A Mr Manolo Blahnik once said “You put high heels on and you change.” And he was right, because a shoe can truly transform a girl and unleash a persona she never knew she had. Even with flats, you can have that geeky yet cool essence by just slipping on a pair of tan brogues and some Viktor and Rolf style glasses. You can be that Parisian femme fatale with the quilted ballerina pumps. And yes, you can even have the air of the free spirit about you with those floral espadrilles. However, for the instant attraction and fascination of everyone you walk past, the heel is a must. The woman wearing the heel shows that she is seductive, attention-grabbing, yet charming at the same time. She has the conviction to do anything she pleases, especially if it is opposite to what her casual counterpart, who is wearing flip flops, would do. But perhaps most importantly of all, she is not afraid to speak her mind; her self confidence is in abundance as her shoes seem to suggest.
Even in the most sensible and practical of people, like my mother, the change is as evident as the increase in her height (I must add at this point that she is a rather short lady). We are not the most extravagant of families, in fact, we are really quite plain and ordinary, so it was surprising when she walked through the door one plain and ordinary day with a special kind of light in her eyes. I hadn’t seen this kind of light in quite a long time and subsequently forgot how beautiful she looked with a glimmer of excitement and a spark of magic dancing around her face.
“I’ve bought shoes, I’ve bought shoes!” she shrieked – my mother never shrieks. As she commenced the grand unveiling, I expected something useful and functional; a simple pump or court of some sort. Instead, cradled in her hands like a little kitten, was a pair of outrageously lavish ponyskin, leopard print stilettos. I could not believe it. My mum, who frowned disapprovingly when I bought my candyfloss coloured Mary Janes, had finally gone wild and bought shoes in a print so loud that I could hardly hear my thoughts whenever I looked at them. From then, I noticed a subtle change in her behaviour. She would take the time to think about everyday outfits, rather than throw than anything on like she did before. She would read my magazines, looking longingly at the glossy Dolce &Gabbana adverts and then pretend to read a proper article when I asked her what she was doing. However, the most noticeable thing was her different aura; her lighter, calmer voice and her shimmering half smile were different to what I was used to.
And I would guess that this kind of scene plays out every day, as each woman allows her desire for that extraordinary moment of glamour to run riot. Clearly, we seldom see enthralling entity Kate Moss or the beloved Sarah Jessica Parker donning their trainers, and it makes us all the more hungry to indulge in the allure and mystique that comes from putting on the six-inchers. Even when our darling Carrie Bradshaw’s pink strappy Manolos were wrenched viciously from her hands, millions of women everywhere felt her pain, because in fact, shoes – not diamonds – are a girl’s best friend. For it is the shoes that most ladies start with when building an outfit, be it the classic Louboutins, the rebellious Kirkwoods or the sculptural Skovgaards. The little and ladylike Louis Vuitton heels are the cherry on the top of a Mad Men-esque cake, the chic biker look would be incomplete without the essential Isabel Marant boots and you obviously couldn’t have your shearling and cashmere this autumn without your faux-fur Chanel boots.
What use is lusting after shoes when you aren’t going to buy them, or at least, buy lookalikes of them? There are no less than three pairs of shoes a season that I see everywhere, haunting me in all the magazines and all the blogs, practically forcing me into the shop so I can make the purchase – it’s like the Ghost of High Heels Past. Even on the catwalk, there is always that one pair that gets everyone’s lips whispering in a spell of soft, spirited voices. The towering giants of shoes that are the McQueenadillos were the hot heels that popped up everywhere, the Chanel clogs cemented the springtime purity trend and those lavish, over-the-knee boots were an opulent vital component of your winter wardrobe.
After all, the fun of fashion is that it’s essentially dressing up. Just like stepping into a tutu automatically transforms you into a beautiful prima ballerina and placing the plastic tiara on top of your head marks your metamorphosis into a princess, all the finery and garments that you put on lead to you becoming a different person, taking on a different character. With the small addition of a fabulously grand shoe, it’s easy to forget your normal self and channel Gaga, or release the inner Marilyn. So go on, buy that one pair you’ve been coveting all these months, and while they will certainly transform your look, you may find that to your surprise, they might just transform you too.
I’m Suyin, the 16 year old London gal with a fashion obsessed brain and a need for labels and love! My ultimate fashion icon is Sarah Jessica Parker, and I am a huge believer in the words of Coco Chanel – ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same’. Come visit me at: www.suyinsays-suyinloves.blogspot.com
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