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August 21, 2009

DIY Lanvin: The Satin-Bow Shoes

I spotted these pin-dotted navy blue suede lace-ups on sale at the local Zara last week, and though I was already at a loss for luggage space, the absurdly low price dictated I had to get them.
I’ve been eyeing this pair even when it was priced at about 80% higher than what I paid for, the subtle patent piping really went well with the blue suede.
But as I was handing over my cash at the register, it struck me that this pair of shoes would be a great starting point for a DIY version of these green velvet Lanvins laced with black satin ribbons that I previously blogged about:
I was a trip to the gift-wrapping shop away from my very own DIY Lanvins! I couldn’t help myself, it just had to be done. Here they are:
black satin and navy, a quietly elegant pairing
As easy as it looks, I wouldn’t be quick to naming this the easiest of my DIY projects ever, it takes a little finger-aching manual labor to thread the wide satin ribbons through the little lace-holes, and some common sense to configure the lacing to make the ribbon lines sit nicely atop the shoe, as opposed to having them cross over each other. They’re no Lanvins, but they’re (partially) the work of my hands!
I went ribbon-crazy at the gift-wrapping shop the next day, purchasing the same wide satin ribbon in four rich hues.
burnt orange, gold, magenta and olive, which one to thread next?
EDIT: Isobel of SeventySomethings suggests binding the edges with sellotape (or Scotch tape as Filipinos would call it) like real laces and then cutting them off after threading them. Future DIYers, please thank her for saving your fingertips from the soreness mine had to go through.


  • naptress
    August 21st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    If you dont want to ends of the ribbon to fray go to fabric store and purchase some Fray Check..it will keeps the ends nice and neat!..luv the blog!

  • LuxuryObsessed.com
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Fabulously inventive.

  • -h
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    my knee jerk was to go for the purple ribbon next, but i think the gold would be an exquisite contrast.

    perforated blue suede…you HAD to get them!!!

  • naboonies
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:39 am

    I wanted to buy those perforated suede last winter but they did not have my size!

    Tell me about it. I also struggled when I attempted to thread my own Lanvin DIY a few months ago. Take a look at yourself haha


  • harbourmaster
    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:31 am

    They look wonderful, but you simply must do something about those frayed ends. I don't use Fray Stop, just make sure you cut them directly on the bias then singe the edges with a match or lighter.

    I love your style, am newly following :)

  • Daniel Alec
    August 22nd, 2009 at 5:46 am

    I may try this one myself but with a black shoe and black satin bow. As much as I love the colour, the black will have more longevity for me.

  • Style Salvage Steve
    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I might just go ribbon crazy after reading this. Well worth the fiddly threading of satin because what a result!

  • John
    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:37 am

    I agree with Naptress, you should get some fray check for those ends, cut them clean off first. I like the black ribbon the most because of it's subtlety. My girlfriend has done a similar thing with a pair of sneakers, they look just a good. Great Job!

  • 00o00
    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:10 am

    i have the exact same pair of shoes!!!!!

    i need ribbons now!!!!

  • Izzy
    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:48 am

    naptress, harbourmaster, john: These photos are actually of attempt number 1 at threading the shoes with satin ribbons. I had since threaded them with extra-long ribbons, and simply cut off the frayed ends after threading. Truth be told, I never really minded the frayed edges, but I guess they don't translate as well in photographs.

    luxuryobsessed, steve: thank you!

    h: it would be quite regal, don't you think? :)

    naboonies: They don't look half bad! Perhaps you could go for a narrower grosgrain (I have quite a few that I have yet to use as DIY bowties.) or even satin.

    00o00: Oh yeah, I remember you posting about getting them. You should really just buy the real-deal Lanvins though. hahaha

    daniel alec: though I think that would still look good, perhaps you might want to play with some subtle contrast? I reckon a dark gray or navy satin ribbon would look great on your black shoes, or even black satin ribbons on black patent shoes.

  • Camie
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Izzy, suggest ko sa frayed edges isunog mo ung edge para hindi magkaron ng mga tangal tangal na ribbon. :D That's how we did it back then with our high school uniform's ribbon.

  • Tom Tuttle from Tacoma
    August 22nd, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    i'm so jealous. too jealous to say much else. i'd say burnt orange next please.

  • Mat
    August 23rd, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    spot on every time mr dandy project. i don't think i have the right shoes for this but it's making me want to buy some news ones! your blog is making me want to spend money, tut tut

  • Snappy
    August 23rd, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Love the shoes and the post.


  • Isabel
    August 24th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Oh heck yes! I need to start looking into Zara men's shoes, because all their women's shoes suck.

  • Lynn
    August 24th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    wow, i really should try this out. i have a couple of lace-ups lying around that are not getting the attention they deserve. thanks for the great diy idea!

  • big
    August 24th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    pretty. real pretty.

  • hard liquor; soft holes
    August 24th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    i have been thinking about doing this with a couple pairs of jazz shoes that i no longer care too much about. great idea!

  • Tara
    August 25th, 2009 at 2:35 am

    You can also lightly burn the edges of the ribbon with a match or lighter, but be careful, it will probably burn very quickly. If you hold the fire close to the clean cut end (but not right up against it) it will melt the ends and create a seal.

    Good luck. And be careful!

  • Gold Sphere
    August 26th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Very clever :)

  • Andrea
    August 28th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I'm so jealous. too jealous to say much else. i'd say burnt orange next please.

  • Natalie
    September 21st, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    This is so creative! They look amazing. One other thing you could try is running a tiny safety pin through the ends and then cutting off the safety pin part once you've threaded them through.

    It's an old trick for threading the drawstring back in pants if they ever come out, but same applies here.
    -Natalie from Shop It To Me

  • Anonymous
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    An easier way is to just cut the ends of the ribbons straight and then burn the ends slightly. Just run a lighter flame over the ends to melt the ribbon just a tad and it won't fray. Much easier.

  • Mens Trainers
    January 19th, 2011 at 6:21 am

    awesome shoes.
    i have not see these shoes before.
    really awesome.

  • hermes
    July 29th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    That's really great!
    I've been thinking about those Lanvin for a lot – not to buy them (my wallet would become anorexic, but they were such a particular piece!
    Nice Idea, I'm going to copy you!
    You have a great blog,
    Matteo (sorry for my English!)

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