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things to do

Heels to Die For

Oh, yes honey – the high heel, the stiletto, the pump! The shit dreams are made of. We’re subconsciously trained since the days of Cinderella stories that they unlock doors to fairytales and fate, even love. It isn’t a surprise that a new pair of glamour could instantaneously brighten an ensemble, a mood or even a day. They are petite works (or in my size 9.5 case, canoelike works) of art that we slip into, but as we gently ease our soles into new heights, we also enhance our self confidence – transforming into a newer, stronger, better, sexier versions of ourselves. They elongate your legs, coerce you to work that booty during your sidewalk strut and, even sitting, command your attention. The pinching, ball-of-foot pain, truck driver walk on cobblestone streets and blisters are minor prices to pay for such beauty. In fact, there are some shoes that are SO special, you would bow down and thank the shoe gods for bestowing such a unique gift upon our outfits and eyesight. If shoes were a religion, there would have to be a church. Enter, Brooklyn Museum.

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Nestled on the first floor is the Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe exhibition, showcasing the history and evolution of these mini-stilts over hundreds of years. The exhibition is divided into six sections, inviting you to explore through rooms and corridors. I was entranced not only by the sculptural shoes, but by the stunning videos that are dedicated, and somewhat psychedelic, odes to fancy footwork.

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I unintentionally overheard two elderly women going through the exhibit loudly commenting on what they saw, “Who on Earth would wear those?”  pointing to a pair of Lady Gaga-esque Iris van Herpens and “These will break your neck!” at a pair of towering Louboutins. I wanted to raise my hand and vow that I would wear them everywhere, even to the supermarket! And, if I were to break my neck, what an extraordinary way to go!

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Without showing too much to leave some for you to discover on your own, take my fashionista word for it, this show is certainly worth seeing. It was the greatest way to spend a lazy Sunday with friends. Make sure to check out the section of the museum with REAL mummies and walk on over to Ogliastro afterwards, which is a nearby rustic bar that makes heavenly pizza.

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(I’m rocking a Rachel by Rachel Roy Dress, Steve Madden lace slip-on sneaks, Vintage sweater, Marc Jacobs Pan-Am bag, Gap men’s hat)

Ironically, I kept it real and wore flats for my day at Killer Heels. Let’s face it, they’re essential like dreaded Ugg boots to the modern girl’s city survival of countless steps in subway stations and throughout wobbly city streets. My heels were tucked away in my bag, as if they were hibernating for the perfect moment to make their illustrious debut. Likewise, inside a shiny display case, the infamous glass slippers stood waiting, even posing. But, where was Prince Charming, you ask? Where was that spiffy coach? Alas, those trivial details were missing in this rendition of story, but the shoes…they were oh-so-real. So, she and her stilettos lived happily and sexily ever after.

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Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn and the exhibition is until February 15, 2015.

Posted by Olga Turka at 2014/10/28 7:47 AM No Comments
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It’s Only A Paper Moon

In the midst of August, Mama Turka and I FINALLY had the pleasure of making it to the famed Jazz Age Lawn Party, the day before I left for my expedition to Turkey. I’ve long heard of the festivities, yet never could quite make it. Our first visit to Governor’s Island it was, and the ferry boat ride to the event proved to be the perfect precursor to the many boats I would travel cruising the Bosphorus and Aegean Sea. This particular cruiser, however, was a floating time machine that transported everyone to a super fun era when there was much effort in the art of dressing, a love of actual dancing (not that booty grinding stuff in the club) and an attention to detail.

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While queuing up for the ferry, it was extremely evident that many participants were into this, and I LOVE when people are into themes. I’ve long been a HUGE fan of the Jazz Age, and my adoration has been severely heightened by my obsession with Turner Classic Movies. This is the period of the roaring 20s up until the unforeseen Great Depression that everyone celebrated the good life. Jazz became the fun soundtrack that defined this period where women were becoming more free to express themselves with the right to vote, shorter hairstyles, the utilization of once controversial make-up and shorter hems on skirts (I mean, they were certainly no hookers, but they did provide the baby steps to our favorite crop tops and mini skirts).

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Can you spot my photobomber? 🙂

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The party was thriving upon arrival with professional dancers putting on showstopping performances to the music of Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra, St. Germain shaking up cocktails, a plethora of era inspired photo opportunities (even with Boardwalk Empire), and Jazz Age inspired vendors. Everyone knows of my love for a great picnic and dining al fresco, but the food here was not the best to be quite honest (it sure ain’t easy to keep up with so many hungry flappers). In the future, I’ll definitely pack up my own wicker basket, which is apparently permitted. My mama and I had SUCH a great time getting into the spirit and sharing a beautiful summer day with our fellow lovers of the Golden Age.

DSC04984DSC04991(I’m rocking all vintage, even the bag which my father purchased for my mother at Saks Fifth Avenue during their engagement, a headscarf by Goody utilized as a necktie, old shoes by Frye and umbrella from one of my favorite stores on the planet, Pearl River Mart)

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What I discovered on this excursion is that there is still a great adoration for the classic stylings of hot music, a tribute to the art of the garment and a true acknowledgement of the influences the originals continue to permeate upon our style to this very day. Or also, at the very least, a nice summer day is the perfect excuse for a party…with costumes. Also, the definition of provocative during this time was ladies with short hair, shorter skirts and a flair for staying out to the late hours partying and dancing – activities I KNOW my homegirls and I all certainly take for granted.

If you’d like to check out some great videos of what goes on at the Jazz Age Lawn Party, there are great videos available if you search Youtube, like this and this. Also, the official website is here for the Lawn Party and here for Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra.

Year round, you can still indulge in the roaring 20s by going to genuine speakeasy bars like The Back Room and going to events by Dances of Vice.

Posted by Olga Turka at 2014/10/07 9:44 PM No Comments
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