Monday, March 7, 2011

Decoding : "Talonted" !

All Saints (£155 and £175)

In the past, we used to do the curtsey : this exercise was first a social sign for respect, but also a good way to show your grace and excellent deportment. Now, it is obsolete, and quite regrettable and not only for the daily gymnastics it forced you to do, but because it would be a quite convenient way to admire our peers' shoes. Indeed, shoes are now a powerful part of an outfit, and customers are getting more and more daring with what they choose. But, face it, it is a pity to wear extravagant shoes because you're incuring the risk of them being ignored. Except if we reintroduce curstey ... And then, your fruity Charlotte Olympia would never been missed again ! But when it comes to the heel, this smart idea is finding its limits.
Jeffrey Campbell (I Don't Like Mondays, out of stock) - Alexander McQueen (price on demand)
In French, le talon. Hence the title, a pun with "talented". The heel is designers' new whim for some seasons. The most famous examples are of course the creations of Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, but slowly, the heel is starting to become one of the most important part of an outfit. Is it a new "Follow me, young man" ? Or just a fantasy that doesn't really survive the transfer from the catwalks to the streets ? Why spending so much work and attention in a part which is not clearly visible ? That sounds like an excessive luxury. But heels have been a strong symbol of feminity for ages. Stilettos are a weapon of sensuality. It is very simple : a sexy curve and a sense of power, due to the threat of the point. So, sculpted, finely-worked heels have got a meaning too. They are all extremely solid, even monolithic. If stilettos were associated with knives, those remind of guns grips ! But they are pacific, and their message seems to be "Art not War" ! 
Rodarte ( - Meadham Kirchhof (Stylerookie)

The heel is a new way to express the talent of a designer. They can do what they want with it, treating it like a real medium for their artistic sense. Scuplted in wood or metal, it can be minimalistic, such as a contemporary sculpture. Some prefers it more baroque, and imitates the stucco of the architecture Grand Siècle. With gold, it turns luxuous, with sequins, it gets pop. Ralph Lauren prefered silver, Christian Dior worked it in the way of a Art Déco glass-blower. Everything is possible. But is Art the only meaning of those complicated heels ? It is also a statement, a way to show your uniqueness in a world of mainstream culture and production at grand-scale. Yes, women still want to be sexy. But they also want to be remarkable.
As for me, you know I'm not a great defender of heels, but I appreciate the effort, as a strong supporter of art. But I still can't picture myself perched on those things.

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