It Bags: The Proenza Schouler PS1

For our It Bags installment this week, we take a modern turn with the PS1 by Proenza Schouler. The design duo’s first handbag, the PS1 has been a fixture on the arms of celebrities and fashion leaders since its 2008 release. Luxurious yet wearable, the PS1 is available in a dizzying array of colors, materials and designs. In a perfect world, we’d collect them all.

Purchase your own PS1 here. It comes in 9 different silhouettes to suit your toting needs.

Image Source: Chi City Fashion

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Fashion History: The Origin of the Stiletto Heel

Named after an Italian dagger, stiletto heels are one of the most well-known (and well-loved) silhouettes in fashion — but did you know they’ve only been around since the 1950s? Previously, heels had to be thick and sturdy because they were made out of materials such as wood. However the brilliant idea to use a thin, supportive steel rod to reinforce the heel changed everything.

Sketches from Manolo Blahnik, a master of the stiletto silhouette

This steel rod makes a stiletto a stiletto and allowed designers to make heels taller, thinner and sexier than ever. A bit of controversy surrounds the stiletto: Both Salvatore Ferragamo and Roger Vivier (who was designing for Christian Dior at the time) take credit for the stiletto and introduced the style in 1953. Regardless of who conceived the ingenious construction, we thank them for allowing us to walk a little taller, feel a little more confident, and (let’s be honest) look a little thinner.

Info Source: Worsley, Harriet. 100 Ideas That Changed FashionLondon: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011. Print.
Image Source: Manolo Blahnik 

What’s So Great About…Pedro Garcia Shoes

Pedro Garcia is a family-run shoe brand that started in 1925 in Alicante, Spain. Today the third-generation of shoemakers, Pedro (the original Pedro’s grandson) and his sister Mila run the company. Eighty-nine people take part in the process of a Pedro Garcia shoe, ensuring that the wearer receives a finely crafted, thoughtful shoe that exhibits luxury in look and feel.

But what sets a pair of Pedro Garcia shoes apart from the rest is the cork sole.

Cork has many properties that make it attractive. It’s buoyancy, lightness, impermeability, and elasticity are the reasons we use cork with wine bottles. So really to take those features and add them to a shoe is quite  innovative and ingenious.

The cork sole, which is covered by a thin layer of leather, gives you a comfortable feel, the result of the cork fitting to your foot over time and becoming more and more comfortable with each wear. But don’t expect to stretch out your Pedro Garcia shoes. Cork works in such a way that while it will form to your foot is also has the capability to keep its original shape intact.

Sources Pedro Garcia and The Cork Institute of America

Shopping Tip: Summer Sale Finds

Summer and its ever-climbing temperatures are far from over, but stores are already clearing out warm-weather merchandise. Translation: Now’s the time to get your hands on that trend piece you’ve been stalking since Spring! Check out these stellar sale items we found while clicking through our favorite sites.

Current/Elliot Print Cutoff ShortsJ. Crew Safari Cat ShortsNine West Hey Now SandalStella McCartney Colorblock SandalTriadic ToteCynthia Vincent Ikat Tote

Have you found any great online steals lately?

Fashion History: The Christian Louboutin Red Sole

 

The signature accent that launched a lawsuit and a thousand imitations, the red sole allows us to spot a Christian Louboutin pump from across the room. The famous finishing accent has become a status symbol, accompanying the strut of your favorite celebs and infamous Real Housewives alike. But where did Mr. Louboutin come up with this ingenius accent? In an interview with ABC News, Louboutin tells the story:

I had a girl working with me, trying on the shoes so when she was not trying on shoes, she sort of had nothing to do, so she was sort of waiting, and, so she was doing her nails, at that time… and I thought, why, this black has to be the red! So I grabbed her nail polish, and painted the soles.

Now in his 20th year of designing shoes, Louboutin takes his sole very seriously. Last spring, Louboutin filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent for selling shoes with a red sole, a concept his design house trademarked in 2008. Yves Saint Laurent ended up winning the case, but the battle wages on in a court of appeals.

Aside from the red sole, a Christian Louboutin shoe is a work of art, handmade and reflecting forward-thinking fashion. But for those of us who cannot afford the sometimes thousand(s)-dollar pair of shoes, there are ways to get a red soled shoe of your own. The UK company Save Your Sole sells well-made red soles that you can add to your own pumps, or you can do what Louboutin himself did and simply paint yours with red nail polish for a fun (but short-lived, unfortunately) red sole of your own.

 
Sources from ABC News and Fashionista

It Bags: The Fendi Baguette

Next up in our It Bag series: The Fendi Baguette. Fendi is currently celebrating their coveted design with limited-edition reissues and an illustrated book, so we thought we’d celebrate along with them. The single-strap bag (which doubles as a clutch) is named for the way it’s carried under the arm like a French baguette.

Since its debut in 1997 the bag has been produced in over 1,000 iterations, ranging from basic to all-out bold. In the first 3 years alone, 600,000 Baguettes were sold. The bag made many Sex and the City cameos, most notably one in which a mugger makes off with Carrie’s purple metallic baguette — truly tragic.

Does the Fendi Baguette make your lust list?

Image & Info Source: Fendi

Word of the day: D’orsay Pump

While shoes are a pivotal part of our look, sometimes we forget the exact name of each style. Without knowing the correct name, it could be difficult to tell a sales associate just what you’re looking for. Which brings us to today’s word: D’orsay pump.

d’orsay  \(ˈ)dȯr¦sā, -¦zā\: French word for a pump-type shoe or slipper made with a circular vamp and a quarter that curves to meet the vamp at the shank line; reveals arch of foot.

Usually reserved for more formal styles, the cutout center of a D’orsay shows off just enough of your foot and can help elongate your leg and give you a fresh look that’s just distincitve enough from the classic pump or peep-toe.

Images via neimanmarcus.com

Keeping Current: Top Couture Fall 2012 Looks

The Couture Fall 2012 shows wrapped up last week in Paris. Have you flipped through all of the slideshows yet? For a quick view of the highlights, check out our collection of top looks below.

Did you have a favorite show?

Image Source: Style.com

Style School: The Belgian Loafer

Fall trends point to a look that’s a little more grounded and down to earth aka the flat. Now we have a wide selection of flats from the penny loafer to the ballerina flat and here’s another you can add to the list—the Belgian loafer.

Created in the 1940s by Henri Bendel, the Belgian loafer is designed in a “turned” fashion which means its sewn inside out and then turned. This construction offers durability, an absolutely comfortable feel, and a seamless look. The style is often denoted with contrast trim around the toe and the bow at the vamp.

 Today the original Belgian Shoes store that was opened by Bendel still exists just off Park Avenue in New York. The store still has most of their shoes made in Belgium as Bendel did, and retails its designs starting at $325.
Image via BelgianShoes.com
Sources GQ.com, Vogue.com, BelgianShoes.com