How Should I Feel About the Ubiquity of Python Shoes?

Python shoes are everywhere. Have you noticed? Maybe it’s because I have been living in a bubble, but I’m taken aback by how popular the shoe is. An odd pair in a Chloé store is a fun touch, but this feels like a collective cry for help.

Rag & Bone Aslen Snake-Embossed Leather Tall Boots and Dries Van Noten Louis-Heel Leather Knee Boot

Rag & Bone Aslen Snake-Embossed Leather Tall Boots and Dries Van Noten Louis-Heel Leather Knee Boot

Chloé  Python-Embossed Combat Bootie and  Saint Laurent  Charlotte Python Pointed Bootie

Chloé Python-Embossed Combat Bootie and Saint Laurent Charlotte Python Pointed Bootie


See, the thing is that I just can’t decide if I like it or not. Python, unlike warmer animal prints and leathers (like leopard or a sleek leather in luggage), is very white, jarring against most outfits and fully dated. So is this a trend that we’ll all soon regret? Or should I be all for ignoring the taboo of following seasonal trends because, in the end, everything is temporary and embracing the absurdity of python is a way to accept the fleeting nature of existence?

Am I thinking too much into it? This is sort of like one of those songs that you’ve never heard before then all of a sudden, it’s EVERYWHERE before you get a chance to decide whether or not you like it. (I’m looking at you, Mz. Grande).

Gucci Emma Python Slide Mule

Gucci Emma Python Slide Mule

These Gucci slide mules are kind of wearing me down. I think I might love them?

And the dark brown spots on these Manolo slide sandals are large enough that they almost feel like an abstracted print designed after python.

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Giving In

If I AM embracing it, here are a few pairs that I could see myself with.

Brother Vellies Python Holiday Mule

Brother Vellies Python Holiday Mule

Brother Vellies- This kitten heeled mule has such a small profile that the python serves as a small but impactful accent in the overall look. I’d likely pair it with a wide leg trouser, so it’d truly just be a pop of python toe box when in motion. Or maybe posing for the ‘gram.

Yeezy Python Ankle Boot

Yeezy Python Ankle Boot

Yeezy- The oblong heel and fitted profile of the shoe makes this quite a statement heel. I don’t think you can rely on the python print itself being the special element in a design, and this silhouette really does it for me.

Chloé Scalloped Python Printed Boots

Chloé Scalloped Python Printed Boots

Chloé- The firey color-blocked gradient along the scalloped edge of this Chloé mule makes the python almost feel like a neutral in this design. The shoes got a retro feel and, again, the addition of the two other design elements gives it a distinctive point of view.



Tongoro Studio: Building An African Dream

Sarah Diouf is my favorite apparel designer and motivational Instagrammer.

She launched Tongoro Studio in 2016 and makes no secret of how tirelessly she has worked and (continues to work) to make it one of the most talked about brands coming out of Africa at the moment. In her own words, Tongoro Studio is “a 100% Made In Africa label providing clothing that offers style-conscious consumers quality, variety and convenience, at affordable prices.” To me, though, it is so much more.

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It has to be said that often, the industry’s treatment of products “Made in Africa” has a patronizing tone and feels like a Westerner’s on a goodwill mission. Sarah’s designs are so good, her connection to the continent is so rooted in love that her mission to boost production in Africa is just a matter of fact, and not some charity case.

Now, let’s talk about her designs. In short: magnificent, all around.

The Ngor Dress, Fitini Bag and Zanzi Ensenble at  www.Tongoro.com

The Ngor Dress, Fitini Bag and Zanzi Ensenble at www.Tongoro.com

The Tongoro signature is voluminous designs with prints that call back to its Dakar, Senegal roots that are, in a delightful twist, rendered in breezy chiffons and fluid cottons. The Ngor dress is a simple, off-the shoulder style with balloon sleeves that makes for a great pool cover up or summer date-night look. The Zanzi ensemble is a all-around dream; A loose kimono duster. A tie front crop top. High-waisted wide leg trousers with pockets. Ugh! It’s my ideal vacation wear (though, in my dream life, I’m in a tropical climate, so I’d be in crop tops and chiffons year-round).

If following Tongoro Studio on Instagram is buying into the dream of being on holiday year-round, then Sarah’s personal Instagram is a visually stunning testament to all the non-stop work and sacrifices it takes to build that easy-breezy lifestyle brand. Peppered between images of her designs premiering at Lagos Fashion week or a clipping from a Vogue write-up are Sarah’s testimonials about the doubts she has dealt with, her collection editing process, her identity struggles, the importance and power of self-reliance, and the incomparable joy of having one of your biggest dreams come true. Sarah is no stranger to hard work and her lofty ambitions demand it of her. In sharing all of this, Sarah is inviting us to dream on a grand scale and do absolutely everything required to see it to fruition. Tongoro Studio’s pieces are a treat for the body and Sarah’s words are a gift for the soul.

To paraphrase Kanye, to be a fan of Tongoro Studio is to also be a fan of yourself.

5 French Cool-Girl Brands That Aren't Sézane

We get it. All the cool girls in Paris wear Sézane. Who wouldn’t, it’s perfect.

But if you want to look like one of those gals that’s ~too cool~ to be caught anywhere near the 9th arrondisement (too many tourists), here are some other brands to look out for:

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Sessùn

I’d describe Sessùn as Sézane’s old best friend from art school. They’ve got similar aesthetics and price points, but there’s a thread running through Sessùn’s designs that says “I’m making art out in the country and came into town to get a coffee with you and see what’s happening on Rivoli”

Instagram: @Sessun

A super casual way to let everyone know that you ARE the party. By  PATiNE  available in various colors

A super casual way to let everyone know that you ARE the party. By PATiNE available in various colors

PATiNE-

Those tri-colored “La Boum” shirts you’ve been seeing all over? Yeah, they’re from Patine. Described as “future good vintage,” this online-only boutique sells shirts that are truly instant classics.

Instagram: @PatineParis

www.patine.fr



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Make My Lemonade

“Prêt à Porter et Prêt à Coudre,” this brand sells both ready-made clothes and sewing patterns. All the way up my alley. The best part? They embrace their creative community by hosting workshops on paper flowers, embroidery and tons more.

Instagram: @MakeMyLemonade

www.makemylemonade.com



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Fauvette

Fauvette makes some lovely little leather accessories. The bags are beautifully structured yet simple designs that have playful closures that are a subtle way to add some fun to your wardrobe. Designed by former Optician, Claire Rischette, this line is the result of a career change and is now housed in her Parisian storefront and studio she shares with jewelry brand Louise Damas.

Instagram: @Fauvette_Paris

https://www.fauvette-paris.com





Sandro Paris

Sandro’s got a full wardrobe to choose from- apparel, accessories, shoes. I’m currently wondering who I have to become to wear these leather trousers. The styling on their site alone is Parisian Cool-Girl turned up to an 11. Dad Shoes & Trench Coats. Statement Bags & Sweatshirts. Blazers & Tee Shirts. If you scroll far enough, I’m sure you’ll find hair tucked into a turtleneck.

Instagram: @SandroParis

sandro-paris.com

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This list is in no way comprehensive, so if you’ve got a hot tip on your favorite French Brand, drop me a line. I’m never not window-shopping. Et voilà, mes chers. If adding more French girl style to your wardrobe is on your to-do list, these shops are not-to-be-missed, whether you’re buying directly from them or just getting inspired.

Here’s a playlist for your shopping.