My Killer Shoes — Brought Down to Size by Those Four-and-a-Half-Inch Heels

Silver satin  1/2 inch high shoes with clear stone pave straps at Nordstrom $129.95. Photo by BF Newhall.

The Killer Shoes: Silver satin with with 4 1/2-inch heels and a funky zipper up the back. By Glint, at Nordstrom, $129.95. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Jon picked out his wedding attire in a half hour. I’ve devoted several all-day shopping trips to my wedding outfit and I’m still not done.

Jon feels sorry for me. All that shopping. So many trips to the mall. So many trips [Read more...]

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Real Snow in Minnesota . . . and Real Warm in My Real Austrian Walkjanker

Snowplow clearing snow in a snowstorm at Eden Prairie, MN, Community Center. Photo 2013 by BF Newhall

A snowplow cleared snow — tried to — from the driveway of the Eden Prairie, MN, Community Center. Jon and I and the kids went there every day during our visit to Minnesota so we could work off the meals we sampled during auditions for our May rehearsal dinner. Photo by BF Newhall

Writer Barbara Falconer Newhall wears her vintage Austrian Walkjanker in Minnesota 2013. Photo by Jon Newhall.

My vintage, preindustrial Austrian Walkjanker finally got to strut its thermal stuff. Photo by Jon Newhall.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

My genuine Austrian Walkjanker had hung forlornly at the far end of a plastic garment bag for decades. It had no place to go.

Till my son got engaged to a Minnesota girl.

A classic Walkjanker, just so you know, is a traditional, no-nonsense Austrian winter jacket of real wool. It’s densely knit and, using an ancient, pre-industrial technology known as Walke in German and fulling in English, it is aggressively soaked, heated, beaten and shrunk until it’s two-thirds its original size and the scales on the wool fibers have loosened and hooked on to each other. The finished fabric is as thick and stiff and impenetrable as a slab of berber carpeting.

It’s a garment so old-timey and so Old World that even Google [Read more...]

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