Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MUSI shoe clips update

More MUSI shoe clips . .

I finally took my red MUSI shoe clips for a test spin Saturday night and just loved how they looked. One note to remember, when showing your friends how they work, be sure that you close the clasp completely before starting to dance again, or risk losing it during the next low boleo. ;) They stay on beautifully but only if you remember to close the clasp. I was also happy to note that the bows (made from a synthetic leather) did not catch on my stockings during leg wraps (the wraps where I wrap around myself, not my partner) or anything else. Yay!

Anyway, Beverly has more gorgeous shoe clips available on Ruby Lane that she just posted this weekend. Woot!

White and Red Faille rosettes, leather flowers - including gorgeous patent leather ones, but my absolute favorites out of these new beauties - the red leather roses, and burnt orange flowers with rhinestone center. *want*want*want* She's also posted several satin flowers that are so pretty too!

Oh my gosh, there are suede-looking ones too! *sigh* I need to stop looking now.

Beverly also said that if there's a particular color you're wanting to go with your shoes, to let her know. She has tons, and only posts a fraction of what's available, so shoot her an email if there's something specific you have in mind.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go back to making my wishlist.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dressing for the milonga - a practice of pleasure

Some intriguing reading from UCLA's Marta Savigliano . . .

"The milonga environment is thus charged with a female sensuality that is beyond everyday life parameters, and the women who practice it enjoy it. It is a practice of pleasure. In the milonga not only do they have the choice to publicly expose their body shape with an aesthetic that defies otherwise accepted age parameters of old and young and their corresponding ethical (mis)judgements [ . . .] but this practice also asserts their ability to compete with younger milongueras' strategies of visual seduction. In the milongas, mature women are still in the running. Plump, bony, or 'out of shape' female bodies are not to be concealed because what (really) matters is the confidence with which the milonguera moves her body on the dance floor."

. . .

"The decisive moment for the judgement of the milonguera's beauty resides in movement, not in the still pose as is the case with pin-ups and models."

- - Nocturnal Ethnographies: Following Cortázar in the Milongas of Buenos Aires
Marta E. Savigliano

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Fishnet Tights - Nothing says "I take my tango seriously" like fishnet tights in every color of the rainbow. Okay, maybe not. But I still can't help wanting a truly silly variety of colored fishnets. Thankfully, WeLoveColors.com has fishnet tights (and a ton of other tights) in 51(!!!) colors. Can you believe it? Each pair is $9 and they hold up very well.

For a huge selection of fashion tights and pantyhose (mostly from the Leg Avenue company), check out Exotic Dancer Supply - great prices!

Shoes... This has been the most frustrating part of equipping my closet for tango. I keep trying tango shoes on (Comme il Faut, Darcos, Neotango and Greta Flora) and none of them seem to fit. I have very oddly shaped feet that require a wide toe box, but a very narrow heel. The answer I get again and again is that I'll just have to get shoes made. No thanks - way too expensive.

The only pair of shoes that has fit beautifully without adjustment is the "Ziba" ballroom shoe from Elegance/KelaCi. The trick to this show is that the beautifully soft suede over the toe box has a buckle that's adjustable. However, even though it was a gorgeous fit, it's very soft (as ballroom shoes are meant to be) and just couldn't take the beating I was dishing out. So I took it to my favorite cobblers over at Austin Shoe Hospital and had them put a smooth sole on it for $28. I couldn't be happier! Of course I've worn these so much that the quick grip sliding buckle has just about worn out. So I'll be taking them in to have a real buckle put on.

More good news, this shoe is available at the DanceOnlineStore in soft black suede, or tan satin for only $75 (less than half of what I paid at full price). Of course the real beauty of that particular model of shoe is that you can get it in tons of colors and heel types, either by ordering from a local store that sells Elegance shoes (in Austin, that's Movin' Easy), or from DanceHappy.com (base price $85) if you already know what size you need. The downside is that you have to pay not only the full price, but additional fees for the custom leather and/or heels.

Shoe Brooches/Clips - Those adorable Greta Floras with the leather flowers are quite a bit out of my price range, but these little beauties (pictured below) from "Not Just MUSI Bows" are just the thing to dress up my plain-jane black tango shoes. I also wear these kinds of clips on my head scarves. My latest favorites pictured below, a set of red leather bows and bronze and silver leather flowers. You can sometimes use vintage (or not so vintage) clip earrings for this - but the clips for earrings tend to have a bulkier hinge that can be more noticeable and uncomfortable depending on how the clip is made. Shoe clips/brooches tend to have very flat hinges and are much more comfortable.

Reversible Skirts: I have a ridiculous number of reversable skirts. I especially love the ones from Three Fold Gifts/Magic Skirts which are colorful, beautifully patterned silk/rayon blends that can be tied (theoretically) a hundred different ways to create dresses, tops and other skirt styles. Here's a helpful instructional video on how the skirts can be tied.

I also had, before I started learning tango, several very long reversable skirts (much like these from Orvis.com) that were beautiful and swishy - but much too long to wear for tango. So I found a seamstress at my local Cream Vintage clothing store and had them each shortened with a small slit on opposite sides for even more freedom of movement. So now I'm up to 5 floral reversible skirts and two silk "Magic Wrap" skirts. Travel packing should be a breeze now!

That's it for now - more soon!

Welcome to Thrifty Tanguera

I decided I needed to have a separate place to post about all of my tango-related fashion, beauty and music finds.

If you'd like to share links please let me know and I'll add it to the resource list I'm working on.