Alexander McQueen armadillo show pieces—the worst thing to happen to fashion since blue lipstick. I’m all about art, to me fashion is art. But some things are just down right weird. And those shoes are. I’m most concerned that if enough celebrities jump on this crazy shoe style, designers will begin to jump on the bandwagon and start producing all kinds of hoof-like footwear. I’m very, very afraid.
But in the meantime I want to sit back and appreciate what’s happening locally in footwear right now because I like it. Allow me to muse if you will. The Mission District isn’t any different from other areas of the bay in that you have your Birkenstock wearing hippies, Minnetonka moccasin wearing hipsters, and of course thirty-somethings who’ve recently had children and taken to wearing those God awful Crocs. But it’s also filled with women on trend with Oxfords and wingtips, over the knee styles, guys in funky sneakers and everyone in rugged winter “earth” boots from various designers.
In August I mentioned a gorgeous pair of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes that I fell in love with. While in London recently I found a pair that mimicked his construction in a store called Miss Selfridge. I didn’t buy them because they weren’t quite as impressive as the real deal, but I did eventually buy two other pairs of gorgeous heels from that same store. I occasionally browse the Nicholas Kirkwood website for some footwear eye candy, but actually buying a pair of $900 shoes would have to be a lofty goal for some pivotal birthday. Until then, I go to Shiekh for inexpensive styles. They carry over the knee boots in different colors, and faux leather styles adorned with serious hardware. The store on Mission Street is one of my favorites because I often negotiate price. I’m never afraid to ask for a discount if I’m buying two or more items, and at $35 for a cute pair of peep toes you can buy as many as you want.
But with all the rain we’ve been having lately a sturdy pair of galoshes (rain boots, wellies) is in order. I bought a pair from Burberry in late 2004 and I still have them, and they’re still in great condition. Not everyone thinks designer boots for the rain are worth the money but for me they were an investment. If Burberry isn’t in your shoe budget (they were cheaper years ago) there are still several stores to score some. And they come in solid colors or cute creative designs. They’re not the same golashes you wore when you were five, but you can certainly splash in a Mission Street puddle if you want to.
My new favorite shoes are velvet black and gold round toe wedges from H&M. They could work for a New Year’s Eve celebration or just going to Flour+Water for dinner with the girls. If I had to choose between paying my internet bill and buying a new pair of shoes I would hesitate making a decision—that’s how deep my obsession goes. But at the end of the day I would pay my bills first; not because I would choose the responsible thing over shoes, but because I couldn’t browse Nicholas Kirkwood online if I didn’t.