Tag: events

Rock Those Heels: Chris Francis Shoe Designs at CAFAM

k150_27heel iconMost ladies know, a good pair of shoes is an art form. But self-taught designer Chris Francis takes shoemaking to a whole level. Creating awe-inspiring footwear from a variety of materials and found objects, he turns mere shoes into sculptural pieces.

I attended the opening reception for his current exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), and felt like a little girl in a candy store – so many beautiful, theatrical pieces that stretch the boundaries and blow your mind as to what a shoe could be. From big chunky leather platform boots to delicate pieces with colorful textiles, each piece was a delight.

Chris Francis Shoes CAFAM

I especially loved the punk-inspired shoes, layered with scraps of leather to look like a motorcycle jacket, dotted with a Sex Pistols button, and giving attitude with broom bristle spikes. Reminded me a bit of my own mohawk back in the day (see image here!)

ChrisFrancis Shoe Design CAFAM

It’s not surprising to see such a piece from this designer, a former punk himself, he still carries himself with rock ‘n’ roll style and many of his clients include rockers such as Runaways’ Lita Ford and Motley Crue’s Mick Mars – whose last (foot mold) was seen hanging in his shop, set up in the CAFAM front room for the duration of the exhibit.

ChrisFrancis Shoe Design CAFAM

And I had to take a moment to pause in front of the shop to examine his tools of the trade. (Of course I had to wear my shoe print dress and killer heels for the event!) His shop looks like it’s a trip into a time machine of the type of craftsmanship almost left to the history books. Brushing aside the current techniques of mass production to create shoes, Francis instead uses vintage tools and makes each shoe by hand.


The results are clearly pieces made with love and passion for the art of the shoe.

Be sure to stop by and take a look at these masterful shoe creations and visit Francis in his shop there at the museum through the duration of the exhibit. Check the CAFAM website for his schedule.

ChrisFrancis Shoe Design CAFAM

ChrisFrancis Shoe Design CAFAM

The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) presents Chris Francis: Shoe Designer through September 6, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA Admission $7.


Shoe photos courtesy of Chris Francis/CAFAM

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Tag: events

Rebel Bingo: Old Game with a New Twist

k150_27heel iconFor many people, hearing the word bingo brings to mind images of silent septuagenarians hunched over stacks of bingo cards and straining to hear the numbers on their cards get called. It’s a game that’s much more commonly known as an idle, quiet pastime, and having existed since the 1500s, it’s hardly anything anyone would call revolutionary.

A London-born version of the game, however, is set to change this and the way that we view bingo in general. Finding its new home in Los Angeles and New York, the elusive Rebel Bingo* had been an underground show for a while, before finally “coming out of the shadows”.


Calling Rebel Bingo the “Black sheep of the bingo family,” Freddie “Fortune” Sorensen and James “Flames” Gordon accidentally developed the game in a church basement, after chancing upon a bingo set. According to an article on the LA Times: “After the night was over and we would relax with a few drinks, we noticed there was an old bingo kit stored down in the basement, and one night we started fooling around,” says Sorensen, who prefers to go by Fortune. “We didn’t know the rules, so we made it up and gave away silly prizes. It spread through word of mouth and turned into this cult thing.”

How exactly is Rebel Bingo different from “traditional bingo”? Fortune says that the point is to be as different from traditional bingo as possible. More a show than an actual game, Rebel Bingo is standing up against the traditional, established form of bingo – the one that we all imagine as soon as we hear the word. Paul Bradley of the LA Weekly writes, “Fortune’s telling, there’s the bingo 99 percent and the bingo 1 percent, and this rigid order is kept in place by a boring old guard that’s intent on stopping the lively young upstarts represented by Fortune’s ilk who want bingo to be fun, freaky and flirtatious. “We do have pretty hard and fast rules … as every rebel should,” he says. No. 1 is “no old people” — followed by “no boring people.””

Rebel Bingo

It may seem a bit odd that someone should have such strong feelings for bingo, but it’s worth noting that Fortune and his crew hail from the UK, where bingo is quite a big part of their lives. There are TV advertisements for online bingo portals, and the BBC reports that there are now over 350 websites offering online bingo to Brits. Information on Free Bingo Hunter, a website dedicated to cataloguing these bingo portals, shows that they often have events and promotions that play on world events. What is nothing more than an idle pastime for most of the world is a force to be reckoned with in the UK, and Fortune and his friends have sought to subvert the established order of traditional bingo and turn the game into something more in line with the interests of the youth.

Now what to wear to an event like this? In sticking with the non-traditional bingo theme, something sexy with a rebel spirit would be a good fit, like this form-fitting scuba knit dress with deep-V mesh neckline, paired with a bright blue moto jacket*.

V-neck scuba dress Blue Women's Moto Jacket

Don’t forget accessories* like this fun bingo charm bracelet and tote bag.

Bingo Charm Bracelet Bingo Bag

Already having been held in 25 cities all over the world, Rebel Bingo continues to play shows in Los Angeles and New York regularly.

Though the show began as invite-only, you can get tickets to the show and sign up for their mailing list on the Rebel Bingo website to see where they’ll be playing next.


Rebel Bingo photos courtesy of Flames and Fortune/Rebel Bingo

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