It is with a mixed sense of relief and reluctance that I am writing this post. Relief, because the fiercely guarded fashion circle has decided to allow back into its chic environment a shoe once sent into exile in the depths of Epping Forest, Essex (ahem), and reluctance because the connotations associated with The White Shoe, are, well, not so positive, to put it nicely.
Autumn/Winter 2012 heralded a new era for the once-outcast white shoe. Platform trainers (cue: Baby Spice circa ’96); the shudder-inducing white jelly sandal (we all owned a pair, stop denying it), and now, supposedly fit-for-fashion-purpose white footwear is back.
And the big fashion names surely marked this footwear deja-vu with their stamp of approval. Just look to the powerhouse of all things chic, Céline, who rendered The White Shoe appropriate to be seen in, paired with its astronomical priced, super-luxe pencil skirts, bubblegum pink mannish trousers and that cerulean coat.
Creative director Phoebe Philo did a beyond brilliant job of presenting The White Shoe in a desirable light, thanks to those slick half-wedge-half-heeled white court shoes and zip-front white boots. At Comme des Garcons there were sensible white lace-up brogues, while Valentino tended to our lingering need for all things delicate and ladylike, courtesy of Spring/Summer 2012, with angelic, ankle-strap, heeled ballet pumps.
Even though the highest of fashion gods approve, do you? Would you catch yourself caressing a pair, either in store, or online with your mouse cursor, at either Mango or H&M – both high street stores offering pocket-friendly versions of the wedge/heel hybrid court shoe for the Céline-pining population?
To make that question a little easier to answer, we weighed up the pros and cons of The White Shoe:
- They’re not black. Like the rest of your shoedrobe.
- If you catch yourself bored witless and need a creative pastime, you could doodle over your pair, maybe re-creating the Dalmatian print manicure from the Topshop Unique A/W 2011 show. I call it the Shoenicure.
- You could buy your closest friends a pair each and create a shoe chessboard, with the other set of your pals in black shoes…
- If styled without caution, you could end up in Brentwood.
- A pair of fresh, white, fashion forward shoes and the morning tube commute (read: human stampede) could spell disaster.
- You’d miss out on a favourite childhood pastime: puddle splashing
So, your verdict on The White Shoe: yay or nay?