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Girl’s shoes | Teeny Manolo - Part 3
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Elegance

Well, my life may not be normal, but it sure is glamorous: today when I was supposed to be posting I was instead locked in an art gallery which contained no list of staff phone numbers (I snooped everywhere, I tell you) but many, many paintings on the themes of powerlessness, distress and alienation. We bonded, those paintings and I, while I waited for someone, anyone with keys to come and release me from my empty, gilded cage.

Fortunately, raincoaster here is a resourceful woman possessed of a large handbag, and thus is never without a paperback and at least one back issue of Vanity Fair. So it was that I became re-acquainted with an old friend of mine, the book Elegance, by Genevieve Dariaux; through the intermediary of the book Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.

Some background: Dariaux’s book is really the definitive literary examination of the concept and practice of elegance (What Would Jackie Do notwithstanding, and I’m sorry but Breakfast at Tiffany’s was about a call girl and Capote really wanted Marilyn Monroe in the role, so there). Tessaro’s book is a well-done chick lit look at what happens to a particular woman when she tries to live by the rules set out in the original. Dariaux also wrote Entertaining With Elegance, which I’ve had for perhaps twenty years and believe me, between that and Miss Manners you’ve got the distressing concept of social interaction just stone-cold covered.

In any case, Tessaro’s book quoted a part of Dariaux’s book relevant to the TeenyManolosphere and I thought I would reproduce it here. It fits very well with the Frugal Indulgent’s Manifesto which I quoted earlier:

Little daughters are understandably the pride and joy of their mothers, but they are very often also, alas, the reflection of their mother’s inelegance. Universal Royalty or Universal Embarrassment?When you see a poor child all ringletted, beribboned, and loaded down with a handbag, an umbrella, and earrings, or wearing crepe-soled shoes with a velvet dress, you can be certain that her mother hasn’t the slightest bit of taste.

It is a serious handicap to be brought up this way, because a child must be endowed with a very strong personality of her own in order to rid herself of the bad habits that have been inculcated during her early years. The more simply a little girl is dressed – sweater and skirts in the winter, Empire-style cotton dresses in the summer – the more chic she is. It is never too early to learn that discretion and simplicity are the foundations of elegance.

Of course, to translate this to our modern world requires some rearrangement; for instance, anyone who’s seen Joe Simpson and his offspring knows that the above does not apply exclusively to mothers, if it ever did.

Two Shoes Tuesday

Because there is never a bad day to feature shoes!

And, because who can resist a great pair of Converse Chuck Taylors for back to school? My son’s school suggests that sneakers/tennis shoes are the best choice, as they need to be able to jump around on the playground at recess. So, why not have them be comfortable and stylish at the same time?

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Goes with pretty much everything, from jeans to skirts! At a price of $33.00, not too harsh on the wallet, either.

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Here is the boy version, not as “cute,” because boys after a certain age just refuse to do cute, but still cool. These come in slightly pricier at $38.00.

They Grow Up So Fast

I’m relatively sure we’ve already used that headline (and will again, no doubt) but what else can you call a blog post about stripper heels for babies?

Yes, she said Stripper Heels For Babies.

Heelarious? Not so much, akshuly

heežlaržižous [he-lair-ee-uhs] – noun:
extremely funny, completely soft, fully functional
high heel crib shoes for babies.

Not intended for walking (heel will collapse with weight).

Not intended to harm children in any way.

WARNING: May cause extreme smiling and hysterical laughter when in use (this is completely normal).

You know what? No, it’s not. Not normal, unless your last name is Spears, and if this doesn’t physically hurt your child, imagine the tsunamis of psychological damage these babies can cause, if not now then in junior high when Stan’s basketball team get ahold of his baby book.

Just. No. What is this? “Baby needs a new pair of CFMP’s?

via Dlisted and Crunk&Disorderly

Ain’t No Hollaback Shoes

And really, I can use that as my title because nobody really knows what the heck hollaback really means, so why not apply the term to shoes?

I was pleasantly suprised when I looked into the Gwen Stefani-designed clothing line Harajuku Lovers.  It was cute and age appropriate.  Not bad for a celebrity with no real prior designing experience.  When I heard she was also coming out with a line of shoes, I was excited.  I thought they were going to be good.

Ah, expectations. Why must you always dashed?
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Bo-ring.
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Double bo-ring.
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And even worse,  bo-ring, ugly, and overpriced at the same time. I’m sure it takes some sort of talent to design something so multifaceted, right? Nobody said they had to be good facets or anything.

If your kid wants skate shoes, do yourself a favor and go buy some Vans instead. They’re better looking and a heck of a lot cheaper. 

Friday Caption Contest: House of Dereon Edition

Oh, my. Mrs. Z (the artist formerly known as Beyonce) has a lot to answer for with this:

House of Dereon

From PopGumbo via Gawker

The Cool Kids’s Kicks

Forgive me, sisters, for I have sinned.

I have a confession to make: Although I work for the world’s foremost shoeblogger, I cannot, myself, be said to be much of a shoe fetishist. Of the many tiresome characteristics displayed by those four airheaded meat puppets on Sex and the City, the extravagantly overdone shoe worship was perhaps the most tiresome of all as far as I was concerned (and that is a crowded field, my friends). Art is art, even when you wear it on your feet, but please! Even Picasso knew when to lay off. The only thing more boring than competitive, fad-driven shoe fetishism is handbag fetishism, and thankfully that appears to have become so expensive as to now be nothing but a self-referential joke between Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Balenciaga. And if so, more power to them: Kimora Lee Simmons doesn’t need all that money anyway.

In any case, I have to say that when it comes to shoes worthy of worship, the kids have it all over the adults. First of all, you can generally walk in shoes designed for kids. Secondly, the styles can be more creative, because they don’t have to be so reactive to market forces (is it a four inch stiletto this year or a two inch kitten heel?). I mean, take a look at some of these fabulous sneaks and tell me those aren’t just intrinsically wicked cool.

The Diadora Victor Junior

The Diadora Kids
Victor Plus Jr MD

Light as a pair of winged sandals, eye-catching, vegetarian-safe (although what kind of sauce you’d serve them with I have no idea) and best of all, $34. Some more snazzy soccer shoes:

Adidas kid's F30.8 TRX FG J

adidas Kids
F30.8 TRX FG J

Although saddled with a name that belongs more to a fighter jet than a pair of shoes, these are still the kind of futuristic style that we had back when we thought the future was going to be really cool. Remember that? Also: $61, or half the price of a similar pair of adult shoes.

And lastly, these, for which I salivate and which have the added example of being unmissable on the field. When my sister and I went swimming, my mother would adorn us with the loudest, ugliest bathing caps she could find (think rhinestone-studded floral monstrosities in puce and mustard). These are a more aesthetically pleasing iteration of the same principle:

Puma Kids v5.08 FG Jr

Puma Kids
v5.08 I FG Jr

Baby Shoes, Giant Steps

Working as I do for the Manolo I am perhaps hypersensitized to the semiotic power of the shoe (and I may or may not be PMSing additionally but that is neither here nor there and nothing a little Merlot won’t put right) and yet I defy anyone to view the Guardian’s slideshow of magical realist Isabel Allende‘s mementos and remain stonefaced when they see these.

Isabel Allende, Paul’s Shoes

“My son is my soul. These were his first shoes. I have a splendid relationship with my daughter-in-law and we work together in the foundation. Today there are 27 million slaves in the world, mostly women and girls. I know for the rest of my life that this is going to be my mission and my struggle”

If that doesn’t get you, A) see your doctor and B) click on to see the next image… (more…)

The Dad List

Suri and Tom Cruise at the park!

Really expensive dress? Check.

Really expensive white dress? Check.

Sandals? Check.

Sandals with no socks? Check.

Sandals with no socks that in no way match the dress? Check.

Are we ready for a day at the dirty, sandy park? Yessirree!

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