When I tell new acquaintances that I am a lawyer they either smile and find someone else to talk to quickly or they say “that will come in handy“. This is always a bit of a worry.
Extra buttons come in handy and you can always do with a needle and thread and a spare pair of sheer tights in your bag not to mention clean knickers. Lawyers are very seldom described as handy unless by people who spend a lot of time in court – usually criminal courts or family law courts. Since appearing in court makes me want to projectile vomit at the top end while causing explosive diarrhoea at the bottom end I have to tell people that really I am not particularly handy in court situations AT ALL.
In a previous post, I also admitted that I am not particularly good at housework either. Except cleaning, I am very good at cleaning.
The twice yearly arrival of a piece of fluoro yellow bright paper headed “Household Clean Up Service” causes a bit of excitement in this house. It is an excuse to throw out our “unwanted general household items, garden waste furniture and white goods”. This is a house in which weans reside and we seem to go through rather a lot of furniture, white goods and household items.
There is nothing quite so satisfying as chucking out a lot of broken stuff and accidentally finding shoe gold in the process. There are a few boxes containing Miscellaneous Crud in our garage. In one or other of these boxes I have been hoping to find my bright cherry red patent leather spike stilettos, a pair of thigh high patchwork pirate boots and my beloved snakeskin high-heeled ankle boots. We did once find a 10 year old ash tray, complete with cigarette butts, packed up by an over enthusiastic removalist back in Glasgow. My missing footwear has still to appear, however, like a Mcguffin Device in a Hitchcock film.
During the most recent chuck out, my husband finally unearthed my fledgling shoe library, including Valerie Steele’s “Shoes: A Lexicon of Style”
In this book I came across the Bruno Magli boots that inspired my pirate boot purchase.
The cover of Valerie Steele’s book is a bit like a Rorschach inkblot test. The first thing that I noticed, being female and shoe obsessed, is the Gucci heels twinkling like Christmas tree lights above the title. It wasn’t until after I read the book at least twice that I noticed the beautiful half-naked model in the background. I’d be interested to find out how many people saw her first and wonder whether they would mostly be male.
Male and female approaches to shoes are quite different. Nowhere was this more apparent than in two great court room crime dramas featuring shoes – the first fictional, the second stranger than fiction.
Legally Blonde was a film that I really, really wanted to hate but ended up enjoying immensely. If you are unfamiliar with the plot of Legally Blonde, it is summarised quite neatly here (I hate to source Wikipedia but needs must). I loved the mash up of rom-com and courtroom drama particularly the way that Robert Luketic zhuzhed up hackneyed legal thriller plot devices.
The use of Prada shoes as a plot coupon, when the defendant’s supposed lover unmasks himself as a liar through his knowledge of shoes, is absolutely bloody brilliant:
Enrique Salvatore: Don’t stomp your little last season Prada shoes at me, honey.
Elle: These aren’t last season! [looks down, gasps, runs back into court room]
Elle: He’s gay! Enrique is gay!
The underlying assumption is that no straight man could possibly know the difference between this season’s and last season’s Prada shoes. When you look at the evidentiary fiasco of the OJ Simpson criminal murder trial, this assumption may not be too far off the mark.
The O J Simpson murder trial always seemed to me to be to be a badly written legal thriller crying out for a deus ex machina ending involving an alien theft of Italian custom made designer shoes.
Bruno Magli boots received an unexpected publicity boost due to thier unwitting appearance as a major plot device in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. On June 19, 1995, FBI expert William Bodziak testified that the famous bloody shoe prints at the scene of the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman had been left by a size-12 pair of $230 Bruno Magli shoes ( the Lorenzo model).
The Lorenzo was a black calfskin ankle boot-style shoe made either of smooth calfskin or nubuck leather, a bit like an urban hiking boot with a polyurethane sole. Here is a pair of boots similar to the style of the Lorenzos in question:
Simpson denied ever owning a pair of Lorenzo shoes calling them “ugly ass” shoes. The prosecution always claimed that this picture of OJ showed him wearing a pair of a Lorenzos.
Arguably any man, even one with no interest in shoes whatsoever could tell the diffence between the shoes above, and the shoes that OJ Simpson apparently wore to his daughter’s dance recital on the night of his wife’s murder (below).
Put it this way – neither of them look anything like Bruno Magli’s quietly understated shoes. The Bruno Magli brand received an unprecedented amount of interest due directly to the “OJ” shoes back in 1997 Bruno Magli has always tried to downplay the association with the OJ criminal trial in keeping with the brand’s dignified image. The shoes that left the trail of bloody footprints were never found.
Based on its criminal pedigree though, I am happy to have a pair of understated Bruno Magli shoes myself. If you ever have the bad luck to have me representing you in court I’ll probably be wearing these – and my startled diarrhoeatic hedgehog caught in the headlights look.
For more information on the OJ Simpson Trial including a Chronology, Evidence and Court Transcripts have a look at The Trial of OJ Simpson