Hot or not: Everyone is getting on this hiking booties trend!

I thought I heard wrong the first time I heard about these. I thought people were going crazy. High heeled hiking boots!? When you think about it, it's really absurd, especially for those who actually like to hike. It's clear these kinds of shoes are absolutely the LAST thing you need for a trek up the mountains carrying many pounds of equipment. It's like this ridiculous, completely impractical product of the modern age, wholesale vanity at its purest.

That all said, the style is really growing on me! I can't believe it, but I can't help myself either. There's something about the blatant ruggedness, the impracticality, the sheer audacity that I love. Not to mention the cool details and don't-mess-with-me vibe they give off. So of course I spent a few hours scouring the interwebs for some of the finest examples of these walking oxymorons (which are still within reach). Pictured above are Topshop's 'Arella' booties lined in shearling.

I was so disappointed to find out that the Dollhouse 'Rogeri' style, which are my favorites, have long sold out on sites like I found some other black hiking boot styles that are pretty cool, but none of them have quite the chunky weight of the 'Rogeri.' And lastly are some examples of hiking booties in other colors. The ones from Tambukiki (below) are only about $32!

Hot or Not? Draped jersey dress from Surface2Air

Surface2Air is another one of those impeccably easy-breezy French labels (like the absurd A.P.C.) that I feel like I should love.  I mean, Garance Dore herself swoons over it.  Surely if such elegant tastemakers endorse the company, then I should too, right?

As such, I came * thisclose * to ordering this dress tonight.  $69, from $150.  And I have my mom to thank for bringing my daffy head back down to earth (see below for our IM convo).

memom, are you still there?  what do you think of this dress: [link to]
me: i like it
KhoonI saw only the blue dress   that is ugly do U mean this blue one  or else
me: the blue one.
me: why is it ugly? i like it.
Khoon: it is ugle & wiere too  Not good @ all

In the end, it was the "wiere" backside of the dress that really made me scratch my head.

Hot or Not? LACMA textiles reinvented.

I heard about this on NPR a while back and am finally posting about it.  The story piqued my interest because 1) it's about vintage/historical textiles and fabrics and 2) it's about LACMA, seriously one of the best contemporary art museums in America, and certainly one of my favoritest.

So the idea is this: earlier this year, LACMA auctioned off a large portion of its rare and historical textile collection.  It just so happened that most of the pieces were in relatively poor condition and otherwise unwanted.

Along comes this artist, Robert Fontenot, who buys up 50 of the pieces, ranging from Uzbekystani and Honduran woven fabrics to Korean wedding dresses.  He proceeds to find new uses for the unwanted items by deconstructing and then re-imagining them into different incarnations, and documenting the process on his blog, RecyleLACMA.

This is just the sort of thing that would normally delight me, tickle my fancy, capture my imagination, what have you.  I think the idea has a lot of potential.  But I looked through some of the stuff he's made and can't help but feel a sense of... I don't know, disappointment bordering on discomfort.  I mean, I love modern art as much as the next guy and can appreciate any statements Fontenot is trying to make.
Many of these pieces, though, just feel like they're missing the mark.  Maybe it's because I think of sewing as a craft that must serve a higher purpose, and I have the heart and soul of a true fabric junkie.  I believe in fabric, in its substance and spirit and dignity and practicality.  Most of all, what draws me emotionally to fabrics is their possibility.  

This might explain how I cannot resist buying a beautiful fabric when I see it, only to have it lie quietly folded in a box under my bed, to be taken out on occasion to be fondled and cooed over. Cutting into a lovely fabric is one of the hardest things for me to do, even if it's destined for a great purpose.

So what upsets me about some of these pieces by Fontenot, I think, is how unromantic and mundane they are.  It feels insulting to the spirit of the fabric, which may have been lovingly worked over by some ancient grandmother or artisan, to turn it into a dog bed, or a hackey-sack.  I suppose that's one of the points the artist is making, but it still upsets me.

Some of the pieces are more delightful, like the whimsical lion costume pictured up top or the sailboat below, which makes it easier to swallow (I included some of the ones I like below).  But overall I wonder if overall it isn't a bit of a waste.

UPDATE: I was asked by the artist to take the photo gallery down.  If you're so inclined, feel free to check out the rest of the projects here.

Hot or Not? Ombre Nails

I think it was Glamour where I first saw this, and I felt so instantly conflicted that it could only mean one thing: another Hot or Not post!

So this nail trend involves starting with a base color, then mixing in varying degrees of white or black nail polish, to get an ombre look that fades from dark to light.  When it comes to nail polish, I generally have the same outlook as I do towards my tacos: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  Why let a good thing get out of hand (ha, ha)?

Then again, I can't deny that it's kind of pretty.  Definitely classier than multi-colored nails and scary add-ons. But what do you think?  Gimmicky?  Smacking of tacky?  I can't decide.

P.S. I'm actually pretty impressed/intrigued by the nails in the third picture (above).  I'm sure that takes a lot more patience/nail painting skill than I have.

Hot or Not? Dolce Vita Wilde Boot

Unless you have been living under a proverbial fashion nock, you've no doubt been smacked in the face repeatedly by this fall fashion trend: the thigh-high boot. To be honest, like most normal (read: non-fashionista) people, I'm a bit dubious about it and I'm pretty sure it's going to be rather short lived, and thus hardly worth the investment.

That said, these Dolce Vita Wilde boots caught my eye because of the cinnamon-bronze, supple leather and sleek profile.  And the comfortably doable 3" heels. That was from the front.  Then I looked at the backs and did a double-take at the weird cut-outs behind the knees.  I felt instantly conflicted. On the one hand, the spirit of these boots perfectly captures my half-assed attitude towards thigh-high boots, like they can't decide what they want to be.  On the other hand, they really are a little strange.

So I submit to you, dear readers--what do you think of them? Photos shamelessly stolen off of

Hot or Not? Expensive Designer Jellies

I can't quite decide if Tory Burch et al has created the most brilliant-nostalgic throwback to our little-girl days of carefree sunshine and outdoor frolicking, or if it should join the ranks of absurdly unnecessary things designed with one thing in mind: to rob us blind.

I'm guessing the latter.  Who out there's gonna pay $90 for plastic shoes, however cute (and some of them really aren't)?