a sparkly binge

March 3, 2011

Last Sunday, after a delicious mash asia (veggie) dog at the Brooklyn Flea (market), my partner and I headed to Moo Shoes so we could get some much needed footwear.  I needed new boots as I had already gone through two pairs of plastic rain boots this winter and my partner needed some sneakers.

For those of you who do not know about Moos Shoes, it is a wonderful vegan company thats sells vegan (and often ethically made) shoes, shirts, purses and jackets. They also sell books there, including the Vegan Girls Guide to Life by Melisser Elliot who i met at that Farm Sanctuary fashion show!

Upon going in there  I went right over to the boot section find what I needed.  After trying on several kinds, I found something that fit my needs and my partner found a suitable pair of sneakers.  Then we browsed for fun.  It was at this point that I found a little burlesque miracle.

I have always been a strong union and anti-sweatshop advocate, but unfortunately it is very hard to find ethical companies that are making the supplies needed for burlesque costumes.  I slipped out of my ethics for awhile when I found out that I could buy accidentally vegan  shoes at almost any shoe store now, I even promoted it in the second post I wrote for this blog!

Well to my surprise, I found some burlesque-licious shoes at Moo Shoes, and although they seemed pricey compared to what I usually spend on shoes, I had to keep in mind that most stripper shoes of this exciting caliber are more.  These ones were definitely vegan and I was supporting a great store buy purchasing them. Now I own these and I still get giddy every time I open the box:

 

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While beginning to feel all vintage and fun, today I had a saddening setback.  A pair of my favorite cropped black pants (think Audrey Hephurn) ripped in the inner thigh and continued to rip all day.  To be fair, I have had these pants for over 8 years, but I was still shocked and saddened by the developed hole.  What to do? 

To get over this setback I left work early and partook in some indulgent activities for the afternoon.  Taking my normal subway line home, I decided to stop by the Atlantic Center Mall. I cashed in a Victoria Secret gift card I had received, picking up  an undergarment that has a strong possibility of making it onto a stage someday.  I fretted a lot in the store of function vs. frivolity, but eventually walked away happy and only $2.50 lighter.  I then stopped by the Payless shoe store across the mall to check out their accidentally vegan shoe selection.

For those of you non-vegans out there, when vegans shop, purchased products usually fall into two categories: vegan and accidentally vegan.  Vegan items are the ones typically bought in co-ops, eco-stores, or on-line by companies that have vegan thrown all over their website.  Accidentally vegan products are those that just happen to be vegan – either due to the simple fact that they don’t need animal products in them or the producers found it cheaper to find a substitute.  For me, my shoes tend to fall into this latter category.

When it comes to burlesque, it seems the taller and flashier the shoe the better.  Some burlesquers rock a simple heel, some go for cute, vintage, or shiny.  Some just find the tallest heels they can.  I grew up in a very unfeminine household, and being 5’8, I rarely wore heels.  This does not stop me from buying them for special occasions though!   

Two of my favorite places to shop for fun vegan shoes is Target and Payless.  Both stores carry a wide range of accidentally vegan shoes is lots of fun styles.  Simply check the inner part of the heel and look for the “All Man Made Materials” stamp.  Although I love to support vegan companies and their shoes (a-hem, check out Moo Shoes) sometimes they are just too expensive, especially for a pair I might only wear for a couple of minutes on stage every so often.

This pair above was my main go-to for fun, flirty heels.  These were bought about a year ago at Target for under $15.  They starred in a friend’s wedding and also were my main dancing heel at the Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival.  I like them because the back heel strap helps keep them in place while dancing and the front frill adds a little spice.

Today I purchased a new pair that I feel have potential to be great onstage.  While I am trying to figure out a persona and different production numbers, I realize it would be smart to have a wide breadth of styles in my costume collection.  Enter my school matron, strict, old timey new heels:

School Marmy shoes bought at payless. Only $12!

 

These shoes, bought today at Payless for $12, are vegan and fashionable, with some attitude and character to boot.  I also love the little ties in the front which work well with keeping them on my feet while dancing while not looking out-of-place or unnecessary.  I practiced walking in them today, while wearing my ripped pants, and felt pretty good.  I’m usually not a proponent of retail therapy, but today it was effective. I just have to keep telling myself it was not a splurge, but an investment!