New Beginnings: Luxury In Lean Times

Yes, yes, the economy stinks. Yes, yes, fashion has reacted to the current downturn very poorly by churning out uninspired, drab, been-there-done-that cheap-looking blazers to pair with terribly boring flats. It seems as though we’ve lost our ingenuity, our slightly crazy bravado in our attempt to express solemn solidarity. The Grand Mademoiselle thinks we need to put our noses firmly against that grindstone and wear a pair of goddamn fantastic shoes. Mind you, not just any shoes. No, no, the Grand M sees shoes that express an expansive gusto, a forward-thinking yet patiently cautious anticipation of what works for us now. What is that exactly, you may ask? It’s a brilliant homage to 1970’s playfulness, capturing a fearless desire to embrace odd shapes that blend the beautiful with the bizarre, thereby creating something different to lift us from a silly rut toward higher goals. Rather than waste words describing my favorite picks, allow me to drown you in bravely feel-good footwear. Drink it in, my dear Grand M’s, and savor every drop.

From the suede pleated, gold-foiled oriental vibe of All Black for Barefoot Tess’ Japanese Boot to the reflective sheen of Corso Como’s Carro low-heeled lace-up oxford, Fall/Winter 2009 ushers in the dawn of fashion lawlessness and unbridled creativity. There’s nothing subtle about snakeskin and suede, and Andrea Carrano’s gorgeous Boa wedge is the new version of demure office attire, the beauty of which is that the Boa is decidedly not demure, despite its ladylike pointed toe and sweeping accents. Beyond your office walls, try something thoughtful, delightfully designed, comfortable, and a chic, unexpected cold weather surprise. The Barefoot Tess Halia heel by Faryl Robin weaves strands of autumnal leather into a low-heeled, strappy, buckled, closed-toe sandal masterpiece. The Grand M intends to pair hers with sheer metallic gray tights and a cashmere tunic. Good heavens, I’m positively swooning with pleasure at the endless succession of glorious possibilities dancing betwixt my ears.

Inject a healthy dose of high-class glitz into your end of 2009 wardrobe with the Bernardo Drama black patent scrunch flat, cheekily embellished with geometric, deco-inspired rhinestones across the toe. Never having pegged myself a rhinestone toe flat kind of lady, imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had fallen deeply in love with the Drama. No frills here, just pure womanly acumen, as if the wearer could design the Chrysler Building during a quiet daydream. I am, quite frankly, freaking out about this season’s creations, all of which caught me by surprise and re-awakened my slumbering shoe sensibilities. This October has effectively reminded me why I care, and why I love (and need) to love shoes. Not quite following me? Take a good long look at Dolce Vita’s Nathan boot. This deliciously exuberant thigh-high, over-the-knee, low-heeled kid suede boot demands a reach for a wad of tissues with which the Grand M may daub her dampened ducts before trying them on with everything she owns … all at once. I’m thinking steely skinny jeans and a loose-knit dark gray mohair cable sweater that hits just a teeny tiny bit above the Nathan’s heavenly hem.

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