Tag Archives: pure elegance

Conquering with style

I finally got around to watching the Coco Chanel movie that premiered on Lifetime recently. Yes, I said Lifetime (the soon to be channel of Project Runway). Yes, it did star Shirley MacLaine. And yes, I thought the movie was quite good.

The life of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was a rags-to-riches story. From an orphan to a dressmaker’s assistant, to a hat maker to an entrepreneur, to a legendary fashion icon. And throughout it all, she was always a rebel. She was quoted as saying, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” In the early 20th century, she was not afraid to dress women, including herself, in trousers and comfortable fashions, using simple textiles such as jersey. And, no one could make black and white look so good. Her designs have tremendous staying power. They are classic, timeless – they are Chanel.

When the Chanel Two-Tone Shoe celebrated its 50th Anniversary, Elle.com issued a special report on the shoe with an incredible photo gallery. The Chanel label is full of iconic emblems, and the ballet flat is yet another reminder from Ms. Chanel that chic and comfortable are an option.

S&C advice–what to wear with my new shoes?

Dear Ms. Shoes and Cocktails,
Here’s a picture of my new shoes. I need to build an outfit around them, and a signature drink. I heart them.

Sincerely,
Ms. Z

——————————-

Dear Ms. Z,
These shoes are très chic! I love the unique “cognac” color. In fact, the shoes themselves are quite unusual, especially the over-sized button detail. You know the thing I love about unusual shoes? They can turn a very usual outfit into something special. For the work day, you can wear the same black shirt and plain, old cardigan. Add these shoes and an over-sized necklace (gold would be a lovely compliment to caramel color), and you’ve got a spectacular outfit. Plus, you’ll also be dressed and ready for that last minute happy hour.

When I’m having drinks after work, I’m usually in the Penn Quarter. One place in the neighborhood, that has delicious cocktails bold enough to compliment these pumps, is Oyamel. I need to meet the mixologist over there because the specialty drinks rotate. I had a mango cocktail with a jalapeno infusion awhile back. Spicy goodness. It is no longer there, but the same, fine ingredients such as agave nectar and tropical fruit juices are.

Finally, I’m still one for heels on the weekend. Pair these darlings with dark denim, and you’ll be ready for dinner and a movie or a Sunday afternoon brunch.

Thanks for sharing!
Ms. S&C

In need of Shoes & Cocktail advice? Send Ms. S&C a note at: shoesandcocktails(at)yahoo(dot)com.

L’affaire femme

The Diane Von Furstenberg challenge on Project Runway was an opportunity of a lifetime for the designers. Design a look inspired by DVF’s fall “A Foreign Affair” collection, use her fabrics, and – if you win – your design will be produced and sold to Amex cardholders. No surprise, the ladies have it in the bag, again.

Kenley’s less-is-more strategy paid off. Rather than making several pieces, she vorociously defended her beautiful, Asian-inspired sillouitte. DVF liked the dress and her fiery attitude. I love the contrast of the black lace trim with the funky, floral print. For shoes, I would go with a more refined design like these from Prada, rather than the chunky floral ones shown in the PR gallery photo. Plus, I think the ruffle detail keeps with the Asian design.

Leanimal won with her gorgeous, 1940s-inspired gown. I love the color, I love the drapping. I think she gets better every week. I’m not crazy about the cropped trenchcoat (with this dress), which is likely why it isn’t for sale over at the DVF site. So, get rid of the coat, and pair it with these Le Silla heels. I think the silver color and lovely side bow complete the très glamorous look. C’est fabuleux, no?

Looking ahead

I’m so not ready to let go of summer (I still have a Delaware beach trip to look forward to at the end of the month). But, I’m being lured to cooler weather by the delightful coffee mugs over at Anthropologie. I’m imagining a time when I’m no longer drinking ice coffee. A time when an after dinner café includes grand marnier, bailey’s irish cream, or kahlua. Mmmmm. I can’t wait for these vessels to improve my overall experience of drinking warm beverages.

 

Summer in a cup

Stop what you are doing and immediately check out today’s Washington Post Food Section – the Tomato Issue. They have unveiled the winners of their annual Top Tomato Contest, and made my heart swoon. While the recipe for Bloody Mary Tomato Mousse! was not an entry in the contest (appears in The Gastronomer column), I just know it is a winner.

This beautiful layered concoction has made my heart skip a beat. I can’t think straight. I’m at a loss for words, and I have no idea what shoes I would wear with it.

Summary, recipe ingredients, and directions are here. Fresh ripe tomatoes, lemon, hot pepper sauce, vodka — all my faves. I may even add the basil oil that appears in a separate recipe. While it seems a little time intensive, I am certain it is worth it. I was going to make white wine sangria this weekend, but plans may have very well changed.

Such great heights

Project Runway brings us more adventures in fashion design with the New York City nightlife inspired challenge. Also known as the I’m-not sure-the-right-person-won-or-the-right-person-went-home-and-what-the-heck-does-Sandra-Bernhard-have-to-do-with-fashion episode.

Anyway, let’s get to the designs, and more importantly, the shoe pairings! I liked Kenley’s dress and shoe pairing over in the PR photo gallery. The bright green peep-toes are a good match with her bold printed fabric. Because I’m still digging Miss Portman’s eco-friendly shoe collection, I’ll also suggest these purple beauties with the chiffon pompom. Adorable.

My favorite design was Leanne’s layered skirt. I’m not crazy about the shoe pairing in the gallery photo, so I’m offering up these replacements. You may see them again in a future post titled “shoes I can’t afford, but would die for.” If she is going to insist on wearing the large gold necklace with this outfit, how about pairing these gold Jimmy Choo’s? High shine, high style, and just plain high (with a 4 ¾ inch heel!). Or, if you want a pair of shoes more beautiful, more perfect than anything else in the entire world, go for these Christian Louboutin’s. These high-fashion picks deserve an equally glamorous drink. A Bellini perhaps?

posted by Ms. S&C

Social consciousness looks good on you

Naturally, Shoes & Cocktails is a big fan of Project Runway. In episode 2, also known as the models-shop-for-their-own-environmentally-friendly-fabric-and-almost-everyone -ends-up-with-the-same-ugly-brown-fabric-challenge, Natalie Portman was guest judge. If you haven’t already taken a look, check out Miss Portman’s vegan shoe line over at Té Casan. They are not as budget-friendly as they are good for the environment, but they are as elegant as her. And keep in mind that 100% of the proceeds will go to various non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental preservation and animal rights. If I was tasked with pairing shoes from the collection, I’d choose these lovely reds for Suede’s winning design. And, give the lady a glass of champagne!