OK so I've been dealing with an ugly shoe fetish for a few years now. When I say dealing with, I mean harboring a secret passion for, one so great that I frequently indulge myself in frequent window shopping sessions trying on these horrid foot sheltering monstrosities, eyeing them up longingly in the mirror. Sitting crossed legged gazing at them lovingly. Yes, I know, its a bit gross, not to mention sad. The point is the majority of the time I take these ugly duckings off and place them firmly back in their box and hand them back to the kind sales assistant who's time I've just wasted with a grateful smile. I then smirk to myself, a little amused at my own weird fascination with the UGLY whilst sauntering out the shop furiously scanning the shelves for pairs I might have missed.
This has been going on for years. Occasionally I do actually buy a pair. I have about three pairs currently which I feel would fall into the UGLY categorie. You see the problem is, and I'm sure many a girl would concur, is that when faced with buying a pair of shoes you not only sift through the 129 questions ranging from 'can i afford them?' and 'what will I wear them with?' to 'are they actually comfortable coz at the moment I can't actually feel my big toe?'. You also almost always consider the sex appeal of the shoe its self. 'But are they sexy?'. I know in your heart of hearts ladies you all ask yourself this question. And when I say sexy, I don't mean are they dripping in Scarlet Johansonesque glamour, more considering the shoe itself from the male of the species perspective. I'm right aren't I?
So you see trying on and secretly lusting after orthopaedic style footwear has become a solitary and hidden habit. One which I now feel i should free, embrace and make a fully fledged reality. I've begun easing them into my wardrobe, slowly... firstly with the sly offenders, you know the fugly ones: The-funny-looking-on-the-verge-of-ugly-but-pass-as-quirky types. The ones your boyfriend already wrinkles his nose up at and you silently think, 'really you think these are bad, you should have seen the five pairs I tried on before these!'.
So it actually gave me a 'i'm so ahead of fashion' moment when I read an article by Eva Wiseman in last weeks Observer Magazine titled 'When Good Shoes Go Bad'. Wiseman discusses the notion of the 'ugly' shoe with Grazia senior fashion news editor Kay Barron and Lauren Sherman who writes for Fashionista.com, both proclaim that the rise of the ugly shoe has come as the antithesis to the platformed spiked giraffe type heels seen on the Victoria Beckams and Cheryl Coles of this world. Both agree they are easy to rip off. I also garner that it would seem, the sexy heel may now be venturing into 'tacky' territory.
Barron states that she was 'shocked' at seeing this seasons Prada illusion boots but excited to see a shoe that was so 'bravely unsexy'. It really made me chuckle. I love that fashion is now suddenly accepting of this style of shoe. What will happen to Christian Louboutin if editors are now openly embracing the awkward, clumsy orthopaedic looking sister of the glamour-puss six inch platform stiletto? Now Prada has proclaimed it OK! Its a case of 'geek chic' returning isn't it. I'd been wearing my chunky burgundy frames for years, in my teen years feeling very awkward at having glasses constantly placed on my face, then 12 years in they become a trend! Ironically though, I feel this has given me the affirmation I need to embrace my UGLY shoe passion despite the fact that I feel slightly vain and shallow at the fact that its taken a magazine article to enable me to embrace such a massive aspect of my true style... guess I'm still learning.
Tan Block heels - Calvin Klein AW11
The Banana Heel - Prada AW11
Hand Made Pointed Toe Platforms - From The Whitepepper
Fugly On The Street- papped by BOAW
A sly offender snapped outside Hanbury Hall Vintage Market