Sunday, July 4, 2010

Living Out The 1950s Fantasy

So the 1950s was such a better time when you look at pictures and film.

Every one loved their husbands and wives. Every one loved their little boys named Tommy and their little girls named Sue. The women had beautiful knee length dresses and the men had perfectly pressed suits with hats to match. They had one well-behaved dog and one very cuddly cat. They loved their white picket fence and their perfectly green gorgeous grass.

What they also loved was hiding in their closets and secretly guzzling down gin and chain-smoking their cigarettes. They loved hiding their fights from their children and being passive aggressive.

So why I personally love the 1950s is because it looked like a perfect greeting card on the outside and once you opened that greeting card up it was complete chaos and unhappiness. It was such an interesting time and the fact that everyone looked so perfect and prim makes me realize they were obviously hiding something.

50s fashion has always made me feel like a little perfect housewife in a not so perfect life. Those of you who know me well know I love to play out this fantasy very often. I love baking goods for parties as a thank you and I love bringing my boyfriend freshly baked goods to show how domestic I am.

My dear friend Nichole has this lovely blog called Vegan Boyfriend. Every entry is about a different vegan recipe she has made for, you guessed it, her vegan boyfriend Arthur. She knows I love to bake as well so when we get together we tend to bake.

This time I told her, “All right Nichole, we are going to play out my fantasy next time we bake. We must dress like it is the 1950s and bake for our significant others.”

So that is what we did. Her boyfriend Arthur came and dressed up and our friend Carol came and dressed up as well. It was fabulous.

I personally love 50s hairstyles. I did my hair in a sort of beehive style and broke out my cat eye glasses. I wore this great pinkish cream-colored dress that I have been saving for an occasion like this. It made me look about 4 months pregnant but I don’t really mind that much.

Nichole wore this really cute long black dress that she got at The buttons on the front were adorable.

Carol wore her hair in more of a 1940s pin-up style, which was really cute. Her dress was flowy and colorful. It was by Marc Jacobs.

Arthur wore this adorable sweater vest and tie. These great slacks. He also wore a hat that tied the whole thing together.

We were a sight to be seen! The only thing that was missing and would have made it more realistic was the chain-smoking a binge drinking! (Just kidding)

It was a very fun afternoon. If you are spending your summer on the couch with not much money wondering what a fun activity to do is, I recommend this. Baking supplies are semi cheap and it always brings a group of friends together. Break out clothes from your favorite era and have a themed baking party!

What is better then living out your favorite decade fantasy!?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bribes and Shoes Go Hand In Hand

Let me start off by warning all of you readers: This is a very self-indulgent blog entry and basically is being written to prove a point to my family.

So how many of you love positive re enforcement?

I sure love it and in my family positive re enforcement is another fancy word for bribe. I have basically been raised on brides and let me tell you first hand, they most certainly work.

If I have the possibility of getting the sparkly new dress I saw in the window at the mall for an A+ on an English paper, you can be damn sure I am going to work 10 times harder for that A+. Some people might say I am a little bit spoiled but there is nothing wrong with a little “positive re enforcement” here and there.

My father Rick is the one I go to for the best bribes. He bribes me with shoes so I look good. I bribe him with good grades so he looks like an excellent father. (Which he is by the way.)

This is a good unspoken deal we have had worked out. This has always worked fantastically and I am a very big advocate of bribing your kids as well as your parents. Give it a try sometime, you’ll find out it’s a win/ win for everyone.

So the other day I come home after completing a self-paced math class I have been in for the past three quarters at Foothill that I was sure was going to be the death of me.

I was very excited by this news and so were my parents. I emailed my father:

“Hello Daddy, (always use cute words when bribing)

As you recall I finished my math class, here is a link to the Mellissa and Vivienne Westwood shoes I would like. Wouldn’t they look fabulous on my feet?

Do you like gold or pink better? Love you


(This picture does not show the colors I was referring too.)

Don’t get me wrong, I realize what you just read makes me sound like the biggest spoiled brat in the world. Yes, I am a tad bit spoiled but lets look beyond that for the sake of the point I am trying to get across.

Anyway, I didn’t get a response from Rick. The next day I asked him if he had gotten my email…. He had. His response was “Listen Katy, I don’t mind positive re enforcement but you have so many pairs for shoes, you don’t really wear all of them.”

This is the quote that is most important: “you have so many pairs for shoes, you don’t really wear all of them.”

Yes, I actually do wear all of them. Over the next few weeks after every blog entry there is going to be a little part about the shoes I wore that week. The kind of shoe, how comfortable, how reliable. I feel not only will this prove my point but it will also make me more conscious about what kind of shoe or heel to look for.

I have 55 pairs of shoes at this point in time. I plan on trying to wear all of them in the next few months.

This week I wore these beautiful heels I found at Wasteland in the city. They have fabulous detail on them and are surprisingly comfortable even though they are a tight fit. I wore them for about two hours then got a pretty big blister on my heel but that what I get for not wearing tights or nylons with them.

These black “creepers” would most likely be seen on a super cool rockabilly chick. If only I could pull that off. I do love these, love the height they give, I do look quite awkward walking around in them though. They are very comfortable and remind me of the 1990s. What could be better then letting my un-combed hair down and dancing in these shoes to No Doubt? Probably nothing.

Last but not least, these sparkly, magical things I actually did get on a bribe. Boy do I love them! Today I wore them for 8 hours straight. My “dogs started barking” about 15 minuets before I took them off. That’s a pretty good run if you ask me! I’m sure it’s the thick fat heel that makes them comfy. What else can I say about them? I feel like such an out of this world diva while walking down the street in them.

So that’s three down and 52 pairs left to go. I will hopefully get all of them in by September.

Wish me luck? Try to look past the stubborn spoiled side of this. It’s now a fun challenge that will bring more knowledge about my feet.


Friday, June 18, 2010

The Stress Caused By The Study Of High Heels

So my last english paper of my first year in college was a research paper. I decided what could be better to write about and research then shoes?
They are exciting, beautiful, and fun. I am going to share my paper with you guys, although I know you do not intend on reading the whole thing.
This paper became Extremely frustrating towards the end. There are so pretty interesting parts though!

A Study Of High Heels

Woman look graceful walking down the street with long legs emphasized by small dainty feet in the elegant heels they choose to wear. Many women have had a desire to look attractiveto the opposite sex and high heels have embodied an element of functionality, sensuality, and sexuality for many years. Historically high heels haven’t always been so elegant and so popular. They have served very many purposes. The historical background of the heel, why woman wear them, and the overall science of them is very interesting. For art purposes, the higher the better but for the wearablity aspect, there is a point where the high needs to stop so you are able to walk. High heel shoes have history, psychology, science, and art all mixed into one.

Historically shoes have been created for both functional and aesthetic reasons. In the early 1400s stiletto heels did not exist. There were dual purposes in wearing elevated shoes. Women were interested in improving their height as well as keeping their long skirts off the damp and muddy ground. The cobblers of the era came up with stilt-like devices called chopines.

Chopines were usually made out of stone or wood and, in extreme cases, elevated the female 18 inches above the ground. ( Sometimes women were so unstable in these unrealistic creations, they required one servant on each side to provide balance as they walked. Although women often loved what the chopine did to their bodies, they were so unrealistic that the ladies were restricted in going out a lot of the time. Around 1550, the first actual high-heel was created and made out of cork. ( Designed by Italian creators for Catherine de Medici, the wife of the French king, she made the shoe popular and fashionable. These shoes made the feet seem dainty and cute while adding height at the same time. The heels lost their appeal to women around the French Revolution because fashion was considered pretentious and an outrageous luxury with little regard for the common “woman.”

The high-heeled shoe went in and out of fashion for the next 100 years. The stiletto was the next big thing with high heels and that become outrageously popular in the 1950s. Similar styles of the stiletto and the platform shoe have been released to this day.

Women have obviously been wearing high heels for a long time. But why? What is the psychological reason that women put their feet into shoes that create huge discomfort and pain? The psychology often relates to a sense of sexuality and sensuality. The psychology of high heels is also created by the media. High heels often elongate the legs and make the feet look petite. Women wear them a lot of time to feel good about the way they look and to also attract the opposite sex. In the 21st century one cannot flip through a magazine without seeing beautiful, famous women gliding through crowds in their stilettos. Followers tend to try to emulate their idols. Some research points to the a perceived notion that long legs makes one look attractive. “In this study, researchers at Wroclaw University in Poland had male and female subjects evaluate the relative attractiveness of different silhouettes of a man and woman. They found that a person of average height (5 ft. 4in. tall) was rated most attractive when their inside leg measurement was 30.5 in, which is about 5% longer than the average leg measurement for a person that size. In other words, you could be more attractive if you could lengthen your legs by a few inches.” (Mid Brain)

While many women feel that heels are great for making you feel womanly and beautiful, there are also some downfalls. These shoes are usually not made well and tend to be flimsy. They make walking down the street so much harder then it has to be. Susan Brownmiller states, “They create a sex difference that impedes our ability to walk.” (Brownmiller) According to her research, heels make women the weaker sex psychologically because females are unable to stand tall and walk firm like men are able to in their shoes. (Brownmiller) Comfort is something to consider when buying a heel but most likely they will make your feet ache and your back hurt. In this day and age comfort is a trade off for beauty.

The science of the stiletto heel is very interesting. Maybe one day we will have heels that are so ridiculously comfortable. We just need to get the physics right. Since the point of the stiletto heel is such a small area, the pressure that it puts on the ground is tremendous. Other research looks at the science. A questions was asked: “What exerts more pressure-per-square inch when walking, a 100 lb. woman in high heels or a 6,000 lb elephant in bare feet? [At the moment when only the heel rests on the ground.] … (Stiletto heels have an area of about 1/16 of a square inch. Elephants, unlike humans, walk with two feet on the ground at a time. Each foot is about 40 square inches. Thus, the woman "wins" by far more than 1,500 psi versus 75 psi.)” (Pressure Under High Heels)

It is almost impossibly for someone to walk in heels a little more then five inches tall due to the physics. Professor Paul Stevenson has actually came up with the formula to find the perfect heel height for your body height and foot length. “Stevenson took up the challenge and came up with h=Q x (12+3s/8)—a formula that expresses the maximum heel height you can go without tipping over. In this case, h is the height of heel, s is the length of the shoe (as measured by the UK shoe size) and Q is a variety of sociological factors. The numbers express how changes in foot slope increase tippiness.” (Stilwell) Who would have guessed that fun and sexy high heels could have so much to do with science?

While heels have many purposes to a woman, there is also an art factor. When physics does not matter and a designer is making a heel just for a season or a fashion show, they tend to go all out. Wild designs fill the stage while people wait in anticipation for the model to fall. These shoes are so beautifully made and outrageous they make your mouth drop in awe. They are the kind of heels where if you saw a normal every day human being walking around wearing them you may think that they are extremely weird. When you see them on stage, they make your heart skip a beat.

For example, designer Noritaka Tatehana has a new collection with heelless heels that defy gravity.

Alexander McQueen’s spring 2010 collection featured the Armadillo heel, soaring in height a staggering 12 inches.

Chau Har Lee has an incredible collection for 2010. The collection shows shoes that look like beautiful pieces of furniture that are made from plastic and wood.

Stuart Weitzman is known for having extremely expensive heels

and, from what I have been told, he has made the world’s three most expensive pairs of shoes. Yes, these shoes are wearable but are still considered out-of-this-world pieces of art because they are dripping with crystals and rubies. The most expensive pair he has made was worth $3,000,000, which for obvious reasons, the average person could not afford. The lavishness of them makes

these heels into art pieces, which could be displayed in a museum. While some of these shoes are not realistic, the art factor is incredible and everyone should be exposed to the sight of a swan-like woman walking down the runway in a pair.

High heel shoes have history, psychology, science, and art all mixed together. People have worn heels for many different reasons. In some form, heels have been around since before the 1400s. Heels were worn to be taller and to provide protection for women’s hems of their clothing while others appreciated the added advantage of height.

Psychologically, as a woman, I feel the immense attraction towards heels and really can not explain why except that its been drilled into my brain as beautiful. They are uncomfortable, make you wobbly, and make your feet swell up. Women, over thousands of years, have made this sacrifice for the lift of confidence they experience. When you put on a pair of heels, even if you are in pain, they make you glide through the streets with your head held high. This may not be a fair trade-off for some people, but if something you put on your feet makes you all that more confident, then go for it. Maybe one day they will be able to release a heel that feels like clouds surrounding your feet. That is what the physicists need to be working on. I look forward to a new equation scientists come up with for just enough platform and heel to give you the same effect as heels while making you comfortable.


Brownmiller, Susan. Femininity. New York: Linden/Simon & Schuster, 1984. Print.

"High Heel." How Products Are Made. 2000. Retrieved June 17, 2010 from

Mid Brain. "Scientists Discover Why We Wear High Heels." The Beauty Brains. 22 Jan. 2008. Web. 18 June 2010. .

"Pressure Under High Heels." Ed. Glenn Elert. 27 Aug. 2008. Web. 18 June 2010. .

Stilwell, Dianne. "Scientists Calculate How High Heels Can Go." EurekAlert! – Science News. 19 Mar. 2004. Web. 17 June 2010. .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Other Ways Of Expression

Fashion is for expressing yourself with out words. It’s about making a statement. Every one I know expresses their individuality through what they choose to wear even if they’re not trying to. Expression can be a very powerful tool and how you look can change someone’s opinion about you in an instant. There is no doubt about it that I am all about being loud and colorful with what I wear but lately I have been thinking about other ways of expression that has to do with being aesthetically pleasing to yourself as well as others.

Body modification has become very popular. You can hardly leave your house with out seeing someone with a piercing, tattoos, implants, nose jobs or muscles that would not have been possible with out steroids. The list goes on and on.

Tattoos and piercing became very popular in the early 1990’s and just became a spreading fad.

It is almost weirder now to be clean and in tact then it is to have some sort of hole or ink.

There are extremes of everything. Extremes in fashion such as the new fashion icon and my personal favorite Lady Gaga. As well as extremes in body modification such as the cat man.

I am not completely advocating such intense extremes because it does hit a point where it gets addicting and obsessive. I do advocate making yourself aesthetically pleasing to yourself though and if that means muscles that bust out of shirt, piercings that go down your entire back or high heels so tall you can hardly walk then go for it!

I have a few piercing and I have to say, with every one I feel slightly sexier even if no one can see it. It’s about feeling good about yourself and exuding that happiness. I have friends with tattoos that are hidden under clothes but when they reveal them to you they are beaming ear to ear.

(My nape just got done, I love it. Dont worry, it isnt red like that any more. That was taken right after it was done. My friend Carol got the bird on her back for her 19th birthday and it looks so beautiful.)

Body modification might seem like a younger generation thing to do. It may seem like a passing fad but if it makes you feel slightly more confident when walking out the door, just like a short skirt may do, then go for it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Let's Meet Some of the Local Color

So as much as I enjoy big corporation shopping just as much as the next person, my parents have always taught me it is better to help the small business.

Since my parents own a small company they have brain washed me into always helping the underdog out. Recently I have become interested in small local artists who do really interesting and cool work.

I recently learned about a young woman who was in my circle of friends who I had never met personally but who did really intriguing work. Her name is Jessy Cashin-forrester and she is a wild gal with excellent style. I emailed her and let her know I would love to purchase something of hers.

She got back to me immediately and eagerly and wanted to get together to find out more about my personality to mold the piece to me. I told her I wanted lace and bones and that was all I cared about.

A few days later she presented me with a necklace she had made especially for me. I loved it. She is charging me $35 for it. I haven’t paid her yet because I am a little short on cash and she is completely relaxed about it and trusts I will get it too her when I have the money. Now I am sure you cant get that kind of service from American Apparel.

Here is some of her other work that I could find pictures of.


Next on my list of local artists is a girl named Genevieve Hildbrand-Chupp. She painted these shoes for our mutual friend Lauren.

She will charge me around $30 and I have to provide her with white canvas shoes. I am so excited to have her paint them. Laurens turned out so wild and unique.

If any one knows people who do really riveting work like these two women you should let me know. I am always on the look out for new items to incorporate.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fashion Will Save Lives

Have you ever experienced the feeling of falling in love with fashion for the first time? I have. I remember the first real 1960’s dress I bought.

After that, I was hooked. When I was younger I loved fashion and wanted to experiment but I had a weight problem. I wore uniforms in middle school and too stand out I would role up my Lands’ end khakis and put the most outrageous socks on, but that was about it.

I felt as if I didn’t do the clothes justice. I would drool over magazines and wish to be expressive through clothes. I thought I would never be able too and would just be mocked if I tried.

One day I was walking in San Francisco with my dad and walked by this cute little hole in the wall vintage store. Walking in I fell in love. I ran my fingers over all the different silk and polyester. My eyes widened at the site of the vibrant greens, pinks and oranges.

That was when I made the decisions to stop caring if people thought I was too chunky to dress up. I got home and went onto the Internet and found my first metallic 60’s A-line dress. Once I started caring about what I wore, the pounds started to melt off. I needed fashion to feel more confident in order to realize I deserved to be healthy.

Fashion is not only fun, it saved me from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Here is a picture of me when I first got my dress sophomore year. Fantastic dress and pair of go go boots if I do say so myself.

This is me now wearing a pink early 60’s baby doll dress that I got from that store in downtown Palo Alto, Empire Vintage.

This may seem dramatic to some of you, but I feel it did sort of save my life.

Fashion can get you out of your shell.

Well there’s a deeper blog for you.

Until next time fellow bloggers!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Please Wedge My Heart Even Deeper Into Those Shoes

So as most of you know lately I have been completely gaga over wedges.

I just cannot get enough of this style of heel. I personally feel they give the same effect as heels with more comfort. They make your legs and butt look great! They make you taller with better posture and they are totally adorable! (In my opinion at least, what do you think?)

They are more comfortable because it is more of just an elevation and less of such a harsh sharp angle that you would get with stilettos. In a previous post I talked about my new longing for Jeffrey Campbell wedges and how I must have them on my shelf, well all my dreams have finally come true.

I couldn’t find the zebra print ANYWHERE in my size, but I found the snake print at the Villains shoe store on Haight street and had to get them of course. My wonderful father bought me the black ones (which are great for work!) because of my good grade in English. I have to say, they are ridiculously comfortable for a heel.

I have been wearing them basically every day and I haven’t gotten a blister yet. Also I can wear them for at least 6-7 hours before my feet start feeling sore. If you are going too make a heel purchase soon, I would strongly recommend the wedge.

I hope you girlies out there (some boys too, if you are daring enough!) give them a shot.

I am pretty sure you wont regret it in the end.