Miss Shoes – Shoes you almost Missed

Shoes for the Discerning Indian Woman

I saw Guns N Roses live in Mumbai! December 10, 2012

There are some things in life that your dont expect to happen. Like getting a great job and boss and pay – all at once. Like listening to music, watching their videos, seeing stage antics for years and years and years. And then imagining the frenzy of it all in Los Angeles or in New York. Then knowing that that band had broken up. And then a new lineup was formed. A new album launched. That they in fact went to China, but did not come closer home. That deciding that music videos would be the only source for their music for me.
And then. One day you hear they will be in your country. In your city. On a day when you too, will be in the city. I did not expect Guns N Roses to ever perform for me, in India. I heard them in college, in school, at work. I saw them on TV, read about them in news. Heard about t heir breakup. But the possibility that I might see them in all their splendour, in life, in person – that was not imagined. Its what happens to ‘other people’ those that stay in the US and Europe, who get to see them perform live.
But, they did it for us, for me. I paid the fee, I prepared the evening. I spent 4pm to 11pm on the grounds watching. Three hours of uninterrupted Axl Rose and his crew. For it is his crew now. Slash is long gone. He too is coming in Feb. But I dont think I will want to go and watch Slash. It is to listen to Patience, Estranged, Welcome to the Jungle…that I would prefer.
And oh! what an evening it was yesterday. The best sight was the variety of ages trooping in. Teenagers to middle aged men and women. Top hatted to salwar kameez wearing. There was no norm. No discrimination. It was Rock music. And they were there to listen to one of Rock Music‘s most iconic.
The show was everything promised. And more.

The GnR Show from Far

The GnR Show from Far

Axl sang – and he sang so well that I at one time (shame on me!) thought he was lip syncing. Not a note away from the original recordings. Yes he has aged. Yes, he is not a lithe young man anymore. But the attitude is there. As is the snake dance. The running on the stage and the enjoyment. The ability to enjoy your own music, as you sing it for the Nth time for a crowd…that cannot be faked. The wide grins as they loved what they were doing made up for the years when they werent here.
32 songs. 32 musicals, including a rendition of November Rain on a special shiny Baldwin by Axl himself. Interrupted by him to take a swig of water and aspirin – he apologised ‘to perform better for you’ – and resume with a practiced smooth flourish and full energy the last unmistakable notes of November Rain. Oh, nothing could compare.

And when the crowd sang along to Sweet Child O Mine so loudly that you couldnt even hear Axl… you knew we had waited long for this day.

Watching Axl run up and down the stage, full of energy, singing high notes and low whispers – I still wonder if any younger band of today could do it. Could build up that energy in a crowd of 30,000 for 3 continuous hours. Axl and team spiced up every song with a tempo change, a clothes change and a style change.

Of course, the stage was well set. The sound quality good, and the video and lighting was very well done indeed!

The new lineup is well, new. But not for more than a moment did I miss Slash. Yes, he was the initiator, but there is talent a plenty today. DJ Ashby and Roger were spectacular. Ron was in a league of his own. And since I have a soft spot for Spanish Guitar…the intro before they started on Patience – was priceless!

I am delighted I went. It may have been a tick off my bucket list. But its an unparalleled experience, recommended to anyone who loves a good concert, and of course, GnR.

After the GnR Show

After the GnR Show

 

Dressing Casual (Delhi Vs Mumbai), Shoes for Short skirts September 30, 2009

Yesterday, while switching channels on TV I chanced upon an interview of Sonam Kapoor talking about ‘dressing up’ in Delhi. I agree. While Bombay takes the charm out of going out, in Delhi every outing is a definite occasion. I agree that it is really comforting to go out wearing whatever you want, but really! If you are out partying, might as well dress up that way, right? Otherwise whats the point of going to an expensive place?

Casual yet dressed

Casual yet dressed

So while in Mumbai one can walk into any pub/disco/eatery in flip flops and torn jeans, no makeup or jewellery, in Delhi, it is nice to see men and women put in some effort while going out. I would have thought it human instinct (but then I guess that is a little lacking in Mumbai) to want to make a one-off ‘going-out’ an occasion to warrant a little more dressing up than going to the store. Albeit, in Mumbai the ‘going to the store’ look is also crafted carefully.

However, what is important and needed is a look that makes you look dressed up, yet not too casual. Something that makes you perfect for an evening out with a few friends while not looking like you stepped out of home wearing what you wore last night, or that you spent hours dressing up.

If you are one of those people who want to dress up but don’t really know what to wear so you fit in seamlessly with either of the crowds, I would suggest wear anything you want to, dress up as you want to, and don the right pair of shoes.

Rihanna in short skirt

Rihanna in short skirt

It is depressing to see the number of women in Mumbai who wear really chic skirts and have obviously spent time on their face and hair, and then wear a pair of flip flops. The end result is so casual, I wonder why they even put in the effort for the hair and face. Short skirts and flat chappals is not a combination I would suggest, unless you want to roam around home after a tiring evening.

So, many Indian women are placed in a quandary when it comes to footwear to go alongwith short skirts. The last thing they want to wear is something that will make them look slutty, but the last thing I would suggest in lieu of that is bedroom slipper lookalikes which make them look like they have been lounging around home. (Its Ok if you are on the beach, but most times its not the beach).

So, what do they wear?

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Platforms and gladiators with skirts

Shoes for Short Skirts – Casual Dressing Style

Here comes in the importance of sandals. Remember those footwear one used to wear as kids? With a little heel, yet not too high? Well, for adults they make the same thing, only more suave. Of course, one can go ahead with the Indian impulse and wear something strappy, but I prefer blockier designs.

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Block heeled shoe with short skirt

Sandals basically give the foot around an inch of height from the ground (at max) and come in various designs. If you want to make it a little more dressy than plain old sandals, kitten heels fit best. They keep the delicate feminity of the look, while emphasizing what short skirts are meant to.

Kitten heels

Kitten heels look classy

Sandals can be covered or open toed. Block heeled or pencil, plain slip-on with a strap holding down toes only, or ballerina styles or even gladiators. For a casual evening out, I would suggest a heel type that makes it comfortable for you to walk around as much as you want – platforms (cork heeled look great), wedge or square heels usually fit this bill. Pencil heels automatically increase the oomph quotient of the attire, especially slingbacks.

Short platforms with Skirt

Short platforms with Skirt

Now to the top of the shoe – ballerina styles and open toes look good, but again they become a tad more evening-ish than say, something with a buckle near the ankle and a strap covering the toes.  Practical, yet stylish without becoming dressy or slutty.

Sneakers with Short Skirt

Sneakers with Denim Short Skirt

If of a sporty kind, the personality then screams sports shoes, with ankle-length socks.  Nude shoes are also OK. This is one of the few things allowed to women and extremely well dressed men who know what they are doing.

So there you have it. A tutorial of how not to get totally ‘just-out-of-home-as-I-was’ look everytime you are out. Yet, not going the whole hog and look like you are off to a glamorous evening affair.

Shoes may not be noticed by men, but they can make or break an outfit. The right shoe can make a simple dress look glamorous, just by virtue of the being on your feet. Shoes force the way you walk and your body posture. I would say, stay away from flip flops as far as possible – they can make you waddle. And no one is allowed to waddle!

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Me traveling all over in comfy shoes and skirt

Confident in short skirt and heels

Confident in short skirt and heels

So try and get shoes that improve how your legs look. A little heel will help your calves look better, so if you have stocky legs, try not to go for the sneaker look. Flat shoes are great for slender women with long legs, not the usual Indian figure. But if you must wear flats, try to make them covered ballerina style shoes or stylish sandals rather than flip flops.

So go out, this festive season grab yourself some neutral, convenient sandals which you can wear anywhere you want to!

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Me in Skirt and Kitten Heels

Suggested shops:

High budget:

  1. Clarks
  2. Nine West
  3. Charles & Keith
  4. Catwalk

Medium – Low Budget:

  1. Bata (perfect for the casual yet trendy look!)
  2. Shoe shops in malls like Pantaloons, Westside, Lifestyle
  3. Metro/ Regal/ Mochi
  4. Khadims/ Liberty (if you really don’t find anything elsewhere)

One thing I however ask you to stay away from are extremely chunky black sandals. They will steal the look away from your entire outfit, and truly speaking look a little dowdy. Skin coloured and light coloured sandals look best. Preferably if the sole is either leather or rubber-plastic.

Indian Sandals

Indian Sandals also look good for a casual look

PS – if you want to look glam, I suggest a pair of boots(!) or even stilettoes. Try those ankle length shoes with care – they can make you look short AND your legs calf-less. And like mentioned, flip flops are ultra-casual, but if you want a casual look, I would still suggest ones with a little heel, like Indian Sandals.

Short skirt and Boots

Short skirt and Boots