Branded

As mentioned in the previous post, I wish I could say that someone had this blog in mind when they designed these boots. For more information, see here.

Reference:

Fisher, Lauren Alexis. 2017. These off-white boots were literally made for walking. Harpers Bazaar, July 24, 2017. Web, retrieved 8/19/2017.

Image source: Off-White via Harpers Bazaar.com

Fall Trends, 2017

080217-red-boots-runway-leadThis blog is more about history than anything else, but it’s worth noting that it’s the time of year when the fashion press publishes it’s Fall fashion reports and, once again, it’s clear that boots are a big deal. Apparently red is a big deal this year, as are sock boots, and slouch boots, which are basically loose-fitting over-the-knee boots that are worn squished down below the knee. A particular favorite of mine are the boots by Off White that are emblazoned with the words “Made for Walking” in big white letters. Free advertising? Why not?

References:

  • Bennet, Alexis. 2017. The one shoe trend that will win you all the compliments this fall. InStyle, Aug 9, 2017. Web, retrieved 08/17/2017.
  • Kirkpatrick, Emily. 2017. Obsessed or hot mess: check out these daring looks. People, August 16. Web, retrieved 08/18/2017.
  • Perez-Gurri, Stephanie. 2017. How to wear red boots if you’re not a supermodel. InStyle, Aug 10, 2017. Web, retrieved 08/17/2017.
  • Perez-Gurri, Stephanie. 2017. Shop the runway-approved red boot trend this fall. InStyle, Aug 14, 2017. Web, retrieved 08/17/2017.
  • Sheppard, Ciara. 2017. 14 pairs of slouch boots to saunter around in all autumn long. Glamour (UK), Aug 18, 2017. Web, retrieved 08/18/2017.

Image source: Getty via InStyle

Ivanka Trump’s Boots

One day, when some future version of me is looking back at the profoundly screwed-up time we’re living in right now, I’ll probably find time to discuss how a pair of boots marketed by Ivanka Trump’s fashion label became a vehicle for people to protest the election of her father to the presidency. For now, I’ll just give you a couple of links to go and explore yourself, here and here. The boots themselves are a spiky knee-length leather and stretch fabric hybrid design that is no longer for sale, but you can still see their old Amazon product page. Customer Q&A includes:

Q.Where is this boot made? (the description says usa or imported. which is it?)

A. It could be Russia but it could be China. It could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.

Q.What kind of leather? a friend told me it’s human skin! I guess it’s possible coming from China. can you please tell me kind of skin is used? thx!

A. Thin skin.

Q. It says the fit runs small. Any chance they will make these bigly?

A. Don’t let the media fool you, these do not run small. This boots run bigly, let me tell you.

And believe me, there are many, many more where those came from.

Lace-up boots, 1996

IMG_5373When I was working on the book, I pulled together a reference collection of boots of various sorts. Some of these were found on the far-flung reaches of Ebay or Etsy. Others came from the darkest recesses of our closet. This pair is one of the latter. They look like the sort of thing that might have been worn by a sixties dolly bird, but they actually date from 1996.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, in Britain the middle years of the nineteen nineties saw a huge resurgence of interest in the music, art, and fashions of the sixties. These were the years of “Britpop,” a distinctive guitar-driven form of rock with psychedelic overtones typified by bands like Blur, Oasis, Suede, Pulp, and a host of lesser imitators.

Where sixties pastiches are found, there also the fashion boot flourishes. The iconic look of a miniskirt and boots is a potent one, even if most of the evidence suggests that the look was nowhere near as common as movies like Austin Powers would have you suppose. Boots had already made a comeback as part of the clubbing culture of early nineties Britain, but now shoe retailers went full tilt into sixties-themed nostalgia.

And nothing says sixties like a pair of white boots. Stack-heeled lace-up boots had been hugely popular a couple of years previously; this pair by the British store Dolcis took the stack heeled design, reworked it in white patent leather, and added that elegant Edwardian-style curve to the top of the shaft. An instant winner, right?

Unfortunately not. The tall lace-up boots of the nineties had a circulation-challengingly tight fit which did wonders for the line of the wearer’s leg, but they also took forever to get on, which is one reason why they were rapidly supplanted by zip-fastened designs. And however keen you were on sixties fashions, a shiny white pair was never a practical option in grimy British cities.

That explains why these particular boots ended up in a bargain bucket at Dolcis, where I purchased them for the princely sum of £5:00. I bore them home in triumph to my wife who, being much more knowledgable about fashion than me, cocked a quizzical eyebrow and consigned them immediately to the farthest reaches of the closet. Where they remained for almost twenty years, until I needed a pair of boots to illustrate a piece on sixties nostalgia for the book.

Changes

If you’ve been following this site for a while, you’ll have noticed some changes have taken place over the last couple of days. I’ve spruced up the design, added some new pages, etc.

This is partly in preparation for the publication of Made for Walking (the book). As I mentioned a while back, I spent much of the last half of 2016 working on this project. It takes the blog as a starting point, but also features a lot of new research. It’s being published by Schiffer and will be coming out in 2018. I’ll publish more details on the blog as soon as they’re done.

So does that mean it’s all over for Made for Walking (the blog)? Not at all. There were things that came up in writing the book that I couldn’t fit in or discuss in as much detail as I wanted. There were also things that I covered that could be explored from different perspectives. And new stuff emerges all the time. So the blog will live on, and I now have the time to devote to writing new posts. One of which is coming up next…