Friday, 11 December 2009

Sensible Shoes

Has it taken a radical architect to end the nonsensical desperation of women's shoes, almost all designed by men of course? In her architecturally shaped thermo-injected plastic shoes, Zaha Hadid has virtually eliminated heels in a design approach apparently conceived with the revolutionary aim of allowing women to walk more than twenty yards without pain or even support from a companion, passser-by or concierge (see them here). And, it is claimed, the new shoe is selling like mad to women sick of bunions, backache and ever escalating bills from doctors and chiropodists.

I wonder. Hadid's shoe – more a sandal, really – is a strange concept for women inured to the ritual humiliation of grotesque ugliness and brainwashed into the belief that high-fashion footwear must mean high heels and soles with an even higher price tag (£400 is considered not exceptional for the right label). How will they adapt after all the commercial brainwashing?

I don't think they will change at all. Hadid's shoe is no more a fashion item than the terminally provincial Ugg boot. It goes without saying that it is designed with impeccable logic and will appeal to sensible women everywhere. But the women who have made shoe designers wealthy men in return for ensuring that they will be cripples by the time they are sixty couldn't care less. For fashion shoe eccentrics, without the agony where is the ecstasy?

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