Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cheese wedges

We all know how big wedge shoes are this year and this summer there’s no escaping them. I myself now have enough to wear every day of the week, and recently became the proud owner of espadrilles. Espadrilles! Ratty string on your shoes! And somehow I love them. But I’ve also noticed a disturbing style of wedge infiltrating the stores. I call them the cheese wedge. Let me tell you of the horrors…

The “cheese wedge” is a very silly thing. It’s a bulky, unsavoury-looking beast that has no purpose but to make you walk awkwardly and look like a mong. I name it the cheese wedge because when you boil it down to the essence of the shoe it looks like you have taken regular sandals and gaffa’d a 1kg block of Colby to your feet. In fact, to save yourself some money, I would suggest that that is the road you take if you want to step into this (shudder) “trend”. The fact that I have to shudder AND double quote Trend alerts you to the fact that this is seriously bad.

So, you have your sandal cheddar strapped on, and you’re feeling a good 2 inches taller than usual. Great, you might think, what’s not to love?

What’s not to love?? Let me count the ways.

1. The purpose of heels (whether stiletto, cone, wedge: all the goodness) is to elongate the leg. It creates an illusion of the leg continuing into the masterfully angled foot. The cheese wedge does none of this. Your calves remain blissfully unaware that you are in “heels” and maintain their original (and less desirable) flat-footed position. Your feet do the same. Yes, you have elevated yourself 2 inches, but you are gaining nothing more than just that. You might as well be wearing an oversized hat.

2. You know those people who have one leg shorter than the other or some kind of club foot? You see them walking the streets in an unwieldy fashion, unless their doctor prescribes them one platform shoe to even them out. This is what you are getting. But for both feet. You’ve essentially club footed yourself right into the world of the less fortunate, and you’re shoving it in their awkwardly lopsided face.

3. Remember the 90s? We’re still all about them. But the thing about fashion cycles is that you take the best of an era and remaster it and leave behind the cheese. I once owned a pair of platform jandals. Yes, jandals. Much like regular jandals, but the rubber sole was a good two inches thick. They were terribly hard to walk in. Not only were they heavy, but the flip-flopping action of a 2-inch cast of rubber was enough to trip you up on a regular basis. The shoe makers might have added a few more straps to mitigate the flip-flop, but the weighty and cumbersome sole is still there.

4. Walking like a robot might be cool on the dancefloor (if only for its reminiscent and kitch value) but doing it on the street is a whole other ball game. Everyone knows the key to a perfect heel-wearing walk is the rule of heel-toe. Heel toe heel toe. Simple right? Well, try it with these cheesy babies on. Your platform, due to its weight and width, does not allow for a ladylike walk. Instead, you are forced to stomp flat-footed at each step. If you try a bit of heel-toe you will quickly find that the cheese wedge propels you forwards. And don’t even think about walking uphill in them! I’ll let you just ponder that one for a moment and let the imagery do the work.

Ever the optimist, I will hit you with the good news. If you are so enamoured with a cheese wedge, and you find yourself purchasing these red herrings of the shoe world, you will at least have made a solid investment in footwear. I reckon it will take about 10 years to wear those silly things down to a reasonable sole. In the meantime, enjoy the stank of off-fashion.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mullets all round!

Apologies for such a quiet November! I don’t think I’ve ever missed a whole month before, but as you know the end of the year starts to fly and I’ve been preoccupied with being occupied. Job hunting takes up more time and mental effort than the jobs themselves. But, thankfully, with a new direction and position lined up I’m ready to rip into December.

In the back of my mind throughout November was the ever-gaining presence of the mullet skirt. That’s right, it’s mullets all round this year. Just not on your head, please. Mullet or drop-back dresses were a huge feature on red carpets at the start of the year and it certainly divided the ranks of fashion commentators.

Love it or loathe it, it’s in your shops and has been quickly taken up on the streets. You can’t escape the mullet.

I’ve never been a fan of asymmetrical hemlines (or asymmetrical anything for that matter. Order Please!) I must say that this season’s hottest trend is more favourable to me than the old diagonal cut across the legs look. There’s something a bit glamorous about the party in front, business in the back skirt that mirrors the thigh-high slit in red carpet dresses. It’s sensible with splash of sexy. Glamour and fun all rolled into one. And if you’re like me and still not on board the maxi train, it gives you the leg show you so desperately desire, while keeping up with the cool leg-covering kids.

So it’s a bit wishy-washy, but an easy fix if you’re not sure which movement to follow. Kill two trends with one skirt I say. (Although, as it stands, I only say, I don’t yet do.)

There’s gotta be some bonuses to having all that extra fabric hanging around too. Like, scratchy bus seats or super-hot metal benches are no longer your worst enemy. AND, you’ve pretty much provided your own picnic blanket for impromptu trips to the beach! Huzzah!

However, on the super-no-no please-god-don’t-let-me-catch-you-actually-doing-this side, some (hopefully smart aleck) retail assistant at Supre had fashioned the long hem up between the legs of some poor unsuspecting dummy and tucked it under the belt to make some niftily terrible poo pants. I’m pretty sure we got past that one ladies. Please don’t attempt to drag it back from fashion hell. Maybe it was just a friendly suggestion as what to do if you want to kick your feet around in the surf. One can only hope.

Also on the downside, in places like our dear windy capital, your skirt is bound to be wind-swept at least once and tangle between your legs causing some awkward mobility fail moment. Not cool wind. Not cool.

So there are literally two sides to what I suspect will become one of summer’s “must haves”. And take it or leave it, you’ll be seeing it.