Lotus Boot

I have this thing for L.A.M.B shoes. I don’t know how much input Gwen Stefani puts into their design, but whoever does the work…all the shoes are an awesome combination of angular and feminine, of weird and wearable. Each design has a twist, and that little somethin’-somethin’ keeps me coming back for more.

The Velisa pump is no exception. The basic design is fairly standard, an Oxford bootie, but it’s vamped-up with the addition of the platform and the gold insert on the heel. But that’s not enough–then there are the triple laces in a space where one lace would do. Makes the shoes downright weird. Creepy, even.

Creepy enough to resemble–oh, maybe a lotus pod.

Or maybe the eyes of a giant hairy spider. But trust me, spiders give me the willies too much to inflict them on my very own blog. Eugh.

Come to think of it, the triple laces could very well be an homage to another pair of triple-laced boots–the ones by Ann Demeulemeester a couple seasons ago. This pair echoes the triple laces, but transmogrifies the shape into an ankle length instead of knee; the overall feel is more glam than tough. It’s a nice transition without becoming a total ripoff. (Although apparently L.A.M.B. did the ripoff too, sad.)

Any way you look at it, these shoes don’t fit the image of a “nice, normal girl.” Depending on how they’re styled, they could subvert an otherwise standard outfit, or boldly proclaim that the wearer is into fashion or some other alternative subculture. They could either melt into opaque black tights, echo grommets or other such hardware elsewhere in an outfit, or play off striped knee-socks. And depending on what kind of wardrobe they’re a part of, maybe all three.

» Valisa Pumps at Zappos; Lotus from flickr.

The Side Effects of Derelicte

I recently came across this photo of a fashion blogger in New York during fashion week. I’m not going to identify her (I’ll call her Blogeuse) because this post isn’t really about her or her blog; it’s about a general fashion attitude that makes no sense to me. This picture really made me stop and think: When it all comes down to it, how is she dressed any differently from the girl in the teal sweater?

Because really, both outfits aren’t stellar. Blogeuse’s dress is shapeless, with no embellishments or tailoring or intricate construction to indicate higher quality. Teal Sweater Girl at least wearing some color, but that skirt is not the best choice, especially with those beat-up, rather ugly flats. Then again, Blogeuse’s shoes aren’t especially flattering either. Both girls aren’t wearing much makeup, and don’t appear to have spent much time on the hair.

Really, the only way to tell that one girl is into fashion and the other is the quality of Blogeuse’s shoes and bag. And maybe her highlights.

Blogeuse obviously cares about fashion, otherwise she wouldn’t have a blog in the first place, or pilgrimage to NY for fashion week. Teal Sweater Girl is carrying shopping bags, so she might have interest in fashion, but the verging-on-frumpy skirt and shoes indicate she probably doesn’t. Looking at the two of them, they might be shopping together. There isn’t much that stands out between the two girls that says one is a Fashionista.

But most fashion people would say that one is miles more fashion-forward than the other. Bloguese is all about legs and edgy shoes and Erin Wasson. Teal Sweater Girl is démodé and frumpy.

So what gives? What’s the point of being into fashion if you end up looking nearly identical to people who aren’t into fashion? Why bother spending $200 on a dress or lusting after designer shoes when you can achieve the same effect by simply not caring?

No offense meant to the blogger–she can dress that way if she wants. I just think it’s weird that  people put so much time and effort into looking like they don’t care, when they end up looking like all the people in “Middle America” that they claim to detest.

Internet Currency

I haven’t thought about Salad Fingers in years. Salad Fingers likes to caress rusty spoons, and is documented in a series of videos about his surreal (and frankly, horrifying) adventures. Back in the day, I would quote it to my friends all the time–I could even imitate the voice pretty well. The original flash videos are some of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen–right up there with William Faulker’s “A Rose for Emily” and the end of The Silence of the Lambs.

Imagine my surprise when Queen Michelle posted an editorial called “I Like It When the Red Water Comes Out” last week. I did a double take–the quote, the giant hands, the creepy vibes–is that really from Salad Fingers, or am I just not keeping up with Kids These Days? So I trotted on over to fat-pie.com to rewatch old episodes, and yup, the red water makes an appearance in the second episode.

Queen Michelle had posted stills, but I discovered that the original editorial was animated. What a great idea for an online magazine, yeah? I think it works especially well for a Salad Fingers-themed shoot too, because intermittent animation adds an extra layer of creepiness to the editorial. But the greatest thing is that the editorial embodies all of the surrealism and ghastliness of the original movies –even down to my visceral reaction (What? I like to creep myself out. There’s a reason I like Faulker!).

Brilliant idea, brilliant execution. This editorial makes me excited to see what else online fashion magazines can do. I’d love to see other fashion editorials based on internet phenomenon– We Love the Moon or All Your Base or The Ultimate Showdown or The End of the World or… I’m going to stop now.

FYI: If you want to watch Salad Fingers, I recommend doing it in the daylight, especially if you’re easily disturbed. Friends don’t let friends unintentionally give themselves nightmares.

Seeing Double

Two questions:

» If you’re going to buy cheap necklaces of dubious quality, why would you pay more for the Express version when you can find the same thing at Forever 21? I also found a version of the tassel necklace at Hot Topic–I don’t know about you, but I am much more likely to buy jewelry that looks different, more personal. Sometimes I think fashion retailers take trends too literally, and it seems like lately they’ve been even more unimaginative.

» Are we going to get a prom-queen smackdown out of this? Somewhere, a stylist is going to pay. (Though I do think the dress suits Pink a lot better.)

[photos courtesy of rollingstone.com, forever21.com and express.com]