Thursday, February 22, 2007

Liesl, 7N

Oprah had Colin Cowie on her show the other day and he allowed her cameras into his home to see how and where he lives. I was struck by something he said as he was showing Oprah his kitchen: he always sets a beautiful table, even when he is dining alone. That struck me as a truly elegant way to live your life and it, of course, got me to thinking about how we think of shoes.

Let me backtrack a bit; in 1989 I lived in France for a summer and I spent my weekends in Paris. The thing I thought was so funny about the French was that if you were wearing tennies, especially white ones, you were stared at with disdain. Now, I am all for live and let live but I think the French were on to something. We live in a fast food, comfort driven society now. We have universal remotes that do everything but walk the dog for us so we expect a lot of comfort from the things we put on our bodies. That's fine; but why can't we also have style when we are being comfortable?

There isn't a fashion rule that stipulates that high style must be painful or uncomfortable. On the contrary, fashion is not just about looking good, but feeling good. The challenge seems to be in accepting the easy option rather than looking for comfort in a stylish or pretty product. There is no reason we need to wear tennies for anything other than exercise. (obviously I make exceptions for people who have medical issues) Flip flops? They're made of foam and you get them at Walgreens. What are you thinking, wearing those things anywhere but the pool or beach? The point is, there is no reason not to live as Mr Cowie suggested, with something beautiful always informing your life. Your shoes can be a direct example of this credo; they are your foundation, after all. If you choose your shoes based on comfort try to also introduce some snazz into the mix.

Honey, there is nothing sophisticated about shoes bought at a store named after a compartment built to hold sweaty gym shorts.

Today's favorite shoe:
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Manolo Blahnik

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