Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

Shiny Indian Party Shoes/ Slippers April 19, 2012

Over the last year I have been attending a number of family functions. Across IndiaCalcutta, Delhi and Mumbai. Thats a lot of locations for a lot of family gatherings. These have ranged from full blown weddings to smaller-key dinners or festivals.
Now, while for a wedding it is mandatory to have a shiny slipper, or at least one that matches your ornaments (read red, gold or silver), for a family dinner or small festival like Rakhi, the footwear has to match your clothes. Which is to say, they have to be smart, a little shiny to respect that its an ocassion, but cant be over the top. In comparison it is easier to buy a pair of crystal studded footwear for the shaadi!

Wearing a plain sandal of course can be a recourse, but one that will put you on the lower rungs of family fashion. Especially in Punjabi families.

Here, I struck gold. And Im quite smug about it. I found a perfect pair of slip-ons while browsing through the shoe-shops of Colaba (Mumbai) with my poor tired husband. I liked them. He asked me if I needed them. (I vehemently nodded yes) He asked if we can sit somewhere and eat after that. (I vehemently nodded again) He bought them. Joy!

My Every Occasion Shiny Indian Slippers

The Heel

These slip ons have a small heel. THis is very important. A very high heel is invonvenient when you have to stand around for ages, or walk through roads that are less than perfect. The last thing that I want to do is stumble and fall, or be tired when it is my maiden visit to meet relatives. A flat shoe looks less than perfect, because then, somehow, the churidars look shorter, the saris look inelegant, and well… in general the look seems incomplete.
Thus enters short heels. This awesome slipper has a heel of an inch. Perfect!

Style of Shoe

This slipper is not just a slipper. A typical Indian slipper is backless, with the straps ending under the arch of the foot, and divided in front through the thumb and the rest of the fingers. Though a decent enough design, it is rather common, and tends to slip out as well. Also, the shoe glory ends with just the front bit of the shoe.
This particular slip on is more like a slingback. The back is elasticized, making it easy to slip it on while also ensuring the foot doesnt slip out. The design also, therefore extends for most of the shoe, except for the back of the ankle where the elastic resides.

Indian Slipper Shoe for Formal Evenings

The design

The shoe has a leather base, self embossed with flowers, so that when I take it off, it still looks pretty. The top of the shoe is decorated with sequins, beads and a large-ish crystal. The sequiins are a dull copper colour, and therefore even when they are ‘sequins’ they look understated. Especially in combination with the muted off-white beads. The crystal in the center is. in-silo, rather large. However, stuck between all those beads and crystal its kind of hidden, and adds that pop of ‘Look Im a party wear shoe!’ look to it. The whole look it ‘party’ but at the same time, the colours are versatile enough to be worn in any combination. This looks good with my green, blue, red and of course black clothes.
The toes remain fully uncovered in this shoe, and as a result this gives me ample opportunity to show off any nailpolish or toe-rings I might want to sport. With most of the foot visible, mehendi, if applied is also visible for display. Of course, since the ankle is free, wearing a payal is possible, though I havent yet worn it.

This shoe has also been of help in recent times for office wear. It is muted enough to be worn with staid, work-suitable ethnic wear, and often I wear it with my cchuridars to bring in an aspect of colour into otherwise dull surroundings.

Shiny Indian Slipper Shoe

In short,this is become my go-to footwear for any occasion which involves being a little dressed up, in ethnic wear.
I would suggest you go out and get something like this soon, I promise you it will remove the headache of wondering ‘which shoe will match this suit best’.

 

Ballet Shoes/ Slippers

Yesterday I promised a picture for each of my latest crushes for ballet shoes.

To start with, I had bought a pair of bright red ballet slippers back in 2010. This was after I went crazy in Rocia in Singapore. They had this special offer and the shoes were irresistible! However, when I left the country, I forgot them with my friend. She was so kind as to keep it with her, and when she visited me recently, she got me the pair back, in its original packing as well! How awesome is that?! So of course, I need to start wearing them asap before they become old news. They are still hot and I can imagine wearing them with skinny jeans or a nice skirt on weekends.

My Red Ballets

So this pair is a straighforward flat with a scoop out front peep-toe. And its truly flat. And its comfortable.  And its so simple it matches most things. The colour red is enough to make it interesting.

(If you have not heard of Rocia, it is pretty popular in South-East AsiaIndia and Singapore, Malaysia belt.)

The other par of ballet flats is one I bought recently, last week. It is a fun thing, and I had to choose the white colour. It of course doesnt match everything, but it is an amazing addition to my closet. I have worn it with my jeans throughout the weekend already. I love how the leather is cut into assymetric shapes which makes it a very interesting slip-on.

White cut-out ballet slippers

 

90s Shoe Fashion is Back! I want to Buy these Shoes April 18, 2012

These are Shoes Im lusting after. Right Now.

1. My red ballet flats that I had forgotten about since 2010. I had forgotten them with my freind. She only just reminded me of them rececntly by bringing them to me. They are soon to be out of fashion, but I still love them. I need to wear them asap!

I will upload their picture the moment I take them.

2. These so in-fashion cork-heeled platforms that I can picture myself wearing. I just need to find the

Platform heels of Corck that scream style

right shop and price. And hope that by then its not trending on the street too often. And buying them

from Aldo or Nine West or Charles&Keith in India are not in the question. At least, not

right now. I can almost see myself mentally hum “Baji Baji

Bumbo Chiki Chiki Chiki Chikita”! in them (Remember that song?) while I walk through the elite stores of Palladium, Lower Parel looking all chic and hep.

Sunshine yellow platform Trainers

Sunshine yellow platform Trainers

Trainers with Sparkles

Platform Trainers with Bike-chic look

3. I wanted them when I was in school. I want them now. I had forgotten about them till date, but now that they are back in fashion, I dont want to miss the bus. Like last time. I still remember trying out so many of them when I was but 16, but none of them were ‘right’ for me. This time round, I want to get that pair. I know they are waiting for me somewhere!

4. This pair of white cut-out ballet shoes that I just bought. I would have purchased another in bright yellow as well if I could! that would have looked to cool with a pink dress!

Again, a picture is due, and I will upload ’em soon enough!

My Indian Kolhapuri slippers and the Ethnic toe-ring

5. A pair of ‘slippers’ that I can just casually slip into when running errands. Something like

my old Kolhapuri slippers. Something I can wear with jeans, skirts, dresses alike. Maybe Ill just go get myself some nice Kolhapuris again. I lost the left foot of my trusty pair. I mean, ONE foot! And then the next one (pictured) finally gave up. And isnt that a really cool, really traditional toe ring Im wearing? I love to wear it and act all ‘married Indian good-girl’ type. In my mind.

Brown Brogues for Women

Lovely red Brogues!

6. And as a luxury item, a good pair of brogues. Preferably brown, with a cap toe. With hints of copper or steel on it. Tasteful, of course. You see I have it visualised perfectly in my mind. Now to find something like that in real life. In a “store nearby”, which has my size, (and) in my budget. Sadly, winter came and went. And brogues never caught on in Mumbai. Or even India as far as I saw. I wonder why. They are so useful for office and casual-chic. Ive always had a brogue-alike in my closet. Something I can pull on for the days I dont want to wear heels and still want to look smart for office. For days when I want to protect my heels from the elements while going out on weekends. And now, I need them. Slowly, I think they have moved up from the luxury item I classified them under, and are turning into a necessity.

Ah! Brogues for Women!!

So there you have it. a list of shoes I would LOVE to own, right now! And wear them. Let me see how soon I can fulfill this list!

 

Update: Clarks Shoes (Mumbai) Available Again! November 23, 2011

This weekend I was walking through one of the malls in Mumbai, and to my surprise, I saw a section devoted to Clark’s shoes! I have raved about their comfort earlier and I almost bought one. But then, I had recently bought something similar from Catwalk and resisted. Unfortunately, most of the designs were a tad old – unchanged since when I last saw them. Though I still liked their fit.

FlashbackI had loved shoes by Clarks. However, for whatever reason, their primary shop in Mumbai closed down and some other Clarks shops were perennially shuttered down. I lost hope of seeing them in Mumbai. Then, there was news that they will tie up with a well known retail brand for the Indian market. Then all was quiet. Then, I see this outlet!

On further inspection and questioning of the sales staff, I have news for you!

Clarks in India is now available through all Lifestyle department store retail outlets, in their shoe section (you cant see it online yet).This is a chain by the ‘Landmark’ group, the one that owns those awesome book stores, and not only the Future group as the press release mentioned . As I saw, they are also available at select Metro shoes outlets and some Central outlets. Hmm, Clarks has been doing a lot of homework behind the scenes!

What is consistent with their press release, is their intention to be present in the market in 2011. It is the end of 2011, but the year is as per plan.

The prices have come down since my last visit. What once used to cost INR 4,000 is now available for INR 1,999. A factor of the Lifestyle’s costing system? I care not! However, I don’t know what the cost of newer designs will be.

The (High Streeet Phoenix) Pheonix Mills, Lower Parel showroom is also apparently back, though at a different shop number. I have not yet physically checked it out. You can find out the store nearest to you across India using this store locator.

Which is also something I need to mention – Clarks finally has an Indian website. It was not there earlier. This, I hope is a tip towards their seriousness of being in this growing, shoe-hungry market. Yippee!

All I know is, Clarks is available once more, and I hope they bring in newer, better designs!

(psst – their website promises well – check out women’s designs here)

 

Shoes in News: Christian Louboutin & Jimmy Choo November 15, 2011

Shoes are headliners today in almost any fashion magazine or paper. While it has been important to know what shoes were matched with which dress, over the past few weeks, if you have been following CNN or The Independent (in other words the US and the UK fashion markets) it has become a little more shoe-centric than, say, a few months ago.

It all started with the Louboutin story.

A Fight over the Color, not Logo

A Louboutin Pump

If you dont know about the famous shoe brand on which Jennifer Lopez sang her famous ‘Louboutins‘ song from the album ‘Love?‘ –Im throwing on my Louboutins!‘, now is the time to read up. However, unfortunately for us, the video never got filmed – Christian Louboutin had stated that he was ‘flattered’ that JLo had sung a song with his shoe line in it, and had thought up amazing creations for the video, but – sigh – that never happened.

So, Louboutin’s are shoes, made by Christian Louboutin. Just like Manolo Blahnik‘s are. He started making shoes with the now-famous red soles. And every celebrity wears one at least once a month. They are just so easy to identify!Also, he hardly ever makes low-heels. The shoes are designer, high heels for evening affairs. A pair typically costs hundreds of dollars and have been seen on innumerable starry events, including on Carrie, on Sex and the City (yes, that is a qualifier).

YSL's 'red-all-over' Shoes

And then – YSL happened. They made a shoe range that was ‘red all over’, and raised red flags all over Louboutin’s workshops. So, Louboutin argues that they (Louboutin) have the patented red out-sole for all their shoes, and anyone making shoes with red out-soles infringes their right. The red out-sole is of the colour ‘Chinese red’, but they argue that any similar shade of red can be confused by consumers.

The million-dollar suit for “trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin” was filed in April 2011.

This is now a rather interesting case – can colour be trademarked?

Tiffany - Trademark Blue

Tiffany has now jumped into the game, and supported Louboutin. Why? Well, because Tiffany has trademarked their distinct ‘robin-egg blue’ and if Louboutin loses the case, (as they might, with YSL’s logic), Tiffany may stand to lose some day in the future!

So much for a simple shoe. Here, we have a legal battle between some of the biggest name sin high fashion over the color of the sole of a shoe!!

This will surely set the precedent for legal cases in years to come.

aad

aswdwa

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Jimmy Choo

On other Shoe-related BIG news, Jimmy Choo will be seeing some changes! After 15 long years heading the range, Tamara Mellonis resigning from Jimmy Choo. The other high-fashion foot accessory will now see new leadership and who knows? A new direction?

Tamara Mellon with her Choo's

I will let this brilliant article speak for me on The Independent.

 

Note: Links trackback to The Independent, The Economist and Forbes for their brilliant articles on these subjects; apart from Wikipedia
 

Reader Feature: Showcase your Shoes! November 11, 2011

Show me your Shoes

Show me your Shoes!

I know a lot of women out there (and a lot of men, too) who own lovely shoes. Though I love shoes, it is physically and financially impossible for me to own and store all varieties. It is also mentally impossible for me to know all varieties.

I invite you, reader, to now come forth and send me a picture or two of your favorite pair. And tell me a story of why it is your favorite. And I will put it up on this site!

Show Me Your Shoes!!

You can contact me by a comment on the blog (any post will do), and I will direct you to the email address where you can send your pictures and write up. If you have a blog, I will provide the link to it.

Your shoe-story can be about your latest purchase or your oldest hand-me-down pair. It can be about a solitary shoe, or a complete shoe closet. It just has to be about shoes and the shoes in your life!

I love a good story, and I just simply LOVE good shoes! So give me either, or give me both – and I will be more than happy to showcase you

The price does not matter, the make does not matter, the age does not matter. What matters is what matter the most to you – why you like that shoe!

What I will need (The Requisites):

1. A good picture of the shoe. It can be with you in it, it can be the shoe alone. It should be well lit so that the shoe can be seen clearly. The image should be of at least 4MP clarity (not too difficult in todays age). If you have multiple pictures, please highlight at least one picture. I will put up as many as I can, but not at the cost of the text.

You can also send me multiple shoes’ pictures. If you have a closet of shoes you want showcased, send me a picture of the complete shoe closet if you want.

2. A Story. Text of around 300 words or more centering around your photograph. I may or may not edit it a little

3. Your details. I am sure you as a person will be crucial to the reason the shoe/s are important! So please send me a two-liner about yourself, as well as the following details:

Preferred public name (will be displayed)
real name (for my records)
email address (let me know if you want it public, else it will be private)
age, gender, location (will be displayed) and
blog address or contact detail you would want to put up on this blog (if at all. Its ok if you don’t)

Anything additional is a bonus! This can be your own picture, your neighbours picture or your pet’s picture! To put up the additional information will be my discretion, based upon your sidenote/story on it!

It’s really that simple! So I will await your feedback, and perhaps make this a regular feature here?

NOTE: The postings will be ad-hoc as of now, and on first-come first-serve basis as far as possible. I have no prejudices, and will have no reason to reject an entry if it fulfills the requisites.

 

Makeup – Of Foundations and Lip Glosses November 9, 2011

It has been some time since I updated and I have Oh!! So much to write about. Shiny shoes fit for Indian weddings. Dull shoes fit for job interviews. Flat shoes for the daily trudge on the awful Indian roads.  Just so, so much! And of course, there are the zillion shoes that I bought and almost-bought.

But then, they will need pictures. And I am not carrying the pictures. And I don’t have time to get more pictures. So what I will do is, retrieve those pictures from my camera, and then write in details about my shoe spree.

Meanwhile, I have really experimented with some make-up stuff. Let me write about that. Afterall, if you like reading about shoes, I am sure you do apply some makeup sometime? Don’t you? And just these last few months I have made some small, but interesting purchases. I am going to break it up into two posts, else it will be just too long!

Foundation

MAC is pretty new in India. However, it has caught my fancy and of-late I needed a foundation. I must say the foundation–concealer of Mac is awesome. It’s long lasting and covers any slight blemishes that you may have. Of course, I am talking about Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation.  Just pop into one of the stores and ask the lady there to give you the perfect shade. I would advise going for a darker shade to look more natural once it is on, and then pat on some powder to make it set. Also, note that this is the liquid one I am talking of, and not the powder. The compact / powder one gives a matte finish but I preferred this to act as a slight concealer as well. And liquid foundations (IMO) spread better.

M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid FoundationThe only thing about this foundation I find a little inhibitory for regular use. It looks like I have some foundation on. Yes, that sounds weird, but that’s how it is. Perhaps this is because I am used to a sunscreen-loose powder look, but still. It makes my face look perfect (which is great) but also a little too perfect for every day. A little on the made-up side, if you can understand what I mean.

So, this purchase has resulted in my foundation count becoming – Three! Yes, I have three foundations. And once upon a time, I just had one, and then at another long point of time, none! Gee.

See, I am a little wary of anything sitting on my skin for more than a couple of hours. Being super sensitive to most products, I rather leave my skin breathe as far as possible. Use of foundation on a daily basis had aggravated my skin trouble and then I had completely stopped, making my skin return to its normal self. But then, for evenings out, for parties, for speakerships, for important work relating to senior customer meetings and for any such formal, important occasions I would still prefer to look a little more perfect than I am, not to mention professional. And hence I went looking for a foundation.

So, after a consultation with my dermatologist, I shortlisted on getting mineral based powder foundation. Rationale? I was using loose powder on a regular basis, and did not want anything that would clog my pores. A powder based foundation fitted the bill perfectly. So, after much deliberation and try-outs, I ended up with the L’Oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation (that’s a mouthful!)

To test out its suitability on my skin, I left it on for a whole evening before going and purchasing it the next day – to ensure I had no allergic reaction. And I did not.

The foundation is great. It’s not a great cover; it just provides a better finished look than a bare face – if you know what I am talking of. But for my requirements, it was perfect. I needed something light, leaving enough room for my skin to breathe, and looked natural enough for semi-regular wear without looking made-up. And I loved the packaging!

Only problem? In a humid environment, when I would tend to be out in the Mumbai monsoon, or heat, my skin would reject it. I get a little itchy and prefer to wash it off. Also, its not a great base for additional makeup. So, it’s a great wear in autumn/winter months, or for the time when I know I wont be exposed to external humid environment.

The brush is great, and its fun to apply it. If you don’t have a very sensitive skin like mine, you can definitely go for it for daily wear.

And then a few months ago I was traveling, and I needed a foundation – having forgotten mine at home. So I went for a Japanese brand I had not heard of. It was cheap(er), it looked good and I was somehow assured of the quality. And I have conveniently forgotten its name. I will put it up the moment I can. Promise.

So this foundation is packaged in a nice little bottle with the squirt top, covered in a lovely light green packaging – quite attractive. And then, the foundation. It is not as great as the Mac (which is the reason I got it) but it is definitely better than some other I have tried. It really stays on for a long time, and it is a good natural foundation. It does not act as a concealer, but it forms a good base make-up and it feels light and perfect for my skin. This is my favourite foundation for regular wear in any weather! Got to go somewhere quick? I just slap some of the foundation on, and Im set to go!

Lip-wear

Enough about foundations. The other thing that I obsess over is lipwear. I am finicky about lipsticks and love having a variety of colours around. However, my lips crack really fast, and I tend to eat up my lipsticks. Even when I don’t eat them up, they just disappear! I talk – and whoosh! The lipstick’s gone! The ones that stay for a long time dry out my lips faster than any lip balm can cure them. So, though I apply them in the morning and before meetings, I have given up on them for a through-the-day look. For that I rely on my lipbalm.

I have been a faithful user of Himalaya Lip balm. Its awesome. It can heal dry lips in a day if applied every few hours. And its not too sticky. The only problem? I always bought two fo them because I never knew when it will be out of stock. Himalaya needs to sort out their distribution system for their lip balms!

So, once I found them difficult to procure, I started alternating with Vaseline lip balm. It’s good too. Good ole paraffin! But it’s a little sticky. On the plus side, it can be used for any kind of dry skin in a hurry, and many times I have used the lip balm for my hands.

So imagine my delight when I was walking down a shop and saw this lovely pink coloured tube – Vaseline Lip Care, Rosy Glow! This is the same goodness as Vaseline lip balm, but has some added pigment. So, when I apply it, it manages to look like a natural gloss while nourishing my lips. I’m just too thrilled with it! There are a few colour variants and I think you can choose which you want on the basis of your skin colour. This has now become a staple in my purse.

The applicator end is slanted, but it is too runny to use directly from the tube. Then I end up squeezing too much and look like a bloodsucking vampire or something. So I use it with my fingertips (you can see in the picture how liquid-y it is).

On application it feels cool and mentholated, which makes me feel very fresh – a very nice touch on such a simple product. It feels a little sticky on lips, but I think about all the good it is doing, and let it be 🙂

However, a lip gloss look-alike is not good enough when it comes to the need of a full blown lipstick for a meeting. And I have always carried a sturdy one in my purse. With the amount of movement that my purse goes through, a normal gloss container usually cracks and then I have gloss all over the insides of the purse. And most of the times the cover of the lipstick cracks or opens up.

So this time, when my Maybelline gloss-finish natural looking pink lipstick finished, I headed to the store and ended up in…Lakme! When was the last time you bought anything Lakme? Apart from some nailpolish remover and loose powder, I cant remember. But they had this amazing lipstick product called ‘aquashine’.

This is supposed to provide lip balm effects as well, but I don’t know about that. What I do know is, the applicator is amazing. It has a foam applicator which needs you to push out the lipstick gel through small holes in it by twisting the pen. And the angle is perfect for putting it on the lips. The cover closes with a definitive click and as of now I don’t see any chances of it spilling. Its sturdy and looks like a rather fat ball point pen.

The colours are tame – mostly earthy shades, but they have a gloss finish. They are quite thick in consistency and so, even though they are gloss finish, the colour sits long on my lips. Which is just perfect for me! And because it sits long, it is glossy and it imparts colour to my lips, I find it great. Also, the thick consistency ensures that my lips don’t crack too often as evaporation is to a minimum.

As of now, I am loving each of the products and am quite satisfied. They are all meant for different uses, and are motly economical.

Vaseline rosy care serves the purpose of some lip colour in office while hydrating my lips, the himalaya lip balm helps me combat extreme dry lips. the aquashine lip gloss is perfect for a quick application before a meeting!

And I carry all of them in my purse! See how depleted the Himalaya lip balm looks? I will soon need another vaseline rosy glow. This is quite near its end, even though it doesnt show it. The aquashine is still quite new and I hope to get many many applications out of it still! It is the only one above INR 300 here, the other two are in two-digit prices!

For my next installment, I will write about eye shadows and lip liners 🙂 Till then, au revoir, and enjoy your lip glosses and foundations!