Tuesday, October 24, 2017

All the Women's Shoe Emoji Are High Heels but a ballet flat icon might be the newest addition to your texting vocabulary.

The humble ballet flat might be approaching its zenith.

A proposal to create a woman's flat shoe emoji is up for a vote by the Unicode Consortium's Emoji Subcomittee on October 23rd. If approved, it would add a blue ballet flat to what — besides a gender-neutral brown oxford and a white sneaker — are currently only high-heeled emoji.

It would also signal another step forward in the efforts to mitigate sexist and gendered imagery in what has become the international visual language.

According to Jennifer 8 Lee, who is vice-chair of the ESC and a co-founder of the Emojination organization, which helps people propose new emoji, the likelihood that the woman's flat shoe will "make it through" — meaning be approved to become a new emoji in June 2018 — "is pretty high."

This comes at a time when dressing up (or down, as the case may be) can be a polarizing, or downright controversial, decision. Witness Melania Trump tiptoeing toward a hurricane-bound helicopter in August, or Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump reading to schoolchildren while wearing vertiginous stilettos in July.

That's in contrast to Gal Gadot, who in May wore flats throughout her Wonder Woman press tour, and Kristen Stewart, who spoke out the same month against the Cannes Film Festival's dictum against women wearing flats: "People get very upset at you if you don't wear heels or whatever," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "If you're not asking guys to wear heels and a dress then you can't ask me either."

The pushback against what can be an uncompromising, restrictive dress code is right up there with wearing a pantsuit as a nod to feminist activism. To wit: Evan Rachel Wood's year of red-carpet suiting. "I myself felt pressure a lot of times that I had to look or dress a certain way, especially growing up in the industry," Wood told Vanity Fair. "I thought I would go the other way and reach out to a little girl who is like me, possibly."

This follows Google's May 2016 call for a more balanced representation of genders and professions in emoji, and the introduction in June of three non-gendered emoji (a child, an adult, and an elder).

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kate Middleton's alleged high heels hack is absolute genius

It's no secret that Kate Middleton is a seemingly superhuman being. The Duchess of Cambridge juggles demanding royal duties, motherhood, and her third pregnancy with so much grace, we're doubtful that she's ever publicly displayed so much as a grimace on her face. After years of experience, we're certain that she has some tricks up her sleeve. And now, we *think* we've figured out how she manages to glide around in high heels without ever breaking a sweat.

No, Kate Middleton does not have superhuman feet immune to pain, nor does she simply stand and suffer in silence. According to Vanity Fair, the answer is leather sole inserts.

Vanity Fair‘s insiders claimed back in 2015 that Kate's leather shoe sole du choix is Alice Bow, crafted by British footwear designer Rachel Bowditch. The incredibly comfy shoe inserts reportedly turn all-day high heel wearing into an easy feat. If anyone should know how important that is, it's a Duchess whose job requires ample hiking in heels as part of her royal duties.

Kate has ordered a couple of packets, she thinks they are great,' the insider told VF of the soles, which are handmade in Britain from the finest Italian leather.

There has been talk of the Duchess wearing the insoles, but we cannot comment either way,” a spokesperson for Alice Bow said back in 2015. “We have seen a massive surge in site visits however.”

Considering Kate Middleton's affinity for L.K. Bennett pumps and Stuart Weitzman stilettos, we'd wager she still keeps those leather soles close by, too.

Sadly for us, the Duchess of Cambridge remains out of the public eye and resting at home in Kensington Palace as she battles Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a rare early-pregnancy condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. Meaning we won't be seeing much of the Duchess or her gorgeous royal shoe collection for a while. In the meantime, we're sending her all our well wishes, and hoping she takes this time to give her toes a rest, too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 5 Stunning French Wedding Dress Designers

On my first visit to Paris, I found the women fascinating.  Cliche?  Probably.  But it's true – French women generally have an understated, effortless style about them that is just so right.  And trying to emulate it is difficult, so I instead embraced the tourist look; walking shoes, sun hat and camera slung about my neck.  Classy, me.

The same cool, clean elegance in a French woman's every day wardrobe can be found in their top wedding dress designers.  Often boho, always modern, usually understated.  Structure seems to be thrown out of the window, leaving me wondering if their dresses would look any good on anybody larger than slim.  After all, that's what structure and corsets are for – pulling all your bits and pieces into the right places.   I've been sifting through French designers and picking out my top 10 favourites.  So in no particular order, here they are:

1. Cymbeline

A list of French designers wouldn't be complete without France's most successful design house, Cymbeline.  You can buy Cymbeline all over the world, and its success is likely down to doing classic yet beautifully designed gowns that incorporate both modern styles with more traditional.

2. Stephanie Wolff

Ah, Stephanie Wolff.  Soft, pretty, feminine gowns that manage to be understated yet glorious in one fell swoop.

3. Missy Dress

If you're looking for a killer combination of sexy yet cool, Missy Dress may well be the designer you're after.  Lots of laser cut lace, separates, and loose flowing garments that ooze rock chick charm.

4. Delphine Manivet

Delphine Manivet encapsulates everything about great French wedding gown designers.  Endlessly tasteful, beautifully made, with an element of rock chick that screams coolness (in a good way).

5. Fabienne Alagama

Ah, love at first sight.  Fabienne Alagama mixes clean, immaculate design with a touch of French edge, and 'gasp', some structure! Wonders will never cease.  Her gowns remind me just a little of Jesus Peiro.