About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Entries in Shoes (17)


Baby doll trousers

A few months back, I found this new-ish pair of trousers at my local thrift store. I immediately recognized some of the inspiration for the print.

The label is “Single,” a clothing company that seemed to be operating from 1996 to 2005.

This imagery is taken from a groovy Baby Doll Cosmetics ad from 1968. (Ad scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine April 1968.) 

Another bit is taken from the album cover art for “Supernatural Fairy Tales,” a 1967 album for the British band, Art, by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat.

The interwebs have failed me in finding the inspiration for these platform shoes.

Can't say I particularly like the print, but it was fun to recognize these elements. And someone on eBay will like them.


Waste neither time nor money

This post is a bit all over the place as I’ve been a bit all over the place in my last days in London.

I can’t resist the thrifting bug even though I’m in one of the most expensive cities in the world and have managed a few acquisitions, mostly books and jewelry.

Red dress 1970s polyester dress, thrifted, PDSA, Kentish Town, London. Striped vinyl belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Natural Comfort sandals, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy.This is the dress I picked up at PDSA. At £9.99, it was than I would have liked to for it, but seeing as how it was for an animal charity, I bought it.

1960s flower brooch, no idea where I got this. I’ve had it for decades.  I walk everywhere and the sidewalks in my neighborhood are quaint brickwork that trip me up even when I’m wearing the flattest of shoes. So anything that makes me feel even slightly unstable is out of the question.

‘Natural Comfort’ sandals, thrifted, Goodwill. However, I thought I'd give these sandals a try. They are well-padded and I really like the ‘70s look of them. I’ve worn them when I only had to walk a very short distance. Unfortunately, because the strap around the ankle is wide elastic, walking in them produces a loud flapping noise – which is probably why they ended up at the thrift store.

I didn’t have to go far from my boyfriend’s flat for this lot. The library that is about 3 minutes away has a wall of shelves with books for sale. I picked up the novels for 30p each. Those in the middle and on the right are both told from the perspective of a young girl in a dysfunctional family and are set in Wales in the 1960s. ‘Mary George of Allnorthover’ by Lavinia Greenlaw is about a young woman growing up in an English village in the 1970s. I don’t know if the library was having a clear-out of books with this theme or what, but I’ve enjoyed “The Hiding Place” and “Shake!” and the other was on my “to read’ list.

The museum members’ magazines were free. The one for the V & A has articles regarding their Hollywood Costume exhibition and the Tate magazine is all about the Pre-Raphaelite show I was lucky enough to see that last time I was in London.

The 1970s pewter and ceramic pendant on the right (£2) came from the car boot sale a few weekends ago. The ceramic pendant necklace (£1) on the left came from Age UK in Kentish Town. The abstract design and blue/green color reminded me of the pewter one.

The spiral design on the back of the pewter pendant makes it reversible. And the ceramic one has a maker’s stamp of a weird little stylized face. If anyone recognizes the mark, let me know.

I also scored some books at the Oxfam bookshop and Age UK in Kentish Town. I had flipped through the Twentieth-Century Fashion book in the library and was thrilled to see at Oxfam for £1.99. It has academic articles such as, “Dress and Culture in Greenwich Village” and “The Beat Generation: Subcultural Style.”Gyoza with a mojito and a smoothie; raw lasagna with cashew ‘cheese’ adorned with a decorative and delicious dehydrated tomato; berry cheesecake and English trifle.And since A. and I seek out bargains for dining out too, we I took advantage of an online voucher to go to Saf in Kensington, which serves vegan, mostly raw cuisine. In well-prepred raw cuisine, every morsel explodes with flavor.

I’m headed back to Saf tonight to dine with my friend from the States, and tomorrow, I’ll have another visit with Jennie of Frocktasia. Then the David Bowie exhibition at the V & A on Friday night. So much to do!


Pretty and happy

Today was a beautiful spring day and there was a palpable sense of relief in my neighborhood after a harrowing week.

I felt like wearing a pretty dress even if it was just to run errands.

I bought this dress on Etsy a couple years ago. It was a maxi dress with short puffy sleeve. I shortened it and took the elastic out of the sleeves to make butterfly sleeves.

The print of the fabric makes me happy.

Bulbous-toed oxfords bought in London in the early 1990s. I've always called them my ‘clown shoes.’

Google search results for 'clown shoes.' Uh, oh, take away the inflated toe and boat-like proportions and I’d wear most of these. Some look very similar to the too-big (yes, even with a padded insole) shoes of my last post. Well, I guess if I can wear clown pants, I can wear clown shoes.

1970s dress, altered, Etsy. Corduroy jacket, $3, thrifted. Fabric flower pin made by me. Silver moonface/amethyst necklace purchased in the 1970s. Oxfords, purchased at Hobbs in London, early 1990s. Indian cotton bag made by me from a thrifted 1960s jacket. 

I'm out and about at Visible Monday.


Style Imitating Art: Captain America by Alex Gross

I have been wanting to participate in Style Imitating Art (SIA) for a while. Before I knew of this blogger challenge I had done my own version in a couple posts called "Confessions of an Art History Nerd"-- this one for Vittorio Carpaccio and this one for Rogier van der Weyden.

Captain America, by Alex Gross Mixed media on antique photograph, 2006 When I saw the latest SIA challenge-- a multi-media work by Alex Gross in which he used an antique photograph as the base of an image of Captain America--I couldn’t not participate as I had already taken outfit photos that would work. But I decided to tweak the look by incorporating a high-neck Victorian-style blouse that more closely draws on the artwork.

Cardigan, skirt, blouse, all contemporary and thrifted. 1970s bucket purse I’ve had for decades with a newly thrifted sun/star pin added. Bangles from India.  Instead of the Red Skull lurking behind me, I have “Jet,” a black cocker spaniel photographed by R. Weinberger in 1943. (I collect vintage dog photographs. Or used to, until I acquired more than I could display.)

Originally I had taken this outfit shot.

I'm always inspired by other bloggers and I had noticed that shrunken cardigans flattered the ample bosoms of Helga and Curtise. So when I saw a star-adorned cardigan at the thrift store in a size too small, I thought I’d give it a try. They were also inspiration for the red, white and blue palette. (I'll also mention Kelly of Grunge Queen, who recently posted about experimentation being possible when one thrift shops). Have you been inspired so specifically by another blogger?

With the exception of the shoes, all clothing is contemporary and thrifted. This look doesn't excite me and I need to experiment with the sweater. So, ignore the clothes and look at the shoes.

Early 1970s Minnie by Weber shoes, thrifted. I’ve posted about my love of multi-colored shoes and my efforts to paint shoes to get the effect (here  and here). So, I was thrilled to bits to find a vintage pair of yellow, blue and red shoes. Unfortunately, they’re a bit too big. But I can wear them for an outfit post.

Inside one shoe is the name “Minni by Weber” and “Irvings’s Chula Vista California” in the other. The shoe store, Irving’s, in Chula Vista, California, started in 1954 and appears to still be in business. Although these shoes were originally sold in California, after some research I found that they have a Boston connection. (Nerd alert: This is where I tell you the history of my shoes. I’ll keep it short).

In 1919, the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company was founded and started manufacturing shoes in converted stables in the Roxbury section in Boston. Jump ahead to the 1960s, when the company bought up smaller shoe companies, including the Weber Shoe Company in Missouri. In 1966, the name changes to Stride Rite. By 1969, the shoe conglomerate was producing over 30,000 pairs of shoes a day. Today, Stride Rite is probably best known as a maker of children’s shoes.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Stride Rite was a pioneer in providing social services for its employees. In 1971, it was the first company in the U.S. to open an employer-sponsored, on-site day-care center. The motivation at first was philanthropic; the president of the company wanted to ‘give back’ to the low-income community where its factory was located. But soon employees asked to take advantage of the day-care center. Stride Rite’s day-care program became a model for other companies. Unfortunately, various state regulations prevented them from opening such centers for their factory workers outside of Massachusetts, but they were able to provide day-care for workers’ children at their factory in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1990, the company decided to address the need for elder care services by opening an Intergenerational Day-Care Center.

I really wish these shoes were in my size. I’d like to wear them with my striped trousers. I guess I’ll have to paint myself some yellow, blue and red shoes.

Better late than never, I'm linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.


Austere tea party, anyone?

In honor of Woman’s History Month, a local vegan café held a Ladies Tea Brunch this past Sunday. When I read that hats and tea party attire were mandatory, I reserved a spot right away. Seeing as we just had a few feet of snow (and I had just watched two episodes of Land Girls on Hulu), I opted for the sober colors and warm fabrics of the 1940s.

First I had to revive this red velvet cap that I used to wear all the time in the 1980s. I removed the ratty netting and the ornamental buttons that were missing rhinestones. I then steamed and pressed it on to a mannequin head to get its shape back.

That accomplished, it was time to check on the dress, a donkey-brown wool number from the early 40s, again something I bought in the 80s and haven’t worn since.

I love the details: the gathers on the top and the pin tucks in the lower part of the sleeve, the tiny gold studs on the shoulders and triangular pockets, the gathered bodice and flared skirt.

And, ta-dah!

The dress, hat, brooch on hat, necklace, gloves, and shoes are original 1940s. I've owned all of them for decades, except for the shoes, which are a recent acquistion.

The bag was made in India and purchased on the street in New York in the 1990s. I just tucked the handle inside to use it as a clutch. The stockings are the wrong color, but I was relying on what I already owned. The eyeglasses are new prescription ones, for which the jury is still out. They did work well with this outfit though.

I had worn this 1940s coat to the point of near disintegration in the 1980s and have been on the verge of throwing it out many times. I’m glad I hadn’t. It needed a few repairs to make it wearable for an afternoon, though. I teamed it with a scarf bought new in the 1980s.

The 1940s shoes were recently thrifted from Goodwill.

The label inside reads “Wilbur Coon.”

Wilbur Barry Coon (1870-1926) and a partner began making baby shoes in 1891 in Rochester, New York. By 1912, Coon had struck out on his own and founded what was to be a phenomenally successful company manufacturing babies, children’s and women’s shoes. After his death, his son Wilbur Levis Coon took over the business. The company sold shoes under their own label to more than 6,000 retailers. An online search has turned up ads for Wilbur Coon shoes from the 1920s to 1940s, but I haven’t found any information that would indicate when the company went out of business.

I have a hard time finding shoes that are comfortable. Turns out that comfort and fit were the two major selling points of Wilbur Coon shoes. One of their slogans was “A Made-to-Measure Fit in Ready-to-Wear Shoes. Sizes 1 to 11. Widths AAA to EEE.” According to a newspaper ad from 1935, there were special in-store fitting days (probably with a traveling rep from the company) and 149 sizes were available.

As you see from all the numbers inside the fit measurements were fairly complicated.

from The Pittsburgh Press, October 30, 1930  The baby’s foot is a perfect foot. And you don’t find foot troubles in adults in tribes that live barefooted. Foot troubles come from shoes that don’t fit.

The fault is only partly yours. Most shoes are made to fit the foot at two points only – length and ball. That method is as old as shoe-making. But, why keep on wearing a two-point shoe on a five-point foot? Wilbur Coon Shoes are made to fit all five points – length, ball, instep, waist, heel?

Another sizing innovation (although I don’t know if it originated with Wilbur Coon shoes) is that samples in children’s sizes were made in clear vinyl so one could actually see if the shoe fit properlyt.  A pair sold on Etsy recently.

There are a number of advertising postcards for the company here.

I wish shoe companies offered a similar level of customization in sizing. With 149 different sizes, I was lucky to find a pair that fits as well as they do. The Wilbur Coon shoes I see currently for sale online are listed at anywhere from $40 to $169, so I was even more fortunate to find mine for 10 bucks.

The shoes alone deserve to be linked to Ta-dah! Tuesday.


Funky by Dexter: It takes a Funky Chicken to Lay a Funky Egg

More shoe fashions from 1971, this time desert boots, oxfords and bowling shoes.

Lady Dexter shoe ad from Seventeen magazine, March 1971.Penneys shirts and jeans ad from Seventeen magazine, March 1971.

I’m guessing my love of stripey jeans and star motifs started around this year. This ad isn’t for shoes but it shows more two-toned desert boots.

I’ll find some Famolare crepe-soled shoes and clogs for Joni.

What a coincidence that Curtise posted a Horrible Histories video yesterday. I didn’t know what Horrible Histories were until her post, but I had recently stumbled on these videos by History Teachers – mini history lessons put to the music of pop songs. I was in grad school studying medieval art history in the early 1980s, so I particularly like their videos on the medieval period as well as the revamped 1980s songs.

I've posted some of my other favorites on my Facebook page, including one with a chorus of "Ooh, ooh fleas on rats, fleas on rats" and another that begins,

"“Mummification equals immortality
Your brain’s pulled out your nose by an embalmer-priest”

Catchy, no?


Capezio: the show stoppers

It is such a shame that the wonderful, wearable styles of 1960s and 1970s shoes are not made today. I love all the colors, shapes and attention to comfort (roomy toe-box and 1 to 2-inch heels) that styles from this period have. My fantasy is to start a company that reproduces these styles in vegan materials.

Photo credit: Green Shoes's Facebook page (click pic for link)Step one of my plan for world shoe domination (maybe it’s just me who thinks millions will clamor for these styles) is to learn how to make shoes myself. As I found out last year from Norma’s blog, a handmade shoe company in Devon, UK, whose range of vegan shoes I’ve always admired, offers shoemaking workshops. The photo above shows the results from one of Green Shoes' workshops.

As a celebration of vintage shoe styles, my goal is to post images of vintage shoes each week. This way I’ll be ready and have all the images in one place when I have my shoe company.

Capezio show ad from Seventeen magazine, March 1971 The shapes! The colors! The brightly hued tights!

I was trying to pick my favorite here, but it's hard. I want them all. If I had to pick, I’d say the ‘Shepherd’ and the ‘Woodstock’ (which are similar). Which is your favorite?


A good day

Today was a good day. After a productive day of work, I went out to do errands and meet a friend.

Just up my street, I found these blue glass candleholders with etched stars on the sidewalk. I guess I’ll start a ‘trash finds’ tag. 

Then, I saw a cool bike – painted gold with a burgundy seat -- on my street.

I went to the thrift store and found one great item (more on that in a bit).

I then walked past the natural foods co-op and saw that, in preparation for a move to a location across the street, everything in the store was 50% off. Inside, it was a madhouse, teeming with shoppers frantically grabbing items they’ve never bought before off the near-empty shelves (I got laundry detergent, 3 boxes of graham crackers, some Lara bars, some cream of tartar, a chocolate bar, 2 packages of Liz Lovely cookies, and some pudding mix – not my usual assortment of purchases). Given the long waits and the general euphoria over such deals, the lines at the registers had a bit of a party atmosphere with folks comparing purchases and generally having a good time.

This diversion led to my being late to meet my friend Karen at Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Café, one of my favorite veggie places in the neighborhood.

I can't wait to check out the Peter Max fashions inside.After a long visit with Karen, I walked home to discover that my latest eBay purchase, the April 1970 issue of Seventeen magazine, had arrived in the post.

Sorry for the bad photos. It was dark and I had to use flash.I then tried on my thrift store purchase. I’ve confessed my fashion obsession -- scooped necklines combined with short puffy sleeves over long sleeves -- before. Add to that a wild print and this late 60s/early 70s ribbed knit top with a scoop neck and puffed sleeves at the top made of a vibrant print fabric proved itself to be the holy grail of thrift store finds.

Jordan Marsh top, $4.99. Antique Indian and stone pendant strung on a cord (had as long as I can remember). Lac bangles given to me by a friend's mother in Mumbai, 2004. H & M denim mini, purchased in mid 90s. Blue thrifted tights, 99 cents. Clogs painted by me.This top is 100% acrylic and was made in Italy for Jordan Marsh, a Boston department store. I can’t imagine an acrylic knit top nowadays lasting more than a few months. This top was very well-made. It’s obvious from some repairs in the seams that it was worn frequently, but yet it isn’t pilled or stretched out – after 40 years.

I hope you had a good day!


Adventures in shoe painting, part 4

This pair of scuffed-up, comfy shoes with bowling-shoe type styling were on their last leg. Even the inside of the shoes was pretty worn, but I knew I could get a few more wearings out of them and wanted them to go out with a bang.

Shoe ad from August, 1971 issue of Seventeen magazine I was again inspired by 1970s shoes (previous projects include clogs, sandals and spectator shoes). 

Using Jacquard Neopaque paints, I mixed my own colors and first painted the section closest to the sole an olive green color, I then painted the next section up hunter green. The topmost section was to be painted red. The above photo shows the first coat of red (when it was still too rust-colored. I later made it more red than orange). As with the yellow in the previous pair of shoes, I found that red colors required more coats to get good coverage.

I didn’t like the combination of olive green next to hunter green, so I added red to my olive green paint to make it more brown and painted a second coat. Here the stitched seams between the 2 top sections is unpainted. I was toying with the idea of painting them purple, but then decided to make them brown. The green and brown sections required two coats, the red need about five.

The finished shoes.

Not wanting to leave well enough alone, I thought about painting some embellishment on the red sections and used paper cut-outs to get an idea how they would look.

Two of my favorite motifs -- a moon and a star? (The red section doesn’t have its final coat in the this and the next few photos)

A faux-buckle?

A groovy flower?

Because the red section seems to elongate my feet, I’ve decided to fill in the toes with brown paint and do a large yellow star on each red section as in the mock-up above. I've been wearing the shoes for the past few weeks and will get around to finishing them this way soon.

Since I am linking this post to Lakota’s Ta-dah! Tuesday, I thought I’d throw in another ‘ta-dah.’

I usually make this quick and easy lasagna (from a recipe on FatFree Vegan Kitchen) with tofu as the recipe states. I was making it the other day and didn’t have tofu, so I substituted a tin of cannellini beans which I put in the food processor with sautéed garlic and some nutritional yeast. If you are avoiding soy for whatever reason, cannellini beans make an equally nutritious but more filling substitute. I made other substitutes based on what I had on hand, in this case, sautéed summer squash instead of mushrooms and Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds for the top. In the U.K., I'd use Vegusto No-Moo Melty. Both Daiya and Vegusto make non-dairy cheeses that are quite good.

Oh, and for another ta-dah, I made the two potholders in the photo from vintage 1970s fabric.

Check out the clever people on Ta-dah! Tuesday!


Boots and tart

The red elf boots I coveted are now mine.

Fleur boots, Vegetarian ShoesA. had purchased the boots for me a few months ago, but the pair he got was too small. So we went to the Vegetarian Shoes shop in Brighton last weekend and I exchanged them for the correct size.

While in Brighton we had lunch at Infinity Foods Cafe.

Mushrooms and spinach on toast I haven't had a Bakewell tart (an almond filling with a layer of jam in a shortbread crust, topped with icing)  in years and was so happy to find a vegan version at Infinity Foods Cafe. The filling was not as dense as I remember having had before, but had a strong almond flavor nicely complimented by the raspberry jam.


Adventures in shoe painting, part 3

I love the look of multi-tone, spectator-type shoes from the 1970s. And I wear a lot of purpley-brown (a color I call ‘raisin"). Inspired by the colors of the bag I had recently made and the following shoes I saw on Etsy, I transformed a pair of old black leather shoes that I no longer wear.

As with the previous pairs of shoes that I painted, I wiped them down with alcohol first to remove any coating. If shoes are non-leather, I’ve read that they should be wiped down with acetone (nail polish remover).

I then painted a couple sections with a gold color that I mixed from Jacquard Neopaque paints. I don’t know if yellows don’t cover as well as the metallic colors I had painted with before on the clogs and sandals, but it took about 6-7 coats to get fairly good coverage. The photos below show the shoes with one coat, then two coats, then about 5 coats.

Then I mixed red and green Neopaque (adding a bit more red) to make a raisin-brown and painted the remaining sections of the shoe. I tried to copy the rounded double-pointed shape of the red and blue shoes in the photo above. Since I was painting it free-hand, it had a sloppy camel-toe look.

I decided to just go with a straight line across the toe and added dots of gold around the front top of the shoe, and for fun, larger dots on the side.

The big band of gold around the back wasn’t appealing, so I painted a vertical stripe of the raisin color, and when that was dry, painted a row of gold dots on it.

Even the gold dots required 2-3 coats.

I was so eager to wear them, I didn’t wait long enough for the paint to cure. Given the many coats, I should have waited at least 4-5 days. The first time I wore them there was slight cracking in the gold section across the toe. I am not sure if the paint would have cracked even if I had waited, just because there were so many coats. Since I didn’t like the shiny effect of the sealer on the metallic blue clogs I painted earlier, I chose not to seal these.

Sorry for the very bad indoor photo (it has been raining), but this was what I wore for my new shoes' first outing. At least the shoes are in focus.

1970s polyester jacket, Goodwill, $6.49; 1970s peacock print blouse, Sue Ryder charity shop, $6.00; 1990s black jumper dress, Goodwill, $6.99; 1960s goldtone leaf brooch, 1990s shoes - painted. ,

I'm a day late, but am linking to Faith Hope and Charity Shopping's Ta-dah! Tuesday.


Sad sandals revitalized (briefly)

My second shoe painting project involved an old pair of Dansko sandals.

I had worn them on several trips to India and they were faded and stained; I rarely wore them because they looked so dingy. I needed a pair of light-colored sandals to go with a gray and white summer dress, so I decided to paint them with Lumiere Pewter. I wanted them to be more versatile so I opted to do alternating metallic colors. For each strap I mixed my own colors.

I didn't mixed enough of a single color, so each strap was slightly different, with one strap looking bronze and the other more rose gold. I was going to a performance of The Great Gatsby at Wilton’s Music Hall and needed to whip up a 1920s-inspired outfit.

I combined a 1990’s Vivienne Tam dress with a black skirt with a ruffled hem, a black lacy shawl I used to wear for belly dance class, shimmery off-white stockings and my new painted sandals. I needed a flapper fascinator and didn’t have time to shop or sew. So I safety-pinned a feather from a hat I had and an embroidered and beaded ornament I picked up in a button and trim shop in east London to the cut-off hem of a pair of blue velveteen jeans (it helps to never throw anything out).


Unfortunately, it was the first and last outing for my new painted sandals. By the end of evening, I started to feel a bit wobbly on my feet.

Later I saw that the rubber soles of my sandals had cracked and started disintegrating. Very sad that I won’t get to wear them with the dress I painted them to go with.

I have two more shoe painting projects to share!

Just to make a point that I rarely throw out things I love and will always be able to use/wear it again. The top part of my flapper dress above was a dress I bought new and shortened to wear in 1994.


With stars on my shoes

The options for comfortable, reasonably priced vegan footwear, though growing every day, still isn’t enough for my tastes. I have leather shoes from my pre-vegan days that I have been wearing until they fall apart. I still have a couple pairs that have seen better days but aren’t ready to be tossed. So, I decided to reinvigorate them with paint.

I did some online research and found that Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paints work well on leather shoes. I bought two “Exciter” packs of paint, one with small bottles of seven colors and one with nine colors. I painted one pair of shoes. Then, a pair of sandals. Since the sampler assortment were all metallic (the Lumiere line), I then to buy some bottles of Neopaque (non-metallic) colors. I then painted two more pairs of shoes. I now have a shoe painting addiction.

I painted a comfy pair of BØRN clogs with Pearlescent Blue, straight from the bottle. The color was more metallic than pearlescent. And it was very electric. So I did a second coat with Pearlescent Blue to which I’d added a touch of Neopaque Black. I had painted the insole Metallic Olive Green and it was too bright. So I did a second coat, adding Neopaque Black to darken the color, giving it an antique feel.

I was listening to the Cat Steven’s album, Catch Bull at Four and the song, Boy with a Moon and a Star on His Head was playing. It occurred to me that I could paint anything I wanted (or was capable of painting) on my shoes, so I decided on stars. The star motif -- used a lot in the 1970s -- is one of my favorite motifs. I experimented with freehand Metallic Gold stars on the insole. They came out alright, so I took a deep breath and painted stars on the upper band of the clog.

Somehow the surfaces lacked definition, so I painted a Sunset Gold and Pearlescent Violet band around the insole and on the edge of the top part of the shoe. The two colors got a bit lost on the upper band so I painted over it with just the Sunset Gold. I also painted the band along the lower edge in Sunset Gold.

The cream-colored stitching in the platform didn’t look right, so it got touched up with Pearlescent Violet. One of the websites had recommended putting an acrylic sealer on the paint.

After a few days, I put two coats of sealer on the upper part of the clog and the insole. It gave it a shiny appearance that I didn’t particularly like. But is also made the insole a bit slippery. So I stripped the sealer off with some ammonia and decided not to seal the three other pairs of shoes I painted.

Soon after painting my clogs, I found a never-worn pair of electric blue tights for 99 cents at the thrift store.


Mohop shoes

I just stumbled upon Mohop vegan, eco-friendly shoes made in Chicago. In addition to offering a bespoke service, they have a ready-to-wear collection on Etsy. The shoes come in variety of woods for the sole and each has elastic loops on the side so that you can wrap ribbons or ties in all different ways to create different looks.

Some are very cute.

Some look as though you’ve sustained injuries to both feet and are wearing bandages.

Some look as though you’ve injured both ankles while in India.

Others have a cool '70s vibe.

Or a decadent '70s vibe. (They’ve partnered with a nonprofit social enterprise to make the ties out of recycled sarees).

Because I walk everywhere, my main concern for footwear (after being animal-friendly) is comfort. The Mohop website and the feedback on Etsy are reassuring. 

I like the way they are so customizable; I envision making my own straps to make them even more one-of-a-kind. Vegan, comfortable, benefit an Indian nonprofit, sustainably sourced wood, customizable, made by a small artisanal business--these require serious consideration.