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Holy Grail Found in Buenos Aires! | Manolo for the Big Girl

Holy Grail Found in Buenos Aires!

Two Thursdays ago found me on my knees with my head in the oven.

My head was in the oven because that was the last place I remember having put a specific pair of heels to protect them from my beloved pooch who –angel though he is– lives only to chew and/or make sweet love to everything I hold dear. Sometimes simultaneously.

I needed those particular shoes (which I never found, do ovens eat shoes like dryers eat socks?) because Style Spy and I were going tango dancing and according to her email I needed to wear something I could walk backwards in. That means an ankle, T or quarter strap.

I did not find the shoes and thus did not tango, but I’ve never seen anything so chic as the people who did. They just slunk across the tiny upstairs dance floor whirling each other around, barely grazing the brick walls and by the time Style Spy and I parted ways, I was determined to buy some gorgeous t-strap shoes (so in this season) and learn to tango.

Then I despaired. Not because I’m voluntarily submitting to letting some strange man push me around backwards in public, which is horrifying enough, but because where on earth was I going to find a pair of t-straps comfortable enough to dance in?

The answer: Argentina.

That’s right friends, our pals from the pampas offer hand-made shoes customized to your measurements and heel requirements from 2″ to 3.25″. They’re lightweight, flexible and although they’re mean to be strictly ballroom, they’re sturdy enough to wear outside.

Here are a few of my favorites:

MelenaMilongaLanaLola

Superfantastic, no?

The black ones are very Delman/Mizrahi, the brogues could not be more on style, the purple is reminiscent of some of the gorgeous Ralph Laurens from last year and the red, well, the red is just hot.

13 Responses to “Holy Grail Found in Buenos Aires!”

  1. Never teh Bride October 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    Fan-tucking-fastic. I’ll be the first one to stand up and say that there is nothing (NOTHING) like a good dance-worthy shoe.

  2. Twistie October 8, 2007 at 12:28 pm #

    I long for a good pair of old-fashioned tango sandals.

    It’s not that I want to tango; I just want the shoes. About the 1912 version with the open front and straps all across the shins nearly up to the knee.

    Those purple numbers, though, are completely composed of awesome.

  3. Monica the tiara chick October 8, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    As a proud tiara chick of Argentine heritage who just went to BA for the first time ever this summer, I just want to say that the people of BA are among the most elegant I have ever seen. The shoes everywhere (except in the tourist traps) are uber-superfantastic, and the US dollar will get you really far. At a fancy boutique in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood, I bought the cutest pair of peacock blue velvet ballerina flats with tiny satin bows for US$49.

    Incidentally, us curvy girls who are not afraid of a calorie should be aware that in BA it is possible to get an entire 5-star meal, great wine and sinful dessert included, for under US$30.

  4. in la October 8, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    Word of advice: if you’re actually going to tango in them, go for closed toe — or risk injury as your feet fly dangerously close to the bigger, clunkier shoes of your dance partner! (Or the high and pointy heels of your neighbor.) The suede ones are pretty but would probably get scuffed up fast.

    But by all means, take up the tango — there is nothing that will make you feel more superfantastic. :-)

  5. loretta October 8, 2007 at 6:01 pm #

    OK, those last ones are PORNO in the best possible way.

  6. Kimocean October 8, 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    I have been wearing and loving ballroom dance shoes for a few years now since I started taking Salsa lessons. They’re flexible, padded generously and generally the most appropriate thing you can put on your feet for dancing the night away. They usually have a soft suede sole which allows you to spin and slide across the dance floor gracefully and many of them are dang sexy too! I’ve gotten many of my non-salsa friends into buying them for those long-haul nights.

    My favorites are these strappy numbers:
    http://www.exoticsalsashoes.com/index.php?cPath=10_213

    and I have these in a gorgeous subtle leopard print that they don’t seem to carry anymore but that ALWAYS get me compliments.
    http://www.exoticsalsashoes.com/index.php?cPath=10_279

    They’re by far the most comfortable heels I own (and I own a lot of shoes!)

    ~Kim

  7. iluvtango October 8, 2007 at 11:40 pm #

    While I have no financial interest with them, you may want to check out Comme Il Faut shoes. They have been described as the Manolo Blahniks of tango shoes. :) Photos are hard to find on the internet, but they are there. They are as superfantastic as it gets! Here they are in action: http://julia-bella.com/comme_video.htm

  8. Denise October 10, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    Speaking as a tangoer (tangoist??)– go for the flared heels. Tangoing is not a stiletto activity. At least not in my book. On those really long steps, it’s too easy for your heel to slide under your foot and wrench your ankle– not to mention snapping the heel off. I did this once– right before I had a tango test at one of the better ballroom-teaching universities. I had to tango in front of the whole class with one heeled shoe and one not-so-heeled. It was no fun at all, and painful besides.

  9. raincoaster October 13, 2007 at 6:25 am #

    No dog is worth those shoes. Put the pup in the oven and the shoes on the mantel.

  10. iluvtango October 23, 2007 at 10:18 am #

    Denise: I think we are talking about different styles of tango. The tango of Argentina necessitates a different style of walking than other styles of tango. The weight is never back on the heels, but forward on the ball of the foot, which makes walking in stilettos possible.