There are two totally opposing versions of the fifties redux trend to try this fall-downtown girls will like Isabel Marant's pedal pushers and cat-eye liner, while uptown girls will go nuts for the full skirts and décolletage at Louis Vuitton. Though these styles are definitely different, one thing is essential for either look: bow shoes. Preferably embellishing a pair of pointy pumps, bows were the ladylike accent of choice at so many of our favorite fall shows. This fabulous footwear looks amazing with all of the season's retro ensembles and offers an easy way to freshen up the foundation pieces in your wardrobe (think: skinny jeans and pencil skirts). But best of all, these elegant and charming shoes are easy to make-which is why we turned to our D.I.Y. guru, Erica Domesek of the amazing site P.S. I Made This, for a little help!
Regular readers are undoubtedly familiar with Domesek's work-she showed us how to create the patchwork denim from Chloe's S/S 10 show and amazing tie-dye shirts inspired by Proenza Schouler earlier this year-but newbies should check out her site and her new book a.s.a.p.! For this particular project, we wanted her to show us how to achieve the look of two of the most important bow shoes from the runway: Louis Vuitton's Beauty Pumps ($1420) in Velvet and Isabel Marant's Poppy Suede Pumps ($820). The former has a flat and structured form, while the latter has a flirtier charm and an edgier knot shape. No matter which style you prefer, with Domesek's help, you can transform your favorite classic heels into an of-the-moment pair in a matter of minutes. That's right: this D.I.Y. project is simple, inexpensive, and sure to leave you with one of fall's must-have accessories-no wonder we love it so! -Jessica Baker
FLAT BOW HEELS (inspired by Louis Vuitton)
Directions for one bow
1. Cut two pieces of leather into strips: the first one should be approximately 7" x 1.5", the second one should be approximately 4" x 1.5". (You can go bigger or smaller depending on how large you want the bow to be.)
The longer piece will serve as the base of the bow. Place this piece in front of you, horizontally, with the colorful side of the leather facing down.
Starting at the outside edge, fold the leather strip into thirds, gluing each side down with your hot glue gun. The final bow should be approximately 4 inches long, but again, you can make it bigger or smaller to your taste.
Next, you will create the bow's knot! To do this, take the smaller piece of leather and fold it around the center of the bow. When you've positioned it correctly (make sure the seam is in the back!), use your hot glue gun to secure it to the bow.
While the glue on the bow is drying, cut two small pieces of Velcro, measuring 2" x 1" each.
Using the hot glue gun, attach one small piece of Velcro to the back of the bow, in the center. Then glue the opposite side of the piece of Velcro to the center/top of your shoe, where you want the bow to be placed.
Repeat steps 1-6 for the second bow.
Finally, stick your new bows to your shoes and voila! Flat, ladylike bow heels à la Louis Vuitton!
KNOTTED BOW HEELS (inspired by Isabel Marant)
-Pointy pumps (we used the Robyn Heels ($40) from JustFabulous)
-Marking tool (like a silver Sharpie pen)
-Textured paper (try Momi paper, which is available at most fine art or stationary stores)
Directions for one bow
1. Cut one piece of textured paper into a rectangle measuring 10" x 4".
Using your Sharpie or other pen, mark and cut paper into an angled rhombus shape (see image above for reference!)
Tie a knot in the center of the paper. Feel free to trim the ends of the paper to achieve the desired shape and size.
Cut a small piece of Velcro, approximately 1" x .5", and glue one side to the back of the knot, in the center of the bow.
Using the glue gun again, adhere the opposite side of the Velcro to the heel, wherever you'd like the bow to be placed. For the most Marant-like look, go for the outer edge of the vamp, as seen above.
Repeat steps 1-5 for the second bow.
Stick bows on the shoes-and look fabulous!