Certain items maintain an exceptional ability to take us back in time. For me, these items have always oscillated more closely toward related-to-fashion because that’s just kind of the lens I’ve always chosen to see the world through.
When it comes to Gucci’s pervasive horsebit loafers (which, by the way, celebrated their 60th anniversary just two months ago), I am almost always immediately thrown back to the primordial days of my childhood where I can distinctly remember the click-clack of my father’s horsebit-laden footsteps, marking his return home nearly every night. He wore the shoes in a variation of black or blue leather and on the off occasion what looked like a rather supple brown suede.
I can also remember that for every pair my dad had and wore, my mother beared the matching female surrogate. Which, of course, also reminds me of the time I asserted with deep conviction that I couldn’t believe how square she was–how I’d rather chainsaw my feet off of my legs than wear shoes so blase. I can’t quite remember what sparked the violent declaration but it probably had to do with belly tops. Ten years later, you should know that for the past three weeks, I’ve been putting the loafers in my Net-a-Porter shopping cart, removing them and repeating the process almost daily.
In considering the newly-forged rules outlining the way in which I’ve started to dress my current self like my old self as described in Tuesday’s post, Road to Uniformity, I have to wonder something else. If I’m compelled to wear something that I have never had nor wanted–and in fact previously hated–what do I chalk that up to?
It would be easy to say that just as is Miley Cyrus, I am growing up. Though it’s not happening in as public a domain, it is still happening and therefore, I want to talk about it. But what’s really getting lost on me here is that the exact reason I hated them for my mom–because my dad wore them so frequently and because they seemed like the shoe equivalent of a lukewarm, black coffee–is the precise reason I like–no, love–them now.
Does this then make the shoes a vehicle to describe how muddled-by-irony my compass of that which I find appealing has become–and furthermore, does that compass make me a hypocrite? There is an air of strange defeat associated with being dogmatically averse toward something and the subsequent finding yourself having really softened up to it.
It’s definitely true that I can’t quite ascertain the difference between what I like genuinely and what I like ironically anymore (other reference points: Yeezus, the entire series of Hawaii-in-the-60s paraphernalia Isabel Marant created for Spring) but I don’t think I care about that distinction anyway. The bottom line is that I do really like those things on some level and that should be enough to warrant their existences in my cosmo. It seems unreasonable, though, to tether irony (which is pop culturally emblematic of that which is trendy) to a pair of loafers so classic. Maybe my newfound propensity toward them is actually a testament to the development of my relationship with my parents and a guard down on my reluctance to become more like them.
Yes, that must be it. So do me a solid–if and when you find me clad in the traditional uniform accompanied by a pair of old-school, familiar looking loafers in the forthcoming weeks, please don’t call me square.