I’ve not been able to write anything much for weeks and can’t figure out why.
It is winter – I sleep well sandwiched like a jammy clad beef patty inside a flannel-sheet-feather-duvet-patchwork-quilt-like hamburger bun.
The Minx only wakes up occasionally to shriek for her Daddy in the middle of the night to retrieve DogDog.
Theoretically, therefore, I well and I am rested and I should be capable of blethering on ad nauseum about footwear. It’s not as it I have not had enough practice by now. But my mind has been elsewhere. Maybe it’s symbolic or maybe I am just being lazy or maybe I just needed a wee break.
You’ll be glad to know that meantime I have been elsewhere occupied mostly doing things that I have no intention of writing about. That and watching a lot of videos. Retro kids videos like Chip n Dale.
Despite featuring worryingly adult themed rodent love triangles Chip n Dale cartoons have a soporific effect on my children. While the chipmunks are squeaking away merrily on the piano, the weans cuddling up together and giggling on the sofa instead of trying to decapitate each other. Good times. Times to relax, to rewire the brain off and recharge the batteries.
Or maybe it has just been too cold and wet to get my toes into most of the shoes that I want to wear. Cue these Amanda Starr beauties which I wore yesterday despite the fact that there was frost on the ground. My toes felt brittle, about to break off. It was just like a Glasgow autumn morning. Not the best day to wear open toed shoes.
My husband is not that keen on them. He reckons that the leather flowers look like badly crafted plasticine models created by a bored eight year old. To me finding these shoes was an unexpected delight after a week of eBay bidding in vain for 5.5 inch covered platform skyscraper heels like these:
The Amanda Starr’s cheered me up because they are a little piece of Australian shoe couture history. Ms Starr is an Australian accessories designer who once used to create shoes and handbags from vintage fabrics and leathers. Everything that she made was strictly limited edition, lusted after and featured regularly in all the Australian fash mags. One of my favourite pairs of boots were from her 2002 Fall collection.
Somewhere along the line, probably when I was off having children and not wearing heels, she gave up shoe making to make jewellery with vintage bits of fabric and leather instead. Her shoes are now virtually impossible to find.
It is smashing whimsical jewellery that she makes but it is nowhere near as wonderful as her shoes were. Now I am destined to reflect on what I should have bought more of nine years and attempt to retrieve her shoes and boots from wherever I can find them.
A while ago I emailed Amanda Starr to ask why she had eschewed shoes. To date she has not replied.
Not everyone likes to press the rewind button and many prefer not to revisit their past. Perhaps for her designing footwear would be a retrograde step.
Retro is one of those words and concepts which catches your tongue like a piece of apple skin stuck in your teeth. Such a twee word in so many ways and yet so apt in that it simultaneously means remininiscent of, reverting to or recreating a style. Let’s face it, we have been reviving and revamping clothing and footwear for a long time. Recreating items that we remember from the past evokes a tender emotional response that resonates inside us.
On the wall of my office to my right hand side above my computer screen there is a vintage film poster that the Boss may have placed there to inspire me to dress up a bit more:
Being in such close proximity to Marilyn Monroe’s curved buttocks and calves for two years has had a strange effect on me – I’ve stopped wearing jeans and opaque tights and started buying stockings with a vengeance after a fifteen year break.
For a while now, I have been stocking (excuse the bad pun) up on Leg Avenue hosiery (my pal Nomes Messenger’s favourite brand) and revelling in coming across new brands including Trasparenze which my new shoe gal pal Erin over at Shoe Love has blogged about.
To channel Marilyn (in a short, non-blonde, bespectacled West of Scotland sort of way) I even bought myself a few pairs of Levee full contrast nude with black seamed stockings.
These are not fully fashioned but they are silky sheer and have reinforced heels and toes. I’ll have to pick up a pair of hosiery gloves before I splurge on the real deal. Oh, and a hosiery hanger:
Then I just need to figure out how to line up the seams - a skill that has always escaped me.
Even once I have managed to get seamed stockings on straight, during the day the seams go off on a frolic and curlicue round my legs like drunken worms. But the allure of having legs that look like Marilyn’s even for a milli-second is too strong a pull to resist. The effect is a bit more haphazard, but surely there is room for individuality within the confines of a straight line?