Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jean's SHOE OBSESSION Confession!

I confess!!! I was so obsessed that I did actually purchase those black patent peep-toe sling-back wedge platforms that I tried on late in December in Calvin Klein's flagship Madison Avenue store.  It's official: I've gone to hell in a hand basket!

Toward the end of our  1/6/13 "Ring Out the Old Year!" posting, we talked about me trying on the shoes in the Calvin Klein store before having to rush out to return a lost wallet to its rightful owner.  (Click on the name of the post above to view it in its entirety. ) Below is the relevant, surprisingly prophetic excerpt from that posting:

FLASHBACK:  Here are the black patent Calvin Klein platform shoes Jean came perilously close to buying. They have a wonderfully sculpted sole.

FLASHBACK: And here's Jean with the kind of smile that makes her look as though she's already bought them.

Back to the present:
It all started so innocently when I opened the December 6th, 2012 New York Times to see this full-page ad (below) for the fabulous peep-toe platform in an incredibly reddish shade of nubuck dubbed "Persimmon". The image of that shoe instantly burned itself into my retina.  My first mistake was to cut out the ad & put it on my wall (with one of my skull magnets, no less). The added fillip was the fact that I was obsessed as a child with my mother's persimmon tree whose fruit I found so incredibly inedible. While persimmons were literally my own personal forbidden fruit, the shoes were figuratively forbidden fruit since I never buy anything retail, let alone designer items and never use a credit card for clothing purchases. (Hahahahahaha! So much for those decade-old rules!)

The shoe appeared on the runway in Calvin Klein's Resort 2013 show. Since it was resort collection runway footwear, it didn't go into mass production and was supposedly only available at the flagship store. The supply was so limited that all phone and internet orders were verboten. One had to purchase them in person in-store only. This exclusivity only added to the allure. Like Ahab pursuing his white whale, I sought glimpses of it on the horizon in fashion blogs and Women's Wear Daily. The shoe became my own personal Moby Dick.  Strangely, the fact that some commenters called the platform shoes "stupid" merely whetted my appetite. Here's a close-up of the little rascals!
I don't know what came over me. I was head over heels for those silly shoes. At one point, I even considered getting them in Persimmon. Egad.

Truth be told, the hunt was less of a high fallutin' Herman Melville-style epic endeavor and much more closely resembled Elmer Fudd's comical hunt for that rascally wabbit! Viewed in the NY Times in early December, tried on in the store in late December, those shoes inspired panic in mid-January when I discovered that there was only one pair left in my size in my color.  6 weeks after I'd first spied them in the paper, I took the subway uptown and tried them on again. I stood up in them and --  they had me!  In a daze, I whipped out that credit card to purchase them. Then, I kept them in their huge matte black box for 6 weeks until I took them out to photograph them in what magicians call the "big reveal".  They literally threw me over the edge.  (Although it captured the launch, luckily the camera didn't catch the splash down on the carpet below.)

(This sef-revelatory post is further testimony to the fact that my husband never reads the blog!) I never talk here about the truly personal portions of my life which happen off-screen, so to speak. Anyhoo, I didn't reveal my purchase even to Valerie until yesterday evening when we were running around the Whitney Museum's members-only champagne reception. The bubbly must have somehow loosened my tongue and my brain and I confessed. (More about that particular escapade in a future posting.) I refused to post about my black-patent shoes' voodoo spell until after I'd paid off the credit card and tried to right my tippy sailboat on the choppy seas of financial life. Is this my own personal Carnival cruise line melt-down? One hopes not. They say confession is good for the soul. Let us hope so. Is it just a coincidence that I waited to confess until a historic moment in time when there is no pope in residence at the Vatican? Hmmmm. I did make a contribution this afternoon to my favorite charity, Social Tees Animal Rescue, in some sullied attempt at absolution.

But, let she (or he) who is without sin cast the first stone!

Now, what say we get back to the frivolity at hand, shall we?

Above, the shoe appears in black with two of designer Francisco Costa's minimalist black and white outfits. Below, it appears in off-white with a long pale printed coat and slacks ensemble.

For's coverage of the runway show, click here.

To read's coverage and see its slide show, click here.  The reviewer said: "What looked forbidding at first softened as it moved. Slit skirts kept legs flashing as models tottered down the runway on thick flatform wedges in lizard, calf, and nubuck."   

To see the shoes in action on professional models, check out Calvin Klein's Resort 2013 video on YouTube:
Or click on:

The fab footwear comes in multiple colors and fabrics besides black patent and persimmon suede. Here's the green reptile version's shade matched to the clothes.

Likewise the yellow-hued shoes and clothing are in perfect sync.

Here they are in grey and white reptile and in white leather...

... and in my personal favorite shade, black!

Here's how they appear on the model (above) and on yours truly in real life (below). I love how they tip upward at the toe, like a pair of tiny rhino's horns.

Luckily, someone highlighted just the shoes and others re-pinned them on pinterest. The platform of the reptile versions doesn't have the cut-out wedge to delineate the heel.

To link to the shot of the grey & white reptile version (above), click here:

This photo clearly shows the lacquered base's highly visible wedge cut-out at the heel. For a shot of the shoe with the creamy cafe au lait suede upper and cut-out heel (above), click here:

I do apologize for running on and on, but isn't that the nature of obsession? 

What I'm wearing: Black and ecru polka dot bubble skirt by Comfy USA (from the Pompano, FL Flea market), Kyodan jacket, vintage bakelite jewelry, Donna Karan opaque tights, vintage glasses from Fabulous Fanny's and my fab new footwear!

Adios, until next time, kiddies! And in the meantime, do pray for me.

In case any of the embedded links above don't work, here are the actual links:
Reptile version on pinterest:
Calf-colored suede version on pinterest: coverage:,0,15#15's coverage & slide show:


  1. I'm am thoroughly enjoying your purchase!!! May that pair of stunning shoes continue to bring you much life-affirming pleasure!


  2. I love how even though you broke some of your rules you worked hard to make it right. I think you made the right choice, they are a fabulous addition to your wardrobe, timeless really. I LOVE the persimmon and green versions. And I absolutely adored your retelling of the story.

  3. No criticism from me! I love them, too. And the skirt too.

  4. Oh Jean, you are hilarious! I would never fault anyone for falling (literally)under the spell of a pair of shoes, especially ones as cool as those. I would love them in red, but I would fall off the platforms and break my neck.

    Rules are made to be broken occasionally, and the fact that you didn't mention them until you paid them off is sufficient atonement. If only I possessed your sense of fiscal responsibility. I put a new pair of Doc Martens on my credit card when I was last in Toronto!

  5. You look so happy that I really believe the shoes are well worth the 'investment.' They are outrageously stunning on you, with your polka dots and light hearted pose. 'If not now, when?' has become my new motto.

  6. Love, love, love your new kicks.....and it's obvious you do too dahling! LOL. Great post....would die for some green ones

  7. Oh Jean, enjoy your fabulous footwear, glad these shoes waited for you! I can so relate to the paroxysms of desire, agonies of exceptions to rules, panic of limited supply, high drama of confession. A well-told saga!

  8. I want to know how much they cost. I've never had, and never will own such an exclusive pair of shoes. I've been dying for a pair of Doc Martens, but balk at paying over $100 for footwear. But I must say, having scored such a pair as yours, I'd be wearing them every day, everywhere, mabe even sleeping in them.

  9. Hi Jean, This is sooo cool. It looks like you are having a grand time with this venture. All My Best, Nancy Barell "Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra".

  10. nice blog..thanks for sharing this post..