Monday, December 21, 2015

It's a Red's Shoe Christmas

I don't do moderation well. I am neither proud nor particularly ashamed of that aspect of my personality. It is simply a statement of fact. It serves me well in many respects; it has also created challenges for me about topics far heavier than holiday decorating so I'll leave it at that for now. 
When it comes to decking the halls, I am a nine Christmas tree, different theme in every room of the house kind of girl...and trees aren't even the half of it. There are wreaths to hang and duvets to change, not to mention the pictures on the walls and juniper branches draped across chair backs festooned with monogrammed crystal ornaments.
Holiday decorating on a Red's Shoe Diaries scale takes a lot of time and planning. But these last few months have been unusually busy, and just after Thanksgiving I found myself agonizing over my calendar as I tried to carve out time to do it. As I weighed my desire to decorate against prior commitments and plans with family and friends, it occurred to me that it was incredibly silly to feel such anxiety over Christmas trees, and I certainly wasn't going to miss out on time with friends and loved ones for the sake of it. So I decided not to do it. At all. 
Someone better at moderation than me might have settled for one or two Christmas trees in lieu of nine. But I struggle with doing things "just a little bit." I'm generally all in or all out, and once I made the decision not to decorate, I felt the needless weight of my own perfectionist proclivities lift. It was a relief.
But Saturday evening, I unexpectedly found myself home relatively early with no commitments for the first time in ages. And I really do LOVE to decorate for the holidays. And I had really been wanting to do my own version of the "ballgown trees" that have been floating around the internet of late. And I am also not very good at sitting still...
So I decided to spend the evening indulging my desire to decorate. I knew I didn't have time to do all of my traditional tree trimming, but I was excited to do something entirely different and fashion focused. It was so much fun to put together, and I didn't buy a single new ornament, or even pull many of my existing ornaments out of storage.
Who needs traditional Christmas ornaments when you have a wardrobe of sparkling shoes on your shelves?! Satin and crystal Badgley Mischkas are at least as beautiful as any holiday specific bauble, and they were much easier to get to. So this year's design features eight beautiful pairs of heels, all of which are little works of art in their own right, as well as three Swarovski encrusted evening clutches tucked amongst the white-lit branches. Most of those accessories are showcased on the smallest tree, which is actually the top of the largest tree (I removed it to accommodate the dressmaker's mannequin, but couldn't let it go to waste...)
The central tree features a red dress from Chi Chi London, and the deep crimson color is carried through the "skirt" of the ballgown with flocked red velvet "branches" whose lacy vines echo the heavily embroidered design of the bodice. The bodice of the smaller ballgown tree is a decorative piece that normally graces a corner of my hat room, which I accented with a vintage crystal butterfly brooch at the neckline. In lieu of a traditional tree skirt, I used a leopard capelet I actually wear often (including twice last last week). Gold accents tie all three trees together into a cohesive vignette.
The whole "shoebang" took the better part of the night to pull together, and I enjoyed every minute of it, even more so because I did it wholly out of the desire to create rather than any misguided sense of obligation. The evening may or may not have also included a bit of solo pajama dancing to Christmas tunes...Baby it's cold outside!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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