SEP
2007
20
SEP
2007
20

Shoes of the Future!

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend Joan has alerted the Manolo to something very amusing.

Dear Manolo,
This evening, while reading James Lileks’ delightful ramblings on The Bleat, I was charmed to see that he had included a photo of the cover of the January 1955 issue of the pulpy magazine Galaxy Science Fiction. At first glance I took it to be nothing more than a typical almost-racy illustration of way-out stylings, but then the shoes caught my eye: Mr. Jacobs’ Backward Heel. Marc Jacobs Backward Shoe Oh, yes, the left shoe looks a little odd, but I believe that’s because it’s being polished by that strange device. The right shoe, firmly planted, most clearly shows a backward heel.

And, if I may say so, in a lovelier line than

Is there ever anything new under the sun? Does it really matter? I don’t think so, but thought you would enjoy this nonetheless –

Best regards,

Joan

The Joan is exactly correct, those shoes on the future Rocket-Age hottie are far more spectacular than the more pedestrian Marc Jacobs backward heel shoes, or even the more fanciful Junko Shimada shoes.

And now the Manolo has begun to look for more examples of retro-future shoes, (shoes of the future as pictured in the past). If you know of any, please tell the Manolo.

Linda Grant Replies

Manolo says, Manolo’s very good friend Linda Grant, author of the wonderful piece in the Guardian about the declining standards of dress and comportment, has returned to add more to our very vibrant discussion of this important topic.

I would like to thank those of you who responded so positively to my Guardian piece about declining standards of dress. I believe that dressing appropriately for the occasion is simply a question of good manners, as well as to give ourselves the pleasure of wearing whatever in our wardrobes is best, just as we vary our diet, adorn our homes with nice things, and enjoy a beautiful view. In the past, even the most impoverished families, had garments that they called their ‘Sunday best’ clothes which they wore for special occasions. The dumbing down of dress is in part a product of prosperity, for when a pair of jeans can cost as much as an evening gown, who knows who is expensively dressed?

The morning the article came out, a friend reminded me that at her brother’s wedding, a few years ago, one guest arrived at the reception in shorts. Now the bride and groom were theatre folk, not actors, but a writer and a director, and one sensed that this minor celeb simply felt that the happy couple were simply not important enough to get dressed up for. The true star among the guests, Hugh Laurie (of ‘House’) and his wife were dressed entirely appropriately for a July wedding, she in a hat. As someone in the comments remarked – class, you’ve got it or you haven’t.

Two people who have class are Tizzy and her husband, who, unable to celebrate their wedding anniversary at an expensive restaurant, went to an ordinary one and dressed up anyway, he in a tie and she in a cocktail dress bought on the clearance rack for $9.99. Mr and Mrs Tizzy understand the notion of a memorable occasion. I thought of them last night at a glittering event held here in London, the private view of the new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the Golden Age of Couture. For standing in front of me as we listened to a speech by Ines de la Fressange, once a Chanel model, was a woman who had chosen from her entire wardrobe to wear at this event – jeans and a t-shirt. Mr and Mrs Tizzy, despite their modest income, would, I know, have nonetheless found the prefect outfits to have attended such an occasion. To be well-dressed comes not from the bank balance, but what is inside your own head.

SEP
2007
20