Life can be a costume party once in a while.
by JENNIFER FLYNN
Maybe it’s a personal pet peeve or mine (I secretly hope others feel the same way), but what I find irksome is when men don’t wear the right shoes. When I see an attractive man, one of the first things I do is look down—at their feet. More often than not, I find myself disappointed. They can dress well, they clearly know how to choose their clothes, but shoes are often overlooked. They opt for training/running shoes that are designed to do sports and exercise (and run, hence running shoes) instead of wearing something that will complement and complete an outfit. There are such a variety of shoes for men these days; new trends are emerging faster than ever (yes! Men’s fashion IS evolving!), so why are men not catching on?
I intend to change that, even just a little bit, by giving some ideas of the options out there. I promise the shoes are equally comfortable as they are stylish. And ladies: Please tell your men to look this over; it’s a step in the right direction, guaranteed! Of course, you can always shop for him!
A great option is the loafer or slip-on. It doesn’t need to be dressy, or leather, or black. It’s not something that you would wear to a wedding (please don’t). But there are lots of great styles that range from more relaxed to fancy. It’s a versatile shoe style that serves many purposes—the more you own, the better!
The newest trend is the nautical style loafer, which comes in a variety of colours (to spruce and lighten up your look), as well as in a variety of materials (from leather to canvas). These are the ultimate summer slip-ons, perfect for the beach or even with a nice pair of dress pants and polo for an evening on a terrasse.
Toms are also a very simple option that gives an air of laissez-faire as well as man-chicness. If he has a creative flare, he can even draw on his Toms and make them unique: an eccentric and fun canvas for his artwork!
Another great casual option is the classical high top Converse (Chuck Taylors). Like Toms, Converse has a huge selection of colours and even designs. You can even get your favorite super hero on your Converse (for the comic book nerd in you). There is even a low-top Converse if you’re not into the high-top rebel look. Converse styles are constantly changing, so look around before purchasing a pair. It’s great to have a selection but having a set that will pair with all your outfits makes your life simpler (a man’s life motto!). Custom designing on Converse is also a big trend right now, and would make a great gift! Any choice you make will look great with jeans and shorts, regular tees. It’s a no-fuss shoe option.
A great pair of shoes doesn’t need to be a huge investment or a statement piece; they just need to tie everything together to bring out that level of class and fashion sense. If you’re going for a casual outfit, then don’t take out the black dress shoes. And color is not emasculating! Colours are a means to add your personal, special touch to whatever you wear, and are fun to play around with throughout the year.
by JENNIFER FLYNN
Sandals are popping up everywhere and the trend is clear: the more colorful, the better.
The ever-popular gladiator is still strong, and high wedges in wood and straw are making a comeback, having been the less sought-after choice over the last few years. We’re also seeing a new hybrid ballerina-sandal that is sure to be a big hit. They’re extremely comfortable, can be worn for long periods of time without any stress, and can be girly or beach-appropriate (and very appealing to those who are not too fond of their toes!)
There’s a myriad of summer fun to be had, and the right sandal to accompany.
Are you the kind of person to spend all her time outdoors, walking, biking, mountain climbing? If you’re an outdoorsy type, then a good sandal would be closed, with a good arch support. A very flat flip-flop will not only superficially damage your feet but will also lead to stiff calves and knees. Do you plan on traveling a lot during the summer?
A comfortable pair of sandals is a must, but they should also be portable and easy to store in luggage or bring with you in a small tote during your touring. A terrasse, a 5 a 7, a night clubbing—sandals for these fun times are easy to find: go crazy! A flashy gladiator heel will spruce up your go-to flouncy and fun summer dress.
Just remember to keep your feet comfortable and able to breathe! Sandals made of plastics can suffocate, especially in humid weather and heat waves. Leather or material is preferable!
by JENNIFER FLYNN
Something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue… and a silver sixpence in her shoe!
The bride is a vision of purity, glamour, and utter happiness. The moment she walks in, you are in awe of her: the smile on her face, the love in her eyes, the gorgeous wedding dress that is perfect for her (and perfectly her, made with her in mind!) The guests will not always see the shoes beneath the dress, but when they do, they must make a statement, and bring everything together, as a good pair of shoes do.
What you may not realize until much later in the day is that the bride may be experiencing some discomfort because of her shoes. She’ll walk slower, limp, or the dress will fall awkwardly, as she removes her shoes and the height that the shoes provided is lost. This is a reality that most brides face the day of their wedding, and may not always consider when purchasing their shoes.
A message to soon-to-be brides: You want to enjoy your wedding day and reception without being distracted by how your shoes are hurting your feet. Just imagine dancing with your husband all night! When you go for your next dress fitting, you’ll have to wear your wedding shoes to get the right measurement for the hem. This is a terrible time to realize that your shoes are too tight, or loose, or just all around uncomfortable.
Here’s a short list of helpful tips that will avoid you getting cold (and aching) feet on your wedding day:
*Thinking of tall heels? Considering buying a pair with a thick platform at the front, giving your foot more support and putting less stress on the toes, especially if your heel or stiletto exceeds 5 inches (A beautiful Swarovski element inspired heel from L.A based shoe company love a huge hit at the New York Bridal Fashion week: 295$ sold exclusively at Galleria Della Sposa 7060 blvd. St.Laurent)
*Maybe heels aren’t your thing: you’ll be on long, romantic strolls through the city taking pictures with your love, walking through grass, on gravelly paths, maybe even in small streams! Wedges and platforms are always a wonderfully comfortable and practical alternative and just as classy as the heel. Your foot remains balanced and still provides height, while keeping leveled instead of sinking into unstable grounds.
*Strappy heels are the go-to bridal shoe because of their elegance and simplicity. It gives the bride a Cinderella feel, and are virtually weightless—but beware: after extensive wear, the straps can cut into your foot and make circulation difficult, which will result in coldness, numbness and aches. The strap is also not necessarily the best for ankle support.
Grandma’s tip: wear nylon knee-highs to avoid direct contact between the straps and your foot to lessen the irritation and pressure (this can be a sexy touch with a great bridal garter set)
Modern day tip: buy strappy shoes with thicker straps, as they aren’t as prone to digging into your feet and provide more stability across the top of the foot. (Alvara at Aldo shoes 90$)
*Peep toes often tend to let the foot slip into the hole as the day goes on. This will cause your heel to pop as you walk and the dress to be caught in your shoe. If you intend on wearing peep toes, consider these two tips:
~Wear a peep toe that does not have too high a heel. This will alleviate some of the pressure put into the balls of your feet, and prevent too much slipping.
~Put in a gel insole at ballpoint of your shoes. This will also avoid too much slipping and also cushion your feet from the direct pressure of your shoe on the floor.
*A bootie? Yes, why not! You are guaranteed the best in foot and ankle support, and underneath your dress, these cutesy booties will be a fun touch! They can be lace detailed, sheer or opaque, patent leather, or elegant Victorian styled: this is the definite upcoming trend in bridal shoe wear and provides comfort as well as an edgy fashion statement (Sarafina Mary Kyri wedding bootie http://www.mary-kyri.com/)
*No matter what shoe you choose, bring your dancing shoes: always keep a pair of flats or wore-in, reliable heels with you. The colour does not matter, just as long as they are your most comfortable pair of shoes.
By JENNIFER FLYNN
Spring and summer are getting closer, and to get the most out of those long, balmy days, why not show off your summer bliss with the freshest colour pop off the runways: Yellow. The sizzling summer fever has hit the S/S 2013 runway season in a big way: full ensembles in citron shades, metallic shades, and small bursts, proving yellow is now more versatile than ever.
This year’s trends are following much of the vibrancy of last year, with colour blocking and era-inspired baroque and lace patterns stepping up for the Spring and Summer fashion season—making yellow that go-to colour for a bit of modern flare.
Yellow can be an overpowering colour to wear, but there are always ways to bring in that zest into any wardrobe, and the easiest way is by hooking up with a pair of sandals or open-toe pumps, wedges or slippers. Because the colour is so strong, it could make feet look bigger or wider than they are. Wearing shoes that show a little bit of skin can prevent that illusion. The vast array of yellow shades will help you choose the right touch of lemony goodness, depending on your skin tone: lighter skins will benefit from wearing pastel yellows while darker or olive skin tones can wear bright, shocking yellows.
For the office, play a little sun-and-cloud with an olive or cobalt blue vest, another big hit from spring and summer’s colour wheel. For those passionate summer-lovers, yellow will spectacular: a metallic skirt or capris and a flowy blouse paired with super sunny wedges is just right for those late night parties, trendy galas and elegant dining.
My favourite look for yellow: a sexy peek-a-boo gladiator sandal through long summer dresses in deep blue or green; or a glittery yellow peep-toe for summer weddings!Images: Left, Giuseppe Zanotti wedge sandals, Right The Knotty Bride on Pinterest .
The high-heeled shoe, or a shoe whose heel is higher than the toe, is a matter of contentious and heated discussion. Shoes in general have typically served as markers of gender, class, race, and ethnicity–and both the foot and the shoe have been imbued with powerful phallic and fertility symbols as evidenced in the contemporary practice of tying shoes to a newlywed couple’s car. No other shoe, however, has gestured toward leisure, sexuality, and sophistication as much as the high-heeled shoe. Fraught with contradiction, heels paradoxically inhibit movement in order to increase it, at least in appearance. Standing in heels, a woman presents herself already half-walking while at the same time reducing the length of her step, fostering the illusion of speed while suggesting the promise of an imminent fall. The higher and more unstable the heel, the more clearly these contradictions are expressed (Kunzle 2004). Doctors and scholars alike have argued about the physical and cultural effect, both positive and negative, that heels have had not only on women, but on society as a whole.
Precursors to the High-Heeled Shoe
Most of the lower class in ancient Egypt walked barefoot, but figures on murals dating from 3500 B.C. depict an early version of shoes worn mostly by the higher classes. These were leather pieces held together with lacing that was often arranged to look like the symbol of “Ankh,” which represents life. But there are also some depictions of both upper-class males and females wearing heels, probably for ceremonial purposes. Egyptian butchers also wore heels, to help them walk above the blood of dead beasts. In ancient Greece and Rome, platform sandals called kothorni, later known as buskinsin the Renaissance, were shoes with high wood or cork soles that were popular particularly among actors who would wear shoes of different heights to indicated varying social status or importance of characters. In ancient Rome, sex trade was not illegal and female prostitutes were readily identified by their high heels (Wilson 2005). (more…)
The Art of wearing high heels, the secret of elegance is looking for an english editor…