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If Elizabeth Taylor was diamonds, Jennifer Lopez definitely has the single-strap-sandal style cornered.

Pairing them with everything from bejeweled jumpsuits to emerald pencil skirts, it seems like she’s playing favorites up-and-down LA in the stiletto’d summer staple.

Not that we blame her; her already-amazing gams look uh-mazing when she wears them, not to mention they’re a totally timeless classic. We’ll put it this way: remember that time circa 2 years ago, when the clog (gasp) had its moment? No question, that hyper-trendy shape from seasons of old couldn’t make the transition from bottoming-out a glittery ball gown, to sexing-up a knee-length cocktail number.

Ms. Lopez isn’t alone in her love –– ladies all over Tinseltown’s red carpets are strappy-sandal-ing lately. Take Camilla Belle’s office-ready ensemble in head-to-toe jewel tones, or Diane Kruger’s modest baby-doll; both starlets get the lightening-up their looks need through skin-baring sandals like our gorgeous Jessica sandals. On the (*cross out ‘sexier’) Saxonier side of the spectrum, just look at the about town Rihanna, who’s already killing it in her silk trench and side-swept hair. If you ask us, the fire-red stilletos are just the cherry on bottom!

Go toe to toe with J Lo and co. and shop our favorite ShoeDazzle strappy sandal picks!

July 26, 2012

Jenny N. (our UI tech gal) is one pedicure purist. When she’s not rocking some seriously fabulous footwear in our office, her summer-hued pedi’s are always the talk of the day. We keep one asking how does she keep her peep toe colours to last for so long? So, we turned to celebrity nail stylist, Jenna Hipp to share her best tips on extending our multi-hued, glittery topped pedicures. Jenna says:

HIPP TIP: At-home spa pedicure tip #1: Brands Matter: More than just remembering to use a base and top coat, be sure polishes are free of formaldehyde and DBP. (Not sure? Check it out by typing in your products at www.cosmeticdatabase.com)

Because most companies create their formulas to work together, it’s best to use them together to ensure your highest quality manicure. Also, your top coat doubles as a great refresher every few days to keep your pedi strong and looking brand new.

HIPP TIP: At-home spa pedicure tip #2: If you haven’t been consuming enough water, it shows in your skin, especially your hands and feet. Additionally, it is a main cause of swelling in the ankles. Drink filtered water infused with cubes of fresh fruit such as grapes, pineapple or cantaloupe to add flavor as well as vitamins to keep skin healthy and glowing from the inside out!

HIPP TIP: At-home spa pedicure tip #3: BE NICE TO NAILS! Start sourcing organic topical products and at home remedies.

People notice nails more than you would like to think. Prevention and maintenance- don’t wait, start NOW! For most of us, great looking hands and feet don’t just happen overnight. Start by budgeting in weekly to monthly mani/pedi’s or give your nails a little more attention at home.

To whiten nails, try this easy at home remedy:

Baking soda with lemon juice. Mix together and scrub nails with nail brush or toothbrush. Dip tips in hydrogen peroxide diluted with water. Wash hands and moisturize with damp hands with jojoba oil. Dab dry with a cotton towel.

WHAT ARE THE HOT SUMMER PEDICURE COLORS?

Brights tips bring in sunshine and optimism and translate into a fresh beginning. Full of energy, tangerine orange, and hot pinks are top pedicure pick me ups for this 2012. Bold colors are perfect for toes and a great way to show personality without being too over the top. No matter what, skip the french pedi- The look is overdone and un-natural.

Chartreuse and mustard are heavy hitters this summer as well as shades that have an organic, earthy feel. Neon’s will be popping up throughout the season well into fall on accent nails as peek-a-boo teasers.

TRY:

“Minty” by RGB cosmetics

“Poolside Party, All Eyes On Me” by NCLA

“Kutki” by Nars

“Cosmo” by Dior

Besides color, nail polish formula is also shaping up for summer by lightening up. Look for your favorite opaque color in a sheer or transparent formula, or instead wear just one coat. We took our own advice and created HIPPxRGB Nail Tints to give our nude nail loving fans more customizable options. HIPPxRGB Nude Nail System allows you to choose your color and your coverage as well as customize it to match your skin tone. Fans include Miley Cyrus, Lea Michele, Lauren Conrad and Michelle Williams.

July 24, 2012

It’s barely been a week since we’ve unveiled ShoeDazzle’s newly revamped design studio. But, if there’s one thing about fashion that everyone agrees upon it’s that the industry insiders love nothing more than to come across fresh, delightful talents who know all about how fashion intersects art in that very cool way.

As if Jennifer Rae Ochs hadn’t already reinvented the way mixed media, sculpture, and photography are experienced, the insuperably elegant visual artist has now upped her creative quotient by decorating our studio with high energy splashings of airy colour to the once bare walls. And, she wasn’t the only one inspired.

Our style-struck gazes were so ‘smitt’ with Jennifer’s strokes of genius, that Senior Director of Design Alejandro Blanco decided to take Jennifer’s painting – the Verdant – and re-create it into a dress – the Marlena – as a homage to her gloriously fun whirls of sumptuous hues whirling against the stark, white walls.

Hotness like this doesn’t happen overnight. So, we asked Jennifer about her inspirations on high style, her inspirations and about our custom design for ShoeDazzle and more.

SD: What was the inspiration for artwork that inspired the Marlena dress in the Madison collection?

JRO: Alejandro has incredible creative vision; he was immediately drawn to the Verdant painting. I knew he would use the Verdant masterpiece to create wearable/functional art. For this venture, it was important to take the art “off the wall” and extend a true interactive art experience. The beautiful element to this is it allows the clothing collector to further evolve their experience and self-express.

Verdant is a two panel piece, (18” x 24”/each), acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas. Verdant is a highly texturized piece by incorporating a mixture of minerals. Painting to me is not an exercise in randomness but rather an endeavor to shine light. I am interested in things that are beautiful, aesthetic delights. During the creative process, I focus on the impact of experience; less interested in the aggregate truth.

SD: How do art & fashion inspire one another?

JRO:Art inspires fashion. Fashion inspires an individual, as a blank canvas, to create one’s own artful aesthetic.

SD: How did the idea translate from taking your wall art into a fully fashionable dress design?

JRO: I am constantly surrounded by my paintings, seven years ago; I decided I loved my work so much, I only wished I could wear it. After years of learning about the fashion industry and consulting with those inside the industry, I knew it was only time before I found the right partner. Thanks Shoe Dazzle!

SD: Who would you say are today’s most influential artists affecting the fashion scene and why?

JRO: Takashi Murakami because he has diversified his artistic endeavors nicely.

SD: What’s your favourite fashion piece in your closet right now?

JRO: A gorgeous layered dress by French Designer, Lauren Vidal.

It’s date night for our wildly popular Signature Sole shoes– the latest at ShoeDazzle is our launch of the Signature by ShoeDazzle boutique, the perfect match to create a fully realized classic look. We’d like to call it true love.

About time, right? Now you can shop a complete collection of styled items in the Signature look, that ultimate sophisticated-sexy that becomes your own brand of style. We took inspiration from classically chic fashionistas like Jackie O and Katherine Hepburn and translated their looks into modern day style icons like Victoria Beckham and Kelly Ripa for this boutique. Whether it’s our statement-making, one-shoulder Bria dress in a very feminine bright pink or our very sexy body-con cut-out Lana dress, these flirty looks are anchored with timeless shoes and vintage inspired accessories, so you never look over-the-top, instead, you achieve that hard-to-find just right. Balance– it’s what all good relationships have.

Browse our beautiful look book to see pieces from the collection modeled on location at a regal Beverly Hills mansion, a scene fit for a star, and don’t forget our pink soled shoes, of course. Peep-toes, Mary Janes, and Lace Pumps– now part of curated mini-capsule collections. These love lessons all start at an awesome $39.95, cheaper than dinner and a movie.

It’s a boy for the Head Fashion Stylist for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider and our very own Anya Sarre! Anya and her husband, Tim, welcomed their newest bundle of joy – the adorably cute Sawyer William Sarre - on 10:21 am on Saturday July 14 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Weighing in at 7lbs 12 oz. and at a modelesque 21.5 inches long, Anya’s rep confirmed both baby and Mom are confirmed to be healthy.

And, the newest baby at ShoeDazzle will be no stranger to the fashionable stylings of his Mom. Anya’s rep shares that “Sawyer Sarre will come home to his over the top, nautical themed nursery complete with Carousel Designs bedding curtains and accents, a Stokee circular crib, and a custom made NewCo International rocker,” her rep says. “Everything is organized in Itzy Ritzy container whale packs.

Anya and Tim have been married for five years. Their wedding was featured in a 10-page spread in Inside Weddings magazine. Congratulations to the couple from all the Dazzlers!

Here at ShoeDazzle, we are all about accessories - obviously. But the ultimate accessory? A pampered pup to march along with you in your favorite pair of statement shoes. It girls have been accompanied by these cute companions pretty much throughout the history of fashion, and ShoeDazzle employees are no exception (we’ve been known to experience separation anxiety mere minutes away from our beloved pets). These puppies, who are fashionable celebrities in their own right, but more on that later, make appearances at work, cocktail hours, and most recently, our design studio launch.

It’s not just super sexy models dressing up on set here at ShoeDazzle, you know. Meet Sir Elizabeth Taylor and Latte ages 4 and 2 years, respectively. Sir Liz Taylor, whose name you might recognize from Sex and the City’s Charlotte York’s own dog, a King Charles Cavalier, and very used to the spotlight. Accompanying his mommy Lauren B., ShoeDazzle Publicist, to work from an early age, he’s perfected the art of the pose and knows just how to ooze the right amount of cootchy coo appeal being a long time press pro. Just look at that attitude sitting pretty on our very pink chair– we can’t get enough of him!

But don’t think Latte is camera shy. This King Charles Cavalier (sensing a trend at SD?) poses with our model as if he’s been strutting his stuff like a seasoned pro. ShoeDazzle Product Manager Ariella F. is Latte’s mommy, who named her pup for her creamy coat. We’re totally making take-your-dog-to-work-day a thing around here; next on our long to do list: designer doggy collection.

We want to know: Who is your favorite kissy-face It Girl-puppy pair?

July 13, 2012

Why tie up sneakers when you can slip into fashionably edgy shoes? Change up casual looks with comfy but sexy metal studded flats.

All great art deserves an equally awesome gallery, and we’d say the same about shoes (and handbags and jewelry of course!) Keeping that in mind, ShoeDazzle just revealed its sparkly new design studio– a newly revamped cool and airy design space designed by Jessica Marx, who expertly crafted the intimate pavilion for fashion. Amongst fresh flowers, rows of cocktails, the stylish ladies of ShoeDazzle, and two adorable puppies, an amazing creative space was born.

Marx brings experiences from impassioned design studios like Dodd Mitchell Design and ICRAVE Design. With her laid-back attitude and eclectic approach to design, Jessica established herself quickly in the professional ranks, being named one of the top 18 designers of the next generation by Boutique Design in 2006. It’s her sense of intelligent modernism that opened the dialogue between our studio’s structural design and celebrates an elegant sculptural environment with the intent to blur the boundaries between art and fashion.

Marx says, “I wanted to create a space that properly reflected the modern, creative, and whimsical elements behind the ShoeDazzle brand, while respecting the the industrial interiors of the existing space. I needed to design an environment that would be flexible, with rolling racks and ample pin up space, accommodating the changing needs of the designers and buyers. A clean white space with pops of bright pink and several artistic elements (including a neon ShoeDazzle sign) with artistic shoe display wall really give a strong impression of what this company is really about.

There’s a whole lot of colour going on thanks to LA based visual artist, Jennifer Rae Ochs, a modern expressionist, musician, entrepreneur and world traveler who landed in Los Angeles. If the shoe fits… she looks like a true California girl– blonde, tan and absolutely gorgeous– she resides in Los Angeles and when creatively necessary, travels back to her 100 acre art retreat in Minnesota. JRO creates an aesthetic of duplicity grounded in reality and spirited by possibility. JRO refers to her art as “a celebration of moments in time” and it’s certainly true in this case; we are having our moment, and we’re so excited to have another artists’ vision to inspire our own!

For the ShoeDazzle Art Wall, she used vibrant variations of the ShoeDazzle Pink, and incorporated a dynamic technique that simply reminds us of an abstracted, gorgeous LA sunset. Clear display cubes adorn the wall, with shoes perched on them like crowns. It’s a pretty regal space– as it should be, from now on all the darling shoe babies at ShoeDazzle are going to pop out of this studio. In addition, the space will be used as a showroom and all ShoeDazzle products will be shot here before they go out in your monthly newsletters. So you can look forward to enjoying our new space as much as we do!

Though we can’t guarantee cocktails and puppies.

Bring in the summer sunshine with all of your stylistic necessary accessories. Those all day summer pool parties, beach extravaganzas and stylish roof top events are waiting for you. Glam it up and add the final touch to your wardrobe by staying on top of this summer’s nail polish trends. Let’s make that daring transition from our beautiful neutral hues onto something a little more lively to bring in the summer right. I believe that you can never be too dressed up and your nail color can never be too fun. So once you try out these hottest colors for summer don’t be alarmed when you find a new “fabulous fav!”

Rule of Thumb

We can never be too creative, so why not walk on the wild side? Use nail polish to glam up a basic outfit or to polish off a finished styled look. With summer officially approaching, we will all start to get our own summertime glow—and what better way to set off that summer complexion than with neon nails. Be edgy and draw attention into to how lovely your nails look. It’s all about having fun with fashion, and what better way to spice up you look pairing your bright neon nails with the perfect peep toe pump or sandal. Whether you are walking through the park in your comfy T and favorite jean shorts, or in a sleek dress—be daring and feel gorgeous in your new neon fabulous find.

Nail Polish Paints a Thousand Words

Be cool and coy with metallic and glitter polishes this summer—be bold and let your nails gleam like diamonds in the sunshine. From all of the compliments, you might feel like you’re showing your nails off like an engagement ring this summer! These polishes can be compared to your everyday jewelry. I’ve noticed that we will throw a pair of glittery gold studs or shinny drop down earrings in our ears without a second thought, but hesitate to paint these color on our nails for fear of being too bold! Don’t be afraid to make your statement and be fierce from head to toe—for a nail polish color can easily help scale you as “best dressed” at an affair. With a bouncy summer dress or against denim, your hands and feet will be nothing short of amazing this summer.

Go Green

Last but not least, green the hottest color this summer in any shade! From playful pastel greens all the way to the darkest forest of greens—this is a must have color for any nail polish collection. As trendy as this color is, it really accents almost every thing, perfectly! Try it for yourself this summer and fall in love. Your manicure and pedicure are waiting patiently to be jazzed up with the summer’s hottest, so tell a friend to tell a friend. Sophistication at its finest is all about going green!

Let nail polish can be the perfect accessory without breaking the bank! Color combinations you may of never thought of before has the power to transform the way shoes looks on your feet and how and outfit is finalized. Don’t get caught in those embarrassing moments or fear shaking hands, waving to an old friend, or hiding your hands in photos ever again. With that being said, I can’t wait to see all of these styles out this summer…see you on the beach!

 

How did shoes become this era’s most revered accessory? That’s one of the many questions we posed to Rachelle Bergstein, the fashion aficionado turned author of Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us (HarperCollins). The historical chronicle of shoes and the unwavering attention given to aesthetics footwear by legions of women throughout history made the must-read list by the New York Times for its narrative on fanatical shoe moments. Bergstein’s intellectual rigor is a pure pleasure for any serious shoe addict. Witty and clever, the book traces the origins of the heels, the women who transformed basic designs to iconic starstruck triumphs, and how the world of celebrity and fashion inspires these heeled pops of beauty and tap into the desires of everyday women. You & I.

 

We chatted with Bergstein, who shared some punchy and provocative insights from her engrossing survey of women, fashion, and shoes:

Who was the first woman to be officially obsessed with shoes?

I’m sure there are shoe collectors who predate Imelda Marcos but she’s by far the most famous. She owned nearly 3000 pairs of shoes — that’s extravagant even by celebrity standards!

Who invented the high heel?

Believe it or not, high heels were originally worn by men and were a utilitarian item; when riding a horse, it’s useful to wear a heel so that the feet stay secure in stirrups. The stiletto, on the other hand, is a modern design, and though no one has identified the true inventor, fashion historians have narrowed it down to Salvatore Ferragamo, Roger Viver, Andre Perugia and Beth Levine.

Why do sexy, cute, covetable shoes make women feel so complete?

That’s the million dollar question! The obvious reasons are true – shoes are beautiful; they’re little works of art you can wear; they can turn a simple outfit of jeans and a t-shirt into something much more glamorous. That said, shoes have evolved through history to communicate subtle social cues like power, sexuality and status, which I think is why they’re so popular today.

Would you say is a true shoe style icon of our generation and why?

I’d have to give it Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj — they’re both so adventurous with fashion and are willing to wear even the most editorial, architectural styles, like Alexander McQueen’s armadillo shoes or the heeleess ones that he did, and that Giuseppe Zanotti is now doing.

What do you think will be the next crazy design /texture/element incorporated into shoes?

I think we’ll continue to see the heel itself as a focal point, with designers incorporating more sculptural elements (the way Chanel did with their rock crystal heels in the fall/winter ’12 show and Rodarte has done with their sand heels). The vamp tends to get more attention because it’s what the woman herself sees when she looks down at her shoes, but now with the flood of streetstyle photographers and blogs, we know that what’s behind matters, too!

Over the years what have been the best AND worst shoe trends?

This is clearly very subjective but the best trend, as far as I’m concerned, is ankle booties. They look great at various heights and deliver a terrific mix of fashion and (dare I say) function. Personally, my least favorite trend has to be the 5″+ platform heel that is now considered fair game even during the day. I think they’re magnificent in the right setting but wish it weren’t so hard to find 3″ heels now, which used to be considered quite high.

Has a marriage ever broken up over a wife’s addictive love (and hence spending) for shoes?

I don’t know if shoes have ever broken up a marriage but in New York City, where I live and where space is at a premium, anything is possible. The closest to this I’ve heard is the Beth Shak case; she’s a successful poker player who apparently owns 1200 pairs of designer shoes, and her ex-husband recently sued her for failing to disclose her collection in their divorce proceedings.

What is the most expensive pair of shoes you came across during your research?

Well, a pair of authentic ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz sold for $666,000 in 2000, so that has to be the most expensive shoe I wrote about. Then there’s Christian Louboutin’s limited edition “Marie Antoinette” pump, which he unveiled in 2009 at the height of the recession. It retailed for $6,295.

What are some memorable moments in shoe history that truly defined the trends that followed?

Two of my favorite stories are related to larger historical events that altered the way women looked at shoes. The first has to do with WWII: In 1943, the government placed a ration on shoes made from leather and rubber (those materials were diverted to the army) and forbid footwear manufacturers from incorporating any non-functional elements – like bows or trimmings – into their designs. Certainly, that affected the way women looked at shoes during the war and then afterwards, once the ration was lifted.

Later, in 1980 the Transport Workers Union in New York went on strike, which left the city without buses or subways for 11 days. Women who generally wore pumps to commute suddenly found themselves walking to work, and so they started wearing sneakers with their business clothes and then changing into more work-appropriate shoes once they got to their desks. Athletic shoes were becoming popular for women, and the strike only added to that momentum. After the buses and subways started running again, women still kept up the sneaker-to-pump ritual because it had become socially acceptable.

How many shoes do you own?

75 – and counting!

And, #76 from ShoeDazzle? What say you, Rachelle?