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)