Thursday, December 18, 2008

Killing Birds with Stones & Ballet Flats

Today felt productive. I actually left the apartment on my own and got stuff done. The past couple of days has really been a matter of avoiding my list of things to do by playing video games.

After having lunch with Stefanie at the (oh fuck, I forgot to put the leftovers away)...(double fuck, I think I left the leftovers in the car)...err, after lunch, I returned shoes to Zappos, picked up my contact lenses, picked up some gift cards, left my lunch leftovers in the car, rode the elevator up and down and back up (I didn't remember if I locked the doors), and called the dance instructor lady to find that the 8 hours of private lessons for $320 for two people was really a pipe dream. (It would be $640 for both of us, which is utterly ridiculous.) It may be that we sign up with a place called Dance With Me instead.

Anyway, I found in my email a marketing newsletter from HarperCollins. I clicked through some books--one book Justin even considered and pushed for too, but it wasn't something enough for us to publish it. Another book, with a generous amount of pages for preview, was about the top 100 things that women should own: The One Hundred by Nina Garcia (the woman from Project Runway). Since it showed the first couple of pages or so, it included the Ballet Flat.

Apparently the ballet flat was made famous by Bridgette Bardot who asked her ballet shoemaker, Repetto, to make a pair of flats for a movie. I don't know how the ballet flat nearly became extinct by the time my feet stopped growing and I could buy my own shoes, but I recall that some of my first Internet searches for these shoes, "ballet flat" and "ballet shoes," came up with either genuine ballet shoes that would never last on the street and look ridiculous or fetish ballet pointe style shoes. They were bizarre to say the least.

The first pair of ballet flats that I coveted I saw at the NYC Takashimaya. They were gorgeous--suede dusty pink. After one of my HarperCollins interviews for an internship, I dragged Jon to Takashimaya and they were there and on sale and it was NYC tax free week AND they FIT! I felt so crappy after my interview, but the shoes really helped.

I did not recognize the brand Hollywould, but I would soon become a Hollywood ballet flat devotee. Every year about twice a year they would have a "Mega Blow Out Sale" at their shop on Elizabeth. In 2005, I scored a number of sample shoes in my size in a bunch of colors. Recently they had a sale for size 7 shoes selling them for $19 dollars--too bad I live in VA now. Hmm...just read their "About" page about how they were bought over by someone in 2006. No wonder their sales that were to my benefit really stopped. And oh snap it gets worse, Hollywould is probably totally dead now--have you heard that I hate living in Virginia? Can you believe that in my research to include hyperlinks, I found this out now? Oh man.

So even before I found out that Hollywood was dead, as in just before writing this post, I hunted for my next ballet flat brand. While I considered Repetto, Repetto is equally expensive as Hollywould on a regular day and even sales day as is London Sole. There are a number of brands that carry ballet flats, but I really liked that Hollywould took pride in their ballet flats. They are gorgeous and ridiculously comfortable as long as you don't walk around London; for some reason they worked well walking Paris though.

Perhaps one day I'll have another crappy interview at HarperCollins and wander into another store and find a new shoe brand to call my love. In the meantime, I urge you to try to get your hands on a pair from a website that still carries whatever is left. I'm searching for ballets that I always wanted but never got and will hopefully get with a steep discount--Tis the Season. Anyway, I did not mean for this to be a memorial post but in any case RIP Hollywould.
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