All Kinds of Insanity

Way back in the 90s, you used to be able to find deadstock 70s clothes for next to nothing–denim, leather, all kinds of craziness. My friends and I frequented this big dingy warehouse of vintage gold in downtown Cincinnati. (Can’t remember the name, but I suspect it has been run off by the new art district gentrication since then.) We’d bring out-of-towners to witness the platforms: rows and rows of the clowniest patchwork 6-inch-high things, still with the tags on.

Sort of like these Jeffrey Campbell boots.

I confess to thinking at first, what total shoe insanity.

Dorothy finds her way home insanity.

Renaissance fair insanity.

My Pretty Pony insanity.

Let’s not leave out Colorado fashion insanity.

They come in at least 50 flavors. It was only after seeing them in person at Nordstrom today that I kinda fell for the insanity. Jeffrey Campbell shoes always looked a bit cheap to me, but the varieties I saw were lovely melty-soft suede.

And yet this little shoe crush bought up an issue I’ve been mulling as of late. Apparently they seem to be marketed as something of a “cult item”–have them in every color! sort of thing. I have a knee-jerk reaction to cult fashion. I know too well the insanity of women pushing each other to get at a particular sale item with Where The Wild Things Are googly eyes. Just today in Zara, a woman in this zombified state pushed me over a pair of rather boring olive rayon pants, and I almost pulled a “Detroit” on her. Just ask my husband what that means.

The one site that seems to sell the most of these boots even includes in their description of the shoe, “Get ready to fight it out, girls. It’s gonna get ugly in here!” I don’t like businesses that encourage manic-woman trampling, physical or virtual.

When it comes to something faddish, no matter how expensive or cheap, I often ask myself: did you like it before you found out how popular it was? (In this case, yes.) Nothing wrong with the influence of others, but hype is another thing–it tends to trample true desire. Then I ask myself an economical question: if these were $10, would you like them more or less? If they were $500 would you like them more or less? Both sides of the coin–perceived economy or luxury–are tricky values.

Still, I’m not yet over the lace-up platform bootie thing. I fell for it last year and bought two pairs of black lace-ups with the full intention of returning the pair I liked least. A highly unrecommended shopping practice if you are a shoe fanatic.

[Credit: patchwork, dorothy, renaissance, pretty pony, Colorado, colorblock)

oh and p.s. I know I’ve been lax in sewing posts. I made quite a bit of headway on my multi-pattern project before our much-needed holiday. I promise, I have some garments to show soon!

One comment

  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    I came of age in that late-90s-cum-70s-style… my fave pants at one point were some vintage bell-bottom wranglers that were at least three sizes too big… (and if they weren’t dead-stock they had certainly sat unworn in someone’s closet for twenty years). And the only thing that dampens my love of platforms is my dislike of being that much taller than my husband. /sigh.

    I like your anti-hype questions. Although, I tend to be off in my own little world fashion-wise—reading sewing blogs is about as connected to trends as I’ve ever been.

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