When I was a little girl I was obsessed with ballet shoes, and my dear sweet mother allowed me to wear my little black ballet pumps till they fell off my feet in shreds. I wasn’t using them to dance after all, as I was kicked out of my ballet class at age 4 for being too uncoordinatedly tall…I had all these legs, and I wasn’t sure what to do with them yet, like a baby giraffe.
I owned a gorgeous little pair of silk slippers that were mine when I was a todler – they have Chinese dragon faces on them complete with string mustaches and even though I don’t actually remember wearing them, they have been a prized possession ever since. And there was even an era where I would only wear baby-doll ‘school shoe’ black flats with white bobby socks, come hell or high water. I never actually owned a pair of sequined ruby red shoes, but I dreamt about them a lot. Like seriously, a LOT!
An article in this months VOGUE (UK edition) entitled ‘Which Shoe Are You?’ got me thinking about my shoe-drobe. The author of the article confesses to having a fetish for the ‘beautifully ugly’ and whereas I don’t think I have any ugly shoes - not anymore - the journey has not always been pretty. Thinking about all the shoes in my past and present, I have realized I have too many. Not that any woman could ever possibly have too many shoes, but there are days where I really do start to wonder about myself. The problem is that I have not always been able to afford the best quality, and that combined with my almost maternal attachment to each and every pair I ever owned, my cupboards tend to overflow with beautiful disasters. Quantity rather than quality. But as I grew up, so did my need for spending my money a bit more wisely…and my feet developed a taste for real leather and Italian-arched inners.
Husband very cleverly thought up a system for me that for every new pair I want, I should throw out 2 old pairs to make feng-shui space. That way I can always have nice new (better quality) shiny shoes and start to move along from the nameless tatty falling apart ones of my youth. When we renovated our home I got to design and build in my very own spice-rack shoe cupboard to try deal with space issues in the most effective fashion.
I was thrilled at the results, but of course, there was still not enough space for all my shoes. There had to be a mass toss out. It was very hard for me, but I got rid of 50 pairs of shoes. FIFTY! That’s 100 shoes who have been my friends, my children, my sole-mates through the past most tumultuous teen-to-adulthood years! The most exciting ones, with first date shoes, party shoes, break-up shoes, high fashion shoes, big mistake shoes. Pixie toed tire-track strap-on shoes. Spike heeled soccer boot lace-up shoes. Minnie mouse lacquered cartoonish shoes. Perspex clear plastic stripper shoes. Triple-decker Spice Girl sneaker shoes. Fake-snake platformed tranny shoes. Tinselly Christmassy shoes. Gothy Don’t-Call-Me-Babe knee-high shoes. Everything but the proverbial purple clogs! (anyone who idealized the movie Clueless should know what I mean)
It was way harsh having to get rid of so many, but Husband was right. Most of them were cracked, broken or just plain un-wearable. Some heels can only happen before age 33 after all. Besides, making space in my wardrobe is the only way for me to keep feeding the monster. And my monster will be fed! She wants Chanel! She wants Louboutin! She wants Jimmy Choo, and even though she has none of these yet, we are nesting and preparing place for when they arrive. (‘We’ being the royal we, of me, my feet, and the monster…) And so the Feng-Shoe continues.
Sadly I don’t have pictures of all the shoes I have parted with. A terrible oversight on my part, but from now on, I will be documenting the ones I have LONG before its time for them to go walkies.
Here are a few:
My Gwen Stefani heels. Worn by me mostly at ages 25 – 28, these girls combined funk with elegance. They were peep-toed before the peep-toe mania took the rest of the shoe industry by storm, ahead of their time. They used to take me dancing when I wore bottle green silken cropped cargo pants with a black strappy tank and patched golf hat that I stole from an ex. (one of the only good things to ever come out of that relationship!) They used to enjoy Black Eyed Peas and Christina Aguilera, while making their presence known at all the hot-spots in Rivoia and Sandton, JHB. The Gwen Stefani’s could take me to the movies on a first-date Friday night in jeans, hit the clubs on Saturday and then arrive a little disheveled and in need of bottled water at Sunday Family Lunch paired simply with a cute little T-shirt dress. They were all round weekenders and they made me OH so happy!
The Gladiator-Kimmies. I aliken these sky-high heels to the soullessness of Kim Kardashian. Ever so pretty, but cheap and nasty. These are just too high (Playmate of the Year kind of high) and just too plastic (Playmate of the Year kind of plastic) but still beautiful on. They are quite new, only 2 now, but they are aging in bunny years, so they are already a hundred and five. Love the look, but like most reality TV, there is only so much time one can dedicate ones self to trashy flashdom without ending up in a moral black hole. They are all look and no substance. They need to go.
The Pointe Baby-Dolls. Oh I love these! They have been around for a long time, but I don’t wear them that often. The problem being that they are one size too small. Wearing them makes my feet curl in and cramp up for days afterwards, which is no longer something I’m willing to do - all that often. But the little black on black ribbon that threads through the rim of these girls makes their baby-doll-ness just THAT much more adorable! They used to go best with a pair of black pinstriped short-shorts I used to wear pre-cellulite, and ended up in a few rather compromising photo-opportunities. Though they never did anything that was actually naughty or bad, they liked to do things that were ‘strange’. Like Andy Warhol strange. Like take photos standing atop public toilet seats strange? Yes, that. I love them too much to part with them, even if all that they are good for these days is making my shoe-rack look pretty and reminding me of strange-days gone by.
I think that’s enough for now. I have some shoe-shopping to do so need to get off the computer… Perhaps this will need to be a series of sorts? With all the shoes that live in my cupboard, there is ample ammo there for a year-long series me thinks! We’ll see.
Love, lust and fairy-star-dust