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What the Hell? Designer Shoe Edition

14 Mar

I “get” high fashion. Of course I do. Have you seen my closet? It is a veritable cornucopia of the latest styles from, um, well, I’ve got pants and shirts. Hey,  I’ve got several wrap dresses, those are classic and they just had a birthday yesterday.  Thanks Diane von Furstenberg for creating a delightful and classic silhouette.


Okay, so I don’t “get” high fashion, and more than likely I will never be able to afford it BUT, if I ever could, I cannot IMAGINE subjecting my feet to the hell that is some of these shoes that premiered recently at Fashion Week.

bolt shoesThese “Nuts and Bolts” shoes that are a part of the  Miu Miu Fall 2014 collection almost defy logic. So many questions. I am not opposed to the mixing of the soft and feminine shoe design and material with something industrial like bolts. I like that idea. I just hate these shoes. So much. I know I would bust my ass wearing them, but even if I COULD walk upright in them, I don’t think I would want to. I just don’t like them.

greenboot bolt shoes

Okay, these I could work as part of a steampunk Tinkerbell or something because I love me some dressup, but other than that, aside from Rihanna, Tilda Swinton, Katy Perry, or Lady GaGa being able to knock these out of the park,  I don’t know why these exist.

clear boot bolt shoes


FINALLY, I have been looking for a stylish, well maybe not stylish, but definitely overpriced, way to show off how much my feet sweat. THANK YOU MIU MIU.


These are from the Saint Laurent Fall 2014 collection and I have no idea how much they cost but I imagine it’s more than I make in several months. These are “what the hell”because I love them and I shall never have them. Life, so unfair.  Not only would I wear these in mgold bootsy upcoming yet-to-be-written Star Wars musical and cast myself in the role of a ballsy Ethel Merman style singing C-3PO, I would wear these with my beloved sweatshirt material skirt that has become my weekend uniform because it’s a skirt, dressier than pajama pants, so therefore I am always the most well-dressed person in the Wal-Mart, and these are PERFECT, because they would cover up most of my more than likely unshaven leg.  *FABULOUS, aisle 6, next to the Reese’s and condoms* (So wishfully thinking here. I have no need for condoms, yet always need Reese’s).


Saint Laurent is right in my wheelhouse with this collection. It’s like they took a peek inside my head and created shoes and boots that I would covet and forever pine for, but alas, never be able to own. Damn you, Saint Laurent.

When I was a kid, I took dance lessons. Dancing was not my thing. I liked the costumes and the fact that my dad took me out for hot fudge shoescakes after my class (a tradition I find hilariously adorable), but I did not like the actual, you know, dancing.  My sister took dance lessons too and she was an amazing dancer. I LOVED her dance shoes, and these very much look like character shoes that she wore when she was doing some saucy modern dance number (turns out I don’t know anything about dance terminology either). Trust me, these shoes hit me in a place deep down in my soul. I would wear these in my off off off off Broadway production of, A Cabaret Chorus Line in Chicago That Can’t Pay the Rent, an amalgamation of my favorite musicals, and I think it’s not unrealistic to say that I would turn in an off off off Broadway  award-winning performance. Let’s call the awards the Gilda’s, because I’m a big fan of Gilda Radner and the movie starring Rita Hayworth, and why the hell not, this is my blog.   Picture it, black tights, black long slouchy shirt perfectly falling off one shoulder, red lipstick, these shoes, the music, the mirror, and me, doing some version of the Carlton dance with extra finger snaps,  and less show-boating and splits and stuff, because really, I told you guys I’m a bad dancer, BUT, I look fantastic trying. YES I DO.


*shoe pictures courtesy of the fantastic website

This is Halloween Halloween Halloween. Costume Edition

21 Oct


Picture it, 1975, Halloween night. A pudgy curly-haired girl is stuffed into a black cat costume and trick-or-treating with her handsome dad who is sporting a Magnum PI mustache, though not for Halloween, just in general for most of his life.  The pair walk up to a house and the dad waits at the end of the walkway, as he has all night, and the chubby kitty skips up to say trick-or-treat and get her candy. As she walks by a scarecrow that is propped up on the porch, it springs to life and reaches out for her. Her heart racing, she runs back to the safety of her dad, and even though the scarecrow tells her he won’t scare her again, she doesn’t go up to that house alone. She makes her dad go up with her to retrieve the misleading and so not true “fun sized” candy bar from the nice lady inside the house, who is now chastising her husband for scaring a little girl, as her dad laughs and laughs. And laughs.

Spoiler alert, that chubby curly-haired black cat was me. Of all the memories I have of trick-or-treating, this is the one that sticks with me. I think that night my life-long love of Halloween and being scared,  was truly born.

My dad used to be the one who took me trick-or-treating, or at least every memory I have of going I’m with my dad and my older sister, until I reached the snarky age of, we’ll say 12, since that’s how old my eldest son is now, and decided I wanted to go with my friends and not my dad anymore. Regardless of whether my dad went with me or not, it was understood that all of the Reese’s peanut butter cups were to be given to him for “extra inspection”. A special inspection that took place in his digestive system.

On the above Halloween night, I was dressed in an old ballet costume. One year I dressed like a pink elephant, which was also an old ballet costume. I used to like to wear my old ballet costumes for Halloween. And when roller skating. And when lounging around the house.  My favorite part of ballet BY FAR was the costume that we got to wear when it was recital time. I was a cat, an elephant, a piece of popcorn, a lion, a racist interpretation of an Asian person, a stewardess, a bumblebee. You name it, between me and my sister, we probably wore it in a dance recital and then for Halloween.  dynagirl

I also made an incredible Dynagirl, thanks to my mom’s amazing sewing skills and my epic pig tails. I dressed as a witch several times, Marilyn Monroe one year, a hippie, and probably my mom’s personal favorite, one year I took her wedding dress and wore it on Halloween. HOW she didn’t absolutely KILL ME is a testament to the woman’s sainthood.

As I aged, my costumes became stupider and “sexier”. I was a bunny in a pink leotard complete with white puffy tail and ears. I tried to get away with being a “baby doll” and wearing a skimpy nightgown to high school but my mom said helllll naw, so I threw on a plaid jacket of my dad’s and wore that,even

brettbettythough he asked me not to. I had a real problem with boundaries.  That year my friend Dawn and I bought a couple of masks that were bald heads with hair going around the rim and we were “TWO GUYS…DISCOUNT PLUMBING”. Yeah, I don’t know either, but I know we had a lot of fun riding around and just being two guys. Who were discount plumbers.

I made a cute Betty Rubble while my sister was a fantastic Wilma Flintstone. We were accompanied by our Brett, who was a dark-haired Barney Rubble, because they were out of Fred Flintstone costumes.  We had an awesome, beer-soaked Halloween night.

My most popular costume as of yet, that wasn’t a winning costume (“I won my work costume contest in 2012” will be on my tombstone), was when I was 26 and dressed as everyone’s favorite intern, Monica Lewinsky.  I had a blue dress that I had artfully splattered with white out, a jaunty beret, stockings with the knees ripped out, a push up bra, and a cigar in my cleavage. I was a class act, all the way. Class with a capital K. I was hit on and proposed to, though not marriage, and it was something I had never really experienced before.

Studio Portrait of the Village PeopleThe scary part of Halloween has always been fun for me too. Being scared is healthy. Dressing up like things that scare us allows us to control our fears. Bear in mind I have NO idea if any of this is actually true. Mainly I like playing dress up and eating candy and I am happy to be born in a country that recognizes that fact. One day a year I get to dress up like Medusa at work (and win the company costume contest) or a garden gnome (this year’s costume…that I have had since last November) and the world seems like a happier place.  Some clown cuts you off in traffic? No really, some guy dressed as a clown cuts you off in traffic, just give him a wave, and be sure he’s not following you because clowns are terrifying.   The vampire in the cafeteria gives you a knowing smile as she buys her tomato juice. The construction workers who tire of me constantly asking where the Indian, Army guy, cop, cowboy, and biker guy is, give me a break on Halloween.

Halloween for me has always been a time to dress up, get candy, and be scared. I never knew that anybody thought of it as anything other than that until my friend Anissa Brockington in elementary school told me that Halloween was the devil’s birthday. All I could think then was “that dude throws a hell of a party”. Maybe not what I was thinking then, but it does pretty much sum up my thoughts on the holiday now.

Dressing up is fun. I’m even okay with the trend of EVERYTHING having a “sexy” counterpart.  Items that are not conventionally”sexy” being given a “sexy” costume makeover sexy pizzapuzzles me a little bit but hell, to each his own. I’m totally on board with sexy pizza, because PIZZA. The sexy corn is interesting, but somebody in Indiana may really be into sexy corn, and this is the one night his gal can make his sexy corn dream come true.  I have no words for the sexy bathtub, but after writing about the existence of dinosaur porn, I assume there is such a thing as fixture porn.

This is part one of my 3-part series on Halloween. Next, that time a chainsaw murderer was concerned with my underpants showing.

J. A. Allen

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