Her White Sole

The next generation of collaboration nations, right this way


How much longer do you think I can repeat the soul/sole pun cum joke before you learn the truth: I suck at recycling paper, but I rock at recycling jokes. Full disclosure, even that is a recycled joke. And a terrible, terrible one at that.

But I digress. Today in curious subjects: the resort footwear of Chanel and Celine. Do you think the two brands made a collective decision to tack thick, white rubber soles to the bottom of their loafers/lace ups and if so, why? Did they anticipate that the slight movement would snowball a revolution come spring/summer? Is it even their revolution to snowball?

Acne is on board.

Kurt Geiger is on board.

Jil Sander is on board.

Heck, even Tory Burch is on board.

Now, here’s what I’m thinking: though I can’t really trace this trend back to its pre-postmodern iteration, that does not mean the shoes (which–let’s be real, people–bode an uncanny resemblance to the orthopedic wears of your neighborhood’s token gigolo) lack the same referential history that, say, ruffles-as-told-by-me do. It just means that I am ignorant, and in another bout of speculation (do see the Genesis of Ruffles), I wonder if the shoes in question are a reactionary nod to the growing popularity in fashion sneakers.

Sure, Chanel does it all, and heck, if you want highly functional cross-trainers from the paladins of expensive footwear-and-so-forth, you can and will find them. (At Barneys, most likely.) And though Celine, too, has been known to slap a $700 price tag under the pony hair Vans-style sneakers of their more casual selection of footwear, there’s something to be said about the bridge both brands may be unwittingly creating between sneaker and flat.

I’d be hard-pressed to tell you that the traditional wooden soles on most loafers and brogues are comfortable. As it happens, rubber seems to prevent and/or salvage most burgeoning disasters. Conversely, however, there are occasions aplenty that call for a shoe more formal than a sneaker but not quite as fancy as, say, a heel (or gold tassel), enter this evocative middle man (repeller). Can we call it a Bloaker? That should combine sneaker, brogue, and loafer without compromising an unspoken but indispensable appreciation for British slang.

Here’s the thing about bloakers: they really force me to wonder about the future of collaborating. Maybe in The Future, collaborations aren’t going to be about brands and brands (and high low in the traditional, more marketable sense of that phrase.) Maybe they will instead nest the fusion of different sub-genres drawing from the same overarching genre, proving once and for all that in fashion, you can have whatever you like.

(Sung to the tune of this T.I song)

Slideshow images via Vogue and Where Did U Get That

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  • natalie

    The shoes are vans on steriods


  • Mary – The Classy Cubicle

    It’s like I always say, why wait ’til you’re 85 to dress like it? The subtle (or not so subtle) geriatric flair of these lovely “bloakers” just fits into this mantra perfectly. Sign me up.

    The Classy Cubicle

  • I think I’d want to wear these on a boat. I do not think I would have to worry about falling over. THE MORE TRACTION THE BETTER!

  • Here’s a brief referential history lesson by way of an el stupido & totally campy blurb I wrote about Creepers, or now, “Bloakers” a few months back:

    “Get your knees flexin’ and your arms
    T-Rexin” Nicki Minaj exclaims in SNL’s digital short teaching you how to “do the creep.” And Mr. Lagerfeld designed his take on just the shoe to do it in.

    Chanel S/S ‘13 featured these platform
    sneakers in metallic gold, silver, rose and black fit for a Spice Girl or
    Herman Munster alike. If last year’s sneaker wedge wasn’t just kitschy enough for
    you, alas, creepers typically have coin-like ridges around a rubber sole a few
    inches high, and oxford laces. Buckles, chains, studs, leopard spots, pony
    hair, checkers, leather, and other accoutrements vary to make this unseemingly
    versatile footwear appropriate for clunking around during the day or at night.

    Creeping their way into closets for
    decades, designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler and Prada have all
    revamped this Rockabilly brogue, “so pop pop your peepers and turn out your sneakers, don’t sleep, come and get ya creep on with me.”

    Oof I hate reading my old stuff but DO Google “Visual Kei Band” to see the most of how these puppies can be worn.

    • Leandra Medine


  • monkeyshines
  • ni ni

    I am wondering if they used recycled rubber for all these.


  • Any trend that involves my feet being comfortable for a change…well, I’m on board too. Heels are amazing and all for their magical, leg-lengthening powers…but sometimes, a girl’s gotta wear something she can walk in without fear of breaking a toe!

  • I agree that these resemble Vans so they are a hit for me!


  • The Stella McCartney white soled bitches (SS ’14?) are the only ones that do it for me. Although all of the above are quite lovely (in a Herman Munster-ish sort of way) I’d be hard pressed to spend that amount of money on a shoe that doesn’t glorify my gastrocnemius muscles nor can be reimagined by the likes of Topshop, Asos or Zara.

  • B

    Do the PreFall 2013 Celine (Look 7, Look 17) not count? I believe they should, because, well.. they’re beyond..


  • Amy

    I was under the impression that it started in Japan.

  • C´est moi

    It´s creeper trend! White sole for SS13, black sole for AW13

  • Nicoletta New fashion blogger

    …shoes are definitely for the future…

  • ick. no thanky youy. no likey.

  • rachel

    Creepers have been around for ages! these are just the costly alternative for aging punks everywhere.

  • Not a fan of Creepers more so they just look creepy on women.

    • Leandra Medine

      That is so meta.

  • ana romero

    hahahahahhat amo tus historias, siempre me hacen aprender y reir al mismo tiempo. besos de http://www.rockafollow.com

  • Carol Sa

    Ive always loved the white bottom shoes. They are sort of an oxford chic look. Also they add at least an inch to your height which is great especially if you are short (like me).I feel like they just bring supergas, and cool-casual shoes to the next level. Also I have a question for you, when you write your blog do you always keep in mind “What repels men”- i mean that would make sense because you are the man repeller, but then if you really think about it, all clothes repel men. How do you know what to write about?

  • carly tati

    Just wanted to say I love you’r writing and your wit. Cheers http://www.carlytati.com

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni

    Love the Acne shoes!!


  • Hilary Hall

    I loved these shoes when I was a kid – they had a very mercurial hold on the market circa 1999-2001

  • Greer Clarke

    I love how your new “You May Also Like” leads me back to TMR archival stuff <3

  • dandy

    creepers are nice to look at but pretty awkward to stroll around in.


  • Stela

    The year of the ugly shoes, look around ! They are the altimate man repeller

  • cowgirl in the sand

    I just bought black Alexander Wang sandals with a 2 -inch white lug sole; love them!