Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SHOES: a memoir of recent days

This weekend I will have the distinct pleasure of attending Book Expo America in NYC, to sign copies of a brand-new book that I not only illustrated, but also wrote: Isabella's Shoe Studio! (To read more about how all of that went down, click here—it's a good story.)

Mauricio Vel√°zquez de Le√≥n (a.k.a Puck), leader of Team Duopress, will be there as well, with two other new books. I'll fill you in on the other books in coming weeks. They are awesome and I can't wait to share.

This post, however, is all about SHOES.

Now. A girl can spend a weekend in NYC shod in her tried-and-trues, and normally I would. However. A string of recent events forced me to shop for new shoes. I am merely a victim of circumstance.

First of all, a year and a half ago, I broke my foot again, meriting a stern talking-to from my doctor. His instruction against high heels was accompanied by a very significant look over the top of his glasses, raised eyebrow and all. He meant business. Depressed about having to wear that unsightly and all-too-familiar blue boot, I decided I had better listen, and hobbled obediently into a flats-only future. (In the spirit of honesty, dear reader, I must confess to pulling my favorite BCBG wedges out of the closet once or twice since my foot has healed, but only for occasions at which I was allowed to sit.)

Then, this past year, Isabella's Shoe Studio happened. Suddenly I had written a shoe book, and would be traveling to the Big Bad Burg to promote it. Call me crazy for paying special consideration to my feet, but the event in question hovers around a shoe book. In New York City. Perhaps my opinion had been shaped by years spent designing costumes in New York, or illustrating fashion essays for Elle. Whatever the case, it seemed to me that my shoes for this 4-day event needed to represent!

As winter melted into spring, I pulled my trusty flats out of storage and was dismayed at their various states of disrepair. (Don't be fooled: I love shoes, but don't have that many in my closet. I'm the kind of girl who finds a pair she likes and wears them for a decade. It's true. Once I even had a pair of flip-flops re-soled. They were Nikes, but still—flip flops!)

Alas, my very favorite black flats, the ones I wore everywhere and with everything, were literally falling apart at the seams. The leather was torn; there was no hope for repair.

To make matters worse, the soles of the Campers that I bought in NYC ten years ago—my sure-fire-city-stomping shoes—were crumbling, and their unusual design prohibited a re-tread. I had to let them go. Never thought I'd see the day.

So. I had to buy new shoes, and they had to be not only beautiful, but flat and comfortable, because trade shows = walking.


Now. The main character in the book that I wrote, Isabella, is a little girl who loves all kinds of shoes, and aspires to design them. Keeping her in mind, I began the laborious task of replacing my old friends. Tough work, I know, but I'm a trooper. :o) Figured I'd need some cool sneaks, and maybe a ballet flat as well—both, styles featured heavily in the book. I began my search on-line, and have a fun Pinterest board to show for my effort.


I bought these silver sneakers by Gotta Flurt on a whim but couldn't bring myself to wear them. They'd be great for little Isabella, but not for an old lady like me. Too sparkly. My husband said they made me look like a member of a boy band—even more than usual. Ha. (He was right.)

Using a DSW promo code I ordered these vibrant blue Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, an American classic, but they didn't fit at all: too long. 

Eventually I found this AMAZING, slightly metallic version of the CTAS on sale at a local shoe discount store, which came with multiple laces. They fit like a glove, and are comfortable. And yes, they sparkle—but not too much. I think Isabella would approve. 


If this Mia ballet flat hadn't been so deeply discounted, I probably would never have bought it, because it is quite delicate. Yes, I snagged a pair, but needed something sturdier for the Big City.

After hours spent researching on-line I literally stumbled over my top choice in a local discount store a few weeks later: these comfortable, stylish Dr. Scholl's. Perfect!


The interior of Isabella's Shoe Studio is printed in 2-colors: black, and Pantone 196, the blushest of blush pinks. So obviously, I had to try on (and buy!) this dress which Donna Karan must have designed with Isabelle's Shoe Studio in mind...  and, these chic and adorable petal pink BCBG flats—see the close-up at the top of this post for a better look. 

(Marsha, I know, I know.... they're not the most comfortable, but I had to get them. And I'll find someplace to wear them, for sure.)

So, friends, I think I'm set. I'll be back next week with a full report, and will definitely let you know how it goes with the shoes.

best always and wish me luck,


1 comment:

Marsha Marks said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. You are quite the writer! They say you're a wonderful writer, when...the reader is taken away by the story and forgets the writing. And that's what we have here! Absolutely charming. Can't wait to see you at BEA and brag my fool head off that you are a friend of mine!!