Friday, December 21, 2012

yes, that's a black santa hat


Apologies for last week's absentee post - the usual excuse.

With the holidays upon us, and since I'm afflicted with a cold today and not in the mood for putting together a proper post, I'm just going to close up shop for the year. I'll be back to regular posting duties on January 11th.

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for reading, for commenting, and for supporting my rather quixotic little blog. I really appreciate it, and am grateful for all the wonderful people I've been able to meet through my blogging efforts.

If you have a moment, please respond to the poll in the upper right corner - I'd love to get a better idea for the sort of features you'd like to see in the New Year. Do you like the interviews and want more? Should I offer you more what-I'm-wearing-today posts? Do you miss Frivolous Fridays? Let me know! I'm planning on shaking things up here at The Fashionoclast; I'd love your input.

In the meantime, I wish you all wonderful holidays and all the best for the New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

unique LA 2012 - holiday edition

Another Unique LA holiday event has come and gone and, as in past year, the experience was a happy medium between giddy potential and occasionally disappointing reality. Nevertheless, there was plenty of imagination and delight in the year's offerings. A few standouts:

Frigate Ties
  

Inspired by the plumage of frigate birds, these clever ties involve threading the colourful back end into the black front end, resulting in a lively splash. These are made in LA, and if I wore ties I would definitely get one of these.

Ch*Armz

Conceived by LA-based Carlie Tracey, who was inspired by the desire to wear summer tops in cooler weather without freezing, Ch-Armz’ delivers a surprisingly nifty and chic idea: attachable sleeves, available in a variety of striking patterns.


Also, ballerina shrugs, with or without hoods and thumbholes.


Yes and Yes Designs

Oakland-based Laura Bruland offered a nifty blend of eco-consciousness and vintage style in jewelry cut and etched, via laser, from recycled books.


And for guys, or gals, with a predilection for dressy shirts, Laura also offered cufflinks. A tad pricey, perhaps, but definitely cool and unique.


Magic Industrie

Continuing the theme of recycled vintage is Magic Industrie. LA-based artisan Ryan Hansen uses old books to design and craft magic wallets – you know, the kind where you lay money, bills, or other papery bits on top of bands in the wallet, close the wallet, and presto, your stuff is secured. For $30, I bought myself a wallet with an Egyptian motif, and I'm stil




Human Tree Robot


Just about the closest thing to a fixture at these Unique LA events, artist Mark Brunner’s Human Tree Robot consists of beautiful hand-made artwork offered at affordable prices. And yes, the art features stylized humans, trees, robots, and combinations of the tree in a lush style that is serene, mysterious, and ever-so-modestly surreal. The only apparel for sale was a t-shirt with one of Mark’s robots, and after much hemming and hawing I decided to break my “absolutely no t-shirts” rule to buy it. The reason? After seeing a few fellows wandering the floors wearing jeans, t-shirts, and a blazer, I was inspired to give the t-shirt a try. I’ll post more about this style experience sometime soonish.

****
There was more. My wife found herself a purse and a steampunk-ish watch-mechanism pendant. And we found jams. Did I forget to mention jams? Oh, sure, the sweet stuff is not fashion, but SQIRL jams are too exquisite not to share with you. The Blenheim apricot preserves are especially phenomenal.

And that’s it for this year’s Unique LA. For more, check out stateofunique.com.

Note: All images borrowed from their respective websites under fair use for illustrative purposes only. They will be removed at the copyright holder's request.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

spendmas time is here again

by frédérik

It’s Spendmas, that time of year between Thanksgiving and the week or so before Christmas. You can tell it’s that special commercial time of year because Thanksgiving dinner hasn’t been digested before stores began pouring Christmas carols into the ears of shoppers already afflicted by premature ornamentation and attempts at tinsel-lation. Just last weekend in a local mall, one of Sandy Claws’ many doppelgangers was hauling the kids up onto his lap to hear their greedy little requests for stuff. ‘tis the season to spend, kids, and fair warning: I’m going to be grouchy until Spendmas ends and the genuine seasonal spirit of peace and goodwill makes a guest appearance.

Spendmas notwithstanding, however, as thoughts turn towards gifts for the family and friends we cherish, conscientious fashionistas might ask: where can I get some fashionable gifts that won’t throw my conscience into spasms?

If you happen to be in the LA area, the State of Unique will be holding its annual holiday event this weekend, December 1st and 2nd, at the California Market Center Penthouse between 11am and 6pm. Fashionoclast fave Sheswai Lacquer will be there, as well as some newcomers I'm looking forward to discovering in person:


I’ll be there tomorrow, maybe with Fez on. But if you don't live in LA (or other State of Unique cities) - and even if you do - there are are some wonderful alternatives.


Online, I’ve recently discovered SERRV, a non-profit organization dedicated to fair-trade and handmade products that help improve communities around the world. From Divine chocolate, coffee, and other yummy foods to dishware and lines, SERRV offers a wonderful selection of ethical and delightful products to choose from. For example:

Reversible Ikat shoulder bag made of cotton and vegan leather. $60. Produced by Mahaguthi, which supports artisans throughout Nepal.


Belted Nagita tunic made from natural cotton and block-printed by hand by Indian an fair-trade organization aiming to empower women in impoverished areas of Mumbai. $60


Charming Dove pin made from copper and brass, with an eye made from lapiz lazuli. $16. Made by Comparte, a non-profit that aims to help economical disadvantaged artisans in Chile.


I'm planning on doing some gift shopping here...


Another possibility: National Geographic’s NOVICA. Like SERRV, this organization strives to bridge the gap between the world and artisans from around the world. Their selection features larger scale items than SERRV, and includes area rugs, furniture, statuary, and musical instruments as well as jewelry, apparel, and so on. My wife and I bought a beautiful statue of Buddha from here. The craftsmanship on the part of Balinese sculptor Wayan Kandiyasa was excellent, and the experience of buying from NOVICA was a pleasure. A special touch: each product comes with an artisan’s story card so you can learn about the person who made it.

Cotton batik robe, 'Red Floral Kimono.' $67.99


“Leisure” cotton skirt hand-made by a Thai artisan. $34.95


“Thai Riches” cotton capri pants hand-made by a Thai artisan. $39.95

“Geodesic” silver cufflinks from, and Indian artisan pursuing her dream of design jewelry. $92.95

And there you go.

How about you? What cool, and conscientious, shops/designers have you discovered lately? I'd love to read about them in the comments below.

Note: Unique LA logo, SERRV logo and product images, and NOVICA logo and product images all belong to their respective copyright holders and are used here under fair use for illustrative purposes only. Images will, of course, be removed at the copyright owner's request.









Saturday, November 24, 2012

the fashion of lovers is for death

by frédérik

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

I confess I've been feeling rather irritable towards the state of fashion design these days, a sentiment that got me into trouble thanks to an inartfully phrased comment...In any case, suffice it to say that I'm stuck with the feeling that the fashion industry in general is stagnating, despite the successes of individuals designer/artisans here and there. It's as if the discipline of fashion design is missing something, and that imagination and craftsmanship, however undeniable in some cases, are boxed into familiar cultural and conceptual categories. Where, I wonder, is the progressive design, the revolutionary design, the design that aims outside the ivory tower of high fashion and high prices? Where is the design that goes beyond mere exercises in aesthetics?

So I've been stuck inside a room with no windows and no doors. My chilling challenge: to find a way out! Without metaphorically hanging from the rafters, of course. Then an idea started forming once my penchant for melodramatic excess settled down. For some time, I've been thinking about when my interest in fashion was kindled: with the discovery of goth,and my first deliberate stylistic choice to phase out colours to achieve an all-black wardrobe. I don't tend to let  myself become ensnared, encapsulated, or otherwise embalmed by labels - and I'm not going to start trotting any now - but insofar as I have a home for my gothic sensibilities, it is with the unique and remarkably durable goth (sub)culture for which I still feel an affinity towards. And so, as my wardrobe has been subject to my idiosyncrasies, I've been considering re-calibrating my personal style, which was wandered over the years...and as I revisit some familiar, but neglected friends - Shrine, Lip Service - I may have found the antidote to the funk I've been in. Oh yes, there's still a revolutionary spirit to be found, fashion design that makes a statement, assumes a point of view - fashion design that actually means something.



Before featuring those old friends in future posts, however, I have to credit a new discovery for sparking my enthusiasm back to life: Los Angeles-based Heavy Red, whose gorgeous, sophisticated designs break my heart. Unmistakably gothic, with a hint of sex and cabaret, a certain literary erudition, an imaginative distillation of death and romance. I could run out of adjectives. But consider this: there's something "easy" in fashion designers choosing to be everything to everyone - or, at least, tuning their career for mainstream fashion. I greatly admire designers like Heavy Red, not only because I relate but because they've chosen the more difficult task of embodying a particular alternative culture, a task that entails both preserving an essential character while imagining new ways of expressing that character. For example, I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head who designs gothic swimsuits. Yes, Heavy Red is that good. And reasonably priced, too.

But enough with the yakkety-schmakkety. How about we take a look at some clothes? I had to pick a few somewhat at random, because they're all so enticing. So feast your eyes on...

The costume, easily rivaling anything American McGee or Tim Burton could conceive, includes a blue Alice dress, brocade corset, cream jacket, and strait jacket straps.




Silver and pretty.



A bold fitted dress with side zipper, adjustable straps, and an elastic along the top back to allow for differences in bust size.



A striking heavy-weight (30% faux wool 3%span 34% acrylic) vegan-friendly coat lined with deep red satin, detachable faux-fur collar and arm-warmers, and the versatility to adjust to form and layers of clothes beneath.




Beautiful corset with 12 steel boned panels,  4 interior layers, an inside waist ribbon, a 5 prong busk front closure, a 26 grommet closure in the back, and a 5" vanity panel in back. 




A versatile four-panel skirt that can be worn tied up or in an A-line style, designed to be worn with a variety of tops.



Heavy stretch nylon/lycra pants with a soft cotton interior. The panels on thighs and shins are made of stretch faux leather.



Stunning fitted gown with black satin garter panels, hand sewn strips of black and red cloth at the hem, and adjustable straps.

There you have it: a small but delectable sampling from Heavy Red's drop dead gorgeous collection. And in case you're wondering, they do offer men's clothes too. I'm told the designer is working on some items for the next collection; I'll be sure to report back when they're released. In the meantime, though, do visit Heavy Red's website and admire their entire collection...

Disclaimer: Images borrowed from heavyred.com with the kind permission of Heavy Red.

Friday, November 16, 2012

the great dilemma

by frédérik

Last week’s post on denim sandal boots inspired me to look for sandal boots designed with men in mind. Predictably, I didn’t find any, except for this sharp-looking pair:

Image borrowed from Aliexpress.com under fair use for illustrative purposes only.
I tracked it to the website Aliexpress.com, were I learned that these are manufactured in Zhejiang China, is branded under the name “Faye’s”, is made of canvas and genuine leather with a rubber outsole. It also retails for $31.58 a pair, with discounts for wholesale orders.

And what, you may ask, Aliexpress.com? It’s an eCommerce website –  part of the Chinese-based Alibaba Group – that allows shoppers to browse and purchase from an array of Chinese-made products.


If I came across this pair of shoes at my local Macy’s or some boutique, I would probably buy them – except for the fact that labour conditions in China makes me wary of purchasing Chinese-made products. So, really, I mostly like wouldn’t buy them although I’d feel that mighty inner tug between my inner consumer and my inner ethicist.

But here’s a bit of dimension to the scenario: I’m not opposed to buying from China or any other country. I just prefer to buy local where possible; it's better for the environment, supports local craftspeople and artisans,  and stimulates the local economy. However, for some items that aren't available where I live, it makes sense to buy them from where they are available. Those espadrilles I recently bought, for example, were hand-made in Spain by artesans. By that logic, shouldn't I allow myself the indulgence of buying the above boot sandals since that's not something I'll find here (as far as I know)?

Similarly, I've decided to embark on a great shirt quest since, as the weather (finally) cools down here in LA, I'm in need of long sleeve shirts. Since the usual dress shirts are too plain and familiar, I'm aiming to find something a bit different. One idea I had was to have custom shirts made so I could choose the colours and all-important details such as cuffs, collars, and center plackets. And it seems that there are plenty of tailors, a few even in the US, that will offer a variety of fabrics and style options...all tailored to my measurement.

There's a catch, of course, and it's a rather strange one. A lot of the sites I came across were rather anonymous. No company profile other than the usual self-serving praise. No obvious mailing address or phone number. At best, I could figure out that these were companies backed by Asian manufacturing, although a pricier few did seem to have US production.

The dilemma, of course, starts off with economics: if I'm in need of multiple shirts, shouldn't I go with the cheaper company and get multiple shirts for the price of a single shirt from one of the other companies? But this is where the real dilemma kicks in: if I don't know who is actually producing my shirts, how can I gauge the real cost of what I'm buying?

That's the problem: not knowing exactly where the shoes or shirts are being made, and how. How are we supposed to make informed decisions about what we buy when we don't about our products' provenance and manufacture?

I'd love to hear what you think about all of this. Your comments and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Friday, November 9, 2012

it's a sandal! it's a boot! it's...pants?


by frédérik

Presented under the headline of “Fashion That Makes Us Sad” by Yahoo! fashion blog The Thread, DaniKShoes’ idiosyncratic jean sandal boots earned the distinction of “unimaginably odd footwear” by blogger Julie Pereira – and much ridicule by yahoo commentators who live up to the stereotype of yahoo commentators.  You can read the rather condescending article here.

But I’m going to come to designer Danielle’s defense – with alliteration! And a proper portion of pontification!

First, however, here’s a look at a few items from Danielle’s Etsy shop:





Images borrowed from the DaniKShoes Etsy shop under fair use.

Each pair of rubber-soled sandal boots are handmade from vintage jeans and assorted fabrics, with ornaments ranging from colourful buttons to chains. Prices range from $125-145, and the shoes are one-of-kind.

Some have called these ugly. Some have suggested that whomsoever would wear these deserve to be ridiculed. In short, the response has been the very opposite of what defines the “Fashionoclast” spirit. Which isn’t to say you have to like, covet, or otherwise indulge in the kind of genuflection reserved for particularly inspiring designs.

For my part, while I might take issue with the construction of individual pairs of sandal-boots in Danielle’s shop, there’s much I appreciate about the concept:

  • This is an undeniably novel way to reuse old fabrics instead of condemning them to landfills. Eco-friendliness: always a big green plus in my book.
  • Humour is as legitimate a design element as any other. Why shouldn’t fashion designers infuse a bit of good-natured absurdity into their work? People seem to forget the distinction between laughing AT something and laughing WITH something. 
  • Everything adds up to create an unconventional variation on the “conventional” sandal-boot like this one from lyst.com:


Image borrowed under fair use from Lyst.com


After all, if they can put cowboy boot sandals out there, why not a pants motif? (Technically, these are cheats: leg warmer-like boot tops paired with flip-flops.)

Image borrowed under fair use from Cactus Creek Daily


So yes, I like them. They're different. While I don't think these jean sandal boots are for everyone, I think they're far more interesting than the garish, cheap-looking Crocs and shapeless Uggs that a few yahoo commentators brought up in comparison.

My only reservation from a design standpoint is one I tend to have of any sandal-boots; a too-generous circumference at the ankle disrupts our perception of body proportions. Result: the appearance of stick-legs in too-big shoes, or fattened ankles. (Sandals 2 and 4 above illustrate my point, compared to 1 and 3 which to look better on account of working with the body instead of against it.)

As for how to wear the jean sandal boots, I think pragmatism suggests the obvious: not with full-length pants, but with capris (maybe), shorts, or skirts. You don’t need pants tucked under the hem of your pants, right?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!







Sunday, November 4, 2012

another pot-pourri of fashion

by frédérik sisa

Between work and feeling somewhat adrift in my various endeavors, including this blog, this week's offering consists of a pot-pourri of fashiony stuff. And I apologize for the delay, but I was out of town and without Internet access.

Troentorp Fall/Winter

We begin with a look at Troentorp Clog's Fall/Winter collection, which include some really sweet designs featuring, in most cases, alderwood soles, cowhide leather uppers, and all the posture-correcting goodness you'd expect from clogs. Prices are around 85 Euros, except for the boot which is 160 Euros.

For instance:

The Edith boot-


 The Mary Jane -

The Penny -

And my favourite, The Pixie:


Note: All clog images borrowed from troentorpsclogs.com under fair use. They will be removed at the copyright owner's request.

Scary Beautiful...Shoes

You may have seen this sometime ago. I believe Yahoo briefly featured an article about it amidst the nonsense that is the electoral campaign. But if you didn't, here it is. Most people who watch seem to miss the point of artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg's collaboration, which is to illustrate, via exaggeration, the ordeals we will subject ourselves to in order to achieve ever-shifting standards of beauty. Naturally, this applies to women more than men, which makes for a very loaded artistic commentary on the nature of fashion.


What do you think?

StyleSaint

Finally, I've been getting eMails about this crowdsourced style inspiration thingy, which seems conceptually similar to Pinterest. It's called StyleSaint. Before I spend any time on it, how about you have a look and tell me if you dig it?

Friday, October 26, 2012

please peruse past posts

Sorry. No post this week. I'm swamped, without even enough energy to muster a half-hearted post. Back again next week.

In the meantime, do feel free to peruse past posts. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

What up, Watto?


by frédérik sisa

Some people go to Comikaze for the comics, video games, and other stuff of that nature. I do too, to some extent and with varying degrees of obsessiveness. Even when immersed in talented artists presenting their custom-printed books, or the splash of fan-girls and –boys in costume, or the seemingly endless supply of toys, I ultimately always keep watch for fashionable goodness. And with good reason: last year’s Comikaze brought to me the most Awesome Hat in the Universe – a fez with Mike Mignola design. Natch.

This year, although there were some very compelling and theatrical steampunk clothiers and supplies, I was less impressed by their novelty charms – I like steampunk, but with reservations – then I was by humble artisans sharing their wares without getting dressed up in comic book trappings. Such as WATTO and WATTO’s Wife, whose unique designs, quality metalcraft (much powder-coated steel was on display), and overall stylishness stood out among all the “stuff” on the convention floor.

Comikaze!

I had a friendly chat with the lady behind the table, Mary Spencer, and knew that her and her husband’s work was just the sort of thing I like to feature here at The Fashionoclast. A few reasons why:
  • Between the complementary collections of Watto and Watto’s Wife, there’s something for everyone, man or woman, adult or child. Everyone!
  • Creative designs with an irresistible edge inspired by tattoos, rock ‘n roll, history, and more. And skulls. Mustn't forget the skulls.
  • Made in the USA – Tucson, Arizona to be precise.

Jon and Mary

The story of Watto begins with metal sculptor Jon Watson, who launched into metalwork in 2005 after a fifteen-year career as a graphic design. After apprenticing with a metal, he set out on his own by offering sculptures and other products through the company he started with wife Mary, The Metal Garden – it’s worth checking out; Jon’s sculptures are gorgeous. As for Mary, she’s a graphic designer with experience in floral design, prop design, and product management. Februrary 2009 saw her laid off from her job, which led her and Jon to start WATTO (takes its name from Jon’s nickname. In addition to giving Mary the opportunity to indulge her love of fashion, launching WATTO opened up opportunities for other creative endeavours for the husband-and-wife team, like WATTO’s Wife.

Mary very kindly took some time to answer questions via eMail.
How do you and your husband develop a piece from design to production? 
We discuss the new design then one or both of us create a sketch and we talk about what we like or would like changed about the sketch. Once we agree on the design, Jon makes a prototype. We tweak it for size or shape from there until we get something we both like or at least can agree on.
In looking over your collection, I see a bit of steampunk, a bit of goth, a bit of Victoriana...How would you describe your inspiration and influences? 
We describe our stuff as everyday street couture with a rocker edge. We are greatly influenced by symbols particularly those used in the tattoo industry. We are also influenced by pop culture so as trends emerge such as the popularity of steampunk, we incorporate those into our line.
How have Watto and Watto's Wife evolved over the years? 
When my (Mary) company shut down in Tucson, I took that opportunity to start my own business, something I'd always wanted to do. Jon had already been doing custom metal work for many years. One day Jon walked in with a cool buckle he made. That was it. I knew we were going to create an accessory line of buckles geared to guys. The raw edginess of metal was a perfect "guy" material. We started doing festivals and wholesale shows. We found online our stuff was doing really well, but it was harder to do shows with only buckles as it was too limiting so we added some lower priced items that were easy on the budget and great for gifts. Although they are unisex, they have a special guy appeal.  As we continued to do festivals and shows, we found that we needed to add some more items strictly geared to women that were an impulse purchase. These were not necessarily made of metal (steel) so we wanted to separate it from WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear. Jon was kidding around and said I should name the line "WATTO's Wife" and I had to admit it had a fun ring to it, so it stuck.


Your pieces have found their way to many musicians, actors/actresses, and other celebrities...do you have any fun celebrity encounters you'd like to share? 
Jon really loves that we met "The Most Interesting Man in the World" (from the commercials). Jackson Galaxy from "My Cat From Hell" purchased our items a few years back and he is a super nice guy. He's helped propel our Outlaw Kitty design to new heights.
Other than through your website and etsy, you travel around to sell your fantastic wares. How did you end up at Comikaze, and where else can people look for you? 
One of my friends who makes Steampunk jewelry (Mystic Pieces) suggested we try the Phoenix Comic Con. We're always up for new adventures so we tried it and it was fantastic. We heard about Comikaze through her as well and thought we'd give it a try.
What did you think about Comikaze? Are cosplayers and fan boys and girls particularly receptive to your designs? 
It's a lot of fun! We love seeing all the creative outfits. WATTO's Wife seemed to go over really well there.
Where do you hope your business will be a few years from now? What can we look forward to? 

We are hoping to blow out our Outlaw Kitty line. It's had such a great response we'd like to see it go further.
Finally, which of your pieces are you wearing, and why did you single it out for yourself? 
Jon wears one of the first buckles he ever made (iron cross) daily. I wear a custom blinged out cross necklace quite a bit. It adds a bit of rocker bling to any outfit.

So there you have it. Beautiful designs and beautiful workmanship.

My favourite, in case you were wondering, is the octopus design, which rather surprises me because I usually haven't been drawn to octopuses before. Of course, I say "favourite" but I like them all...



Many thanks to Mary for sharing her time with me.

Check out the WATTO family of websites for pictures of their wares, celebrities, and other noteworthy street couture inspiration. And note:




WATTO
WATTO @ Etsy
WATTO's Wife
The Metal Garden
Rescue Ink


Note: Images used with kind permission of Mary Spencer. Image from Comikaze is mine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

a clog called jimmybondage

by frédérik

Lindsey Cochran over at Every Clog Has Its Day held a design contest on behalf of the Oregon-based Multnomah Leather Shop, which specializes in custom clogs. Out of a dozen entries or so, the man behind Multonomah chose five finalists from which he'll pick one to get a free pair of clogs in exchange for the right to include the design in his collection. Naturally, I entered. Alas, my design didn't make the final five. I could offer some thoughts about that...but I'll leave it to you to make you own judgement. Here's a link to the finalists. Below is my own entry, which actually consists of variations on a theme I call "jimmybondage." Click on the image to enlarge.



Click the image to enlarge.

Note: The image may not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise distributed for any reason. Period.

Friday, October 5, 2012

vigatanes in the sun


by frédérik

I’ve long had my eye on this style of espadrilles called vigatanes, the iconic Catalan shoe that is distinctive to dancers of the Sardane. With laces to wrap around the ankle and open sides, it struck me as a happy and stylish medium between sandal and shoe. Enter Espadrilles Etc., a fun little company based in AIgues, Spain run by the lovely Laura Schumacher. I’m hoping to feature Laura and her store in a future post, so for today I’ll write about my recent acquisition – a birthday gift from my parents – called Tomas.

The shoes arrived very quickly after being ordered, packaged like so:



Removing the package from the bag…



Finally, unwrapping the shoes…


Beyond admiring the shoes themselves, I was surprised that both shoes were symmetrical. There is, as far as I can tell, no distinction between right foot and left foot.

Here’s a closeup of the sole, which is stamped “hand made” in French, and the patterned upper:



They look great, and are well made.

Of course, I eagerly tried them on and…started worrying a bit. It turns out that the pattern from the upper, and the construction involving the lace along the side of the foot, results in a few knots on the inside. My worry was confirmed when I noticed that one of the knots left an indentation in my little toe even after wearing for a few minutes during the test-walk phase.  Great, I thought. Possible blisters. I’m going to have to wear socks with these!

It’s entirely possible that I was being paranoid, especially since I didn’t take them for a real walk. But since I’m not one to believe in suffering for style, I thought of a solution that might actually solve a few problems at one. And that solution was to buy…



Half socks!

By providing a cushioning layer for my toes and the top of my foot, I could mitigate the risk of chafing and blisters without having to entirely sacrifice the barefoot state I prefer. The added benefit of getting the half socks was that I could use them with my wood-soled clogs, for the same chafing-prevention reason.


So how did the shoes wear? Today’s my first day really giving taking the vigatanes through their paces, and I admit I was still a bit wary at first despite the socks. (It was rather weird how fussy I was getting over them.) But the good news is that I’m really enjoying them as much as hoped they would. They look great and, with the half-socks, are proving comfortable. These may just become a cool weather staple when this LA  heat finally goes away. I’m convinced enough to want to buy some more half-socks so I don’t just have the one pair. And I think I may have seen the possible end to my search for a good flat. I’m actually considering getting a nice, standard pair of espadrilles…



Pants pulled up a bit to show off the vigatanes. :)

Note: All pictures taken by me. Please don't copy or reuse without proper credit and a link back this post. Thanks.