Yesterday was International Flue.vog Day, which is the company where I buy most of my shoes from. John Flue.vog is a BC local, and he makes fabulous shoes which are at the same time retro and edgy, with lovely colours and excellent workmanship. My first pair were bought about three years ago, and they are just starting to look like I am wearing them, in a nice way not in a hobo way. The only thing I have to do is replacing the heel endings every two or three years, but they even provide the heel caps for half the price that the Korean shoe repair guy does them for (and he does them for 12$ a pair).
I love finding somewhat local workmanship like on Granville Island, where they make fabulous belts and hand painted/pleated scarfs. Not only is the quality exceptionally good, but if you have any need of repair you just take it in and they fix it usually for free. They re-pleat my scarfs for free for instance, if the rain or humidity undoes the pleats. The same thing can be said of the higher end brands, for instance Coa.ch or Cha.nel, who will fix stuff for you often for free without even asking for a receipt. The other day a Coa.ch saleslady fixed my wallet, which has one of those old-fashioned looking coin compartment that closes with two twisted metal wires. It was opening and the coins were falling off. She took a pair of fine pliers and just twisted the two wires against each other, and bingo, I now have a working coin compartment again! (I don't know why I didn't think of that btw, but next time I will fix it myself with the jewelry pliers).
Anyway, I digress. So yesterday Flue.vog had 15% off due to the occasion, and hence I took advantage of the opportunity to get my mom her very first pair...I chose the wine coloured Operetta Malibran shoes. They should be arriving this week. She was shocked about the price initially, but I told her that although they cost about three times more than usual shoes, they can last more than ten years and they are incredibly beautiful. I am so used to getting complimented on my shoes since I started wearing Flue.vogs that it is just part of life. I have some other funky pairs from other companies as well, but they are all in the same style: a little retro, mid height heel, and something special to set each pair apart.
When I lived in Romania until about 18 years of age, I could only wear manly shoes or runners. That is because my shoe size (10) and the wide feet are quite rare in Europe, and were especially rare in communist Romania where selection was limited and where women do not have size 10 feet. Even to this day, all of my shoes that I find I don't wear much I send to Romania, because women there still have a hard time buying size 10 shoes. So when I arrived in Canada, I was quite pleased to see that the selection was as good for my size of feet as for size 8. It is very powerful to feel normal again! and of course I started indulging in this previously unavailable aspect of life with great glee. I now have enough shoes and don't feel that adding to my collection would increase my range of available styles or my pleasure much, as I already feel very shoe-gifted. I find that where I live I need boots, and I have a large amount of boots (about five or six pairs) for work, plus one pair of Uggs that are indestructible and keep my feet warm at -45C. As far as shoes go, I find booties that end at the ankle are great with pants, and I have about three pairs of those, plus two of the operettas (red and green). With this selection, I cover all of my shoe needs. Sandals I hardly wear, hence I only have one pair of strappy ones and one pair of go-everywhere thong flat sandals that will probably be my salvation once I can no longer reach my toes :)