Tag Archives: high heels

Fabricated

There are only seven designers left on Project Runway. Tensions are high. The competitions are fierce. (But, glad to see Anthony keep his good humor despite being sent home.)

Last week’s challenge had the contestants creating their own custom fabrics for a design. Truth be told, I didn’t *love* any of the designers’ fabrics. I much preferred guest judge, Vivienne Tam‘s butterfly prints. But, that’s the kind of girl I am (one with a butterfly tattoo, since age 18).

Emilio won with his “signature” graffitti print. I liked the concept. Edgy graffitti meets 1940’s French style. The design was inspired, but I just didn’t love his name-focused print.

Emilio wins the Project Runway fabric design challenge
with his signature graffitti print

For the shoe pairing, I’ve chosen some killer black pumps found over at Piperlime. On the Calvin Klein’s (left), the cutout and patent trim accent toughen up a classic peep toe. There are two pairs of Vince Camuto’s that are a good match. The scalloped textured peep toe (center), and the studded platforms (right), both complement the edgy graffitti style.

posted  by Ms. S&C

An Outfit Fit for a Potato

It seems like the folks at Project Runway should have come up with the theme of episode 2 ages ago. The challenge: turn a potato sack into a dress suitable for their models to wear to an upscale “industry event.” And boy, did the designers live up to the task! The vast majority of the bunch showed fabulous mixes of innovation and taste on last week’s runway.

Miss Mojito has a confession to make. When I was just a tiny mojito, dreaming of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I spent several months convinced that I was destined to be a fashion designer. I’d sketch out designs of intricate, multi-layered dresses. Inevitably, one of those layers was always burlap. A particular favorite design when I was nine years old was a three-layer gown: a floor-length, satin, 0ne-shouldered dress, layered under a knee-length burlap dress layered under a burgundy velvet mini-dress. It might sound like a confusing nightmare now, but to my nine-year-old mind it was fashion heaven.

Needless to say I was delighted to see burlap make its way into the equation for this Project Runway episode. And I was pretty floored by the results! Here are some highlights and lowlights.

  • Several designers dyed their burlap with fantastic results. This is a technique we don’t get to see too often on PR, so it was fun to see the results.
  • I was surprised at how burlap can be at once fluid and structured. The runner-up winner, Amy, showcased an impressive mix of both, in an outfit that played up the organic side of the fabric. I love the burned look of the hemline.
  • The episodes are always more satisfying to me when there’s an actual client to please, not just the judges. A client with demands and preferences adds a small touch of reality to the challenges.
  • Lauren Hutton is a sophisticated treat of a judge. What an icon!

Designer Jay Nicolas is the winner, and you could have seen it coming from a mile away. While his design isn’t necessarily innovative in terms of color or silhouette, it’s a supremely chic creation that looks much more expensive than it actually is.

For a shoe pairing, I’d play up the mini-nature of the dress with a pair of sky-high heels. And since this design is a safe black, it might be fun to play with some color in the shoes.

These electric yellow suede platform pumps by Elizabeth and James (a brand of the Olsen twin fame) would be my first choice.

But, $350 not being in the mojito shoe budget, a vibrant blue in a more reasonable price range would be an excellent alternative. I like these Steve Madden’s with floral detail.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

S&C reader mail–cream colored pumps for spring

Dear Ms. S&C,
I really want light beige or cream colored pumps for spring…I think they’re “in”? I just bought a navy blue dress, and I think this pair from Ralph Lauren will look good with it. I really want a pair of open-toe heels, but maybe I can save up for those later. What do you think?

jcrew-dressrl-platform

Many thanks,
KG

——————————————-

Dear KG,

I am so tempted to say look no further than these cream Ralph Lauren’s because I love the wooden platform and heel. And, I love that they are cream (very much “in” this spring). I also love the textured print (very sexy). I just love everything about them in general. They are great for work and great for the evening — great find all around! While I think they are the clear winner, here are a few other choices, just for kicks. Slingbacks, like these from Anne Klein, are a good choice for spring, if you can’t find a pair of open-toes. I also love neutral-toned patents. These from Endless have a stacked wooden heel, but no cool platform. Finally, an almost identical pair from Nine West. All très affordable.

ak-slingbackrestricted-pumpninewest-platforms

Happy spring!
Ms. S&C

P.S. Did I forget to mention how much I also love the cream shoes with the navy dress? That fun and flirty bow on the front — um, adorable. I have several items suited for navy shoes, but it is so hard to find attractive, stylish navy pumps. Perhaps I’ve found my alternative, n’est pas?

posted by Ms. S&C

Spring forward

Spring is only a few weeks away. Is your closet ready? Ms. S&C is looking forward to the arrival of warmer weather, and here are a few trends she can’t pass up.

First up is the denim-rolled-above-the-ankles-look.  I’m as surprised as anyone that I like this look. It certainly does not mean I’m a fan of the slouchy tapered ankle trouser. These harem pants can’t possibly look good on anyone with hips, so no thanks. But, the baggy boyfriend cut or the skinny jean rolled above the ankle — I like how this style can work for many body types, and show off your impressive footwear.

jcrew-rolled-denim-picralph-lauren-skylarAnd by impressive footwear, I mean something like these wooden heels from Ralph Lauren. Miss M referred to this style as the “extreme strappy sandal” in her inaugural post. I love the woven leather detail and the platform. They could definitely be my statement shoe of the season.

Another footwear trend that is exploding — neutral-colored pumps. Nude is the new black, people. And when colors like stone, dust, blush and sand come in patent, even better. These conical heels, slingbacks and peep-toes pretty much sum it up.

jill-stuart-melanyjcrew-slingbacks1bettye-muller

Shoes & Cocktails wants to know: What are your “must haves” and “can’t stands” for the spring season? Share your thoughts below.

posted by Ms. S&C

Winter White at the Inauguration

Michelle Obama and Mary J. Blige seemed to be of a similar mind in their selection of winter white ensembles foobamar the inaugural events. Mary J. paired those aforementioned astounding python boots with a creamy, big-buttoned coat and matching scarf, while the First Lady picked a simply stunning one-shoulder white Jason Wu number with some sort of tufted/pleated/floral detailing.

As far as footwear goes, though, white can be a bit more of a treacherous zone. It might bring up harsh memories of the creamy pumps you wore to your eighth grade graduation. Or the snazzy white loafers that Clark W. Griswald pulls out in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Or your brief stint as a go-go dancer. But I say throw those worries to the wind—especially here in my part of Virginia. In the absence of a blizzard, snow storm or even a flurry, I’m more than happy to turn to sources other than the sky to get my fix of a winter wonderland.boots1

I love the architectural-style detailing and the rounded toe of this “vintage white” pair by Seychelles.

And these pumps from Pour pumps1la Victoire over on Bluefly.com pair a lovely creamy upper with a shapely black heel.

Mrs. Obama’s lengthy dress prevents any peek of her footwear pick, so I can’t help but speculate. Now, the First Lady tends to shy away from any shoe higher than achristianlouboutin kitten heel. But this is a special occasion, and a special occasion calls for a statement shoe. These Christian Louboutins fit the bill and would complete the wintry look – but I’m undecided. Are they too busy for the gown? Is the 4.5-inch heel unreasonable for a full night of dancing? What would you pick to pair with the inaugural dress?

Such snow-inspired picks almost make me excited for the remaining cold days of winter. . . almost.

Posted by Miss Mojito

Mojitos, Mo’ Problems

I have to admit, I’m something of a mojito connoisseur. Mojito addict might be the more appropriate term. I know, I know, it’s not the hippest of cocktails these days. “Oh, Miss Mojito, you are so 2005,” you might scold. But I don’t care. My name is Miss Mojito, and I’m a mojito addict. The tangy lime, the sweet pop of sugar, the heady rum, and the mint—oh the mint! It’s what elevates the mojito from a cocktail to an art form.

Unfortunately, for such a simple concoction, it’s surprisingly easy to get wrong. I should know. I’ve tried to recreate the perfect mojito countless times, based on sublime encounters I’ve had with the drink atMojitos, 'mo problems different locales across Virginia. Charlottesville , for example, has a surprisingly high ratio of mojitos-per-capita, while Richmond is, comparably, lacking. A notable exception is Havana ’59, a Cuban restaurant where, just last weekend, a girlfriend and I indulged in some great appetizers and their delectable signature drink. In the absence of a trip to Havana , these recipes will hopefully meet your mojito fix.

But first, a few notes:

  • Always use a freshly opened bottle of club soda when making mojitos. Even a day-old bottle can leave your mojito tasting lifeless and limp.
  • Mojitos certainly taste best in the summer, when you can gather some mint from your own herb garden. But supermarket mint works in a pinch – especially during these cold months when you’re craving a mojito to shed some tropical warmth into your winter.
  • Give your limes a roll on the countertop before cutting and squeezing to up their juiciness quotient.
  • Invest in a long-handled, sturdy muddler, available at most cooking stores. It will pull the most flavor out of the mint leaves.
  • Taste your mojito at every step of the process. Your personal mojito taste might be different from Miss M’s—we like a predominance of tart with a strong kick of sweet—but taste frequently to be certain. You might want to add an extra teaspoon of sugar, another slug of rum or an extra squeeze of lime.
  • Most importantly, remember: mojitos, ‘mo problems. I recommend a limit of four. After that, things might just start to get fuzzy.

Miss M’s Quick & Easy Mojito
This is a go-to version when you don’t have the patience to whip up a simple syrup. Serves 4.

In a large pitcher, muddle two handfuls of mint and 4 teaspoons of powdered sugar. Fill halfway with ice, then add the juice of four limes. Add the squeezed lime rinds to the pitcher. Finish with eight ounces of white rum and six to eight ounces of club soda, then stir to mix. Serve with a sprig of mint.

Raspberry Mojito
Miss M discovered this drink at Mono Loco, her favorite restaurant in Charlottesville . The muddled berries make a magical addition to this drink. We think this recipe is a fairly close match to the restaurant’s original. Serves 4.

Bring two parts sugar and one part water to a boil on the stovetop. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Pour two ounces of the syrup in a large pitcher with two handfuls of mint and one handful of fresh raspberries (reserve the remaining syrup in the refrigerator for later use). Muddle well. Fill the pitcher halfway with ice, then add the juice of four limes. Add the squeezed lime rinds to the pitcher. Finish with eight ounces of Bacardi Razz (Bacardi Limon or plain white rum are substitutes) and six to eight ounces of club soda. Stir to mix, and garnish with mint and whole raspberries.
Lime Pump

Personally speaking, a mojito puts me in a dancing frame of mind. So put on your dancing shoes and salsa-it-up with this Cuban concoction. May I recommend this saucy lime-green pair from Ralph Lauren, on sale over at our friends at endless.com?

posted by Miss Mojito

New Year, New Shoes

Miss Mojito is excited to make her debut post on Shoes & Cocktails! It’s a new year for new beginnings. . . and new shoes. 2008 was a good year for me, shoe-wise. I discovered a couple of pairs of uber-comfy boots; added some patent flats to my footwear arsenal; and expanded my peep-toe possibilities.

But my hopes for 2009 are even greater. And with that in mind, I bring you the shoes that I hope-err, resolve-to buy in the next 12 months.

strappy_sandals1

Extreme Strappy Sandals

Straps are going crazy for spring, and I have my eye on this pair from Corso Como in platinum. The heel is towering, the straps are strapping – this is one hot pair of shoes.

Platform Pumps

purple_platforms

Although the trend isn’t new, it’s one I’ve been toying with for a while now. And despite the fact that these shoes will leave me a bit less steady than my regular pumps, this year I’m resolved to take the plunge and step up to the platform. I hope to take that step in this purple pair from BCBG, with an exotic animal print to spice things up.

Sculptural Booties

mustard_booties1

I joined the bootie bandwagon with a safe pair of black ankle boots last winter, but I hope to take it up a level with an extra burst of color this year. Since it’s not a trend that will likely stand the test of time, I’m not inclined to invest too much of my limited fashion income in this particular pair. But just look at this open-toed mustard version from Gwen Stefani’s line, L.A.M.B. The skinny high heel! The scale-like mini ruffles! If it weren’t for the $400+ price tag, it might be a match made in footwear heaven for Miss M and these very special booties.

Metallic Mary Janes

metallic_maryjanes

I love the slightly unconventional flair behind the pairing of the preppy MJ with the edgy crackled pewter. This t-strap version from Urban Outfitters is swoon-worthy.

A few more straps, a bit more height, a little more edge — for me, 2009 is about taking it up a notch style-wise, while taking it down a notch budget-wise. And even if these picks don’t pan out to be my actual purchases this year, at least they’re a starting point for inspiration! My 2009 budget will likely (okay, definitely) not allow me to purchase all that my heart desires, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

So with such lofty aspirations, I’m turning to a truly dream-inspiring cocktail. I came across this Golden Dream Cocktail over at the kitchn, where it’s described as an adult version of a Creamsicle. Yum. The perfect escape from reality. I’m hoping this dreamy and rich cocktail will help keep my shoe dreams alive.

Golden Dream Cocktail
Serves 2

  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 2 ounces Galliano liqueur
  • 2 ounces orange juice (fresh-squeezed, if possible)
  • 1 ounce light table cream

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glasses and serve.


posted by Miss Mojito