Thursday, 6 May 2010

Clunking through the tulips

Twice a year, when designers showcase the next season's wonders for us to covet, there is that little black sheep which causes a cynical worry wrinkle on the noses of women everywhere. The Poncho, tie dye, jelly heels, those photos from when you were a Goth, are just some of the trouble makers which invoke a deep blush when you remember ever being associated with them.

My heart sank when I looked at the photos from the Spring/Summer 2010 shows. They were everywhere. Clogs. Clogs with tassels, brogue clogs, clogs with heels, clogs with wedges. I had a pair when I was eleven from Barretts for £6. White acrylic, silver studs, mock-wood heels. Worn with pride, white knee-high crochet socks and plastic tortoiseshell sunglasses.

But over the years I have learnt not to be so judgemental. Ten years ago I would have rather pulled my own teeth than wear skinny jeans, so I borrowed a pair of clogs from a friend and decided to bite the bullet, in the name of fashion and research. They were black leather, silver studded with a hard wooden sole. They went clunk, clunk, clunk, as I walked down the road. At least people would know I was coming. The heel was two inches tall. They needed to be one and a half inches taller to stop my legs resembling those of a husky child. They looked like trotters. Which made me look like a pig who had learnt to walk on its hind legs.

I've learnt to walk appropriately in all of my shoes. I spring along in my high-tops, have an understated sass in my brown leather boots and a betty boop totter in my highest heels. Clogs are a little more tricky to negotiate. For one, your toes begin to cramp after the constant clenching to try and and keep the shoes on your feet. If you're crossing the road and quicken your step, they will most probably fly off and an innocent pedestrian will be injured by 50lbs of airborne wood. If you unwisely choose to wear your clogs with socks, then your heel will have no grip and you'll sporadically slide off your little wooden platform causing your ankle to bend in an entirely unnatural way. They should come with a foreboding sticker like the ones you get on cigarette packets. 'Warning, these Clogs will harm you and others around you' or 'Wearing these Clogs will seriously affect your ankle strength.'

They are at home in clinical and agricultural environments, easy to put on to feed the chickens, easy to disinfect after surgery. Strange that such an unpractical shoe should be associated with the most practical of professions. In an effort to disguise them, designers have raided haberdasheries and decorated the toe with ruffles and added elegant ribbon transfers up their models legs. Alas, it has only resulted in the Chanel clog looking like a stumpy ballet shoe.

So breathe. We are in agreement. Clogs will stay on the feet of surgeons wearing their scrubs, little dutch girls tiptoeing through tulips and most likely, some time in July, myself, when I have come round to the whole idea and have learnt to walk with more of a dainty clop than clunk.

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