There was an advert on the telly a couple of weeks ago for Rivers Womens Boots. I am never quite sure what to make of Rivers’ footwear. In terms of design, the Rivers team go for the functional, the unremarkable & the invisible. Nothing wrong with all that other than it seems a bit battleship grey really.
Here is a battleship grey car.
Here is a battleship grey room:
Here is a battleship:
Battleship grey is one of those invisible colours. Grey is a colour that very seldom works in shoes which is why I don’t actually own any (although I could possibly make an exception for these which my good friend Ms Boots discovered in Sydney today:
In philosophy, a grey area is a concept which one finds hard to categorise or place.
A bit like the boots shown above.
For a long time these wee ankle boots served me well. There are two strokable suede panels which feel like that sweet spot behind cats’ ears. Serviceable and comfortable and unremarkable. Battleship grey boots.
The older that I become, the less I want to be serviceable and comfortable and unremarkable. No longer am I apologetic about my love for impractical footwear nor am I capable of bringing myself to wear comfortable ones. This has become manifest in the fact that I no longer self-edit my shoe or boot choices. These days I probably wouldn’t look twice at a pair of boots like these. My eye is drawn first and immutably to the skyscraper heels. In fact the words ‘killer heels‘ now jump out at me from a page in the way that words ‘sex‘ once did when I was a teenager. Perhaps the two are now synonoymous in my mind.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Six years ago I dragged my sorry ass through my first Mother’s Day on a total of 5 hours sleep divided into 45 minute chunks. My breasts felt like steak tartare from having the Noisy Boy attached to them for what felt like 15 hours a day. Yet my lack of sleep, sore boobs and inability to wear anything other than baggy jeans, trainers and comfy sandals didn’t bother me. Something happens to you for a short period when you become a mother. You fall head over heels in love with your children and forget yourself.
Robin Aronson in her article “Mom Shoes: Kicking the Clog” observes that for a long time as a mother, no one noticed her shoes:
After all, the people who mattered most couldn’t care less about what I was wearing on my feet. Every day for almost a year, my children stared intently at my face. Child-care books told me that my face was the most interesting object in their world. Not my shoes.
And yet when she finds her perfect pair of post-partum shoes – a pair of Keen brand dove grey Mary Jane clogs a shoe that she describes as having
just a little bit of something-something going on to remind me, when I glance down, that I’ve still got my own shoes to walk in. And not just to follow my kids.
In most outdoor environments, battleship grey is almost invisible.
There are many invisible mothers out there. The one thing that my amazing mother taught me was to walk my own path in my own way. She says:
You must have your own interests, your own life, your own self. Otherwise you will wake up one day, your kids will be gone and you will be left with nothing.
So yay for walking in different shoes.
PS Lovely children and husband – for next year’s Mothers’ Day can I get a pair of these?
I don’t think you can get much better than Nicholas Kirkwood’s sandals. Particularly if those wings work…