From The Red Shoes To Outfit Of The Day

1018-13Back to the time when I was a teenager, one day I heard one of my uncles made a comment about the Danish fairy tale The Red Shoes:
“This story takes the punishment of vanity too far!”
I heard him saying. Back then I did not give much thought about it.

Once I started making my own living, I also started collecting my own ‘red shoes’ (aka my favourite fashion items), and I was quite proud of it! Why wouldn’t I be?
Until one night in Taipei. I was in my mid twenties, my then boy friend and I were leaving a party together, and this was what he said to me:
“You are not a shallow person, but you sounded very shallow when you talked about fashion.” He must have been referring to a conversation I’d had at the party and he was clearly not impressed.
There and then, I suddenly realized that this was the ‘red shoes punishment’ I was getting.

A lady friend I used to know, who spent great sums of money on her mansion’s renovation and restyling. After receiving my letters and photos of my self-styled-portraits, she called me and told me not to send her photos of myself again and “do some charity”, as if I were the sort of person who is self indulge therefore I must be selfish.
You see? People thing renovating a perfectly good house is totally acceptable; however, when it comes to renovating our appearance (even though it costs much less), we could be considered vain and ungiving…

I can’t record every ‘red shoes punishment’ I’ve received over these years, there have been plenty! A few years ago before I discovered blogging, the man I was going out with, made this harsh comment about my self portraits hanging on my unit’s wall:
“You are mad! What are these for? Photographing your purchases??”
That’s right! Photographing my fashion purchases. Ironically, this is exactly what today’s fashion/style bloggers do – styling and photographing our fashion purchases!!! This activity is now known as the ‘Outfit of the Day’ (OOTD).

The times have truly changed. Today’s fashion devotees have been given so many platforms and tools to broadcast their every individual style to the entire world! Although it will never be everyone’s cup of tea; and criticism will always be there, but, somehow I feel that ‘the red shoes collectors’ have finally become more acceptable and forgiven by the world than ever!

As this is my 100th blog post, I want to use this post to thank my followers and readers who understand and/or enjoy my self styling journey. I may never be able to explain why I love documenting my own look (my fashion purchases; my OOTD… whatever you like to call it).
Here’s a quote from fashion designer Zac Posen and I’d like to share it with you all by way of wrapping up…
“At the end of it all it’s just clothing, we’re not changing the world, but to put out a positive, artistic message that is empowering to women is very important to me.”

Photography by: Road Wang


  1. Yes, there is always that risk of appearing shallow in fashion blogging. Here Sometimes I have to refrain from punishing myself over my interest as well. Mind-boggling. Love your write-up and the photo you used, Happy 100th post! 😀

    • Thank you Cara! :-*
      Oh yes, I had no doubt that we fashion bloggers are facing a similar ‘fate’ – been considered ‘shallow’ by some people.., and those people will always be there.
      All these years have taught me that I can’t change others’ opinions, so instead, I’ve learnt to accept myself. And seriously, loving fashion and enjoying our own styling is not a bad hobby at all!

  2. Lovely outfit and photo!
    I agree with everything that you say on your post. Fashion is a vital part of my life too so I understand.
    I love Zac Posen’s quote! 🙂
    Congratulations on your 100th post

  3. A lovely reflection on your fashion outlook for your blog century. Congratulations…here’s to another 100!

  4. Loved the reflection and is true sometimes our society prefer to make a judgment based only in their opinion without at least trying to understand this person hobby or interest. I do not see any problem in taking pictures of your fashion purchases I believe is a way of showing who you are and what you like and share experiences with others. By the way I totally loved your red shoes

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Debbie. I believe that we all need to be heard; one way or another. My self-style-self-portraits are also my escape – from this imperfect world and my own sorrows…..

  5. It’s an interesting thought the idea of punishment for loving fashion (and talking about and showcasing fashion). I’m not sure it’s better understood but what is amazing is the huge community that has been established around the OOTD and fashion blogging – I mean who knew it – that the community would be so huge; so who needs ‘forgiveness’ anyway! We have done nothing wrong.

    Congratulations on your 100th post; I am looking forward to the next 100.

    • Love, LOVE your feedback dear Kent!! :-*

      You are so right, and thank you for bringing up this interesting point of view. Have us the ‘red shoes lovers’ really been understood and/or forgiven?? I guess that it’s not so important any more as we have built an OOTD community to support like minded people; we’ve developed our own network.

      Yes, it’s hard to believe that I’ve reached 100th post; a huge THANK YOU to you for your collaborations and support!!! X X X

  6. I really liked that post! One of the reasons why I was hesitant to include fashion on my blog was actually that most of my non-blogging friends (and also a big part of my blogging ones) regard fashion bloggers as shallow and self-obsessed. I also must admit that some of the only comments I’ve deleted on my blog was from fashion bloggers, spending more time promoting their own content, than actually writing anything meaningful. Sometimes I would guess that they haven’t even read the post;) Of course there are exceptions, and you’re one of those who proves that brains and red shoes don’t have to be mutually exclusive:)

    • Thank you so much for your honest feedback Mitzie!

      I hear you. I remember at the beginning of my blogging days, my friends started ‘running away’ simply because I chose to blog about my opinions of style and fashion! I guess that what really bothered them was that I model my own styling, well, I’m sure if I cut and paste an image somewhere I can grab from the internet, I’d be more ‘forgiven’!

      About 15 months later; I noticed that some of my friends who ran away from me have come back.., not only that, they started letting me know that they enjoyed my blog, some even left many comments on my posts (which I’m very thankful).

      I do know those type of fashion bloggers you just mentioned too! “follow for follow” ” like for like”… Hello~ Social networking!!! 😉 X

  7. Hi Viv, I do not think vanity rules the intention of your blog, I believe you wish to express and share your inner self, coupled with the fact that your pictures inspire us with a touching story, an anecdote that brings out a smile, and a style for all seasons seen through your lens. Keep up the awesome blogs, sending much love ❤ Stay that course!

    • Thank you for your feedback Shian. I think what has driven me to do my blog is that I find combining my self portraits and sharing my experiences and stories very therapeutic! X X

  8. Congratulations on your 100th post! The main thing is: you didn’t take it too seriously! Your awesome blog is the ‘living proof’! Keep going!

    • I love your feedback Sarah, thank you!!! :-*

      Yes that scene about the cerulean belts is also one of my favourite scenes from the movie. The people who think they are too smart for fashion; are actually influenced by it on a daily basis.., isn’t it ironic?!!!

  9. You are an inspiration Vivienne! I love a self styled diary, I think it’s so wonderful we can see different people’s personal style and expression of fashion. Xx And.. Congratulations for your 100th post, I’m so glad I stopped by and discovered your blog!

    • Thank you very much dear Katie! I’m very happy that we get to share our blogging journey with one another. You know? You are my inspiration too!! X X

  10. Happy 100th!!! Excellent post and I love the outfit…’s through your clothes your showing many side’s of your self. I love your classic style but with this look you have a little more edge. I adore your style versatility!!

  11. Happy 100th post, thanks so much for sharing as I can definitely relate. Some negative vibes were sent my way since I started blogging and my intent is never to “show off” but just loves to document my individual style, something I just cannot explain. Continue to do what you do and your sense of style is amazing.

  12. I love this post, Vivienne! I can totally relate: I sometimes feel that I’m viewed as materialistic because of my love for fashion, but that’s not me at all. It gives me joy, self-expression, confidence, and a way to connect with others that feel the exact same way as I do. You and your red shoe collection are beautiful! ❤ xo- Dani

    • Thank you so much Dani. Well, I’ve been itching to write this article for years and I’m glad to hear that you could relate to it. At the end of the day, we all need to be heard. The showcase of our self style IS our form to express and communicate with the world. X X

  13. After reading you during these month since I discovered your lovely blog, I can tell you those who critize you don’t have a clue of what your blog it’s about. I see your pictures as a way to illustrate your amazing stories or, like in this post, as a conexion with the following text. You never looked to me like you were being immodest: you are just sharing how the world looks like through your eyes and thoughts… and the views you’re giving us are beautiful! Keep blogging!

    • Thank you so much Sara. I’m very touched by your wonderful feedback! Not only that; I felt your above words explained it – my blog and what my self portraits are about – even better than my own explanation!

      Those criticisms were from way back before my blogging days. For those who ‘doesn’t get me’, I don’t waist my time wondering why or try to convince them, simply because it’s much more fun (and meaningful) to cherish those; like yourself, who ‘gets me and what I do’.


      Viv X X

      • Awww, I’m just being honest! I was really moved by your story and I had to speak my mind.

        I have been in both sides: first, critized during my teenage years because I was not caring enough about my looks; then, during my early adulthood, I have been catalogued as ‘posh’ just because I cared a little more about my appearance than I used to do in the past.
        My point is: you’ll always be judged, so do whatever makes you happy. Be surrounded by those who celebrate you, not those who fight against you. 🙂
        All the best,

  14. Hello Viv, Artistic freedom, I am all for it ❤ With the world in chaos, what a pleasure to pause and look at beauty, plus poetry in motion.

    Bring it on,
    x x Margie

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