Friday, September 16, 2011

The Power of Red

In my next life I'm coming back as Christian Louboutin.

While it's true he has as many ugly shoes as beautiful ones, I must admit that Christian Louboutin has done a hell of a job at branding himself. He has captured the nation's imagination and its material-girl urges with his trademark red-soled pumps. It doesn't hurt that he strives to make women's legs look longer, that his shoes are often seen on the red carpet on the likes of Renee Zellweger and Katie Couric, and perceived to be costlier, more desirable, more exclusive, and of a better quality than his competitors. Temporarily, at least, he has surpassed Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik.

I understand that there have been trademark disputes with Yves St. Laurent. Can you really trademark a color? And who was the first to do it? The designer Valentino claims to have done it in the 70's. It appears that Louboutin has lost the first few rounds. It does not matter.

While I do not profess to be an expert in trademark law (or women's fashion), I know what I like and what works for me. Do these shoes work?. Hell, yeah they work. More power to Louboutin on the day he first applied red lacquer nail polish to the underside of a lady's shoe.

It is a simple, bold stroke of genius and he deserves the success that comes to him.

The power of red and black together


These are the girls I was supposed to go to the beach with last winter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good, Better, Best

Surfing around the internet this morning, I came upon this perfectly acceptable Dooney & Bourke chronograph. It got me thinking about several others like it.

Available at Zappo's, $155.

At 38mm, it is a little small. But me, I almost like 'em that way. We'll call this one "good". Next up in the "better" position, we have the Tissot PRC200 chronograph, a good quality Swiss quartz at $291 from Amazon. I like the fact that the sub-dials are a little less contrasty. I would prefer it with a leather strap, however. I also wish the case had more of a sandblasted finish.

This next one I'm going to call "better yet". It probably provided the design inspiration for the Dooney & Bourke. Very rugged. Very military. Very nice.

Bell & Ross Vintage 126. $2,720 at Pacific Bay Watches.

Here is my personal favorite, though, from a design standpoint, pared down to the essentials, where nothing can be added, nothing taken away:

$880 at Gnomon Watches. The Best.

The other day, a couple of days before she went off to college, my older daughter said to me "you're really into country music these days, aren't you?" Kids these days are so perceptive. (Love ya, buddy.)
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