Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago how many pairs of shoes I own. The honest answer is that I have no idea, none whatsoever. We have a garage full of boxes which may, or may not, contain several pairs of my favourite footwear including a pair of thigh length Jack Sparrow pirate boots (aaaarrrrrr) and some red patent leather 80s stilettoes. We have got five boxes full of vinyl albums on top of the aforesaid boxes. Vinyl is quite heavy in aggregate and so determining the total number of shoes in this house might take some time.
One thing is clear, I have an inordinate number of black shoes in general and black pumps in particular. At some stage in my life I must have read that one cannot have too many pairs of high heeled black pumps. I fear that this might not be true. While black shoes are eminently versatile, like the little black dress, it is very easy to find yourself in the twilight world of wannabe try-hard sophistication. Think Jennifer Anniston on the red carpet replicating the same look – shiny straight hair, simple black cocktail dress and black pumps again and again and again.
That said, it is fair to say that a pair of black high heeled pumps per season in the current heel height and sole width, not strappy, not too trendy is definitely a good shoe investment. Perhaps my surfeit of black pumps is down to the fact that I have been collecting shoes for over 20 years now. Sadly some of them, like the shoes that I have on today, have only been worn a handful of times. I should hire shoe walkers to take some of them out for a wee jaunt now and again.
My search continues for a black pump with the impact of the heels worn by Amanda Lear on the cover of the Roxy Music album, For Your Pleasure.
Therefore for a black pump to attract me, it has to offer me something a wee bit different, a bit in your face, edgy, dramatic. If a black pump wants me to buy it, it should also have a quirk or slight visual flaw in the styling. Perfection is boring and non-descript in a shoe . So for me, these Bertie black kid leather pumps are pretty good value visually. The shoe shape is what would best be called a demi d’Orsay style; that is the vamp is cut down to the toe box on the medial side of the foot (a full d’Orsay pump would reveal the arch of the instep as well). The 4 inch heels are a bit on the low side but the slightly odd heel shapre redeems them. The heels present as flat, wide oblongs at the back with a slimmer, slightly inward curved profile to the side. Best of all, they have a snubbed toe which is the shoe equivalent of a turned up nose for me. I have never managed to find anything quite like them in the shops or my favourite shoe literature since. If anyone can find a match for them, please do let me know.