Black & White
Taking a page from the book of ubiquity re fall, our feet and how we might cloak them.
When I’d initially seen Celine’s pre-fall collection – yes, the streamlined, skinny grey trousers and burnt orange leather pleats were great – it was really the selection of black and white wedges that could easily pass as often-lamented flatforms-cum-creepers that intrigued me.
I couldn’t tell if I loved them or hated them but settled on the former based solely (ha!) on the mere fact that they vaguely reminded me of my all-time favorite Acne booties (titled the Atacoma). I’m still not sure if the Acne boots in question have championed the severe, detailed ringer I throw most shoes through simply because I’d first seen them while on vacation in Stockholm during my semester abroad in Paris (which remains my all-time favorite life period–see what I’m doing here?) but I do know that they continue to maintain their incipient position as The Ones That Got Away.
The thing is, those Acne boots were kind of ugly too.
Something Joseph Conrad speaks a great deal about in his 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness is fascination of the abomination, which is that thing where something/one/place is so savage, so grotesque, so downright barbaric that you can’t look away. I’m about to take some creative license here but sometimes, too, it seems that precise fascination of the abomination can cloud a person’s ability to truly decide whether she likes something or is just merely enthralled by it.
Comparing Celine loafers to a fictitious, critically acclaimed story chronicling life in the Congo is probably something of a stretch, isn’t it? Frankly, I could have settled on enthrallment if I hadn’t simultaneously began mentally calculating cost-per-wear and exactly how long it will take to pay for the creepers. Maybe that positions them as a combination of genuine amicability and fascination because even though the two are not mutually exclusive, they can go hand-in-hand.
In examining the shoes of my muddled dreams and engaging in what I’ll call hard hitting “market research,” I noticed something else. Never mind the actual shoe, it’s shape or what it can mean in conjunction with literary expertise. Phoebe Philo was clearly on to something in her deciding to resuscitate distant memories of previously popular, 1950’s-esque black and white saddle shoes. In a few clicks, I wrangled together at least ten additional instances marrying the two ubiquitous colors and summoning the rest of us to ying and to yang.
In slideshow order: 1-3 are Celine Pre-Fall.
4 is a pair from Saint Laurent available at Net-a-Porter (who are the Italian size 34’s targeted for if not Suri Cruise?)
Slide 8 is care of Reed Krakoff (via Vogue)
And finally, in slide 11 Prada creepers giving the aforementioned saddle shoes a run for their lifespan.