Aminaka Wilmont

Aminaka Wilmont is the new designer duo whose designs first caught my eye last season with their “Totem” Collection for FW11. As I was searching for Rick Owens leather jackets, AW’s shearling-suede jacket stood out amongst my search of many other better known luxury houses including Burberry, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen…etc. The Toscana jacket was impeccably well-made, tailored to perfection, and had that same glam-rock-grunge vibe that I love these days. No doubt, their style is very much like Rick Owens, including asymmetric cuts, body conscious tailoring, and luscious leather jackets! AW does have more girly-glam and experiments with pretty prints and colors, which RO will rarely attempt… but never say never!

^Credit: Net-a-Porter

Unfortunately, the model who wore this amazing jacket on the runway was the least of my favorites. She could not strut on the catwalk. I have never seen anyone walk so awkward. Seriously? Shuffling feet, hunched back, rigidity, and bradykinesic face – as if she had premature Parkinson’s or something seriously doped up!!! You don’t see her movements here, but if you watch the show, omg… I fear for her career…

A couple of my other favorites from FW11. I always love the attention to detail – special contacts for yellow cat-like eyes, amazing manicures, appropriate makeup to suit the mood, perfectly braided hair, and did I mention the shoes?!?! So effortlessly cool!

 

A year later, AW reveals its FW12 collection which is inspired from “Yūrei, Apophenia and the composition of structures in glass, crystal and stone.” It’s definitely a very somber collection, but as always from darkness arises their creativity to make beautiful clothing with magnificent silk prints that they pair is so well known. I love the mixture of textures, silk, leather, shearling, fur, wool – what an amazing combination! The shearling vest is simply fabulous!!! Here are a couple of my favorites from today’s fashion show in London.

 

Lastly, a look at the previous “Psyche” Collection for SS12 inspired by Dave McKean‘s painting, illustrating modern surrealism.

The butterfly gown was gorgeous together with the pearls and sequins bolero which was also available in white below.

 

This collection reminds me of Psyche entering Cupid’s garden as painted by JW Waterhouse. I’m an avid fan of Greek (and Roman) mythology and would love to read more stories if I had more time, although I thoroughly enjoyed my Greek Mythology classes. Very intriguing. This particularly painting gives me many memories and for me, it represents the constraints that one holds against oneself, letting go of one’s vulnerabilities, taking chances and exploring a new world once a certain barrier is broken. The mysteries, excitement, and love that lead her to Cupid.

 

Food for the Sole

I have a dear friend, whom I met on the PurseForum, and she just started her blog! She calls it “Food for the Sole” which I think is so clever and whitty! 😀 Not only is she pretty and have gorgeous shoes (check out her Maralenas!!!), she’s also got the brain-smarts lol. I’m honored that she’s chosen my picture of my Altadama to be featured in her blog.

The Altadamas are one of my first pairs of peep-toe shoes because I’m usually quite conservative and have never felt that peep-toes were appropriate for work or more formal events. Not that I would wear anything more than 100mm to work… Anyhow, I speak of peep-toe shoes because my PF friend made a great analysis of her feet. I have not met anyone who would analyze their own feet as much as me, or at least we don’t openly speak of this topic, so it was great to find someone else with similar interests?!?! lol

You see, buying beautiful shoes should compliment our best assets. Women speak of their neck line, breasts, arms, waist, booties, legs… and then it stops here! WHY?!?! At most, people will look down and just comment on your high heels which are not part of your body. I believe that like the rest of our body, our feet deserve more attention. Knowing our own feet is the first thing that one should do prior to making a designer shoe purchase. Whether the designer is Charlotte Olympia, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Giussepe Zanotti, or Manolo Blahnik, they are all very expensive and you’re likely to wear them for at least half your life time!

A committed shoe purchase should take into account the following features and/or problems of your feet:
And I speak both from an esthetic AND medical points of view in your interest.
All pictures are of celebrities. I have eliminated their faces to give them some respect when the picture is not so flattering…

Width:
Width size is usually standardized using A (narrow), B (average), and C (wide). Examples of brands with AA – A width shoes are JC and CL. Only specific CL shoe styles are better suited for B-width feet, so in general, if you have wide feet, I strongly do NOT recommend you trying to force your feet into Cinderella’s crystal shoes… I’m not trying to be mean, but I just speak the truth. It is really NOT flattering to see people’s toes and half the side of their feet hanging out from smaller styles!

Medically, too small shoes will give you pain, bunions, blisters, calluses, infections like in-grown toe nails, paronychia, cellulitis, gangrene…. AND GOD FORBID IF YOU’RE DIABETIC!!!


Toe Length:

Ok… so slightly longer toes compared to the big toe (including a Morton’s toe) are considered to be the most beautiful and proportional by the Greeks for hundreds of years. In fact, many classical paintings and sculptures are derived from the Greeks’ perception of beauty and you can find this in numerous Renaissance art pieces. However, when toes are TOO freakishly long, please do NOT wear peep-toes or open sandals! I recommend closed toe shoes with a roomy toe box and avoid low cut toe-cleavage styles (ie CLs and JCs). Anyhow, use your own judgement when wearing shoes and please don’t tell me that these pictures below are appealing to you (unless you have some foot fetish). I mean they’re not *that* bad, but just poor choices in terms of the shoe style chosen.


Hallux Valgus:

This latin term means “big toe deviation/angulation” and is commonly known as a bunion. Bunions are painful and some people are more prone to getting these than others. If you wear high heels, make sure they have a wide foot box at the front, otherwise a small box will worsen your valgus and you make require surgical correction! Better yet, no heels at all.


Morton’s Toe:

By definition, a Morton’s toe is when the 2nd toe is longer than the big toe. As mentioned before, the Greeks have strongly influenced the arts in the Renaissance times. When the French gifted the USA with the Statue of Liberty, her feet were molded in accordance with the Greek specifications. Some ladies are very much bothered by their second toe length as this gives them great difficulty when buying peep-toe shoes. My only recommendations are to try to even your nail length out to have things more even by cutting the 2nd toe-nail as short as possible, and keep the big toe-nail slightly longer. Peep-toe opening would be beneficial if it’s slightly bigger too. Otherwise, I would just say stick to closed toe styles if all this is too difficult and time-consuming.

Below is NOT a Morton’s toe, but just a long big toe. I couldn’t find any pix of a Morton’s in a peep-toe, so this will have to do. The idea is still the same, toe-overhang is NOT sexy!


Foot Arch:

I would say that my only envy is toward ladies who are gifted with a higher foot arch, which I think is extremely sexy. I guess I do have some influence from my Chinese background, given that we’re famous for our history of the Lotus Feet. I agree with the general concept that small, dainty feet are attractive and that the deformity from the bandaging created a high foot arch, which was equally desirable. The man rarely saw his wife(s) feet because it was often foul smelling, gruesome to look at, and infected with dry gangrene resulting in auto-amputation. Clearly, I don’t approve of this type of torture, but I think I understand the culture well enough to know how the Lotus Feet came to be… Every culture has its dark times.

VB here shows off her beautiful foot arch (despite her other foot problems…) and her outfit exemplifies ABSOLUTE PERFECTION for the dress of a lady. She is wearing her own line – Victoria Beckham, which imo has strong influences from Roland Mouret, for which she was very fond of wearing a couple of years ago. VB was the one who helped launch RM’s designs, particularly the hot pink Moon dress. Both designer houses have strong tailoring and form-fitting dresses.


Flatness and Pronation:

This is the opposite of having a high foot arch. Medically, flatness comes from stretching or damage of the medial longitudinal arch due to various reasons, like gymnastics, ballet, chronically standing, heavy weight bearing, trauma…etc.  The loss of elasticity in the ligaments predisposes you to having over-pronation (ie eversion) foot problems. This is not to say that too high of an arch due to lack of compliance or too stiff of a ligament won’t give you problems. Very high arches are complicated with under-pronation (ie inversion) issues. Anyhow, flat footedness will give you side-overhang of your feet, where the lateral part of your feet overhangs from the edges of your shoes. Again, side-overhang is NOT sexy! Try to buy shoes that have a higher cut, ie avoid CLs!

 

Cankles:
This is a term that was notoriously hyped up after M. Louboutin referred to Barbie‘s ankles as being too fat… I think the term is derived from a fusion of the words calcaneus, which is the latin term for the heel bone, and ankles. I actually agree, Barbie does have weird ankles and feet… The new feet made by Louboutin for his limited edition Barbies were so much better. Anyhow, I have some ankle issues as well after getting surgery on them from years of figure-skating and various deformities caused by the sport. However, they’re not as bad as this celebrity’s ankles below. Again, this could be easily avoidable by not choosing anything that emphasizes your ankles, styles that cut off right here,  or having too much elaboration that draws more attention to them. Her choice in an ankle booty style was not wise…


Calf Circumference (for Boots):

Some women are blessed with long legs and small calves. The majority of us are not. Although my calves are only 13 inches at their widest point, I’m vertically challenged resulting in this disproportionality because my calves rise at a lower level relative to a woman who’s taller even if we have the same calf circumference. For several of my knee high boots, I had to actually cut down the shaft by my cobbler or have him taper the boots. I would strongly recommend this fix for petite gals like me who want to wear knee-high boots. However, if you have too thick calves, it’s best to buy a pair with elastic stretch inserts, eg. Stuart Weitzman makes some really cool boots.

^Kate Moss in CL Pigalle 120

In short, just be aware that some styles (and most CL styles) are not always best suited to one’s feet. If you’re not sure what your flaws are, then just take a look down at your feet in the shoes. Does something look off??? If yes, there’s probably something out of proportion and just avoid that particular style in the future.

However, there is something for every woman – PEDICURES!!! 😀 I’m not so much into manicures because it’s unprofessional and inappropriate to wear nail polish in medicine. Plus, I can do my own hand massage and paint my own nails which I do a better job than most manicurists imo. I think pedicures on the other hand are really worth it because they spend a long time with you, give your a nice foot massage, get rid of your calluses, clean and trim your nails, and apply polish. I imagine that it’s not always pleasant to work on other people’s feet, so I *ALWAYS* tip very generously to these girls who are often at the bottom of the esthetician hierarchy. Be kind to these girls, never be snooty, and tip tip tip! I can guarantee you’ll get an amazing experience and keep your feet presentable!!! 😀

^Credit: Aspenclub.com

Pigalle Plato – Take 2!

I am ashamed to say that as an avid CL fan, I do not own his most famed shoe – The Pigalle 120! This is because of 2 reasons, (1) my size is always sold out and (2) it’s a classic so I keep putting it off for more limited seasonal styles. So I was determined to purchase the Pigalle 120 (in black patent leather only) this season since nothing else really interested me.

Then as I was stalking LVR, they had the Pigalle Plato 120! For those who are unfamiliar with the two styles, the main difference is that Pigalle Plato has a 20mm platform, making the pitch less steep at the equivalent of a Pigalle 100, and is thus more comfortable to wear. Plus, given that it’s from LVR, I get the advantage of free shipping and inclusive duties and taxes which are major savings of about 300$. I immediately decided to make the purchase. Within 4 days, all 20 pairs on LVR were completely sold out! I guess CL is becoming more and more popular these days…

Anyhow, when they arrived, they were perfect! The fit was just right from my estimate relative to my first pair of Pigalle Plato 140 in nude glitter, which was too big on me. If you are unaware of CL’s sizing, Pigalle Plato 140 translates to sizing like that of a Pigalle 120; and Pigalle Plato 120 is like that of Pigalle 100. Now Pigalle 120 is half size larger than Pigalle 100, which is half larger to Pigalle 85, which tends to be more true to US sizing. I hope you got that several levels of conversion, because that’s what I do everytime whenever I make my purchases online lol. I’ve gotten my shoe conversions right EVERY time, except once with my first pair of Pigalle Plato after being pushed by an SA who probably just wanted to make the sale since the size I wanted was not available.

Please welcome these amazing, sexy, and classic shoes:

Christian Louboutin SS12 Pigalle Plato 120 in Black Patent Calf Leather

 

^For some CL shoes, this elastic band is inserted at the back to prevent heel slippage.

 

Modeling pictures:

 

Outfit 1: Conservative
– Dress: Mexx
– Belt: H&M
– Pantyhose: Calvin Klein

 

Outfit 2: Going out!
Dress – H&M (got this for only 15$!!!)

 

Comparison pix between Pigalle Plato 100 in Black Patent and 120 in Nude Glitter:
N.B.: The nude glitter was bought half size too large, so the heel height is also slightly higher (probably 2mm) than if I bought the right size.

 

Pigalle problems:
Many women have issues wearing this style because the toe box is very narrow and the shoe has a very low cut all around revealing a lot of foot cleavage that would make one’s toes seem squished if you had wide feet. Not only so, the sides are also low cut resulting in what I call “side-overhang” if you have a lot of loose skin or just have more “meat” on your feet. I have seen some really bad pictures of women who have big or wide feet trying to squish them into these shoes… I understand that one may *love* this style since it’s really sexy, but I think some people just don’t get it realistically that they don’t look good in them. Same thing with clothes, especially Hervé Léger dresses – I see women trying to buy clothes that are so tight that I fear the dress would rip apart!

Anyhow, here are a couple of detailed pix to show that
(1) Toe cleavage is fine, but they shouldn’t look so squished that they’re about to fall off from lack of circulation;

(2) and “side-overhang” is NOT presentable (think of side or bottom cleavage which is really skanky with a bikini)!!!

^See, no “side-overhang” 😀

 

Lastly, since we’re talking so much about Pigalles, I’m going to exhaust all my talk on this style lol. The style above is called Sex 120, but it’s basically a Pigalle with the strassed letters “SE” written on the right shoe and “EX” on the left shoe.

I have a few questions to M. Louboutin:

1. So for a couple of extra crystals and lettering, the price goes from 695$ to 1395$?!??! I’m sorry, please explain to me the logistics here cuz doubling the price is just insane to me.
2. Not only so, HOW THE HELL CAN YOU MAKE SUCH A SEXY, CLASSY SHOE TURN INTO THE MOST DISTASTEFUL HEELS?!?!?
3. SEX?!?!? Really? Why on earth would a woman want to wear anything that says SEX on it???

They say sex sells, but clearly for the last month or so since these shoes took their debut on NAP, they did not sell a single pair. I don’t know what M. Louboutin is thinking these days. Some of his flamboyant and frivolous styles really make me question whether they were carefully thought out designs OR just the fact that he’s at the peak of his career and can do whatever he wants…

Valentine’s Day Outfits!!!

It’s that time of the year again and for some lovely ladies who will going out on romantic dates, here are a couple of my favorite dresses, bags, and shoes for this season:

Outfit 1: The Lady 

Dress – Roland Mouret Ezra in Red Cotton Jersey (available through NAP and NM)
Clutch – Christian Louboutin Mini Loubi Lula in Printed Floral Silk-Twill (NAP)
Shoes – Christian Louboutin Pigalle 120 in Black Patent Leather (NAP)

 

Outfit 2: The Romantic

Dress – Lanvin Strapless Silk-Blend Crepe Gown (NAP)
Clutch – Bottega Veneta Knot in Black Intrecciato Satin (NAP)
Shoes – Charlotte Olympia Masako in Red and Pink Silk-Satin (NAP)

 

Outfit 3: For the Non-Red/Pink People…

So as much as I can rave about the above outfits and how gorgeous they are in their various shades of red, I am not that much of a “red person” myself lol. I attribute this to growing up with my mother who always forced me to wear this red wool sweater. Not only was it old and handed down from my cousin, it was made of very poor quality wool that made me itch and scratch!!! My mother, you see, is not so much of a fashionable person and does not know that there are various gradings to wool. Anything made of wool to her was considered to be of “the highest quality garment.” Also, my mother has a poor medical concept of what allergy means. If she was not allergic to anything, then I must not be either… I hope you can see where this is going, cuz I started to develop hives everytime I wore this sweater. I mean, it wasn’t so bad that I became anaphylactic, but hives are not comfortable to cope with either, especially since all the cool kids wore black and navy… Then you have me there scratching and itching like crazy in the corner in my bright red sweater!

Thus, I don’t own a single red piece of clothing ever since I started buying my own clothes 😀
However, I do love fuschia! And I wear my CL Very Galaxy heels every Valentine’s day!

Dress – BCBG (got for a steal – 40$)
Shoes – Christian Louboutin Very Galaxy 120 in Fuxia Sequins, Silk, and Calf Leather
Earrings – David Aubrey Coral Cabochon and Blue Goldstones
Clutch – Will be taking my Bottega Veneta Knot in Black Satin (not shown)

I Can Wear Rick Owens’ SKIRTS!!!

FW11 Rick Owens Lilies Skirt

 

So I lied… I thought I would never be able to wear RO’s skirts cuz they’re insanely long and I’m vertically challenged at only 5’2. Not to mention that they’re so expensive starting at 600$. However, I was lucky enough to score a skirt at 70% off!!! The model also showed an ingenious way of wearing the skirt as a strapless dress, which I thought may allow me to wear it as well. Sure enough, the skirt fits me like a glove. It’s the perfect length as a dress and is incredibly soft and luxurious! I will definitely be on the lookout for more skirts, but only if they’re deeply discounted!!! lol

 

 

Modeling pictures:

Belt – H&M

 

Rihanna in RO Lilies Skirt: