Don't get me wrong. I LOVE shoes as works of sculpture.
One of my favorite fashion memories is when I was fortunate enough to see the 1992 LACMA retrospective exhibit of Salvatore Ferragamo's most famous shoes. I saw and understood then that his shoes were more than footwear, they were symbols - works of art. My adoration of shoes was born right there in the dark gallery, shoes spotlighted under glass. (The exhibit was so successful it prompted the opening of a permanent museum in Florence, Italy.)
However, in my real life shoes are utility, and dressing in heels feels like drag. Even when I was modeling (briefly, long ago) I knew I was putting on a mask, and couldn't wait to be done with a job so I could wash my face, put my hair back in a ponytail, and change into my real clothes, which then was jeans, t-shirt, and Converse. Now that I'm a mom and full time store owner, my shoes have to get me through a day of standing, walking, lifting, driving and full-on just getting things done.
So when the latest issue of Elle Magazine arrived, I was amused to find an incredibly artful selection of shoes for spring. There are an incredible variety of amazing shoes - all of them with extremely high heels. Wonderful to look at. Very creative. But seriously unwearable in real life.
Are these shoes not amazing, even artful? Yes. Fashion runways have always shown the extreme edge of fashion, and the shoes have been no exception. The runway is a place for art and experimentation. It's show - theatre. And don't forget shock value. Lately it seems as though designers have pushed the edge a little further. I'm all for that. Explore, go wild, don't let anyone stop creativity! But apparently the editors at Elle can't tell the difference between the runway and real life. Remember, these are the shoes they say are "must have" for Spring. Note to Elle - most real women can't wear 4 inch heels. Not really. In real life. Can you wear these if you need to stand and talk to friends or clients, walk across a parking lot carrying groceries, or keep up with a kid, or (heaven forbid) run or climb a stepladder? No. Could you wear them for an evening of dancing? Yes, but not without collapsing in agony when the evening is through. I love these as artful creations, but not as footwear. One of my personal rules of fashion - it shouldn't be painful.
But don't get me wrong. None of this means that I don't secretly covet these shoes. It's just that they would end up on display rather than on my feet.