If anyone would have told me a few years ago that in 2013-2014 I would be head over heels with, um, the opposite of heels, I would have broken out in one of those deep, heavy, cliché evil laughs. Me? In what? Sneakers, you say? You MUST be joking. I was such a shoe snob (and admittedly, my standards are high- I still am) and could never have fathomed sporting sport shoes. In fact, such footwear was so foreign to me that had it miraculously appeared below my knees, I most likely would have exclaimed something along the lines of "THAT FOOT DOES NOT BELONG TO ME!" My idea of casual footwear was a platform instead of a single sole high heel. To the extent that when I did engage in flats-wearing, I was uncomfortable and my calves would end up being sore for a couple of days following the experience.
I full-heartedly admit that I let myself be defined by my shoe choices: I did not feel comfortable, neither physically nor mentally, in anything under a 3.5 inch elevation point (4 being my sweet spot, 5 being a tad too much). When whispers of the sky high heel being placed on the endangered fashion species list were being heard around 2010, I scoffed in mighty abhorrence: "yeah, right." In a way, i was right: even with the kitten heel getting its 15 minutes (Stella being the only one who made me pause to even consider the trend), the high heel is an intrinsic part of fashion and style: it's never going away. But I have come to realize that while the magical thing known to mankind as the epitome of femininity in a shoe will forever be a staple, it might run into some stiff competition through the seasons, where something new comes along and tries to go from understudy to main star. Like, as I just mentioned, the kitten heel a few years back, and more recently: the sneaker. In all shapes, really: the Nike Free Run, the old school Stan Smiths, the skater slip-on and, more recently, the couture version.
Once reserved for the gym and the working woman's commute, the sneaker has seen more reincarnations in the past two years than probably its whole entire existence. But what is it that made me gravitate towards this alien footwear? It had literally been years since my hoofs had been acquainted with the utilitarian shoe, and while initially trainers couldn't have found themselves any further removed from my comfort zone, along the way a shift was felt, very organically, in the the direction of the genre I once shunned. Somehow, somewhere, someway, I didn't question my identity when I slipped them on. I wasn't skeptical about whether or not I could pull them off. They didn't feel awkward or uncomfortable, au contraire. To my surprise, sneakers felt familiar and natural. Suddenly, they were a part of every stylish girl's fashion vocabulary, but to me, it felt like it was all happening on another level. Unlike a trend or a passing fad, my newfound (or as I were later to find out upon introspection, my re-found) connection with athletic shoes were an affair of the past resurfacing.
Last week, we talked about my tomboy ways of yesteryear and the week before that, about my long-time liaison with the very sneakers you see yonder. This type of footwear was already a part of my repertoire (granted a really far, tucked away one) and that is precisely why I was instinctively attracted to the trend and not repulsed by it. Like the skies opening up after a dark storm, it all suddenly made sense to me: they say that fashion is emotional for women, and sure enough, the running shoes were to me a nostalgic call from my youth. It turns out I was just coming full shoe circle.
Photos by Ian Rusiana
Turtleneck - Splendid
Tuxedo pants - Lanvin (similar)
Coat - Club Monaco (similar)
Beanie - American Apparel (similar)
Sneakers - Adidas
Bracelets - Coordinates Collection & Hysteric Co.(similar)
Leopard print pouch - Vintage (similar)
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