loving: these heels

On March 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot get enough of this photo. I love everything about this look, a street style shot from the US Elle roundup Paris Fashion Week (a pleasantly long slideshow of some 300+ looks, I recommend).

dsc_8694

This deep plummy shade, the layers of the skirt, the texture and masculine cut of the jacket, the lush softness of the scarf, even the positioning of the head and arms, the hair…and those shoes.

These heels have that elusive balance of structure and delicacy, giving the foot shape and interest while being absolutely minimal and unobtrusive. The sleek, isolated triangle toe-box of a d’orsay pump is sublime. So often they are done poorly, shapeless with the foot swimming about, or set at an awkward angle. And this dainty shoelace-thin ankle tie, this is so light and understated. Not too much string or wrapping (not multiple strands going around and around, over and through, or up the leg, as is growing increasingly popular, and is often, to my eye, too busy), and no bulkiness. Though I can like a thick (or just thicker) ankle strap, I am particular about the proportions, which are usually slightly off, creating a stilted, unflattering effect.

I cannot express to you how many shoes I do not like. Really hardly any shoes. When shopping for shoes it feels like wading through an endless sea of ugliness. For $40 or $400, there are eyesores at every price point. When I see, then, a design that seems elegant, and not only elegant but personally wearable, desirable, this is a breath of fresh air, a shock.  I want to try that shoe on (so many do not pass that test, either…).

Style is personal in every sense, and shoes are somehow especially so. It seems not only possible but likely to be able to agree with someone on many levels of style and then, suddenly, to disagree entirely about shoes, and what constitutes an appealing shoe. Why is this? Because feet and feelings about feet are so personal? Because walking and carriage is so personal?

I wonder if it has something to do with shoes being, for the mainstream, a relatively adventurous category of fashion, where it is, in a sense, safe to make bold or unexpected style choices, and therefore to infuse more dramatic levels of personality. Where by safe I mean something like, acceptable, perhaps near the edges of yet within the boundaries of expectation.

I don’t think of myself as being particularly into shoes, but I am into things I find beautiful, and once in a while a shoe pops up in that list.

So, does anyone recognize these shoes? Seriously I’ve been looking around and haven’t found anything remotely close. If you find something similar, let me know…

x

photo via elle.com

on the street: the tweed peplum jacket

On January 15, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Can I just dress like Kerry Washington on Scandal, please? With a splash of dressing like Kerry Washington in life?

[Lyn Paolo, the Scandal stylist, is a bit of a genius. Interesting (well, you know, interesting to me. To people who are into closets and the things you put in closets) tour of the Scandal closet with Kerry Washington here.]

Can we all just?

Well, at least one of us can. The boots are not Olivia Pope*, admittedly, but the jacket is spot on.

*If you are not following this because you are not watching Scandal, you really should consider watching Scandal. It’s on Netflix! Just watch season 1, episode 6, OK?

IMG_0239

I love me a bit of tweed. The peplum is a feminine touch here, and the mini cape overlay is just the kind of embellishment I like on a jacket. It’s slightly formal and just beyond what is strictly, functionally necessary. I begin to want a jacket very much along these lines. The seed is planted.

Posting the profile shot so I can point out this woman’s ridiculously long and awesome lashes.

Inspiring, no? Maybe it’s time to dig out those fake lashes I got to play with a while ago.

self-portrait with aid of Gucci

On January 11, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

OR the chunky knit scarf, part ii.

The Gucci store in the Prudential Center has, ludicrously, gold mirror columns jutting from the storefront. They are very distracting for a sphinx.

IMG_0245

Faithfully I report the current bundled up look, much as described. Taken with some haste so you get those authentic touches of sloppiness that so often accompany the living. Later it snowed and I bought soap.

 

on the street: the pom pom

On December 14, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_0184

Winter is that time of year when those of all ages can get away with an otherwise unacceptable preponderance of pom poms. When the temperature drops suddenly I can forgive all manner of ridiculous and excessively cute hats. I am even sometimes charmed. This slouchy take on the classic winter pom pom knit hat looks great here, I think. The oversized pom adds a youthful, playful touch to the casually stylish neutrals.

IMG_0183

I’ve yet to find a winter hat that I genuinely like and want to wear, and prefer to the absence of a hat. Hair problems, in part, but there’s also the issue of the hats being too cute. Cute is not really my look. That is, cutesy. Once in a while I’ll toe the line and am usually self-conscious as a result because it is unnatural to me. Or I’ll adopt an element that is abstractly cute but in the context of the rest of me it isn’t cute anymore; I overwhelm the cuteness until it reads more like eccentricity, or editorial—which is often a synonym for unwearable, in fashion—flair. This is my theory.

*Though these are external perspectives, and not words I use about myself or find internally useful (‘sexy’ being another term I would not even think of without a gaze, without an other), because I cannot see myself without knowing that I am myself, rendering objective judgments largely irrelevant/impossible. The age-old problem of being oneself.

Adorability does seem like one of those things you cannot achieve on purpose, though, anyway (except quite good actors, maybe, and even this is in the eye of the beholder). Ex. any given toddler in that stage where they realize that people think they are cute when they do certain things, and promptly stop being particularly cute. Premeditation spoils the whole effect.

I’m looking at hats, though. There are a few under consideration. We’ll see. One has a pom pom and little hearts. There is a possibility I’ll have to redact most of this post.

on the street: the hooded cape

On December 10, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_0176

A charcoal heather tweed hooded cape at that great upper-mid thigh length.

I think we also have some fingerless leather gloves going on here, and a recent trip to Benefit*. I approve all around.

*And, by chance, some of the least flattering backdrops Back Bay has to offer. I kind of like the alley/dumpster backdrop, though. There’s a weird contrast there. I’m also kind of liking how only her knee is in focus. 

IMG_0178

OK, so, yes. There is something not quite convenient about capes and cloaks. Less flexibility of movement, sometimes, not so warm as a snug design, can be awkward to carry bags, especially if you like to make use of your shoulders, etc. But it is easy to throw them on over a bulky sweater, or over another jacket for that matter, and I find them well suited to the transitional seasons when it’s cold enough to need some kind of outerwear but not quite time for a hat and gloves. And just look. All of the cons are like so many puffs of smoke when you see one in action. Especially, especially one with a hood. Which I want now very much.

Pages:123456»