MRNY – Bootie Obsessed / Minna Parikka

I’m not referring to the famed bottoms of such luminaries as Beyoncé and J. Lo – no – I’m talking about those adorable little shoes that are not quite boots, yet no longer a mere pump, that I need to complete my late autumn/winter-early spring wardrobe. Last year’s ankle boots, which were a sort of cheap, quick fix to satisfy a desperate need and which I never really was in love with, went into the garbage when I moved to a new apartment a few months ago, so I’ve been doing without since the cold weather arrived!
My shoes take a real beating, living in New York. There’s quite a lot of running around on uneven/slanted sidewalks (try walking in heels at a 45 degree angle), cobblestones, and streets in the midst of being re-paved (almost certainly my favorite way to ruin shoes/make a fool of myself by tripping in the middle of the road; perhaps only second to irreparably scuffing shoes whilst running up subway steps). Those ankle boots never really had a chance – I threw them in the trash because they were, well, trashed, unwearable (sadly, much like my favorite pair of heels, an adorable teal and white t-strap from Poetic Licence, which suffered a similar fate). I know I know, there are cobblers by the score who can slap a new sole onto a shoe – but my shoes suffer an all-over wear that can’t be salvaged (likely due to the giantness of my feet), so I find myself needing to replenish my shoe supply with some frequency.
Seychelles All Dressed Up heel in teal (via Zappos). These look remarkably similar to my now expired favorite heels, except what’s gold on this shoe was white on the other, and whereas this one is suede, the other was regular leather. I do love the teal/gold combination though.
The point being: I’ve spent a lot of time in recent weeks searching for the perfect bootie – one that’s playful yet sensible, that goes with both short and long dresses, with a heel low enough to be comfortable wearing day-to-day, but high enough to be worthy of wearing on a date, that won’t fall apart in the middle of winter, in the middle of the street. In short, a bootie that I can love. All my beloved tights are languishing in a drawer until I find this perfect shoe; most mornings, my getting-ready-for-work routine is severely delayed by the age old riddle, “what can I wear that I have appropriate shoes for??” At the moment, I far too often come up quite stumped and end up in jeans and flat dress shoes. I yearn for the morning that I can once again choose freely among my dresses and be on my merry way. After hours upon hours (upon yet more hours) of research, I have come up with this short-list – I am determined to be happily settled in one of these booties within the week.

From left to right, top to bottom, and in order of preference: Poetic Licence Backlash Bootie in black with purple trim and gray laces (also available in brown, via Endless; also available in gray, mustard, and mint, via Amazon); Seychelles Clue Pump in mustard (also available in black, mushroom, and whisky, via Endless); Indigo by Clarks Elise Cully in black (also available in burgundy, dark gray, and taupe; via Zappos); All Black Mary Poppins Bootie in grey (also available in coffee and taupe, via Endless); Gentle Souls Ruffina Bootie in black (via Endless); Irregular Choice Carol Rocks Oxford Pump in black (via Endless) – Irregular Choice shoes have such fun bottoms!
Now, as frequently as I need to get new shoes to replace ones mangled by the mean streets of NYC, I’ve never thought of myself as a “shoe person.” I’m a “dress person,” a “vintage person,” a “baking person.” I like to get pretty shoes, but I don’t drool over them. But more and more I feel in myself a secret shoe person emerging. During my bootie research (snicker – can’t help it) I came across the creations of Minna Parikka, a young shoe, glove, and bag designer from Finland (Mademoiselle Robot had the good fortune to sit down and have an interview with Minna herself a couple of years ago). It was love at first sight when I saw the hearts dangling from the red, lizard embossed high heels’ laces; and again when I saw the bows on the straps of the black patent heels; and yet again when I saw the black patent on blue suede ankle strap heels. Much love for Minna Parikka.

From top left: Ivy heel in black; Jacqueline heel in red; Stocking Heel in electric blue-black; Women Are Dangerous Animals clutch in black suede – in case there was doubt about this fact, some proof in the form of sexy red vampire teeth clutching a pearl; Fox mask in fuchsia, to take your foxiness to the next level; Lillium gloves in powder-red, for when you’re taking the Aston Martin out for a drive in the country (via Minna Parikka).

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