Since I was in the Hollywood/Downtown L.A. area over the weekend, I decided to squeeze in a visit to the Melrose store so that I could check out the new Fall line and take care of some layaway business. 🙂 If you’ve been following the sneak previews like we have via the FlueBlog or Facebook, then you must also be anticipating the new collection. My heart nearly stopped when Joanne recently posted her pix from her own visit. My verdict? The shoes do not disappoint!
I managed to try on 7 women’s styles from the new line, but there are plenty more to review once the rest of the season arrives in the stores. I’ll ask my husband to try on some of the new men’s styles as well. As of this writing, there are only 13 styles up on the website, so if you have a hankering for any of the ones you see here that aren’t available online, definitely call up your favorite store to ask about them. Consider this Part 1.
Nota bene: what you should know about my sizing as you read my reviews. I am a true size US 5.5. I have relatively-flat arches, wide toes, and narrowish ankles. I regularly wear 5 in the Operetta, Mini, Attention, and Baroque families; 5 or 5.5 in the Bellevue and Fellowship families; and 6 in the Radio family.
Half Truth | Tanya in purple. Size 6. I think I am a little in love with the new family Half Truth. I already love kitten heels in general, and adding them to the Truth shape is simply genius. The shoes are sleek and elegant enough for an edgy-dressy look, but at the same time you know your feet won’t be hurting at the end of the day (or night). The smallest available is the size 6, which is what I tried on for both this maryjane style and the bootie Crystal style below. I’d say they run narrow but true to size for length. I can probably make these work for me but I’d need some insoles. These Tanyas are very purple in real life, but for some reason they photograph blue. I tried tinkering with the photo but you can see it made everything else orange-ish.
Half Truth | Crystal in red. Size 6. The safety pin with the skull charm is a great point of interest in these booties. Again, there is an edge to this family that belies the idea of the “kitten” heel. Sinuous felines with super-sharp claws and fangs, baby or not. The rub-off red is a beautiful color, as is the green which reminds me of the leather used in my green Queen Transcendent | Elizabeth maryjanes. Sizing is similar to the Tanya, but you might be able to see here how the flatness of my feet creates a bit of gap around my ankles.
Prepare | Leader in purple. Size 6. I love the Prepare family. I love the Guides which are the slingback version of these maryjanes. And this is a fantastic new colorway this fall. Gorgeous shoes. Fluevog has nailed it by adding extra pops of color via rubber soles the past couple of seasons. It just makes the shoes even more special. I was able to keep the size 6 on fine because of the maryjane straps, but I’d say these shoes run true to size, or maybe a little bit small. I wish I could have tried on a size 5.5, but it wasn’t available at the Melrose store (the smaller sizes are at other stores, though).
Bellevue | Libby Smith in patent burgundy/gray. (Not yet available online. Other colorway here.) Size 6. I drooled when I first saw these. They’d be amazing for a costume. Steampunk ball, anyone? I tried them on because I simply had to, but at the end of the day, I don’t have anyplace to wear them. *cry* They are exquisite. That patent burgundy is killing me. This colorway needs to be on other Fluevog styles, stat. These run true to size.
Hopeful | Luxon in burgundy. Size 6. Great colorway and lovely shoes. The Luxons run half a size small, I think. These fit me really well, except for the straps which had weird ruching along the inside of my feet. I had the same problem when I tried the goldenrod colorway last season. So if you have flat arches like me, BEWARE. The straps are designed for feet with higher arches. Dealer Kate suggests taking them to a cobbler to get the straps altered, so it’s a possibility, but yeah, be prepared to spend another $30 on top of the $300 price tag. (Or maybe my size will eventually go on sale. One can dream.)
Baroque | Rubens in blue. (Not yet available online. Other colorways here.) Size 5. See that? TARDIS blue. The color is spectacular. The Rubens is a staple in Fluevogdom, but I’ve never seen it in anything close to this colorway before. Consider me amazed. I have the burgundy colorway on layaway, but I’m SERIOUSLY considering jumping ship to get this one instead, even though this blue doesn’t have the special stamped leather. I’m OK with that. It’s TARDIS blue after all. What do you think? Should I stick with the burgundy or should I follow my trendy geek-heart?
Baroque | Rubens in olive/green. (Not yet available online. Other colorways here.) Size 5. Another new colorway in the Rubens. I do like the fact that the Rubens style is getting an update with these new colorways and simpler, unstamped suede. But I’m not fond of this particular green shade on this style. By the way, the Rubens runs 1/2 size large.
Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom | Viv in brown/navy. Size 6. As you know, Joanne and Shirley have already laid claim to their Vivs. I saw these in the stock photo and thought they were cute, but I was hesitant because I’m trying not to overload my collection with too many oxford heels, but also because I thought the colorway wasn’t ME. (The other colorway looks too much like my Liz maryjanes.) I have to say, however, that not only do they fit well, but the blue is a little brighter than I thought and provides a great contrast with the blond-brown. (My pic is a little misleading — the blue isn’t that bright.) I do love the sky blue piping and dots. This is a very striking shoe and will garner lots of comments, I’m sure. My note on sizing: the KKBB family seems to run a little short and wide, and are also made for higher/thicker arches than mine. I took my true size in the Liz (5.5) and they fit fine with an insole, but the Viv in size 6 felt good to me. So I say go up 1/2 size (or more), especially if you plan to wear them with tights/socks in the fall and winter.
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With the new Fall line already here, you might be a little bored of the Spring 2013 line, but so many of them are on fantastic sale right now! Since I had the time, I tried some on again. I’ve been drawn to Fluevog flats for quite a while now, so that’s what I focused on.
The thing is, I changed my mind about the white/taupe Big Presence | Faradays that I’d put on layaway in May (they’re on great sale, too, by the way). If I were working daily in an office or classroom, I’d definitely wear the heck out of them. But the Faradays don’t really fit my lifestyle right now, and I didn’t want to bring them home only to let them languish in my closet. I’ve done that with too many Fluevogs already and it’s time to stop, notwithstanding how gorgeous they are. Because yes, I was tempted to keep them just as I would keep artwork. But they’re shoes, and they deserve to be out in the world kicking some ass with those steel-point toes.
So I canceled my layaway and used the store credit to purchase some of the Spring shoes on sale. Here’s what I tried on:
Desire | Mentor in black. Size 6. Since I’ve turned my sights toward fall, I thought I’d look at the darker, staple colors. I really liked these loafers in the aqua back in March, but since I already got the Amies in aqua, I decided not to double up on similar-colored flats. However, I’m not a big fan of these Mentors in black. If I had gotten them, I think I would have sized up 1 full size to 6.5 just so I could quickly slip them on and off. The size 6 felt a little too constraining.
7th Heaven | Angela in acid purple. Size 6. I tried on this style last May and was pleasantly surprised by them. Back then, I had a problem with the sizing. Like the Liz, they run short but wide. When I tried on the acid green in May, my feet didn’t feel secure even with the maryjane straps because the shoes were too wide. However, when I tried on the acid purple (which look pinkish to me), I managed to tighten the straps so that my feet felt more secure. I don’t know why I couldn’t do that last May, but I’m glad it worked out. I’ve been on the lookout for some great flat maryjane shoes, and I decided to get these with my store credit. 🙂 I don’t have as much purple in my collection as I do green or blue, and I certainly don’t have any maryjanes in purple or pink. This is my second pair in the 7th Heaven family (this was my first). Consider me a fan.
Integrity | Amie in gray/orange. Size 6. I know, I know — another colorway in the Amies when I already have two? But seriously I love Amies. Maybe you couldn’t tell? The non-patent style like this one seems to be much more comfortable, with no break-in period necessary. My patent aqua (size 6) required break-in for my left heel, and our friend Lisa R. said she couldn’t break in her patent aqua Amies at all because of the super-tight edges. 😦 But this colorway (along with the cream, the berry, and the black) is solidly comfy at the edges. Go up 1/2 size in this gray/orange colorway. (I can’t say the same for the black, cream, or berry because I haven’t tried them on recently. Those three came out in Fall 2012, and the sizing changed between Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.)
Presence | Imagine in black. Size 7. When I first saw these shoes back in March, I totally thought I’d get the aqua colorway if I got them at all. But since the black were on sale, too, I decided to try them and see if they’d work for wearing in the fall. I was not disappointed. The art deco suede cutouts were just as striking, though of course they’re not as noticeable as the aqua and coral colorways. I was VERY pleased with the black, so I spent a little extra and took these home along with the Angelas! I almost got the gray/orange Amies instead, but I decided against that because 1) I already had two other Amie pairs, and 2) I felt like getting something fancier, and these pointy-toed art deco flats fit the bill. In fact, I wore them to light contra dancing later that evening to start breaking them in. My toes didn’t start feeling a little achy until one and a half hours into the dancing, which was a good sign. They might take another wear or two until they’re fully broken in. These shoes run at least 1.5 sizes small. But if you’d like them easy to slip off and on, you might consider going up even more to 2 full sizes.