Mais où sont les chaussures d’antan?

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked him the question…

Love your column! I went to Starbucks for coffee today and the woman in front of me in line was wearing the perfect shoes. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them and memorized everything I could about them! A quick search on the internet brought them up – Prada, but apparently from long ago. The pair I found online is not my size. Is there any way to find something comparable? Are square toes completely gone? They really were gorgeous. It was the color that was particularly beautiful. Here is a picture:

Prada Square Toe Vintage Pumps

Ubi Sunt? Prada Square Toe Patent Leather Pumps

Can you help??

Claudia

The Manolo will allow François Villon to provide the reply…

Prince, n’enquerez de sepmaine
Où elles sont, ne de cest an,
Qu’à ce reffrain ne vous remaine:
Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

Sadly, because of the considerations of commerce and the ephemeral nature of the trends and fashions, the shoes that we love the most are often taken out of production by the designers, and never return.

And like Villon thinking about the snows of yesteryear, we feel sad and nostalgic when we remember them, or when we are looking at the pictures of them in our shoe scrapbooks, or when, mirabile dictu, we see them on the feets of the stylish young person we have encountered in the coffee shop.

But, no matter how much we search the online places, such as the eBay, or the vintage stores, or even the thrift shops we cannot find what we desire.

And we are triste, tres triste.

Is there something comparable?

No. It is these exact Prada shoes which the Manolo’s friend desires, and nothing else will fully satisfy.

Are the square toes out?

Over the past few years, the Manolo has become less and less concerned with the trends and the fashion fads. He has become more concerned with the matter of personal style, the thing which rarely accords completely with what is “in” or “out” at the moment.

So, the Manolo’s answer is, square toes will be in if you wear them with enough confidence and panache. This will be true no matter how many peoples around you are wearing the pointy toed shoes.

Other than this, all the Manolo can do is sympathize with the soul-suffering of his internet friend.

3 Responses to “Mais où sont les chaussures d’antan?”

  1. Nancy January 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Yes yes yes! That poem is so true! There was a beautiful pair of black and white spectator shoes by Ralph Lauren I think on this very blog a year or two ago and by the time I decided I could buy them they were gone. And now I can’t even find a picture of them!

  2. Jeannie Dahl January 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    It’s really true. My head is full of shoes I’d wish I’d bought, some from like twenty years ago. I’m sure there are plenty of men I know who feel the same about cars.

  3. Bronwyn January 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Yes, it is true that the personal style is of great importance. It is, however, difficult to BUY the things which fit one’s personal style but are not in fashion at the current time. One must purchase in bulk when the ideal items are trendy.