Disembodied Head, Leopard Belt

From Chandler Burr's essay on fragrance.  But it transcends fragrance, don't you think?

Luca [Turin, perfume critic] once called something chic, and I asked him why, or rather what "chic" was exactly. He sighed and said despairingly, "Chic is the most impossible thing to define." He thought about it. "Luxury is a humorless thing, largely. Chic is all about humor. Which means chic is about intelligence. And there has to be oddness— most luxury is conformist, and chic cannot be. Chic must be polite, but within that it can be as weird as it wants."


I am officially on a ravenous fur binge!  This hat was getting no wear because aesthetic comfort and pillbox hats are apparently mutually exclusive creatures for me.   And so, I turned it into a leopard fur double wrap belt.  (And added one to the shop)  Honestly, I do not miss the pillbox.

Also, how ridiculous is this lifesize replica head of Michelangelo's Pieta???!! Even more hilarious, there's a little description on the back of it, detailing how it was made using marble dust acquired from the same quarry that the stone for the actual Pieta was cut... as if that somehow makes a difference for my disembodied head.  It weighs a ton, it's more tasteless than I can imagine, and yet, I love it.  And the thrift shop that turned up this gem, AHH!  

Belt available here.


Flesh Flowers

Hope everyone is having a fabulous holiday season!

Somehow, I managed to stir myself from my eggnog induced stupor long enough to shovel myself out of a mini storm and then make these floral harnesses.

Wintry white leather flowers, on glossy black patent shoes.  Not exactly a fruity field of flowers,  they're a far cry from the cakey capo di monte's that served as inspiration, I think.

Here are my beloved capo di monte porcelain flowers.  I could EAT these (and apparently wear them, too) they look so delicious.

Leather flowers are easy to make: Use vegetable tanned leather, cut into pinwheels, soak in water, and then fit them together and form them like this:

The flesh beasts before, and after, I painted them white.  You know, I sort of like them in their natural fleshy state... there's something simultaneously gross and appealing about them.



A few new additions to the shop in time for the holidays...

I've been inspired by the texture of the brass chains against the slickness of black lacquer and faux tortoise lately; I think that that combo has a lot of sex appeal (ooooh and it's most definitely possible for a purse to have sex appeal. I mean, if a car can...).

Also, SEVEN New York will have a few of my harnesses in their Soho store shortly (the end of this week, likely?) in case you were interested in seeing them up close and fondling them personally (because I do that kind of stuff all the time.  Words of wisdom: do not fear the angry glare of sales assistants, haaa).   I'll keep you guys posted!

A clear lucite box purse with ornate heavy brass chain (you might remember it from the Mannequins post? The purse and I, we're parting ways...) :

Genuine lizard skin satchel, leather lined...

All items available at (I)D.

On Staying Warm

This is how I plan to do it...

Painted zebra commode, faux tortoise backdrop, painted canvas by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.

Fuck Diet

6 c. heavy cream, 12 eggs, 1 c. cognac, 1 c. bourbon... I went balls to the wall with the 1958 NYTimes recipe for eggnog .  It's worth it.  In fact, it's so thick you need to eat to eat it with a spoon.  No need to say more.

Holiday cheer, (I)D style...


Mink Tongues

They told me, Francis Hinsley, they told me you were hung
With red protruding eye-balls and black protruding tongue...
Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One

Has anyone read The Loved One? Or seen the film version? (Ohhhh you must if you haven't. Liberace plays a casket salesman and if that isn't enough to make you run to your video store now, then we just can't be friends, okay?)  Certain movies are comfort movies for me (same goes for books, too); and I'm not sure what it says about me, since it's a satire about the funeral industry, but The Loved One is most definitely one of my staples.  I've seen it so many times that someone should do a remake and hire me to play a part, or maybe even 5 parts.

It's part of my capsule film collection like these black leather Converse deals are part of my capsule shoe collection.  This is a recent development, since I used to hate sneakers and until recently, rarely left my house in anything resembling a flat.  However, the Nike shoe project started me on this tangent thinking about sneakers, and I've gone from thinking that these are convenient and innocuous, to thinking of them as a staple.  Amazing the way these things sneak up on me.

When I bought them, they were simple, totally unadorned.  In fact, they were so boring I forgot to take a picture.  Whoops.  You can see them online here.  But yes, I decided I wanted to beef up the tongue.  With jet black mink.

Leather + slick black mink fur + dull black rubbery sneaker trim = ORGY OF TEXTURES.  Very few things excite me more than black on black textural orgies, by the way.  (Aside from Liberace playing a casket salesman, of course.)

Anyway, the end result reminded me of the Loved One, and so here we've come, full circle, back to the black protruding tongue!

Fairly simple, extremely gratifying.

I used an old mink fur collar.  These are fairly common, you can easily find them on ebay or even at thrift shops on old coats.

I cut it down to size so that it could wrap over the tongue on both sides, and finished the edges.  This makes for a meatier tongue, but also a more indulgent shoe.  (Also, because sometimes I fail to wear socks and the mink feels divine against skin. Things I should not divulge...)

I then sewed chamois to the back of the fur, the back of the tongue all the way into the shoe, and then partially down the front of the tongue, as far as I wanted the fur bonded to the tongue.  I didn't want to bond the fur completely down the front of the tongue...this lets you lace underneath the tongue should you feel like styling it that way.

The end result:


The Ruby Sneaker Re-Take: (I)D Shoe v. 2.0

Good girls go to heaven and bad girls go everywhere...in these shoes.  Dorothy would have gotten to Oz so much quicker had she been wearing ruby red sneakers.

Let me explain. Dearest readers, I have a little story for you today.  It begins with Kristin over at Nike contacting me (Ahhh what?! Nike? Right?) to essentially rebuild (jack up?) a sneaker.  The conversation went something like this: "I like your insane heel with spikes in it, do you think you could do something like that with a sneaker?!" (That's an oversimplification, a little.)  Ahh, YES! ...

 Above, the sneaker in its finished glory.

But sneakers? About that.  I'm not sure whether this was out there, but it might as well be now: the only athletic shoes I actually owned prior to this project are ones I've had since, well... too long to remember, and I used them exclusively for running, which means that I used them, oh, never.  (Who actually likes running? I never run!!) 

I am was not a sneaker girl.  Never say never.

As I sat in front of the nondescript brown parcel that arrived at my door, and that mismatched hodgepodge of rubbery, Skittle-colored, sample-size (which incidentally look like munchkin shoes to this owner of 4-sizes-larger-than-sample manfeet, ha) kicks stared back at me, I remembered why I am was scared of sneakers. Ahh, I thought, "Alien shoes!!" 

I remembered why I don't didn't do sneakers.  Blocky toes, bulbous rubbery bits... I like shoes slick and sleek and preferably enough so that they can (visually speaking) SLICE THROUGH THINGS. (And make you legs look like razors)  Slicey-dicey.  Why shouldn't sneakers be like that, you know?

I love a challenge. And I loveloveLOVE things that I hate, things that scare me.  You know that.  Sneakers? Turns out we're a perfect match.  

Here's what I was faced with (minus a few that got away somewhere). Okay, so I'm into this red. It reminds me of Dorothy's ruby red slipper.  (I was also feeling the black pair that somehow disappeared from this shot, more on that in a later post...)

Why was Dorothy wearing slippers anyway? They're sweet, but is this really a prudent choice for a girl running from lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and a wicked witch? Perhaps the better question is: Why did the witch even own kitten heels with almond toes??!!!!

Ruby red slippers? Try ruby red sneakers, a shoe with... TEETH. The wicked witch would have been into these. 

Here, I've torn the uppers off the soles and removed the insole.  There's all sorts of weird stuff they put in these things, no?  On the right, you see I've trimmed the toe into a sharper shape.  Much better.

Below, I'm building the platform (okay, you didn't think I was going to make them flat, did you?) from a foam soling material.  The pattern for the platform actually consists of seven separate patterns, each a bit smaller than the one before it.  I made the largest by tracing the insole of the shoe.  I then bonded them and sanded/ sculpted the living daylights out of it, until it was smooth and had the shape I wanted.  Here, you can see 1/323123 of the mess I managed to make with this disgusting foam dust.  I wore a face mask and an eye mask, and yet, still managed to cover myself in an occlusive layer of black foam rubber until I looked like a rubber monster. I should have taken a picture, but vanity got the best of me. Oh well.  On the left, you can see I've decided to add another 2 layers to the five I'd already sanded.  It's necessary to bond each layer one or two at a time, and then sand, as it makes shaping a lot easier.

Here, I'm rebuilding a leather midsole to attach to the leather. This was necessary because I needed to cut the upper from the sole, and then slice off the toe to change the shape of the shoe.  The third picture in is the leather I cut to make the pointed toe-box, after skiving (shaving), but before wet molding.  On the right, you can see I've begun to mold it.

Oh! And the sequins.  The ones on the shoe, I sewed by hand, to every bit of mesh that the sneaker had.

Below, the toe box is covered in sequins, the upper is bonded to the platform (after lots of sanding), and I'm covering the platform with ribbons of red sequins.  These red sequin ribbons were life-savers. Doing this one sequin at a time would have been impossible.

FINISHED PRODUCT. Dorothy's red ruby sneakers, (I)D x Nike style.

Ding-dong the witch is dead...

Melting... Melting... (no wait, combusting?)

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