Céline spring 2017 RTW Image by: Imaxtree
One writer's take on the oft-misunderstood shoe that is “safe but not sensible.”
Fashion watchers say that the kitten heel is ubiquitous this spring, but is it? Since the kitten heel is neither as flat as a crepe nor as high as a flagpole, much gets dumped into its medium-sized category that isn’t kitten, or, really, even feline, at all. In fact, it’s easier to say what a kitten heel isn’t than what it is.
It is certainly not a stiletto. Neither is it square, squat, sturdy or stacked, even if it’s medium height. What makes the Dior slingback with logo strap, Prada sandal, pointy Acne Studios slingback, Loewe moccasin and Céline babushka slipper kitteny is the indentation right at the top of the heel, called the “seat.” It makes the heel look like a comma. Sometimes, it’s so bent in that it looks like a cartoon shoe that has skidded to a screeching halt. And although the heel is shaped like an hourglass, it is imperatively skinny because a fat hourglass-shaped heel is for high kicks and tap dancing. “They give your leg a pretty silhouette,” says my friend Sabine. “And if you have full calves, kitten heels make them taper away and disappear.”
Christian Dior spring 2017 RTW (Imaxtree.com)
Kittens are great in-between shoes. They are safe but not sensible, dressy but not ditzy, stylish but not slavish. Which is why they were the heel of choice for Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy (and still are for Michelle Obama).
But what do we really think about the kitten heel? It isn’t a heel that inspires heated passion. By nature a compromise shoe, the kitten emerged in the 1950s as a “training” heel for younger girls. Designed for one’s first tentative steps in what was then the high-speed foot race for husbands and high heels, kittens are cute, tasteful, elegant and demure. They are the Baby Duck that comes before champagne. They are the quinceañera of footwear.
Givenchy spring 2017 RTW (Imaxtree.com)
That said, cats have their claws and so do kittens. When the heel is spiky and the toe pointy, like last fall’s white Balenciaga bootie, it can be an interesting, aggressive shoe. Diana Rigg wore a black leather bodysuit and kitten booties as she kung-fu-chopped villains in the ’60s TV show The Avengers. Sharp kitten heels, torn fishnets, bird’s-nest pompadours and gobs of black eyeliner was how punk icons Exene Cervenka, Siouxsie Sioux and PJ Harvey rolled in the 1980s and early 1990s. These were not women of moderate taste, as the kitten heel is wont to express. This shows that it’s a shoe with plenty of wiggle room for personality and, possibly, even rebellion—a shoe exactly suited to our times.
Gather your friends, put on your favourite dress and join us for an exclusive evening for the official launch of the new feminine fragrance by Guerlain. Be the first to experience the fragrance inspired by Angelina Jolie. Indulge in hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as you wander the exquisite Guerlain boutique and receive an exclusive appreciation gift with your purchase. PLUS, all guests will receive an exclusive parting favour.
110 Bloor St. W, Toronto.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Tickets: $25* (for two guests)
Space is limited
Click here to RSVP and confirm your donation of $25*.
*Partial proceeds will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency
Image by: Instagram.com/violette_fr
Whitney Port's glitter eyeliner, JLo's high pony and 7 other looks we loved.
Lady Gaga performs at Super Bowl 51 in 2017. Image by: Getty
Lady Gaga's makeup was inspired by... Lady Gaga.
About 111 million people watched the Super Bowl this year in America. I'm not American, and I don't like football, but I did tune in for the halftime performance by Lady Gaga, and can safely presume I was not the only one to do so. The makeup artist responsible for crafting the singer's look – which, in addition to being watched in HD by millions, needed to hold up through an aerial show – was Marc Jacobs Beauty ambassador Sarah Tanno. In an exclusive Canadian interview, she tells us about the process for deciding on the makeup direction, what it was like backstage and the exact products she used beneath that crystal mask.
We wanted everything to feel of the moment yet timeless — we have been dreaming of this moment for years. My inspiration for Gaga’s makeup look was…Gaga. I looked at every era from her career and created something that felt iconic to Gaga and just elevated it into something new. I wanted her to be able to look back at this 10 years from now and have it feel timeless. Also, after seeing the custom embellished Atelier Versace looks, I focused on a colour palette that would complement the iridescent and pearly pieces.
We're usually on the same page. It was a casual conversation that started with agreeing we wanted a red lip. Next I just started trying things on her in rehearsals to see how it looked on stage and with her choreography. Sometimes the way she moves can inspire me to go in a different direction.
It was during a rehearsal that I first shared my vision with Gaga. I started doing her makeup as I usually do, and I wanted to do the Super Bowl look I had in my mind, but I didn’t tell her. But as soon as I started, she totally knew! So we discussed and tweaked the look from there.
For the Swarovski crystal design adorning Gaga’s eyes, I worked with a friend at Face Lace in London. We collaborate often. It was a really wild process to determine the shape, where to place it and most importantly what tape to adhere it with that wouldn’t ruin the integrity of the makeup underneath. It was made with a decal made out of crystals that Gaga was able to peel off quickly and gracefully go on with the show.
For the eyes, I applied a shimmery pewter cream shadow using the Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow as a base, then blended a vibrant lavender liner from the Highliner Eyeliner collection (in Violet Femme 82) and a range of purple shades from the Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette to make her lids really stand out. I also layered two black eyeliners (Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner and the Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer) to ensure the winged liner was bold and budge-proof. I also used two mascaras, Velvet Noir Mascara, and Feather Noir Mascara, to create insane amounts of volume and drama. And voila! The eyes aren’t going anywhere, even after ripping a rhinestone mask off mid-performance.
Gaga and I figured out how to do quick change make-up a while ago. We love a challenge. There’s nothing like a quick switch in the middle of the world’s biggest stage!
It’s a different process from red carpet and television. It takes several calculated steps to create a look for stage that’s seamless and weightless — plus budge-and-sweat-proof. Gaga and I joked as I was doing her make-up that it’s a “million layers!”
It was very zen for the most part. Gaga had her best friends there as we got glammed and we just hung out and watched the game!