Why can't I stop buying shoes?
Help! I can't stop buying ugly shoes
The terms “style” and “comfort” have not always communicated, especially when it comes to shoes, and for a long time one was forced to choose fashion or vice versa. You had the shoes you wanted to wear (the heels, the strappy sandals, the slides with limited arch support) and the ones you really liked to wear (the Uggs, the Birkenstocks, the chunky sneakers). After the fashion community had received the green light from the former Celine designer Phoebe Philo, sneakers and sensitive sandals with open toes began to be worn in spring 2013. Shoes long thought to be "ugly" (aka foot-friendly) began to get fashion treatment.
And it's spiraling from there.
Since that Philo moment (which clearly played an important role in my personal style journey), other designers have opted for super comfortable but still questionable shoes: Alexander Wang let models land on the tarmac in his flip-flop suit in the spring of 2017 runway ; Raf Simons made aqua shoes chic for the Haute Couture collection for Dior in spring 2014; and, most infantile, Christopher Kane opened the door for Crocs to step into the fashion zeitgeist.
The latter has really pushed and divided the industry. It was spring 2017, and the acclaimed British designer surprised pretty much everyone by sending the stunned Crocs down the runway. Sure, these clogs have a ton of consequences thanks to their incredibly comfortable construction and accessibility, but they have also sparked a lot of fashion jokes over the years as Uggs successfully made its way into high fashion (including down the catwalk). But Kane got signed - in fact, he doubled in size and released fur-lined Crocs for fall 2017.
I remember thinking only one thing back then: Why?
Over the years I've kept wearing things that I know exactly why I like: denim, denim and more denim, converse and button-down shirts. After a lot of trial and error, I landed on this chosen one because for me they mean cool comfort and have repeatedly proven to be a solid foundation for all trends outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to try something - things like color blocking, print blending, and, more recently, athleisure. The latter is important because it led me to the “ugly” shoe revival; H. The trend that everyone loves to hate and love (and which I really love).
However, my aversion to Christopher Kane x Crocs was immediate and seemingly insurmountable. And while I wasn't alone, it was just the beginning for Crocs ‘foray into fashion. Other designers followed with their own riffs on clog-like shoes. In October, a Crocs collaboration with Balenciaga debuted; When the $ 850 Platform Clogs were pre-ordered, the hype was so high that they sold out by noon, Footwear News reported.
Obviously there was something about this style, and I was missing something right now?
It's not that I didn't fall back on questionable trends: I bought Birkestocks immediately after Celine gave them the go-ahead; I own my fair share of “Dad” sneakers. What is more important is that I am for anything that does not compromise my comfort, even if I run the risk of looking cartoonish. But I had written off Crocs years ago because a higher power thought it was a fashion faux pas, to be subject to that change meant a lot of persuasion, something I had never thought possible ... until before recently.
One day I was scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and my eyes landed on a shoe - not just any shoe, but a croc-mule-clog hybrid that could only be Maison Margiela's idea. Both fingers tapped so quickly that I didn't have a second to think about it: Wait, why… do I actually like this one?
See, my apparent Achilles heel.
Given my feelings towards the Kane-ified Crocs, my reaction to these hybrid shoes from Maison Margiela was very confusing: they are basically a compilation of all the “ugly” shoes that have walked on this earth that I had previously shed. And yet I was here texting my roommate. The conversation went like this, "I think I need this," I wrote. "Something is wrong with your eyes," she replied. The end.
Sure, that was just a moment of weakness for the Insta bait?
Then I thought about it for far too long. And it became clear to me that the industry can reconcile styles that we already know and that we have assessed in the past: whether oversized logos, wide overalls and a lack of maximalism, fashion represents familiar concepts in front of new backdrops and in new conversations that force us to reconsider our previous judgments about them. And this juxtaposition makes the object strangely attractive.
A handful of Instagram stars have dared to wear this type of clog in the world - with oversized staples and mixed prints and sweaters and even tried to make them the new white sneaker - and they see ... dare I say? ...Well. As more and more people become familiar with these shoes and flood our feeds and street style galleries with them, we have to ask ourselves: Why did we shut the door to ugly footwear in the first place?
Maybe I got into the idea of Crocs and Crocs, but I'm not quite ready for it - I need a little more time and a lot of strength to do it. But my approach to her comeback and the concept of “ugly” shoes has shifted overall. Also, the cyclical nature of fashion and this shock value approach to the industry is over, who knows if my approach could evolve again? They might not be the next in my book, but at least they're in there - kind of like a page that you highlighted but never looked back, so it goes forgotten but not unnoticed.
Are you ready for the big Tube Top Revival of spring 2018?
I'm as shallow as they come and I finally figured out how to look for bras
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