Open Thread: This Week in Style News

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Given the current conversation around sexual harassment in all walks of life (no pun intended), including Silicon Valley, the idea that the default digital representative of most women’s footwear is a hot, pointy shoe that makes the calf seize up and cants the rear upward is perhaps one we may want to, if not retire, then at least put in perspective.

Besides, just think about the astonishing growth of the shoe market over the last decade. There’s a 96,000-square-foot shoe store in Dubai. The shoe designer Paul Andrew, now also the creative director of Ferragamo, told me recently he felt so lucky to be in the specialty he was in, because it showed no signs of slowing down.

Plus there are so many other styles to choose from! I think a gladiator sandal might also be a good addition, or maybe even a fancy Croc (thank you, Balenciaga). A stack-heeled motorcycle boot? Up with shoe diversity! What would you pick?

Anyway. The discussion around gender and inappropriate conduct and social norms is only going to deepen over the next few weeks, and that’s probably a good thing.

In the meantime, catch up on the current conversation around photographer Terry Richardson and the wider problem of abuses in fashion (quote: he’s “just the tip of the iceberg”), check out Calvin Klein’s first coffee-table book, and take a breather at the home of a textile designer in Marrakesh. Have a good weekend.

The Story Behind the Image

Wild for Animal Prints: This season, the spotted patterns are layered, paired with black — and mixed together. Read more.

Your Style Questions, Answered

Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.

Q: Every time I go to a wedding, I have the same dilemma. My gorgeous beaded purse, which goes with my outfit, only holds a limited amount of stuff. What do I do with the other stuff I must have with me that doesn’t fit? Appearing with 2 bags seems weird. Should I leave one bag in the car? Is there some kind of tote bag that would look nice to carry the supplemental stuff in? — Mary Anne, Brooklyn

A: This is also known as the “black-tie dilemma,” and I likewise just experienced it at the Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars. To be absolutely honest with you: There is no good solution. I usually go with a bag that can fit a phone and keys, and then I decant the most important bits of my wallet into that and just make do. It’s not a bad exercise in purse discipline, like learning to convey a thought in 140 characters.

Because I often come to events from work, however, I usually also have a big and unsightly tote where I stash everything else (including work shoes) and which I then check on arrival, but it pretty much ruins the look.

The best half-way suggestion I have heard comes courtesy of Anita Leclerc, our fashion editor, who points out that there are a number of very pretty drawstring bucket bags available at the moment that can fit a bit more stuff inside but still go with eveningwear, from a slip dress to a tuxedo. Check out Diane von Furstenberg, Miu Miu, Topshop and Zara — especially the latter’s chainmail version. — VANESSA FRIEDMAN

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