Skinny ankles? Extra-curvy calves? Buying boots—especially online—can sometimes feel like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. No more: Our crack video team hooked up with our amazing in-house shoe experts to answer the question once and for all, and well, the headline pretty much says it all.
Redesigning the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a risky proposition. We’re talking about the most classic American sneaker, whose design has gone relatively untouched since 1917. A true shoe of the people.
Think about it. Which other garment is worn by young and old folks alike so prevalently? And in various stages of pristine or tattered? Chucks are like Levi’s 501s for your feet.
And yet: Converse designer Damion Silver was faced with a problem. Foot fatigue was an issue. Especially if you’re trying to wear them every day, All Stars have always been a little hard on your dogs.
Enter Lunarlon, Nike cushioning technology.
That’s just one way Silver–a visual artist who shows his own paintings at galleries all over the world–created the Chuck II, a stellar and more comfortable sequel to Chuck Taylor All Star.
We spoke with Silver on the phone at Converse headquarters in Boston proper about shoveling snow, his unrealistic fantasy of one day skateboarding on a frozen golf course–and the pressures of redesigning the brand’s #1 seller worldwide.
Nordstrom Designer Preview is just a few days away, and no matter where you stand on Shawn Serven‘s philosophy on outfit planning (and maybe not outfit planning), and no matter if you’re going to be there IRL or just in spirit, you probably wouldn’t turn down a little professional outfit inspiration, right?
We talked to Wendy Nguyen, one of the ultra-chic style bloggers on her way to Seattle for the big event, to get her fall picks and strategy for fashion event style.
Blog: Wendy’s Lookbook
Lives: Los Angeles, CA
Her style in three words: Structured, layered, downtown
When she’s not blogging or Instagramming she’s: Designing, filming for YouTube, managing productions, boxing (such a great workout!), and playing with my little cat Sammie.
Psyched about seeing: I’m loving the flounce hem as seen at Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane, the high-waisted trouser silhouette at Topshop Unique, structured menswear-inspired outerwear pieces, and super high over-the-knee boots. Designer collections that make my heart stop are Mary Katrantzou, MSGM, and Burberry Prorsum.
Event dressing: For events like the Designer Preview runway show, I love challenging myself by playing with different silhouettes and shapes. I think it’s the perfect time to have fun with fashion. An Emilio Pucci dress with rolling wave hemlines? Of course!
Completing the look: I love a strong smokey eye and nude lips paired with a colorful outfit, or just a sexy cat-eye and red lips coupled with a black and white outfit. Romantic wavy curls and halo braids are my favorite summer hair looks right now. For nails, I like them short with a punch of fire engine red or a soft mauve nude color.
Follow Wendy on Instagram
Images by Kyle Johnson
Listening to Montreal rock band No Joy gives us visions of a professional snowboarder on a sunny day, flying off a jump, doing something complex and elegant midair.
Not something we necessarily understand. But we’re into it.
We do know that No Joy leaders Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz derive their looped and soaring music from guitars and effects pedals. The rest of new album More Faithful is a mystery to us. We’re cool with that–and highly recommend it as a soundtrack to summer road-tripping, camping, head-banging and zoning out.
We spoke to guitarist Laura Lloyd after a recent concert in Seattle about Tevas, tinnitus, complicated time signatures and chia seeds.
Fendi’s calling these “Bugs”–and while we’re honestly seeing birds, not bugs, either way they’re fly. They’re part of a larger Fendi collection of Monster handbags and Bug shoes. This particular sandal is the current favorite footwear of Jodi Taylor, Nordstrom Senior Stylist, who enthuses about it and gives styling tips, below.
In this image we see music/fashion boss Taylor Swift on a brief break from punching people in the face (have you seen “Bad Blood”?) to preview her Nordstrom exclusive sneaker for Keds at a private party in New York.
Nobody moved and nobody got hurt.
Seriously, though: Swift doesn’t really punch people. In fact she was gracious with her time at Canoe Studios in Chelsea and excited to meet her fans: a handful of BP. Fashion Board high schoolers, top Nordstrom customers and Refinery 29 contest winners.
Swift shot the breeze about this and that, talked about her pet seagull who lived in her swimming pool at her old Hyannis Port home–and enthused about her Keds. Especially the Nordstrom exclusive “Welcome to New York” sneaker, based on her song of the same name.
And speaking of the BP. Fashion Board: it’s worth investigating. If you know a teen girl or boy who wants to work in fashion they should sign up. They’ll learn about the industry, gain skills and maybe meet a pop icon.
Shop: Taylor Swift for Keds
Although you wouldn’t figure him to be any older than, oh, say, your favorite older brother, Gilles Assor, U.S. head of the super-chic heritage footwear brand Robert Clergerie, has been around—in the best way. If you’re lucky enough to spend an afternoon hearing about his career in fashion, you’ll get an earful. From Galliano-era Dior to Jean Paul Gaultier’s JPG line (“before streetwear was streetwear”) to Paco Rabanne (“Balmain now is Paco Rabanne back then”) to the first time Birkenstocks were cool (and sanctioned by the Parisian boutique Colette), and from Barbara Bui to Margiela to Marc Jacobs in the era of baby discos at the Palais de Tokyo. Assor’s narrative résumé is just plain killer. If he weren’t so sweet and fun, he’d be pretty darn intimidating.
And as much as he knows about fashion (in case that isn’t clear yet, it’s A LOT), he’s also a pretty good resource for all things Chelsea. He’s lived in New York’s art gallery–studded neighborhood for four years, and the Robert Clergerie showroom, Assor’s “office,” has been in the Chelsea Arts Tower for two.
We were lucky enough to while away a few hours there with this fine Frenchman a few weeks ago. He snuck us up to the showroom’s rooftop event space, The Glasshouses, and pointed out the sites from on high: the seemingly singular one-story building where Donna Karan is said to be hosting her next runway show, the Frying Pan, the condos with drive-in, elevator-up garages (!).
“Realtors around here are now buying the sky,” he said in his spot-on, deadpan way. We left it at that—except for the following download on galleries, cocktails, coffee and, naturally, summer’s best shoes. (And some other stuff too.)
Earlier this spring, Pedro Garcia brand ambassador Andreas Kurz set off for a tour of Nordstrom stores where he would meet with fans of the made-in-Spain line and help them customize new looks from a special bespoke selection of four styles and five colors. We asked Kurz to take pictures and keep notes from his travels because, hey—it’s the next best thing to tagging along.
We’re loving Janie Bryant’s 1960s-inspired shoe collection for Shoes of Prey–that’s Emmy-winning Janie Bryant, costume designer for Mad Men. And Shoes of Prey, for the uninitiated, is the Australian brand where all the shoes are customizable by height, heel type and color.
Currently the Janie Bryant X Shoes of Prey collection is available in three physical Nordstrom locations–Bellevue, WA; Fashion Island, CA; San Francisco Centre, CA–with three more to come by the end of 2015: Paramus, NJ; Pentagon City, VA; and Oakbrook, IL.
We spoke with Bryant on the phone about the inspiration behind her collection, about what was considered vintage cool in the 1960s–and about this rad, old band she’s into called The Cake.
[We also spoke to Bryant about Mad Men. Read that part of the interview here.]
For adventure-ready sunglasses, we’re loving the TOMS Traveler: clean design, bendable SOLAFLEX construction. Throw them in your bag and speed off into the horizon, no hard protective case necessary.
Plus, built into every purchase is the brand’s famous one-for-one philanthropy.
Just like how buying a pair of TOMS shoes helps a person in need, TOMS ensures each pair of sunglasses sold results in sight-giving assistance to a different person who could use help paying for glasses or ocular medical attention.
We spoke to travel hounds and witnesses to TOMS’ good works John Whitledge, creative director and designer for TOMS eyewear, and Darin Dennee, TOMS eyewear director. They gave us insights (pun intended) into TOMS’ programs in Paraguay, which islands they’re surfing next and where to go when you’re in Shanghai.
And they confirmed the virtual unbreakability of these shades.
Shop: TOMS sunglasses