Holiday footwear

9 September 2006 | , ,

My recent 2-week holiday in Spain was mainly taken up by two activities: resting and thinking about shoes. Since talking about the former would probably make me tired again, I will concentrate on the latter. The train of thought started during a day-trip to San Sebastian, where N‚Äî and I witnessed a wonderfully professional street tango. If a few years ago I created a piece of work entitled “My life is like an Argentinean tango” is because it is in tango -with its melodramatic music; its sensual dance; its black, white and red colour scheme; and its shoes- where most of my fantasies reside.

Needless to say, the female tango dancer in San Sebastian had exquisit shoes, just battered enough from dancing:

That got me going. When I returned somewhere linked to the world wide web, I felt the need to get properly initiated into the propocols of Tango. I discovered that Glasgow is very good for courses and practicas. Information about where to get suitable footwear to spin and lift was also provided. I found heaven: heaven is where you can buy, amongst many other pairs of specially fitted shoes, the Yanella model. Recognize them? However, it is always dangerous to get what you desire.

One’s desires are not configured out of thin air. My mother firmly believes that, if she hasn’t bought me something, she hasn’t loved me enough. The shopping usually involves shoes as, given that my feet are a prudent size one, I get them when and where I can. My mother has the patience of a saint and the determination of a physics nobel price winner when it comes to small size, shoe-buying perseverance and, winter being round the corner and Scotland too far away from her, she bought me my first 2007 winter boots. Cold colour, round toe and elegant details is the talk of next season.

My new boots make me consider the role of shoes in contemporary arts practice and, of course, Naia del Castillo’s work had to feature. Stimulating photographs, beautiful boots:

Naia del Castillo, Cortejo

Adam Chodzko, in his usual witty, tragic way, thinks through the more conceptual aspects of shoes. Could we be Carrie if we bought some Manolos?
impractical shoes
Right:Adam Chodzko, M-path. Left: Phoebe’s “impractical” shoes

After all that thinking, I returned home to find a pink envelope. Inside the pink envelope, Phoebe had sent me some impractical shoes. These reminded me that impracticality is, indeed, a desirable characteristic when it comes to seductive shoes.


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