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Goodbye to the Melrose Store

The news should be out there now, that Fluevog is closing its store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. This Black Friday weekend is probably the last time you’ll be able to try on and buy shoes there. If you want some great recommendations, read Joanne’s previous post. By an unlucky twist, I won’t be able to make it to the store this weekend, but I did get a chance to say goodbye earlier.

Operetta GiuliasThis is very sad for me as the Melrose store is my store. It’s where I first learned that shoes could be both beautiful and comfortable for my feet; it’s where I bought my first amazing pair of Vogs (red Giulia boots); and it’s where I’ve had so many wonderful experiences thanks to fellow Voggers and Fluevogologists (a.k.a. the amazing store staff) over the years. And we never forget our first, do we? Thankfully, I had one last wonderful experience last week, when Mr. John Fluevog himself visited Los Angeles to have dinner with some of the Melrose faithfuls. It was bittersweet for me and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to contain my sadness, but, again, the lovely community made up by Voggers and Fluevogologists made it a fun, lovely experience. And it was an honor to meet John and hear his fascinating journey from his own lips. The delicious wine and tapas didn’t hurt, either. 🙂 Here are some of my photos from the goodbye celebration.

Me and John Fluevog

Thanks to fellow Vogger Alice for taking this photo of me and Mr. Fluevog. It’s one of my favorite photos of the night.

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Natasha looked amazing with those famous boots, and to top it off she had a fun dachshund purse!

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First Fluevog flower wheel of the night (I’m at the 6:30 position)

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Some of the wonderful folks who made it a great night: Rusty, Natasha, Alice, Lisa, and Rob

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Our table was lucky enough to get John first as well as Fluevogologist Lesley (they moved around through the night).

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Next to hang out with us was Fluevogologist Kate — here she is with Alice. Great photo! (I didn’t get a photo of the other Fluevogologists, sorry!)

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Mr. Fluevog giving a little speech

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My final flower wheel of the night, with John Fluevog in the 7 o’clock position

xo, Gladys

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FlueReview: Spring 2015

Joanne and I, along with friends Cheryl and Mae, visited the Melrose store during Joanne’s brief visit to Los Angeles about a week ago to try on the new styles, and we were not disappointed. This Spring, the shoes range from cute and quirky to sleek, from romantic and flirty to downright sexy.

This is a continuation of our review of the latest Spring styles — see Joanne’s lovin’ lala land for the first part. In this post will be the shoes that Cheryl and I tried on. Cheryl’s up first, so here are her sizing notes:

Cheryl is a US 7.5 street size with a medium arch, medium wide feet, and a longer second toe. She seems to run on the lower end of 7.5 (perhaps 7.25), so she stays true to size when others have to go up half a size.

AngelinaSoprano | Angelina in black. Size 7.5. Cheryl found these true to size. All of our jaws dropped when she tried these on. Let’s just say these wouldn’t go amiss in a bondage-friendly film. Very sexy and va-va-voom. Joanne calls them over-the-shoulder shoes.

CallasMezzo | Callas in blue. Size 7.5. These were also true to size for Cheryl. I think these are in the romantic and flirty category, and they look adorable on both Cheryl and Mae. The soft laces and this colorway in particular — the dusky blue with the turquoise soles — evoke spring very strongly for me (they’re not as green as they appear in the photo).

CareySoprano | Carey in black. Size 7.5. Another true-to-size Soprano for Cheryl. She found these very comfortable even though she was worried at first about the height of the heel. She was looking for shoes to wear in the courtroom, and these certainly look like they mean business.

ElifMini | Elif in black/ivory. Size 7.5. Cheryl found these true to size (others usually go down 1/2 size compared to other Minis). She ended up taking these home. Between the Carey and the Elif, this style had both the business factor she was looking for and the wow factor that Fluevog is known for.

SamBlueKKBB | Sam in blue/navy. Size 7.5. Cheryl found these just a smidgen large; if they’d had a 7.25 they would have been perfect. The Sam is one of the more delightful additions this Spring. Joanne thinks that this style will definitely come back in future seasons in other colorways. Given the reception they’ve already received, I’m with her on this.

***

Here are the styles I tried, including the Sam in the other colorway. My sizing notes:

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. I gained a bit of weight in the last year, though, so I think my feet are a little wider now, which makes me want to go up in size more often when I try shoes.

SamRedKKBB | Sam in cherry/blue/white. Size 6. I tried on my usual size in the Liz style of this family but found that the Sam fits slightly bigger. It’s possible that I could comfortably wear a 5.5, but since the Melrose store didn’t carry anything smaller than the 6, I can’t be sure about that. I wanted to show you this angle because of the straps. With my flat arches, I had to use the tighter of two snap buttons, which meant that the straps kind of winged out to the sides. I personally don’t mind this, but I can imagine that some people might not like this particular silhouette for themselves.

BudapestEarth Angel* (not on the website) | Budapest in turquoise. Size 6. Half size to full size small. We’re not sure if this is the correct family because the shoe isn’t on the website yet. I have three pairs from the Earth Angel family, which I thought was retired a few years ago, and the fit on the soles feels very similar if not the same. This particular style isn’t as immediately comfortable as my older pairs, but if I went up a full size to 6.5 and wore them with cozy socks, I can see them becoming a go-to ankle boot. The leather is very soft and velvety and would break in easily. This colorway is fabulous.

GardinerBrownRules Low | Gardiner in brown. Size 5.5. This is the same family as the Joni and the fit is the same for me, true to size — although my toes look incredibly close to the edge there. These were comfortable upon first trying on, and I really like this darker brown.

GardinerFloralRules Low | Gardiner in floral. Size 5.5. True to size. Joanne asked me to try on the floral. I think they’re prettier than the brown, but I find that they’re too close to “nude” for my skin color and basically get washed out. Still a very comfortable sandal, though. The heel on this family is great because it’s fairly low and stable but has an interesting shape.

GladiceBWPetit Talon* (not on the website) | Gladice in white/black. Size 6. Runs a quarter to half a size small. I was really excited to try these on because, hello, they’re kind of my namesake (Gladice is the French spelling of my name). PLUS I love kitten heels and the soles of these are adorable (Petit Talon is also French for kitten heel, although I’m not positive that this is the family name because it’s not on the website yet). I totally forgot to take a pic of the sole — next time! — but it says something like big surprises come in small packages “Small Things Can Bring Big Pleasures.” Love! And seriously, look at this colorway. It’s very striking. I’m not a white-shoe person at all, but I think I’ll have to make an exception for these. When I asked how I could style them, Mae immediately suggested treating them like a neutral.

GladiceBlackPetit Talon* | Gladice in black. Size 6. The white/black colorway wowed us, but the black one not so much. It’s because the interesting detail of the patent-leather toes gets muted. It’s still a great shape, however, and I think this would look wonderful with the right ankle-length trousers or skinny jeans.

TacoSwordfish Women’s | Rococo Taco in black. Size 6. Maybe a quarter size small (I felt like I had a bit of room in the 6, but these don’t come in smaller sizes). I saved this one for last because it’s the one that was furthest from my style preferences but ended up surprising me. I think it looks both tough and sexy, what with the tongueless peekaboo going on there with the detailed straps. The surprise came with the comfort factor — it didn’t feel like a 3.5″ heel at all, and the pointy toes were also comfortable for me. They were also fairly easy to put on because of the inside zipper. I was very impressed. I have nothing like this in my collection, yet I can see myself creating outfits around them, from casual to clubbing to the opera. Hmm, we’ll see.

AntonLiving | Anton in grey. These were worn (and bought) by a lovely lady we met during our visit, Trish, a longtime Vogger who lives in the area. We enjoyed talking to her so much that we asked to take a photo of her wearing these shoes. These are supposed to be grey but they’re really more beige (the lighting makes them look even darker than they are).

FlowerWheelHere’s the requisite flower wheel from the end of our visit. Thanks once again to Fluevogologists Ali and Jonny for taking care of us and working so hard to help us try on so many pairs. I found out that Ali and I are basically size twins, so I hope that the Melrose store will carry the smaller sizes in the future! *crossing fingers* 🙂 Jonny, who is very tall, took this photo because he could get all of us in the shot. He’s at the 6 o’clock position (forgot to ask what shoe he’s wearing), and going clockwise from there is Ali in the Liz, Cheryl in her new Elif, Mae in the Woop Woop, me in the Sandra, and Joanne in her vintage Rayelle.

Let us know in the comments which pairs you’re lusting after!

xo,
Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Fall 2014 Sale

Lo Fs Stella

I brought home the navy and orange Lo Fs | Stella on my last visit. Ready for rain now!

Apologies for not posting these many months now. I promise I have been trying on and buying Vogs the last year, but given various obligations (including finishing my doctorate!) I just wasn’t able to find the time to process photos and write them up. Plus my computer and phone have both started slowing down quite a bit, making the photos even more time-consuming to process.

In any case, I finally have another omnibus review for you of the current shoes on sale, even as the new Spring 2015 shoes trickle into the store. I’ve seen the sneak previews, and no doubt that this new season is incredibly fun! However, I wanted to highlight some of the current shoes (most are ON SALE!!) that deserve at least another look. Joanne has shared some beautiful photos and reviews of some of these already. Here’s how they look on different sets of feet.

The pics here are from two different visits, the more recent of which was in the company of lovely Mae, who is the one wearing the gray herringbone socks in the photos. Her feet were made for heels, it seems. Lucky lady! (I’m the one wearing the footies and the gray socks with stars.)

Here are our shoe size details:

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. I gained a bit of weight in the last year, though, so I think my feet are a little wider now, which makes me want to go up in size more often when I try shoes.

Mae is a 7 with average arches and medium/wide width. Like me, she ranges in size over different types of Vogs, depending on width, toe box shape, and height of the heel. Different Vog families differ quite a lot in sizing. Moreover, the sizing of certain styles within the same family can differ, and even the same style can differ in sizing from season to season. For these reasons, it’s important to try on the shoes if possible, or at least to consult via phone or email with a Fluevog specialist at one of the stores.

Queen of the Skies NeptuneQueen of the Skies | Neptune in green. Size 6. Definitely specialty shoes, and not for the faint of heart! These are sky high, as the family name suggests. They’re very striking, and if you can handle the height and need a pair that will stand out, these are the shoes for you!

Modvog Mariella BlackModvog | Mariella in black. Not sure what size these are as my friend Melanie tried these on, but I do believe they are between true to size (TTS) and a half size small.

Modvog Mariella GoldModvog | Mariella in gold. Size 6. I found these between TTS and half size small as the 6 was quite comfortable. The oxford style keeps my feet in quite well. There’s enough room to wear socks.

Fellowship ErikaFellowship | Erika in purple and navy. Size 5.5. I love Erikas and the Fellowship family in general. This was true to size for me. The colorway is even better looking in person, but I would have preferred that the colors were switched (see Sandra below).

Fellowship SandraFellowship | Sandra in navy and purple. Size 5.5. True to size. This photo shows off the blue even better. The lighter blue of the piping and stitching is really wonderful.

Down to Earth ValentinaDown to Earth | Valentina in gold. Beautiful Kate let me take this photo of her wearing her Valentinas as a neutral color. She’s in the highest range of women’s sizes (the other end of the spectrum from me). She says she loves these, and they look amazing.

Elegant Conversations GailElegant Conversations | Gail in purple. I like the purple so much more than in the stock photos on the Fluevog website. I’m sorry I can’t remember what size these are — size 5.5 or 6…they might run half a size small, actually. Do call a Fluevogologist at your favorite store. Very elegant looking, but a little high.

Elegant Conversations KendraElegant Conversations | Kendra in black and beige. Same issue as the Gail with the sizing — I dropped the ball and didn’t take notes on this particular visit. Sorry about that. I want to say 6 because the Melrose store doesn’t always carry the smaller sizes, but I could be wrong. I think these are very striking shoes and would look great in the office.

Mezzo CeciliaMezzo | Cecilia in burgundy. Size 6. These run a half size large, I believe. The 6 were really big on my feet. I like the spats on the side and these were easy to put on. Great ankle boots.

Bellevue Rose DunnBellevue | Rose Dunn in black with patent. Size 7. True to size. This is Mae wearing these. She said they fit like her other Bellevues. I love that you can see her herringbone socks through the laces. It’s a very sexy corset look.

Enneagram Grace BlackEnneagram | Grace in black. Size 6.5. I had to go up a full size in these for comfort, but comfortable they were. This is one of the more subtle Fluevog styles, but this was the one pair that I didn’t really want to take off. I love the teal stitching and teal elastic (which you can’t see unless you actually stretch the opening).

Enneagram Grace BrownEnneagram | Grace in brown. Size 7.5. Mae only had to go up half a size in the Grace. I like the look of these as well, and they’re on a particularly nice sale (nicer than the black).

Unite GhaliUnite | Ghali in burgundy (only black available). Size 7. Mae found these slightly big in her true size. She didn’t think 6.5 would have worked better, though. These are very striking shoes, with that unique U-shaped heel. The buckles are a great detail.

Fortitude LutherFortitude | Luther in brown. Size 8. Mae really liked these and was trying to decide whether or not to take these home (she ultimately didn’t, but she could only take one pair home). She had to go up a full size and they still needed to soften at the arch area. I remember I had to go up 1.5 sizes (to a 7) in the metallic colorway last year just to try them on. These shoes need quite a bit of breaking in, but I hear people love them once they break them in.

Hopscotch Jumprope BlackHopscotch | Jump Rope in black. Size 6.5. This shoe was the surprise for me during the Melrose visit with Mae, and I believe she was impressed with them too. They’re high but comfortable and stable, and they look amazing in profile. The black colorway is more of a very dark gray, as you can see. To me they fit like Miracles, which are narrow with a small-ish toe box. I had to go up one full size in these (as I also do in Miracles). If these and the gray colorway go on sale, I think I will get them. If they don’t, I suppose I can put them on layaway for my birthday in April. 🙂

Hopscotch Jumprope GrayHopscotch | Jump Rope in gray. Size 6.5. Very important note: the leather of this colorway is softer than the black and therefore the 6.5 in these feels a touch bigger than in the black. Mae tried on the gray as well in her true size 7, and while they were a little tight she felt like they would stretch enough to better accommodate her feet. I like this colorway very much as well, with the brown accents.

Hopeful VowHopeful | Vow in brown multi. Size 7. First of all, why is this colorway called brown? LOL. Mae loved these and took them home. They’re true to size for her. The Hopeful family has a great sole and heel, and excellent comfort. I love the look of these, which remind of the Promise oxfords in the Hope family.

Queen of Prussia LudovikaQueen of Prussia | Ludovika in burgundy. Size 6. Quite narrow, especially at the toe box. Going up half a size was fine for the length, but I can tell this is not the family for me. Just not comfy for my wide toes.

Queen of Prussia LouiseQueen of Prussia | Louise in burgundy. Size 7. Mae felt the same about the narrow toe box on this shoe. She really loved the buckle detail, and we both thought the heel and shape were just gorgeous. Sadly, there wasn’t much comfort factor for either of us.

FlowerwheelThis flower wheel includes, from 6 o’clock going clockwise, Mae in paisley Bellevue | De Vere boots, Jonny in black brogues (not sure what these are), Kate in brown laceless Radio | CBC oxfords, and me in purple Radio | PRI boots. Again, I enjoyed myself lots on my Fluevog visits, and I took advantage of the fantastic sale! I took home the navy/orange Stella boots (see first photo above), but I also bought the berry Amies, which had to be ordered from a different store. When I get them I’ll post…in fact, I should do a post on my recent acquisitions — I went a little crazy last fall! Happy New Year and happy Vogging!

{ETA:} I forgot to give proper credit to Vogger friends Emily, Melanie, and Mae for taking the photos of my feet in shoes during these two visits. Ladies, thank you so much for joining me on the fun and taking photos!

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Spring 2014 Part 2

Less than a week until International Fluevog Day! This review post is super late, but I hope it’s in enough time for you to plan how you want to take advantage of the 15% discount next Thursday. My husband joined me on my last trip to the Fluevog Los Angeles store, and together we tried on close to 25 pairs with dealer Alison’s wonderful help. Hopefully you’ll find something you like the look of. This Spring line has been really lovely — and it looks like a few more pairs are still trickling in.

But first, just wanted to show you what I finally took home on that visit, my blue Miracle | Sights in blue embroidery (took me a while to pick them up after paying the last layaway installment). So lovely! And great with my TARDIS socks. 🙂
MiracleSight

OK, now for the rest of the Spring shoes. I note size issues as well as we could remember them. They didn’t carry some of the sizes we needed, so the fit was off for a few pairs. I’ll be starting with the women’s styles, categorizing by family, and then I’ll do the men’s and unisex styles. Here are the usual shoe-size caveats:

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. My husband is a pretty solid US men’s size 10 with average-width feet.

 

Women’s Styles

7thHeavenDerbySwirl7th Heaven | Derby Swirl in aqua lace. Size 6. These are true to size and fit about the same as previous seasons. Love the colors on this!

ExpectationMotiveExpectation | Motive in floral. Size 6. True to size, which means the 6 were loose. Cute loafers; I really like this floral print on smooth leather. The pink accent clashes with the reds but it works for me. Just I wish I could have tried on my size.

ExpectationTrustExpectation | Trust in tomato. Size 5.5. True to size. Loved how these fit, and they were comfy. I’m particularly crushing on all of the oxford styles this season. With the cutouts and the color, these will make a great spring/summer shoe!

ImmortalPerfectionAudreyBlackImmortal Perfection | Audrey in black suede. Size 6. Fit slightly small, about 1/2. The 6 fit me quite well. Love this style. The profile is quite fetching (IMHO) and the fit is very comfortable. Hardly felt like a heel. At least try these on.

ImmortalPerfectionAudreyGreyImmortal Perfection | Audrey in grey. Size 6. Fit 1/2 size small. I personally like these better than the black suede for the warmer seasons. These would make an excellent neutral shoe under skirts and dresses.

ImmortalPerfectionMillaImmortal Perfection | Milla in rust suede. Size 6. These fit like the Audrey, and it is a very chic boot. Dealer Alison suggested these. I wouldn’t have tried them on otherwise, but the more I think about them, the more I like them.

MiracleRevelationMiracle | Revelation in black and beige. Size 6. Fit about 1/2 size large. Surprised by the sizing on these. Most Miracles fit me 1 full size small (my Miracle | Sights above are 6.5), but these 6 were incredibly loose. Super cute if you can fit in them.

ModvogJenModvog | Jen in black snake. Size 5.5. True to size. Beautiful new leather/colorway. I think the Jens are just a great-looking style. The leather on these is also a little more pliable than previous seasons of Jens, so try these on even if you were turned off by the stiff leather from previous iterations of the shoe.

ModvogMariellaModvog | Mariella in black snake. Size 6. These fit me really well, so I’d say they may run a tad small. However, it’s probably because of the oxford style that the 6 encase my feet pretty well. Extremely good-looking shoes. Again, loving the polished snake leather, and softer like this season’s Jens.

PassageToriiPassage | Torii in brown. Size 6. Fit true to size, slightly narrow. I think these are more forgiving than the previous season’s Passage family ankle boot, the Cairo. The inside zipper makes them easier to take on and off. I like the accent color at the bottom of the heel.

PrepareWedgeLiuPrepare Wedge | Liu in aqua. Size 6. Fit 1/2 size small. As you can see, my foot just barely fits the 6 in length. These are supremely comfortable sandals, and I do like that floral sole that just peeks out and the matching teal soles on this colorway. This would be a nice way to get some height without the stressful feeling of wearing heels.

PurposeAmbitionPurpose | Ambition in pink. Size 6. These run large, at least 1/2 size. You can see the huge clearance at the back of my Achilles. Even dealer Alison, who herself is a true 6, said the 6 were loose on her. They make 5 and 5.5 but sadly the L.A. store didn’t have them for me to try on. Otherwise, these are super cute. Love the color.

PurposeDeterminationPurpose | Determination in black. Size 6. Given how loose the Ambition pumps were on me, I was surprised that this bootie in size 6 wasn’t too loose. These might run true to size for me, but again the store didn’t carry any size smaller than 6. I really dig the stamped leather that looks like eyelet! Flattering buckle detail.

PurposeObjectivePurpose | Objective in black. Size 6. Again these fit surprisingly well, perhaps because of the straps at the ankle. The 5.5 may have fit better, however. Cute pointy-toed sandals.

RiverUrubambaRiver | Urubamba in blue and tan. Size 6. This size fit really well, so maybe 1/2 size small? If you get a chance I suggest you try them on if you’re looking for a comfortable flat summer sandal. I really like the look of these. There’s something about the anklet look that I find flattering. And this colorway really floats my boat.

RiverZambeziRiver | Zambezi in black and metallic. Size 6. These didn’t seem to fit me as well as the Urubamba, perhaps too many straps? Great colorway, though.

RuleLowJoniRule Low | Joni in teal. Size 5.5. True to size. Super comfy sandal. I really like this new colorway this season.

 

Men’s and Unisex Styles

 

DowntoEarthHadfieldDown to Earth | Hadfield in floral. Size 6. I want to say they fit almost 1/2 size small because the 6 didn’t feel loose on me, but maybe they would break loose because the leather feels quite supple. These were comfy and lovely, and I believe more comfy than the classic Radio | CBC.

FeatureGrantFeature | Grant in blue. Size 10. True to size. Of course we had to have my husband try on all the blue men’s shoes in the store. These are GORGEOUS. The smoky blue is perfect. I do believe he found these quite comfy too.

FutureRoundToeBoddenFuture Round Toe | Bodden in grey. Size 10. True to size. These were my husband’s favorite shoes in terms of comfort. They don’t quite look grey here, but that teal sole looks about right. Very cool shoes. They’re the same family as the Tipton from last season, which he thought felt like sneakers. I think this might be his go-to comfort family.

GatewayBrandenburgLtGateway | Brandenburg Light in floral fabric. Size 4.5 men? I had to try these on after I saw them on Shannon L. in a photo. Very fun shoe, no doubt, but they felt quite narrow to me. Sorry about the sizing confusion. I think the 4.5 was the men’s sizing; I tried on the smallest size first (equivalent to women’s 6) but had to size up for more comfort. So I think they may run 1 full size small. Definitely try them on or call your dealer.

IdolFreddieIdol | Freddie in burgundy. Size ?. Again, confused about the sizing and fit. Please call your dealer first if you can’t try them on. My husband had to try on a couple of different sizes, and they didn’t seem to have his size. These are really beautiful and VERY striking, but he thought they made his legs look shorter. He has very curvy muscular calves (mm-hmm) and he thought the bulk of the shoes made his legs look bulkier. Not for him, but definitely try them on for the pleasure of it.

RadioCBXRadio | CBX in teal. Size 10. Fit is true, just like the CBC. Love love love this colorway and the cutouts. Sad they don’t have them in MY size.

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Last but not least is the flower wheel photo. Our usual dealers Kate and Anthony weren’t there, but Alison was totally great along with Lesley. Here are our Vogs of the day. I’m in my Fellowship | Erikas at the 6 o’clock; Alison in her black Toriis at the 10 o’clock; and Lesley in her white LoPro | Leons at the 2 o’clock.

FlowerWheel

Wishing you all a Happy Fluevog Day next Thursday! Let us know what’s on your wishlist this season!

xo, Gladys


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FlueFan Guest Post: Vintage Vogs, Pointy Edition

As part of our feature highlighting fellow Flueddicts, I’m happy to share Sarah O.’s story of her favorite vintage Vogs. Sarah is one of our readers on this site, and I was excited when she agreed to share. The MotleyFlue in general aren’t huge fans of pointy shoes; while I love my pointy Vogs (particularly in the Coffee family), I don’t like pointy shoes as a rule. Your humble web mistresses here recognize that there’s some love overdue on this site for pointy Vogs. I mean, the Swordfish family in particular is one of the most distinctive and popular Fluevog shapes. So, special thanks to Sarah for spreading the love!

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I’ve been wearing Fluevogs since the mid-1990s. Here are four of my favorite pairs.  As you can see, I love the pointy styles most of all (the pointier the better, I say!), and Swordfish are my very favorite Fluevog family.

These are my first Fluevogs, purchased at the Boston store in 1996-7ish.  I’m not sure what family these were from, but a good friend refers to these as my “angry fairy shoes.”  There are many miles on these and they’ve held up beautifully.

wingtips

These are vintage Swordfish, purchased on Ebay a few years ago.  I’ve gotten burned on size with these before (the old ones run really, really, really small!), but these arrived in near-mint condition and fit like a glove.

vintage fish

These are my beauties, my pride and joy, my very favorites: my red Swordfish.  I have worn these as much as possible since I bought them in the Chicago store in 2004.  They’ve been resoled at least three times now, and traveled all over the place with me, but they’ve still got lots of life in them.

red fish

And last but not least, my wedding shoes!  These are Coffee Macchiatos.  They were perfect for our casual, beachy summer wedding.  And they were my something blue!

something blue

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Those are all such gorgeous shoes! I can see why the red Swordfish are her pride and joy. And those icy-blue Macchiatos make my heart beat faster! I have that style in a lovely brown, but I do wish I had them in that blue colorway as well.

Does anyone know which family the first pair above (the wingtips) are from? Any expert Fluevogologists in the house?

As always, we welcome your stories of your favorite Vogs  or how you became a Flueddict! Here are some of our previous fan spotlights. Send us an email at: fortheloveofvogs@gmail.com.

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Spring 2014 Part I

Gladys

Smiling over the beautiful KKBB | Joy ankle-strap maryjane sandal

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:

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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!

AnaRita1
AnaRita2AJ | 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.

LauraEvans1
LauraEvans2Bellevue | 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.

MollieJohnsonBellevue | 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.

CaravaggioBaroque | 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.

SandraFellowship | 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!

LuxonHopeful | 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.

RosyHopeful | 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.

Sunny1
Sunny2Hopeful | 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.

Arabella1
Arabella2Integrity | 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?

Joy1
Joy2KKBB | 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!

Liz1
Liz2KKBB | 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.

Malibran1
Malibran2Operetta | 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.

GuidePrepare | 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. 🙂

Carey1
Carey2Soprano | 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. 🙂

PreparePouchPrepare 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!)

RadioSatchelRadio 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.

FlowerWheelHere’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.!

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Fall 2013 Men’s Collection

Note on men’s sizing: My husband is a pretty solid US men’s size 10 with average-width feet. He has both the Value | Wisdom and Radio | CBC in size 10.

Once again, it’s time for the men’s edition of the FlueReview. I know it’s been a while; we skipped the Spring 2013 completely, but I confess I wasn’t too impressed with the Spring men’s collection. This time is a different story. Like me, my husband John really loves the blue hues in the Fall 2013 collection. I also love the contrast soles that Fluevog has been producing lately, and I think the multi-toned styles in the men’s collection are just fantastic. So I dragged accompanied my husband to the Melrose store over the weekend to try on some of the new Fall styles as well as some classics. Maybe you can guess who was more excited? Nevertheless, he tried on seven gorgeous styles and enjoyed wearing several of them, and YES! he ended up with his third pair of Fluevogs. 🙂

I’m afraid I’m a little iffy with the sizing since I didn’t try on the shoes myself. Dealer Anthony helped us this time and he was wonderful as usual. If you have any questions about sizes, don’t hesitate to call any of the dealers. Here at FTLOV, we of course love our Melrose and Haight Street dealers, but call the store you feel comfortable with.

DeanFeatures | Dean in black. Size 10. One thing I’ve noticed is that the stock photos online don’t show the contrast soles true-to-life. These caught John’s eye because of the blue soles. He found the shoes to be very comfortable, probably because of the rubber soles and soft suede leather. He kept his eye on these even while he was trying on other shoes.

AndrewGuardian Angel | Andrew in blue/burgundy/brown. Link to burgundy/orange/brown. Size 10. Just like the hero they were named after, these shoes are awesome. They are one of the handsomest shoes I’ve ever seen. John liked the look of these, but he didn’t find them to be as comfortable as the Deans. Also, I can’t figure out why this particular colorway isn’t available online. Perhaps they’re only available at the Melrose store, and perhaps just a few others? This colorway is my favorite out of what’s available, though.

SalBeats | Sal in cognac. Size 10. Another incredibly-handsome shoe. That color is delicious. I wanted to lick these shoes when I first saw them!! TMI? Anyway, John has been looking for non-black shoes (after two black Fluevogs, he needs to diversify IMO), and he liked the look of these. However, he found the placement of the toe-cap edging too awkward for his toes. When he walked, the edging hit his toes/foot at an uncomfortable place. Alas.

FarmerArch Angel | Farmer in brown. Another instance of the contrast sole being brighter in real life than in the stock photo. These are gorgeous. John liked the sturdiness, but he said they felt a little too stiff, like they were squeezing his feet. Anthony assured him that the leather on these would soften with use.

Brandenburg1Gateway | Brandenburg in navy/brown. Size 10.5. John almost didn’t try these on. Why? Well, they’re super fancy. If you didn’t know from the fact that he keeps buying black Fluevogs, my dear husband is not a flashy person (even though he’s very artistic and creative). I’m so glad we had Anthony grab these in the second batch of requests we made. John wasn’t expecting these to be comfortable, and in fact Anthony said that the leather on these was a little exacting — if it wasn’t comfortable from the get-go, the leather wasn’t going to stretch now or ever. That’s probably why he brought John the 10.5 in these. Surprisingly, John loved how the shoes fit. And the first thing he thought about was wearing them to the 1940s-themed holiday party for his company that we’re attending next month. He thought they’d be perfect because of the navy, which is the same color dress and shoes (the TARDIS Rubens!) that I’ll be wearing. 🙂

1611Twin Turbines | 1611 First Avenue brown/tan. Size 11.5. John finally wanted to try a boot, just to see what they feel like. He’s never had boots (aside from hiking boots and motorcycle boots that he’s never worn because he doesn’t have a motorcycle), let alone beautiful spats-inspired Victorian-style boots like these. This style must be popular in L.A., because they didn’t have any in or around John’s size. He tried on the 11.5 — too long — but he said that the width was fine. He definitely liked the look of these as well.

205Twin Turbines | 205 Pine St in brown/red. Size 10.5. Another Twin Turbine style that’s vintage-y and very spiffy looking. It’s definitely a good-looking family. John liked these but wished they came in a blue/brown combo (the navy suede were too much). I think this is a very nice colorway, myself.

TiptonFuture | Tipton in tan. Size 10. John was drawn to these even though I thought they were a little boring. But of course he liked the contrast sole. He immediately loved the feel of these when he tried them on. He said they felt like house slippers or loafers. Anthony said they’re like sneakers given the rubber soles and very soft uppers. This is a case where the shoes look so much better on someone’s feet rather than sitting on the shelf. Compared to other Fluevog shapes, these do seem a little like a dowdy cousin. But the quality and comfort are fantastic. These were definitely in John’s top 3 that day. If they end up going on sale in January, I’ll be getting them for John. 🙂

But did you guess? He ended up getting the navy/brown Brandenburgs. Yay!!! I was so excited. He really liked them but one of his reasons against buying them was that they’d only get worn once a year, if that. Given my large collection, I pooh-poohed that reason. He can wear them on the weekend instead of his usual CBCs, right? And if he wants to go shopping to build an outfit around his new shoes, I’m happy to help. Haha! I suppose you can understand why he said that it felt like I was getting the shoes for myself.

Brandenburg2Spectacular, no?

CatarinaAJ | Catarina in black/white. Size 6. Of course I couldn’t leave without trying on a pair myself. These had just come in a few days earlier. These high platforms definitely have wow factor. (And they have a matching purse!) I’d say these run a half size small because they fit me quite well. There’s barely any pitch, either, so it was like wearing very small heels. They’re quite stable, but of course you need to learn how to walk on what are basically stilts. They’re perfect if you want extra height in something eye-catching!

IMG_2537I totally forgot to do a “flower” wheel (Fluewheel?) the last few times I’ve been at the store, so I’m very glad I remembered this time. Here I’m wearing the burgundy Qtees at the 9 o’clock position, and going clockwise: Anthony with the laceless navy/brown Brandenburgs (which look fantastic with his polka-dotted socks), Kate with her red CBCs, John with his black CBCs, and Miranda with her black vintage Vogs (I forgot the name). Btw, Miranda was last month’s creative masked Vogunteer!

Next time, I’ll continue my Part III review of the women’s collection. Until then!

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Fall 2013 Part III

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.

Less than a month since my last post and it’s already time for Part III? Yes, indeed! You can thank the upcoming holidays and my love of Fluegasms. 🙂 (Here are Part I and Part II.) I made yet another trip to the Melrose store last weekend with my dear friends Emily and Melanie, and we found a couple of exciting new styles. The point of the trip was for Melanie this time, and she ended up with her second pair of Vogs, which happened to be her wardrobe’s sole mate!

But you’ll get that story next time. I’ve decided to break up this post in two because the previous one was just so looooong and a little too hard to navigate. For today I’ll share a couple of Fluegasmic shoes, particularly the spectacular shoes that made me break my promise to myself that I wouldn’t get another pair until the January sale. Here, without further ado:

Miracle: Sight3

Miracle: Sight1

Miracle: Sight2

Miracle: Sight6

Miracle | Sight in blue. Size 6.5. Miracle oxfords with gorgeous embroidery in TARDIS blue. Uh, you knew I’d be all over that, right?? Like with most Miracles, I have to go up a full size in these from my baseline 5.5 because they’re narrow and they run short. The Melrose dealers call this one “Only in L.A.” because yes, it’s only available at the Melrose store. AND THERE’S ONLY ONE PAIR EACH SIZE. These aren’t available on the Fluevog website or in any other color, either, except on Amazon in black as far as I know (which are actually on sale for 20% off for Veteran’s Day, through Nov. 11, as are almost ALL other Fluevogs!! The Viv! The Rubens! The Liz! The Leader! The Elizabeth! Just sayin). And the asterisk * is for the fact that I’m not sure what these are called; they’re called Sight on Amazon, so that’s what I wrote here. (I should have asked the dealers. Sorry.) Here’s what dealer Anthony told me might have happened: one and half years ago, when Fluevog was selling its Fall 2013 collection to other retailers, this amazing blue oxford was one of the choices. One retailer ordered them but then decided not to carry them any longer. So the whole set got kicked back to Fluevog, and in its infinite wisdom, Fluevog HQ decided to send the shoes to the L.A. store. AND THANK THE GODS ABOVE. I apologize in advance to those who are my size because I now have the 6.5 on layaway. Call the Los Angeles dealers if you want these beautiful babies!

Zion: Trinity2

Zion: Trinity1

Zion | Trinity in grey. Size 6. These are striking and very high heels! Emily called them architectural, and she was absolutely right (just read the description on the Fluevog website). Size wise, I think they run true to size, although the zippered vamp kept me in pretty well. They’re quite stable but you seriously need to know how to walk in high heels. The leather here is nice and soft, and I really love the colorway. The black-and-blue colorway is also very striking (in more of a dystopic, sci-fi way), but the leather on those is very stiff. I found it hard to walk in the black because it hit my ankle bones in an uncomfortable way with that stiff leather. I had a similar issue with the gray — it’s probably because I have such flat feet — but it wasn’t as problematic given the softer gray leather. Anyway, this style isn’t for me, but you can see how gorgeous it is.

Well, that’s it for today, but I’ll post again very soon. We tried on so many styles from the Fall AND took another look at some worthy shoes on sale from last season. Some are repeats but it’s always great to see how the shoes look on different feet.

Let us know how you like these new styles!

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Fall 2013 Part II

Hi fellow Vogers! It’s time for another omnibus FlueReview from your resident Desert Voger. You’ll have to forgive me — I know it’s been over two months since my last post here! I owe you the next part of the Fall 2013 reviews (Part I is here), and whew are there a lot of shoes to review! Warning: This post is seriously photo-heavy.

My latest visit to the Melrose store was occasioned by an outing with two dear friends, Melanie and Emily, who live in my town. We’re in the same mom’s group, our children play together often, and we hang out together as much as we can. (I actually went to college with Emily years ago, and we reconnected when I moved here seven years ago.) While Melanie had been to Fluevog a couple of times already — and bought the beautiful Operetta Bartoli boots in burgundy as her first pair — Emily had never been. Between the three of us, we managed to try on close to 30 different pairs of shoes over the course of two and a half hours. Our dealers extraordinaire were Kate and Anthony, who were fantastic as usual. I walked in the door with a list of shoes I wanted to try on (my theme for the occasion was blue, blue, blue!), but my favorite part was being delightfully surprised with the pairs that Kate curated for me!

Just to clarify, I review here only the pairs that I personally tried on. However, I’m including photos of the other ladies trying on some of the styles, just so you can see what the shoes look like on and in different lighting than the stock photos. I’m wearing the burgundy tights with the owl skirt. Melanie is wearing the gray tights with the pink skirt, and she is between size 8 and 9, which high arches. Emily is wearing jeans, and she is between 6 and 7 (but sizes up if she wears arch supports for her flat arches), and has very narrow feet, ankles, and calves, which is why she can stuff her jeans inside many of the boots.

I’ve organized this post by family (alpha order), so just scroll down to the families you’re interested in.

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.

7th Heaven Family

DerbySwirl7th Heaven | Derby Swirl in red calf hair pony (limited edition). Size 6. These fit the same as my purple polka-dotted Derby Swirls, which is to say they run true to size. For my 5.5 feet, that means there is wiggle room at the toes in the size 6, which is perfect for how I like to wear my hard boots (with thick socks). Anthony said this style is only available in certain stores — L.A., New York, and San Francisco were what I remember. {EDITED 10/20/13: Now available online! } It’s obviously very striking. I’m not a fan of the hairiness, however. I don’t know how I’d clean it. 🙂 I only wish I’d tried on the new burgundy and purple colorways and taken a photo because they look amazing. The black colorway with the confetti soles was cute.

Awake Family

PeakAwake | Peak in black. Size 6. This was a pair that Kate brought out for me. I knew that Miss Joanne had already reviewed it, but I didn’t go gaga over it. It was a different story when I tried it on. First, Joanne is absolutely correct that it’s very stable despite a very high (and uniquely-shaped) platform. What I’d like to add is that the leather felt like it was hugging my feet. I was impressed with the comfort level of these shoes. And if I ever need a pair of striking, high-platform wedge booties, these would be my choice. Given that the size 6 fit me perfectly, I’d say these run a half-size small, which was the case for Joanne as well (this finding contrasts with the sizing recommendation on the Fluevog website). Even though they’re boots, I’d definitely wear these with tights or bare skin rather than with thick socks.

Baroque Family

LorrainBaroque | Lorrain in blue velvet. Size 6. These beauties fit on me like the Rubens, which is a half size too big. I’d need a size 5. Like the Awake | Peak, I don’t think I’d wear these booties with thick socks, given the style and the softness of the leathers. So getting the size that fits snugly would work best. However, with my flat feet, I’d wear arch support with these, which might mean I should get half a size up (5.5). The arch supports would get rid of the wrinkling at the ankle that you see in the photo.

Bellevue Family

LauraEvansBellevue | Laura Evans in black. Emily is modeling one of the new colorways (with the burgundy buckles) in the very classic-looking T-strap from the delicate Bellevue family.

LibbySmithBellevue | Libby Smith in gray/burgundy. Melanie couldn’t help but try on these gorgeous boots. She asked why no one had ever invented boots like this in this colorway before. 🙂 They look fantastic on her with her high arches, and I like the way the gray blends with her tights. It went very well with her outfit, actually, and toned down the air of cos-play that I associated with the boots the last time (see my review of the boots here).

Big Presence Family

DavisBig Presence | Davis in blue/black. Size 6. I’m a big fan of the Davis, but alas these run true to size with the smallest size being 6. 😦 I love this colorway as well. That blue leather is fan-tastic and I wish it was in more of the styles this Fall.

Daily Miracle Family

Discovery
DiscoveryBackDaily Miracle | Discovery in brown. OK, so these are not part of the Fall 2013 line, but the color and style are very appropriate for fall. They look amazing on Emily — who ended up buying them! — and the best part is they’re on sale, almost 40% off! The leather is like butter, and I really like that accent on the back.

FortuneDaily Miracle | Fortune in floral. Another non-Fall item, but Emily really fit into the Daily Miracle family so Anthony brought out the Daily Miracles they had. These floral leathers are so fun to look at.

MysteryDaily Miracle | Mystery in black. Emily said she liked these but wasn’t looking for oxford booties. These are also on sale. 🙂

Desire Family

TutorDesire | Tutor in blue/tan. Size 6.5. This was another surprise pair that Kate curated for me. Given my current blue obsession, these were perfect. What I loved was how comfy they were. I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve been on a casual-Fluevog kick for the past year or so. I’m drawn to all the flats (that aren’t boots), although for some reason these didn’t even make the radar when I made my pre-visit list. This style is in the same family as the Mentor, which seems like a very comfy shoe. Kate suggested I go with the 6.5 in the Tutor and they fit well (which means they run a full size small). I could wear these with thick socks since the elastic at the back of the heel is very forgiving. These are very cute shoes that I could wear under jeans and with the occasional skirt. Sometimes I don’t feel like wearing ballet flats. These would be an awesome alternative. The stone/black colorway would be perfect for those who want a more neutral look.

Fellowship Family

SandraFellowship | Sandra in black/white. Again, here are shoes that aren’t part of the Fall 2013 collection but that would look great for fall. Melanie looks absolutely adorable in the shoes, and they looked wonderful with her outfit. Lucky for her, she doesn’t get the weird flapping issue when she wears the Sandra the way I do.

Fortitude Family

LutherFortitude | Luther in metallic. Size 7. Another delightful surprise via Kate. So the Luther runs small as well, at least a full size. Kate had me wear the 7, but I thought that it was actually a little loose at the heel for me even though the width was comfortably snug. Anthony said that since the leather would loosen up as the shoes were broken in, I should get the 6.5 to prevent myself from eventually walking out of them. So these run just one full size small for average-to-wide feet. However, if I’d been wearing thick socks when I tried them on, they probably would have fit better lengthwise. Up to you to size up 1 or 1.5 sizes.

Garden of Enjoyment Family

PizzazzGarden of Enjoyment | Pizzazz in blue. Size 6. These run true to size, maybe a little larger. I just couldn’t help myself from trying them on, even though they’re not really my style. I really like the blues on this shoe, especially with the texture of the faux-lizard leather. It’s too bad the leather isn’t on other Fluevog styles this season.

Hopeful Family

DivineHopeful | Divine in camel (orange). Here’s Melanie modeling the new camel boots in the Hopeful family. Both Emily and I tried them on as well, and our verdict was that they were very comfy. (I don’t have a more detailed review because I just put on the same size that Emily tried on. I only wanted to get a general feel for the height and stability of the boots. I believe they run the same as the Luxons, which means they’re half a size small.) The color reminds me of my orange  Prepare | Volunteer boots.

Kitschy Kitschy Boom Boom Family

LizKKBB | Liz in brown. Emily couldn’t leave the store without trying on the Liz. They’re such unique shoes, and she really liked this colorway, but they’re a little too wide for her feet. She truly needs arch supports for these. I believe the sizing for this season’s Liz is the same as the last (my past review here).

Lo F Family

StellaLo F | Stella in navy. Size 6. I think these are adorable boots — don’t they look perfect for the rain? — but they’re quite big on me. One of the Fluevogologists (on the website) says they fit like a galosh, so maybe bigness shouldn’t be an issue if you buy them specifically for rainy days. Indeed, given the very generous sizing for the ankle and calf, I could stuff my pants in these AND wear thick, warm, cozy socks.

Mini Family

BunnyMini | Bunny in green/brown. Size 6. This is for one of our readers (hi Jen!) who asked about this colorway on the Bunny. The sizing is half a size smaller than other shoes in the family like the Qtees. The size 6 was a little big for me, but it might be okay with thick socks. However, given the style, I’d probably not want to wear thick socks and go with my true size 5.5. (I’m a 5 in the Qtees.) I didn’t think I’d be fond of this colorway, but once I got a look in person, they’re quite lovely. It was the same with my first reaction to the brown/blue Vivs: at first, I didn’t like that 1970s mustardish brown in the stock photos, but in person it’s a lot richer and attractive. Don’t get me wrong, I do think there’s a retro feel to these shoes, but they’re a lot cuter than I thought.

Miracle Family

MedugorjeMiracle | Medugorje in gray glitter. Size 6. I couldn’t help but try these on! These fit just like other Medugorje in past seasons. The shoe runs at least one half size small, and for me the toe box is too narrow and tight for my wide toes. The Miracle family is beautiful, no doubt, but it doesn’t have the comfort factor for my type of feet.

Modvog Family

Jen
Jen2Modvog | Jen in black. Size 6. I had these at the top of my list. I think they look different from most of the styles this season (I believe they’re old school, though, right?). This one was a surprise for me in that I had thought 1) they would be too big for me and 2) they wouldn’t look as good on me as they did. I don’t want to mislead about the sizing, though. These run true to size, but because of the ankle strap, my feet stayed in just fine. I can make these work with some insoles. After I saw my feet in the mirror that day, I fell hard for these shoes. The copper accent is even cooler in person than in the stock photos. My only worry is that the stiff leather will be difficult to break in, but I’d be willing to work on it. 🙂

Munster Family

MunsterMunster | Ramona in blue velvet. Size 6. Another shoe I had to try because of the delicious blue color. Like other Munsters, these run true to size and are too tall for me. But they’re very cool to look at.

Operetta Family

BordoniOperetta | Bordoni in blue/cherry. Size 6. I think these shoes are so fun to look at, and of course I love the Operetta family with its usual comfort factor. The size 6 is only a little big for me, so these are probably close to true-to-size. I think the colorway looked awesome with my outfit that day. 🙂

MalibranBOperetta | Malibran in black/white. Emily tried on the Malibran, which she thought was a super cute shoe, as I do. I have these in black, but I like the stitched accents on this season’s styles of Operettas.

Passage Family

CairoPassage | Cairo in burgundy. Size 6. Very lovely color and leather. The heel height is comfortable as well. This shoe is quite narrow so unless you have very narrow feet, size up. The size 6 was uncomfortably snug on me, which means, for my slightly-wide feet, I’d size up one full size to 6.5.

Prepare Hi Family

SummitPrepare Hi | Summit in blue. Size 6. I tried these on for fun. This family is too high for me, but of course the blue was calling my name. When I got them on and looked in the mirror, I had to laugh because it looked like I was wearing roller skates! They’re adorable. These were a little big but my feet stayed in quite well, predictably, because of the laced-up ankles.

Queen Transcendent Family

EscarpinQueen Transcendent | Escarpin in black glitter. Size 6. Another glittery shoe I had to try on for fun! I totally love the Queen Transcendent heel. I believe these run true to size. Too bad they didn’t have a 5.5 so I could walk around and really see how comfortable they are.

VictoriaQueen Transcendent | Victoria in purple suede. Size 6. These are actually VERY purple, but they photograph blue on my iPhone. Sorry about that. The size 6 are a little big even with the lacing at the ankles (I could probably tighten them or use different laces that have more traction — these were velvet ribbon or something). If the Summit looked like fancy roller skates on me, these looked like fancy ice skates (at least from the front)! These are beautiful and delicate-looking boots. A nice addition to the QT family.

Radio Family

BBCRadio | BBC in brown. With jeans, the BBC look classic and rugged at the same time. The brown colorway adds to that theme. Emily liked how comfortable they were, but she was looking for sexier boots (she certainly found them with the Daily Miracle | Discovery knee-highs). I think these would go well with skirts.

KCRWRadio | KCRW in brown. I adored how these lace-ups looked with Melanie’s outfit. The boots are quite rugged, but the dress and tights softened them quite a bit; conversely, the boots toughen up the pink skirt. There’s a “prairie” look to the whole ensemble, but not in an overly-cutesy way.

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Whew! So that’s it for this installment of my Fall 2013 reviews. Believe it or not, Anthony told me there would be some more surprises later this season, but maybe as early as this month. I’m trying to find a time to go with my husband so that he can try on the men’s collection. I’m quite excited about that because I really like what I’ve seen of the men’s styles this season. Hopefully, by the time we make another visit, the newest styles that Anthony told me about will have arrived at the store as well. I’ll post again when that happens.

Happy Voging! What a truly lovely season this has been so far!

xo, Gladys


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Desert FlueReview: Fall 2013 Part 1

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.

TanyaHalf 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.

CrystalHalf 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.

LeaderPrepare | 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).

LibbySmithBellevue | 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.

LuxonHopeful | 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.)

RubensBlueBaroque | 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?

RubensGreenBaroque | 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.

VivKitschy 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:

MentorDesire | 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.

Angela7th 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.

AmieIntegrity | 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.)

ImaginePresence | 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.

xo, Gladys