Strassing And All That Jazz

March 25, 2016 in General Blogs, News by Administrator

Art Shoe Talk 12-13

Strassing And All That Jazz

If you haven’t heard about Strassing yet, you haven’t explored a whole world of possibilities of shoe transformation, enhancement and adornment.

Strass and Strassing

Going to the dictionary definition, strass refers to flint glass with a high lead content that is used to imitate precious stones. It is also a synonym for ‘rhinestone’ taking the name from its inventor Georg Friedrich Strass. Now the concept of strass has evolved into ‘strassing’, which is the use of Swarovski crystals to beautify shoes.

Increasingly those who love their shoes and want to own a beautiful, one of a kind pair are using crystal embellishments to make a shoe statement like no other. It is about wearing a work of art, of upping the intrinsic worth of a shoe not just because of how stunningly they can be transformed but also because of having added to the shoes, crystals that are highly valuable by themselves.

The options and the permutations and combinations that can be achieved are literally limitless. The options in terms of the kind of shoes used, the sort of heels they have, their color and their material provide a sort of canvass on which the artist is to paint a masterpiece.

Then, using different gluing techniques and picking from a mind boggling variety of stunning stones: a wide selection in terms of color, size and brilliance, the crystals, which add sparkle, definition and texture; transform a mere shoe into a veritable work of art that spells luxury and class!

Beads, flat backs, rounded stones, sew on stones, buttons, crystal pearls, metal trimmings, crystal fabric, crystal transfers can all create stunning effects.

It is possible to add crystals to the entire shoe or to just a part of the shoe to create interesting shades and contrasts.

Strassing with crystals

Shoe collectors know all about the legend of Christian Louboutin and his resolve to make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can. Principally responsible for the return of the stiletto in the 1990’s and the 2000s, he has brought us the epitome of the dress shoe, replete with bows, feathers, bejeweled straps, and stunning patent leather finishes.

The luxury and glamour that are associated with Louboutin’s designs lend themselves naturally to strassing or the crystallizing process with fabulous results. This is not to say that only Louboutin’s designs will work for strassing; far from it.

It is good quality shoes – peep toes, pumps and any other suitable style – that is the requirement. Quality raw materials, sound construction and exquisite design all go into making that quality shoe. It doesn’t even have to be a brand new shoe; pre-owned, high-end shoes will work just as well for strassing.

The surface of the shoe matters for how successful the strassing will be. Leather and satin finishes work very well and these can also be painted to a base shade identical to or close to the crystal colors that one may want.

Who’s Strassing

An increasing number of professionals and DIY enthusiasts, that’s who! You just have to visit an online forum or two like purseblog.com to know how much of a rage strassing is! Forum commentators discuss the type of shoes that form the base of their project, the type of crystals they use and how many will be required given the size, the type of gluing process they use (some use Barge Cement some use Gem-tac glue), and the amount of time the entire project will take.

Strassers offer each other tips and pointers for their projects and also help by posting pictures of the work in progress and finally the finished project. Discussions also involve the process of using combinations of different sizes of crystals: using smaller sized crystals to fill in any of the gaps left over by the larger ones.

A forum such as weddingbee.com also has threads dedicated to DIY strassing projects since many brides to be, want that very special shoe for that very special day. The best deals for buying the crystals and where to source them from are other topics of discussion on these forums.

And it isn’t just the girls either who are strassing and getting a kick out of their sparkly shoes. Guys are doing it too! Mark MacKillop, singer, actor, model and dancer is also a shoe lover. He was featured in the April-June 2012 edition in one of his perfectly self-strassed shoes. Not only does he enjoy high heeled shoes (and a growing tribe of men do this), he successfully strassed thousands of dollars worth of Swarovski crystals on to a pair of gray Oxfords from Kenneth Cole. Like any woman would, he enjoys making an entrance as well; with all eyes on him in those stunning footwear creations that are the result of his own toil!

Strassing can be time consuming and can require a lot of skills. So for those of you who fear soiling or spoiling expensive shoes with clumsy attempts and glue stains, there is always an option to submit the pair to professionals to let them do all the work. You have to be prepared to brave the exuberant cost in the thousands of dollars to cover time, labor and cost of materials. Needless to say, you can always settle for the retail store versions for just about the same price, also in the thousands of dollars. To self-strass is a matter of time consumption; DIY derives a custom-made color theme versus retail cost for an already made color theme dictated by the designer for the season.

If opting to brave the odds with the DIY route, professionals do point out that the shoe surfaces that work best for strassing are suede, satin, calfskin/nappa or laminato leather and that the laminato leather works best because the sheen of the shoe disguises the glue perfectly. Patent leather is unable to absorb glue and so is not advisable.

Several channels on YouTube offers glimpses of stunning strassing projects, using principally, shoes from Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianmarco Lorenzi and Giuseppe Zanotti pairs. Again it isn’t just the women who look to add sparkles to their collection, men also realize the amazing things that strassing can do to their shoes. Strassing is also a great way to give an old pair a “face lift” from the old worn out form it had been before. So consider this before you toss out an old favored pair.

Strassing is something that you can do or get done to your prized shoes in order that you can fall in love with them…. All over again!

 

Featured shoes in the article: A classic Yves Saint Laurent Tribtoo suede pumps every inch of the surface embellished entirely, in various sizes, with genuine Swarovski crystals. Strassing and photo by Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director Tinu, which she completed in between work deadlines and daily work schedules. Total time of completion of a full pair, 68 hours! We really don’t know how she does it!

An exclusive by Denise Waller, first published in the July-Sept 2012 edition of Shoeholics magazine. All rights reserved

Lights! Camera! Oscars…Red Carpet!

February 29, 2016 in News by Administrator

Hollywood heavyweights and starlights celebrate the movie industry today at the Oscars. The coveted red carpet fashion did not fail to glitter and dazzle as we’ve all come to expect on a yearly basis. On that note, here are some of our favorites!

Click here to grab your FREE COPY of Shoeholics Magazine. Be sure to check out more on Instagram

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Grammy Awards Red Carpet Fashion Favs

February 16, 2016 in News by Administrator

The Grammy Awards brought out the best and some worst dressed in Hollywood. Fret not, here are some of our favorites from the biggest night in the music industry. Many held their own on the coveted red carpet!

Click here to grab your FREE COPY of Shoeholics Magazine. Be sure to check out more on Instagram

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Click here to grab your FREE COPY of Shoeholics Magazine. Be sure to check out more on Instagram

Kerrie Hess For Shoeholics New Year Issue!

January 11, 2016 in Events, General Blogs, News by Administrator

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January-March 2016 New Year Issue

This festive New Year season, we’re exploring Shoeholism of a different variety. Although we adore our high heels, ballet flats can be comfy, classy and a whole lot. These are like the poor cousins of their glamorous counterparts and we tend to give them short shift for the most part, but let’s remember that there can be such a thing as being a fashion victim!

In this edition you get to meet a Tanya Heath, the inventor of ‘Transformer’ shoes. These are the shoes that turn into flats when you want, low heels and then into high heels in a trice. Get ready to be amazed!

We’re also proud to feature Brian Boye, Executive Fashion Director for Men’s Health magazine, style icon and of course a Shoeholic! He offers some valuable men’s shoe & style tips and shares some of his exciting lifestyle with us.

The cover story: the Australian fashion illustrator & artist Kerrie Hess and her capsule collection of timeless classics of ballet flats.

We also thought to address the rather serious issue of possible problems that high heels can and sometimes do cause. Our comparative piece about the pros and cons of high heels versus flats should be insightful, we hope.

On giving back, we recently chanced upon a truly inspiring shoe story; that of the When In Need foundation (WIN) and their various charitable endeavors including putting shoes on the feet of underprivileged African kids. Chetachi Nwoga-Ecton and her team at the WIN foundation recognize the fact that lack of shoes could impede a child’s progress and access to education; which is why the foundations outreach program provides shoes among other essential supplies to most needy.

CLICK HERE to get your very own free copy mailed to you now worldwide!

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Back Cover

Free Shoes For The Homeless

November 25, 2015 in Causes, News by Administrator

Just in time for the holidays! Christiana Care Health System’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is providing new shoes, socks and foot exams for free to nearly 100 people — many of them homeless — on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, a homeless shelter in Wilmington. The event is part of a campaign by a national organization known as Our Hearts to Your Soles, whose mission is to provide indigent people with shoes and free foot examinations.

Soles4Souls and Red Wing Shoes will donate a total of 100 pairs of new shoes through the organization, and Independence Prosthetics-Orthotics, Inc. will donate nearly two dozen pairs of specialty shoes for people with advanced diabetic foot needs. In addition, the nonprofit Dignity U Wear will donate 200 pairs of socks to homeless people during the event.

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Paul Kupcha, M.D., section chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Christiana Care and an orthopaedic surgeon, is the local coordinator for the event. Dr. Kupcha said that foot health provides a clue to a person’s overall health. Joint stiffness, for example, can indicate arthritis; tingling and numbness can be connected to diabetes; swelling can indicate high blood pressure or diseases of the heart and kidneys.

Brian Galinat, M.D., MBA, chair of Christiana Care’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Christiana Care orthopaedic surgeon Robert Steele, M.D., also will provide free exams to homeless people during the event. Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists will set up the event and staff it with volunteers.

“By providing our neighbors who are homeless with shoes, we help them get more physical activity and help protect them from frostbite,” said Dr. Kupcha, who has volunteered with Our Hearts to Your Soles for eight years. “We also examine the feet of each individual and care for them if they suffer from chronic foot-related problems.”

Hypertension, respiratory illness and foot problems are the three most common health issues that the homeless face, says Rev. Tom Laymon, executive director of the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

“People who are homeless largely have to walk everywhere they go which means that their feet are taking a greater beating than the rest of us,” Laymon said. “The ability for them to get shoes that fit and see a doctor is incredibly meaningful to them. Like putting new tires on a car, you’re retreading them in a lot of ways by giving them shoes and foot care.”

 

Favorites From The AMAs Red Carpet

November 23, 2015 in News, Uncategorized by Administrator

Sizzling looks at the American Music Awards! Tough to pick a favorite. Perhaps you might have a few favorite of your own from our selected red carpet looks featured below. Not a bad look in the house! Kudos to everyone!

Click here to grab your FREE COPY of Shoeholics Magazine. Be sure to check out more on Instagram

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Jessica Simpson…OUCH!

November 9, 2015 in News by Administrator

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Perhaps it’s time to consider a more “toe securing” design in her line of shoe designs.

According to the dailymail: She’s made millions with her successful shoe range. But it seems Jessica Simpson needs to design herself some biger sandals.

The reality star turned designer wore some obviously too small sandals for her night out on Saturday in New York City, with her toes falling over the edges in an unflattering sight.

The singer’s unfortunate toe slip rather ruined her sexy look during her date with husband Eric Johnson.

Click here to grab your FREE COPY of Shoeholics Magazine. Be sure to check out more on Instagram

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Step Inside Kylie Jenner’s Shoe Closet

October 21, 2015 in News by Administrator

2DA25BE500000578-0-image-a-47_1445448417728Kylie Jenner officially moved into her Calabasas mansion after turning 18 in August. Today, she took fans inside her shoe closet, among many other types of closet for her ever growing wardrobe.

Watch the video footage below and get ready to drool!

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Shoeholics 2015 Holiday Issue Will Melt Your Heart!

October 14, 2015 in Events, General Blogs, News, Uncategorized by Administrator

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Oct-Dec 2015 Holiday Issue

Who needs Hermes bag when you can have a bundle of irresistible cuteness dressed in the latest fashion garbs at the end of a leash to show off! Sure the bag is smart, but the pooch is way smarter! And it smiles when the shoes are a winner, and frowns when they are not! Really! Adorable little companions are replacing the “It” bags and turning into the lucky shopping mascot to help with holiday shopping this year (especially the shoes!)

Also in this issue, is the heartwarming story about shoes doing their bit to bridge a seemingly irrevocable political schism in the Middle East. These are Jerusalem Sandals that are the symbol of the peace sought to be wrought between Israelis and Palestinians. Don’t miss reading this!

And who could forget the energetic Lauren Ezersky of the 12-year hit show Behind The Velvet Ropes! Check out her feature & watch her video interview on Shoeholics.TV.

Alas! Jeffrey, the exclusive boutiques in New York & Atlanta in the US that pride themselves on offering shoppers a personal and fun experience. Jeffrey is a brand that believes in giving back through fashion.

And then there is this completely fun element in foot fashion with Silvia Fado and SunSmiles sandals, something that will make you go “Now why hasn’t anyone thought of this before!” SunSmiles sandals are just so cool, the type you can literally wear a hundred different ways – to match your outfit, your mood or your personality!

If nothing else, we do hope to at least inspire your next shopping adventure! CLICK HERE to get your very own free copy mailed to you now worldwide! This is definitely an edition with covers worth framing on your wall!

Preview the video footage below for a glimpse.

 

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Get ready for the holidays!

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Architectural footwear design by Silvia Fado

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How To Identify A Shoe Addiction

October 5, 2015 in General Blogs, News by Administrator

I haven’t always been addicted to shoes. In fact, when I was growing up, buying shoes was a chore. I had a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of sandals, and somewhere in my closet was a pair of dress shoes. I also had a pair of steel toe boots that I wore all the time. I didn’t care about fashion until I was 17, and took a chance on a pair of wedges. I had no idea that those wedges would change my life, and start the best addiction a woman can have – an addiction to shoes!

I bought my first pair of heels from a discount store. I didn’t want to invest in something that I wasn’t sure I’d like. I wobbled around the store while the associate held my arm so I wouldn’t fall over. I’d never walked in heels before, let alone 4 inch heels. They were pink with a flower on the vamp, and I thought they were pretty, so I bought them and took them home.

That was eight years ago. I still have that pair of pretty pink heels. They sit proudly with my other pink heels and wedges. Over the years, my collection has grown from one pair of wedges and heels each, to nearly 150 pairs of shoes and boots. They take over my two bedroom apartment. I refuse to pack any away because I love them all and I never know when I’ll need a certain pair. Recently, while re-organizing my shoes, a question came to mind – how will I know when I have an actual shoe addiction? I started thinking, and came up with this:

Signs of a shoe addiction:

  • You can’t visit any store without checking the shoe section, even if you were just there yesterday.
  • You browse online shoe sites daily to check for sales and clearance updates.
  • Shoe store and shoe department associates know you by name.
  • Your shoe collection is organized by color and designer.
  • You know what every shoe designer looks like and could identify them in a photo line up.
  • You have shoes you haven’t worn yet but you are still hunting for deals on the hottest pairs.
  • You have a pair for every occasion you can possibly think of, but still buy more.
  • You plan your outfits around the shoes you want to wear.
  • You are constantly thinking about shoes.
  • You leave the house wearing two different shoes because you have many different pairs that look the same.
  • You name your first born child after your favorite shoe designer.
  • You find a pair you love and you buy it in every color available.
  • Basic black comes in 14 shades.
  • You have to store your shoes in the oven, so your oven rack becomes a shoe rack.
  • For holidays and birthdays, all you ask for are shoes you are crushing on.
  • You wear a different pair of shoes every day for one year, and still haven’t worn every pair you own.
  • You make excuses for why you bought another pair – you don’t have that shade of red, or you don’t have that heel height in that

Having a shoe addiction does have downfalls. It can be expensive. I’ve noticed that my addiction is so strong that if I am going to a store to buy a gift for someone and I happen to spot an awesome pair of shoes, I don’t leave the store without those shoes. I happily bring the shoes home, model them for my husband, and then put them among their place in my collection.

Another downfall is space. When you are insanely proud of your collection, the last thing you want to do is store it away in totes and boxes where no one can see it. You want to be able to showcase the entire collection and show it off whenever someone, anyone, comes over – the mailman, the pizza delivery person, even the political solicitors.

The good thing about a shoe addiction is that you have something physical to show for your money. You are always known for having the coolest shoes, and people compliment your collection. It’s a great feeling to put so much into your collection and have someone say, “wow! I really like those shoes. Where did you get them?”

Another good thing is that wearing your favorite pair of shoes can put you in a better mood. Just looking down at your feet during a bad day can put a smile on your face. You know that even though the day is long, you get to go home with those awesome shoes. Buying a pair of new shoes does the same to boost your mood. Many of us go shopping to ease a bad mood. When you come upon a pair of shoes that you know were made just for you, all bad things are forgotten and your day is that much brighter.

It’s safe to say that I am addicted to shoes. They bring me a happiness and air of calmness that few other things do. I definitely encourage you to keep up with your collection and to enjoy it. You’ve put a lot of hard work into obtaining those shoes, and you should be proud. I know I am.

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An exclusive by Andrea Gunderson, first published in the Jan-Mar 2012 edition of Shoeholics magazine. All rights reserved