Monday, July 1, 2013

New Shoes + Fluevog Party on Melrose

Happy July! If it seems like Fluevog Central over here, I KNOW. June surprised me that way. Since my kid got out of school, my summer so far has consisted of 1) family vacation in Seattle, 2) swimming and potlucks with friends, and 3) Fluevogs. Throw in some extra hours of sleep, and it would be ideal. But I can live with it as-is. :-)

Integrity | Amie in aqua-green. Coffee | Arabica in black/turquoise.

As I previously posted, the Fluevog summer sale opened last Friday. I got an invite from the Los Angeles store to attend their sale preview event last Thursday evening, June 27, which turned out to be a party with sweet giveaways. The deal? The first 30+ people who purchased something (on sale or not) were eligible to pick out a pair of unworn vintage Fluevogs that were languishing in the back of the store for one reason or another. Usually, they were former floor/demo shoes that now showed a mismatch in color between the left and right shoe, which meant that they couldn't be sold. (You probably know it gets really sunny in Los Angeles, so the demo shoes get a little sun-faded.)

I got to the store a little late (it started at 5pm) because of traffic hazards on the freeways (grr, L.A. freeways). Luckily for me, however, my friends Jih-Fei and Francine had my back. Both had never tried on Fluevogs before, but they were game to join me at the party. Jih-Fei got there the earliest and stood in line*, so he was the 24th person in. I was number 37. When it came time, he traded numbers with me so that I could be one of the first 30 people. He said he didn't have a specific shoe in mind anyway and wanted me to get the vintage shoes. (So thank you, dearest JF! I owe you!)

Above, you see the shoes I came home with. I bought the green-turquoise Amie flats on sale (I couldn't get them out of my mind after trying them on), and I walked away with the gorgeous and totally vintage Arabica heels. We had a chance to check out the vintage selection before entering the store, and once I laid eyes on the Arabicas, I knew they were IT. They were my size and everything. I was pretty antsy before I was given the chance to go into the store; I hoped that no one else my size was going before me. Given that I only learned about Fluevog in mid-2010, I missed out on these shoes which came out in 2009. The family they belong to, Coffee, is no longer being made because the family business that produced them went out of business (sad). I do have two later styles from the Coffee family and cherish them both, so I knew I'd have no problems with fit. Also, I remember drooling over this Vogunteer pic when it first came out.

You might notice, though, that my Arabicas are two-toned while the pair in the Vogunteer photo are teal blue all over. Apparently, mine are even more special because they're custom with the black toes. I think they look fabulous, and they actually matched my dress that evening wonderfully. I put them on once they were officially mine. (I also love the Fluevogs I wore to the store, however, and they are on a different plane of comfort than the Arabicas even though they're heels as well.) 

This is the outfit I wore to go to the party. Dress: Apt 9 via Kohl's | Shoes: Fluevog Fiorenza (Operetta family) via Amazon
(Photo courtesy of my mom)

You can kinda see here that I've changed into my new Arabicas. By the way, a shout-out to Alice K., one of the awesome readers of the For the Love of Vogs blog as well as this one. Here she is wearing her Gorgeous maryjanes (Mini family). She'd just come from work. Isn't she adorable?? -- Hi Alice if you're reading this! It was so great to meet you!
(Photo courtesy of Francine)

Can you tell that the blue/teal straps no longer match perfectly?
(Photo courtesy of Jih-Fei)

Vintage filter for a vintage shoe
(Instagram photo courtesy of Jih-Fei)

* * *

Here are my friends with the Fluevogs they liked.

Gateway | Brandenburg Light in orange. Debonair man with debonair shoes

Gateway | Brandenburg Light in warm grey

JF gravitated towards the Brandenburgs (Gateway family), especially the Brandenburg Light in the orange color. He didn't want to try them on because there were too many people at the store at the time (a few of whom were quite aggressive -- so off-putting). And since he had to leave before 7 for another appointment, he missed the store clearing out. But he said he wanted to return to try on shoes soon.

Miracle | Marvel in green and yellow. Two tones, both beautiful.


Stunning! These will go with anything she wears. They're even wonderful with her bright yellow dress.

Francine saw the Marvel (Miracle family) on dealer Lenae and decided to try on both the yellow and green colorways. She fell for them and actually did purchase her first pair of Fluevogs, the green ones. Excellent choice! They look amazing on her. The Miracles are too narrow for me to be comfortable, but they fit her perfectly as you can see.

Another pair of beautiful Vogs for the price of one (on sale!)

And yes! She got her free vintage pair, too, the Lancianos in olive suede (also Miracle family). She and I both lucked out since most of the vintage shoes were size 6. Actually, Francine is a true size 6, so she had her pick of seven or so pairs, as most of them ran true. Sweet! And I do believe Francine is a Miracle girl. Her first choice to buy had been the Medugorje pumps, but she decided on the more dressy Marvels with their flattering ankle straps. I like the Medugorje but the Marvels really are marvelous!

* * *

Part of the fun of the party were the decorations. Apparently, dealer (and store manager) Anthony made all the arrangements and built the bar as well as decorated the masks (cardboard, paper, and paint). He even threw a huge, bright-blue rug in the middle of the courtyard where the party was held to simulate a pool. What creativity and talent!

Fun idea to have candy shish kabobs! They were served with wine and rum as well.

Last pairs on sale

More last pairs

Some of my dealers, including Keith who used to manage the store and now works for l.a. Eyeworks. Snazzy glasses! From top left: Keith, Anthony, and Lenae, and Kate in front. Not shown are Jen, Kimberley, Austyn, and Alice (who wasn't able to go at all).

I just wanted to end with another shout-out to the L.A. staff. I had so much fun, and even though the store was CRAZY for a while, they still managed to be welcoming and kind. I met and talked to Jen, who used to work at the Vancouver store and is now a grad student in L.A. We commiserated over grad school. Lenae and I talked for quite a while about her projects as an artist, after I asked. Dealer Brenda of Seattle had told me all about Lenae's work, so I knew I had to ask for more info. (Check out her website. Beautiful stuff. Vintage lovers will drool.) Keith, who, granted, no longer works there, made me laugh. Even Anthony, super busy and running around as he was, found time to chat and gave the go-ahead for another special treat for me.... Lovely, awesome Kate totally took care of me, as usual. As I was preparing to leave, she looked at all of the size 6 vintage women's shoes that were left, looked at me, and then said that I should go grab another pair. Um, seriously??? Yeah, she said, otherwise what would they do with them? Most would be returned to the back of the store. So she okayed it with Anthony, and I did choose another pair!

I felt seriously fortunate, and even blessed. Maybe it was the sparkling wine I'd drunk, but I just felt really happy after meeting and talking over gorgeous shoes -- works of wearable art, really -- with my old friends, with Alice K., and with the fabulous bunch that is the Fluevog L.A. staff. Plus I was wearing an amazing pair of shoes and holding on to a bag stuffed with new Fluevogs. It was an embarrassment of riches.

You should know, however, that I didn't keep that second pair. I had chosen a pair that were slightly big for me, and I paid them forward to my mom (who made my fun night -- and many other fun days and nights -- possible by babysitting). :-) And hopefully I'll get photos of her wearing them soon.

xo, Gladys

* I had no idea that there would be a line to get into the store for the preview sale, but duh, of course there would be because of the giveaway. Jih-Fei was the one who wondered about it when I first invited him, but I just assumed there wouldn't be. My bad. Again, special thanks to his foresight for getting there early!


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