Pointy shoes: a trend I predicted beginning with the decision that Chelsea boots would be the new military/combat boot. Basically, last spring, I decided that it was time for the rounded toe to go, and that the pointed one should, and would naturally, take its place.
Just like I had called oxblood “dried blood red” before I knew its proper name, I referred to the pointy-toed Chelsea boot as a “Madrid boot.” I had no idea where that had come from; it just popped into my head, and it seemed right. So I went with it.
Until writing this post tonight, I never thought to do any research on where I might have pulled the term “Madrid boot.” So, I went to Google. Here is what I found: “Men’s flamenco shoes.”
THAT’S IT! That’s where I had gotten “Madrid shoes” from: the flamenco dancers of Madrid.
Here are the Google results for “Chelsea boots”:
The same thing.
Eventually, my love for the point of the Chelsea boot evolved, and I finally became able to understand the beauty behind the point of the Carrie Bradshaw-style pump. This is the same shoe that I, for years prior, thought looked like it belonged to a well-to-do witch. Interestingly enough, I am just now beginning to toss around the possibility that this association could have a lot to do with the fact that Carrie actress, Sarah Jessica Parker, is also responsible for the portrayal of Sarah the Witch in Disney’s Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus.
Childhood memories aside, I welcomed my new-found love for the pointy pump with the same enthusiasm that I expressed after my epiphany-like discovery of my now coveted hatred of Ugg boots. Until the day I decided that the Chinese-made Australian shoe could no longer be an option, I yearned to get what made truly fashionable people hate the otherwise popular boot. Then, one memorable day, as I was turning a corner in my parking garage, it occurred to me: Uggs are heinous. They are as generic, and show as little personality, as a Ralph Lauren polo.
Come to think of it, even more important a day on my fashion timeline is the one where I realize that a Ralph Lauren polo does not constitute “fashion.”
It was in the beginning of high school, and I was getting ready to go to some, clearly unmemorable, party. Sun was shining through my then suburban window panes, and I was kneeling in front of my dresser. As usual, my “polo drawer” was open in front of me. I always wore polos. WE always wore polos. Everyone, wore polos.
But not me, not any longer. Not anymore. I would be different.
The process was gradual. I began by pairing my usual polos with previously tangled and misunderstood pieces of jewelry that were gifted to me throughout the years by well-traveled relatives.
They were stand out pieces, and as the attention I received for them increased, so did the confidence that was necessary for me to gain in order to finally ditch the polo all together.
With my polos wrapped snuggly around the backs of lucky Goodwill shoppers, my drawers became shadow boxes, a state in which the remain to this day. Fashion became an artform, and learning it became a matter of pushing the envelop, and paying attention to trends.
Polos, like Uggs, became symbols of the death of identity, and the waste of an opportunity to communicate with the world.
It’s like I once told a skeptic: fashion is only unnecessary if you treat it like it is. If you dress generically, you send generic messages, or none at all. Wasting the opportunity to communicate through style is as sad as a canvas that stays blank or a storefront that can’t be filled.
Your sense of style can tell the world who you are, how you’re feeling, or, for the more opinionated, what you think. Hints, allusions, secrets; sexuality, politics, art: all of it is alive in fashion.
Anyway, before this became a petition for the importance of fashion to identity, the point of this story was to toot my own horn for understanding the natural evolution of trends in fashion. So here we go.
To check out my prediction that pointed-toe shoes would be the next big thing, I went to the most accessible yet fashionable source I could think of, the place everyone goes to: Nordstrom. I confidently clicked on “Top Trends” in the women’s shoe section. And sure enough, nestled securely between “Slip-Ons” and “Block Heels” is the “Pointed-Toe.”
The pointed toe is just one item on a long list of trends I’ve predicted: the color bordeaux, dark/oxblood lips, high-waisted everything, printed pants, combat/military boots, OMBRE HAIR, orange as an accent color, orange as a new neutral, leopard as a new neutral, neon yellow as a new neutral, peplum, etc.
All of this trend prediction started out as unintentional and inexplicable. Then I realized that what was going on was a whole lot of paying attention to what was around me, as well as to what came before me, all the time. I was, and am, a sponge thirsty for information.
When you never shut your eyes, you see everything as it comes, but you also see what’s coming.
You’ll know when something needs to be put to rest, and what should, or will, take its place.
Fashion is a life-cycle. And to master it, you must be open to, and aware of, everything.