Posts Tagged ‘ J dot designs ’

Spats: Old World Fashion for Modern Times.

 This season fashion is truly having a love affair with times gone by.  There is a resurgence of styles from just about every decade!  One of my favorite nostalgic styles that has made a big splash in Fall/Winter collections is spats. 

(above: Fred Astaire “Putting on the Ritz” in Spats from Life Magazine 1945)

 All you steam-punk fans can rejoice!  Spats (also known as gaiters) have made a huge comeback!  Surfacing in many forms, both detachable and as a part of the shoe itself.  Spat-like flourishes are showing up adorning  high heels, looking like a gladiator’s leather armor, and on fall’s must-have cuff ankle booties.  They add a chic classic statement to your look and can take a simple or past season shoe to fashion forward in seconds!   In mens RTW they popped up in runway shows everywhere from ETRO to John Varvatos.  Lady Gaga, Rihana, Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani and Madonna have all donned womens spats styles.

(Above: ETRO spats from 2010 F/W collection)

What are spats?

Spats consist of a cloth or leather gaiter covering the shoe upper and ankle then fastening under the shoe with a strap.  They originated in the late nineteenth century and were used by French, Italian and Japanese soldiers as part of their uniforms.  They have resurfaced time and again thoughout different decades: Urban dwellers in the 1920’s, with mens formal daywear in the 1930’s and with Zootsuits in the 1940’s.

This summer I went to Michigan to style an ad campaign.  Sitting at lunch one day, I looked down at the photographers shoes to see the most amazing spat-style boots I had ever laid eyes on.  He told me how comfortable they were, that he would rather wear them than sneakers!  Whaaaaat?  My love affair with Cydwoq shoes was born.

The company’s mission:  to create hand-crafted shoes using the best leathers that provide the ultimate walking comfort in unique and timeless designs. 

Cydwoq founder, Rafi Balouzian comes from a long line of master shoe-makers.  In the early 1900’s, his great grandfather earned the reputation as a true artisan, crafting custom-made shoes to discriminating customers in Armenia.   As a child, Balouzian grew up around his father’s shoe factory, drawing the shoe making process into his blood.  It was also on trips with his father to Italy and France that the young Balouzian was exposed to those nations’ great handcrafted leather artists, learning the materials and techniques, molding them with crafts, which made his family’s products the ultimate shoes of the region.  His son, Ari, the seventh generation of the family artistry, designs for the line and is also the company’s Creative Director. Ari initiates styles, which place CYDWOQ shoes in a place of fashion leadership for the young, powerful and famous in that special place of glamour.”

It’s a family tradition.  I love these stories because its so rare anymore with huge fashion conglomerates rather than traditional family run fashion houses!  Cydwoq keeps the tradition, quality and craftsmanship alive!  They have tons of Spat style boots as well as others to choose from.

Their shoes are AMAZING!  Guys if you don’t own a pair already: Go to their website now and buy them!

The photographer I worked with told me that they last forever!  The leather is super high quality and their shoes are the only all leather shoes that have the insole (footbed) and the outsole contoured with the shape of the foot to facilitate the walking process. 

Ladies don’t despair!  I have Spats for you too!
Joy Gross creator and designer behind J. dot Designs has been “bringing back” spats.  Her posh womens spats can transform any shoe into a unique and awe-inspiring work of art!
Joy took a quick break from creating her smashing spats to chat with me about her line, inspiration and giving your shoes some runway style.
Q: Why Spats?  What inspired you to start designing Spats?
JG: I saw a pair while browsing online and thought the concept was great.  My mind started reeling with the possibilities.  About a year later I put my ideas to action, it took an entire summer of trial & error but I ended up with some good base patterns.  From that I also came up with the ankle cuffs, if you can adorn your wrists why not your ankles as well?
Q:Why should every Fashionista own a pair?
JG: Shoes can make or break your outfit.  Jeans and tank with flip flops vs. jeans and a tank with fab shoes gives 2 totally different vibes.  We see all these fantastic shoes on the runway but how many of us will ever get to own a pair or anything that looks like it? Not many.  With spats you can take your basic pumps to something that looks like it came from a runway.  You definitely will not find anything like this in the market.  At least I haven’t yet.  
Q: What type of shoes do your spats work best with?
JG: Any type of heels, at least 3″ is best.
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your designs?
JG:  I get ideas constantly.  So much that I had to start carrying out a mini notepad so I don’t forget them all.  Sometimes it comes as I’m on the subway, browsing through magazines, in trim stores, people watching, etc.  My mind is constantly turning.  The only problem is not enough time to execute all my ideas.  Right now I am pushing to get out a lot more items out for this Fall.  I can’t wait! 

Take a peek at a few of Joy’s designs:

I am CRAZY for these!!  Joy has THE best shop on ETSY!  Ladies if you do not own spats,  you need to!  They take an Ugly Duckling shoe to a Dazzling Swan in seconds!

Check out Joy’s Shop at:

Give your shoes a makeover.  J. dot Designs has partnered with me for a giveaway so good that I want to keep it for myself!   1 lucky reader will win a pair of fashion-forward spats. (see below)


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Leave a Comment on this blog between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 telling me how you would rock these spats.

(comments can be left at the bottom of post or by clicking comment icon at top right of post depending on your browser).

Thanks for Reading and Good Luck!  Share the News! For additional entries repost on Facebook and Twitter!

(last weeks lucky winner is Roxanne Diana, Congrats!)