Bonjour Chaussures

The ever-omnipresent Brookline shoe caught some ink a couple of days ago. Dansko Clogs. The shoe to wear when the Crocs just won't do. New York Magazine had a sweet little time-line of footwear that I enjoyed. I doubt that fellow-Brookline moms care so much but I do. Took me down memory lane and reminded me of some of the more fashion high-points in my life.

Let's see.....I owned Birks, maybe 15 years ago. Scott still has his but he still has his velour pull-over that he bought in Rome 23 years ago. I also had Earth shoes, but that was in 6th grade, so that doesn't count. Had a pair of Doc Marten's, maybe 15 years ago as well. That must have been a particularly bold year for me and my feet, back in '92. Oh, I know, I went to Poland. Totally makes sense why I'd own a pair of Birkenstock's and Doc Marten's in the same year.

And just a thought.....Uggs. True to their name, as they are but I also have to ask: how badly do they smell after you've worn them?

Lastly, Supersize Salt-Waters? Awesome name.

UGLY SHOES: a brief history

Every few years, tastemakers mysteriously embrace some comfortable but undeniably ugly footwear more typically associated with river-rafting potheads or line cooks. A look at the most memorable assaults on our fashion sense, and a forecast for the ugly shoe of spring 2008.

(Photo: Courtesy of Birkenstock)

1966: The Birkenstock Invasion
Californian Margot Fraser falls in love with the squat German sandals and buys the U.S. distribution rights; they become the counterculture’s signature footwear. Forty years later, Heidi Klum designs her own version.

(Photo: Courtesy of Dansko)

1971: Crazy for Klompen
Sexy, disco-era platforms reign, but more conservative dressers—especially men—adopt traditional Scandinavian clogs with a cartoonish point at the toe.

(Photo: Courtesy of Earth Shoes)

1974: Unsexiness Sells
Orders for the orthopedic-minded Earth shoes— the heel’s lower than the toe to mimic walking on sand—are backlogged by 3,500 pairs. Time magazine writes about them. The company’s owners go on Johnny Carson.

(Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Martens)

Late Seventies: The Footwear of Rebellion
First Brit punk-rockers, then angry American youth buy burly gummy-soled Doc Martens. Marc Jacobs puts them down the runway in 1992; they reappear in fashion at the 2007 ChloƩ and Yohji Yamamoto shows.

Eighties: What a Feeling!
Leg warmers and leotards are everywhere (thank you, Irene Cara), and so are boxy, elfin Capezio jazz shoes. In 2006, United Bamboo and Dior Homme revive the bad memory.

(Photo: Courtesy of Teva)

Mid-Nineties: For the Concrete Canyons
Several time zones east of Colorado, New Yorkers inexplicably embrace Tevas. The truly brazen wear them with socks.

(Photo: Courtesy of UGG Australia)

Winter 2004: So Soft, So Unflattering
Uggs were a generic sheepshearer’s boot in Australia for decades, but have become beachwear for surfers, then models, who wear them with minis.

2006: Croco-philia
The garishly colored slip-resistant shoes beloved by shift workers and chefs spread like a virus, engulfing entire families at a time.

(Photo: Courtesy of Buddyshoes.com)

June 2007: Comfortable, But …
Worishofer sandals, the purview of Eastern European grannies, are stocked by groovy boutiques and worn with skinny jeans. Karen O performs in them.

(Photo: Courtesy of Salt-Water Sandals)

Up Next: Supersize Salt-Waters
The flat sandal that’s so adorable on kids isn’t quite so cute in a size 10, but it’s got the clunky contours that hipsters love.


jaime said...

This was great Karen! On the Ugg thing, Chad got me a pair two years ago. Although they are tres ugly they kept my feet toasty warm in our cold condo. Last year they started to smell and this year you could not have paid me money to put my feet back in them. So I bought a new pair.

They might be ugly but they sure are warm!


Karen @ BonjourBruxelles said...

and who says warmth should be pretty!
(although can we talk about the bootie-like mocs and the zippered-blue-faux-suede shoes I see about?)

meighan said...

i love the worishofers and the saltwaters!!! and yes, they look god awful on my size 10 feet. i haven't taken the plunge...but i'm sure w/ 90+ summers w/ humidity now, i'll probably do it. who cares if i look like henrietta hippo! at least i'll be breezy.

karen, love your blog. you are hilarious.

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