ALL ABOUT EVE
DO YOU REALLY NEED ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES?
Stepping back in time. With your best foot forward
Hair. Check. Blazer. Check. Bag. Check. But I am not done. I walk to the front door and carefully lift from the rack the most pivotal component to my ensemble. I encase the first on my left foot and the second on my right. I glide to the full length mirror in the hall and look myself over. A smile stares back at me. I look...perfect. I grab my key and pick up my pace in heading to the car waiting for me outside. I must not be late, for today is my first day. I must stride through those double wrought Iron gates; confident yet charming, fearless yet friendly, assertive yet approachable. I am five years old and the gold key I posses in my youthful clutch is the key to the sole of my shiny Clarks â€˜Magic Stepâ€™ Shoe. I sit in the car and glance with pride at my double buckled grey size 11s, feeling 6ft tall and ready to take on my own Goliath - school. An eon later the car eventually comes to a stand -still and now I realise it is time to face those giant gates. With key in hand I boldly advance onwards and through
the archway. I am now deeply entrenched in no man’s land. Before Fear seizes the opportunity to be my first friend on that vast playground, something glistening gold catches my eye in the early September sunlight. I follow its trail all the way to the hands of another girl. Steadfastly, I put my best foot forward and take my shoes across the cement until they are met squarely with white counterparts. As if by Magic, an unbreakable bond is formed. Two girls, one understanding - without the utterance of a single word. Fast forward 19 years and Samantha and I are still friends, our love of shoes intact. OK so neither of us can be found parading about the place in this season’s newest collection at Clarks anymore, but the strength of character found at five in those sandals, I still seek in a shoe to this day. What comes with age is greater choice and understanding of their use. The language of shoes is universal. We all wear them. But if each shoe speaks differently to the spectator, how do we know when to converse with a particular pair? And what can one set of shoes say that another cannot? I have become known throughout the years to possess a rather vast selection of foot garments and justify this sometimes perceived obscenity upon my appreciation that each pair provides the observer with a different dimension to me. I select the shoe that best conveys how I wish to be seen at that specific moment in time. From my ‘don’t mess with me’ black gladiator tripled buckled shoe boots to my Miranda Kerr leg lengthening bone coloured platforms, each speak a side of me where
verbal dialogue may mistranslate. Knowing when to use a particular pair is the golden key I now hold tightly to; understanding that they possess the ability to unite, identify or individualise the wearer in society. One can make their mark in a moccasin, strut their stuff in a stiletto, be bold in boots or feel all ease in espadrilles. The right shoe on the right occasion is much like being Goldilocks and feeling - just right. One often talks of ‘power dressing’ relating specifically to the suit itself, but if that immaculately groomed lady in her 2 piece DAKS suit whom you see every day on the commute to work didn’t change from her top of the range Nike trainers into those black court Celine’s you see peeping out of her bag, would she really look quite so powerful in her board meeting later that morning? The price of the shoe is arguably somewhat irrelevant for neither come cheap; it is more what the court says that the trainer does not. The shoe therefore is by no means a mere fashion statement, nor a simple question of practicality; rather it supplies the very foundations on which to build an entire persona. It might be for this reason therefore that magazines regularly include feature pages dedicated to nothing but shoes, why Oxford Street’s Selfridges are set to launch the world’s largest shoe collection or even why Stephen Mear recently chose to direct a dance revue pertinently, yet simply entitled ‘Shoes,’ exploring the gamut of footwear available today.
Shoes have defined both decades and people and in an upsurge of Vintage fashion, there are more shoes than ever available to cater for your foot fancies. From the first introduction of the much coveted ballet shoe in the 50’s, to the disco dancing platforms of the 70’s and their re-introduction in the 1990s (thanks by and large to The Spice Girls), to Dorothy’s iconic red glitter heels or Carrie Bradshaw’s influential staple choice of Manolo’s, your feet have never known such choice. You have the power to be whoever you want to be, starting from the feet up. So Dorothy’s ruby red’s got her home; Cinderella’s dainty delicates, her Prince Charming. When you next step out of your front door, have a pause and think, what is it you want yours to get for you today?
Published on Mar 16, 2011