First, I hope you feasted your eyes on the photos in Joanne’s last post: the gorgeous Spring 2014 shoes and bags in focus and in natural light. Don’t you love the rich colors and combinations? No one does such bold color on high-quality shoes like Fluevog — and spring is when it really shows!
Now that you’ve done that, what I’ll be showing you here is how they look in artificial light, when it’s getting and gone dark outside (… and taken with a camera phone that’s seen better days, sorry). My dear friend Melanie joined me on a long-delayed trip to Melrose for one reason: THE AMAZING WINTER SALE! Seriously? The most recent colorway of the Liz is on sale? Several classic Minis are on sale AND the most recent Bunny colorways?? (Btw, a little birdie told me that this would be a good time to snatch up those sale Minis … because they might not come back again. It’s possible the Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom family is taking the place of the Mini family in Fluevogdom. So just to be safe …) And don’t even get me started on the men’s collection, which I thought was pretty awesome last season. The guys are so lucky that their shoes are already only a fraction of the cost of the women’s shoes, and their sales are even better!
However, while we came in expecting to re-try on several of the Fall shoes on sale, we were blindsided by this tower of wonder:
The first batch of the new drool-worthy Spring shoes had come in last week (some are already available online here), so of course we spent most of our visit trying them on. We were actually a little discombobulated by all the gorgeousness, so dealer Kate — whom you’ll actually see in this post! — once again curated for us, and it was super fun. (Thank you, Kate!)
Camera quality aside, let me tell you, there are some serious hot-summer-night party shoes in this collection. That bright tomato color is out of this world. And you know me, I’m a huge fan of blues and greens, so I love that they’re well represented this season. Of course, you can wear the shoes during the daytime, too. You’ll probably get stopped as you go blithely about your business, but hey, we’re all Vogers so we’re used to that, right? Right. 🙂 So let’s do some reviews.
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. However, the sizing of certain styles within the same family can differ, and even the same style can differ in sizing from season to season.
I’ve listed these in alphabetical order of the family name. Links online given if available. For many of the shoes we tried on, I’ve shared two photos so you can see them from different angles when they’re being worn. Special thanks to Melanie for taking the photos with me and having the foresight to take several shots from different angles!
AJ | Ana Rita in white. Size 6. Fit a half size small. Wedding shoes, anyone? That was my first thought when I saw these. Love how the checkerboard pattern of the woven cork breaks up the white. These are striking shoes. Like the Catarina (which I briefly reviewed here and which have a similar checkerboard pattern), these are surprisingly comfortable.
Bellevue | Laura Evans in tomato/navy. Size 5 or 5.5. Fit true to size or half size big. (I’m SO sorry I can’t remember! Please call your favorite dealer for advice.) What I can say with authority, however, is that these are comfy and lovely. The fact that it’s navy (and not black) isn’t that apparent because it’s a VERY deep blue, but it’s perfect with the tomato. The colors will really shine in the sun.
Bellevue | Mollie Johnson in baby blue/black. Size 9. Fit true to size. I think the Bellevues are an elegant, lovely family. This style, especially in this colorway, is no exception. Look at it! I can see people wearing it to work, to cocktails, or to a tea party at the Huntington Gardens, and I also think it looks great under jeans this way. This would be easy to dress up, for sure, but it’s not too fancy to take to more casual events.
Baroque | Caravaggio in grey paisley. Size 9. Fit true to size. This colorway was so popular in the Bellevue | DeVere that I guess they wanted to bring it back in a different shoe family. I’m glad they did! The Caravaggios are lovely as usual, but I think I prefer the Murillo boot, which looks a lot like the DeVere.
Fellowship | Sandra in aqua/lilac/tomato. Size 5.5. Fit true to size. The Fellowship family is one of the most comfy families ever (EVER!) and I wish Mr. Fluevog would design more styles for it. I absolutely love my cobalt/brown oxford Erikas and want more Fellowships in my life. I’ve probably mentioned here before that the Sandras usually don’t fit me the way I like. I have a wide instep so that area on the shoe flaps out. But for some reason, the Sandras this season don’t do that very conspicuously — or maybe it’s because these are actually my size? In any case, I was very pleased, and this colorway is so much fun. I can definitely see Madame Shirley in these!
Hopeful | Luxon in blue. Size 9. Fit true to size. These were Melanie’s favorites. She loves the Luxon in general but she says this is the color she would get. And I can’t blame her! Look at them! She’s also lucky that she has a lovely arch to her feet. My flat fleet make the criss-cross bands ruche at the side in a funny way. Ah well.
Hopeful | Rosy in blue. Size 9. Fit true to size. These are from Fall 2012, but Melanie really wanted to try them on after seeing the blue Luxons. I love these, too, and I wish I’d known they now make them in my size so I could re-try them on.
Hopeful | Sunny in blue. Size 5.5. We sure love the blue colorway in the Hopeful family! Here’s #3. The leather is more suede-ish and soft than the leather on the Luxon and Rosy, so it’s super comfortable. It’s something my mom would like as it’s a bit more casual than we’re used to seeing Fluevogs. But the color provides the pizzazz. It’ll make a great spring sandal.
Integrity | Arabella in tan/teal/lilac. Size 6. Fit a half size small. What do you think I’m going to say about these? If you know how much I love the Amies in this family, then you already know. I was stunned by the black/cream Arabellas that came out last year. And now the colors on these make me so happy! Love the patent aqua (or is it teal? cobalt?) in that brogue style. Sigh. Mr. Fluevog just does shoes right, you know?
KKBB | Joy in black and brown. On me, size 6. On Melanie, size 9. Fit between half size small and true. OMG THESE ARE GORGEOUS. What a fantastic new style in the KKBB family. I love the black with the turquoise (aqua?) this time instead of pink. And I still very much like that brown with the pale sea green piping. I wish our pictures did justice to this shoe. You simply need to come into a store try them on if you have the opportunity! I think Joanne should get these, if only because it’s her nickname after all!
KKBB | Liz in tomato/teal. Size 6. Fit a half size small. These were my favorite to wear during the visit. This colorway just so happened to match the top I was wearing, and I really wished I could walk out with them! (Well, actually, I wished that about several of the other pairs, too.) I think these run smaller than previous seasons of the Liz. My black/pink/white Liz are 5.5. But when I tried this tomato/teal in 5.5, my toes were crunched at the toe box. The size 6 fit perfectly instead.
Operetta | Malibran in turquoise. Size 5. Fit a half size large. These fit just like my black Malibrans and Fiorenza, which I got in 2010 and 2011. I really dig this colorway. It’s the only turquoise I’ve seen in the collection so far, and I’m hoping there’s more of it in the weeks to come. It seems quite versatile, actually, and would go well under candy-colored skirts and pants as well as more casual jeans. I though it looked great with my dark green pants. This is a GREAT spring color.
Prepare | Guide in floral. Size 9. Fit true to size. Melanie says the Guides simply don’t look good on her feet, but I’m still glad she tried these one. I’m personally not a fan of the floral, but I think they’d look fantastic on a lot of Vogers. You know who you are. 🙂
Soprano | Carey in tomato. Size 6. Fit a half size small. Named after Mariah Carey, I think? I really love this tomato red color. It’s so rich and so spring. It went fabulously with the dark green of my pants (I know they look blue or black in these photos, gah!). The Sopranos are, to me, a taller Operetta heel. They’re slightly taller than I’m comfortable with so I can’t wear them all day like I can other Fluevogs, but I do like their style VERY much.
Finally, here are a couple of the accessories. We usually ignore them in favor of the shoes, but I had some willing models this time around. 🙂
Prepare pouch in floral. Gorgeous Kate models the matching floral pouch to the new Guides. Very cute. I do wish the artificial lighting wasn’t so strong here, because everything is cast in yellow. The pouch is much cuter in person. (I like how Mr. Fluevog is also in this photo!)
Radio satchel in aqua. Here Melanie poses with the beautiful new aqua Radio satchel. We managed a better angle with the light. The color of this bag goes so well with everything! And it looks very chic on/with Melanie.
I only wish I’d tried on the new Elizabeth in rub-off pink (!!!) before we left. Next time. And trust me, there WILL be a next time soon. Kate told me lots more are coming in the next few weeks.
Here’s our flower wheel of the day. Melrose has two lovely new dealers, Lesley and Alison. I’m at the 6 o’clock position wearing my blue snakeskin Integrity | Amie (only at Amazon! They run 1/2 size small and are MUCH more forgiving at the Achilles heel than the recent Amies in the patent leathers — aqua, lilac, neon orange. No break-in needed for me on these). Alison is at the 9 o’clock wearing her Hopeful | Ease in camel, which are on sweet sale. Kate’s at 12 wearing her Living | Malcolm in black. And Lesley at 3 is wearing the Adriana | Nuni in brown. Thanks for such a fun evening, Fluevog L.A.!