Beautiful and Rare


…and each one is at least 70% off some seriously hefty (as in $1000+) price tags.

These five unique offerings are available in extremely limited sizes, but if they’re your size and your style, you’re in luck.

Salvatore Ferragamo Berg sculpted wedge sandal
The question is not are they too Bianca Jagger; it’s are they Bianca Jagger *enough*?

The sculpted precision of the cut-out keeps these bisque suede wedges from being just another pair of campy kicks. For an absolutely horrible variation on the curvilinear theme hop on over to the other blog to play Is It A Shoe? Hint: I don’t really think it’s a shoe.

Ralph Lauren Collection Hannie riding boot
I don’t know who’s doing the accessories behind good ol’ Ralphie Lipschitz these days, but they knocked this one out of the park. Ralph Lauren Goes Horsey is Ralph Lauren at his best. I’m also pretty sure it’s the name of a mail-order-only DVD that comes in discreet brown packaging.

Ralph Lauren Collection Jearra t-strap sandal
I love vachetta leather the way nicer, less interesting people love their kids. Traditionally you’d have to wait for time and the elements to give your vachetta its characteristic patina, but it looks like the clever calzolai in Lauren’s Italian workshop have not just tooled the quarter and the platform but treated it, too.

Jil Sander snakeskin pump
I surprised myself by liking these since, as a rule, the sophisticated severity of Jil Sander leaves me cold.  Yet I would totally wear these to toughen up a too-sweet outfit without doing something predictable like spikes or a lug heel. Things have been topsy turvy at JS since February when Kraftwerk-enthusiast and known Belgian Raf Simons left to suck the joy out of Dior one meticulously soulless bar suit at a time.

Hilde SA Feather Sandal from Donna Karan

How to clean, prep and refresh feathered accessories:

You’ll need:

White vinegar in a spray bottle or atomizer capable of a fine mist
Hairspray (not the cheapest stuff in the store)
Firm-bristled paint or makeup brush (optional)
Tea kettle or a steam wand


If your feathers are filthy, brush away as much of the dirt or dust as possible, always working with the grain.

Get a nice head of steam on your kettle or your wand. I have both and like to use the kettle because it makes me feel like I’m a endearingly kooky but accident-prone inventor/amateur witch in a Disney flick, a la Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, respectively.

Take your feathered shoe (or hat, or whatever), hold upside down and run the feathered part through the steam, moving fairly constantly until the feathers are puffed up and damp (not soaking). Gently spritz the feathers with the vinegar and let dry almost completely. Then give them a gentle coat or two of that not-terrible hairspray and coax the feathers into the generally desired shape.

The steam gives life to your feathers and guards against breakage while the vinegar cleans and shuts down the plume shaft so they stay cleaner and look shiny. The hairspray is a light protectant and shaper. If your feathers are white, skip the hairspray or use a teensy bit of liquid gum Arabic dissolved in water in its stead. You can get it at any crafts store. Steaming also perks up floppy flowers and other fabric embellishments.