According to the July issue of Vogue, chic is the new chic. Yes, that sounds redundant. Chic – looking ladylike, put-together, emulating screen stars of yore rather than rock stars of today – is in. Chic. How convenient, that one word can convey so much.
For the past several years, the look beloved of fashionistas and editors everywhere (save the personal style of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who never wavers from her tailored dresses and sharp bob) has been a sort of rocker-chic – there’s that word again – comprising skinny leather or denim pants, military-style jackets and huge platformed ankle boots festooned with spikes and buckles and all sorts of hardware. These boots were made for walking. Or clomping – their precarious platforms make moving around very difficult.
They can, on occasion, look cool. The shoes are tough, somewhat menacing, and convey a sexiness that is generally more appealing to women than men. (Not that I have tried them – I am horrifically clumsy, and such staggering heels would guarantee that I fall flat on my face.) But more often, they evoke bondage for the feet. The perfect shoes for foot and S&M fetishists alike.
Now, however, Vogue is declaring bondage boots out and spectator pumps in. The July issue champions tucked-in blouses, pencil skirts and carefully-coiffed hair, rather than the bedhead and smoky eyes that were cool a month ago. Sure, times are a-changing. And fashion changes with them. Though ladylike outfits have made appearances in magazines in the past, they have not had the staying power of skinny jeans. Until now, apparently. The look is classic, more Audrey Hepburn than Kate Moss. It is refreshing. But a bit questionable as to how quickly or successfully it will catch on.
So here’s the question. Now that Vogue has officially declared rocker looks passe, what will happen to all the fetish boots? They’re not exactly small. Or discrete. I can just imagine hordes of sartorially-confused fashionistas staring at their piles of buckled and spiked heels, despairing over where to put them in order to make room for their new slingbacks. What will happen now that the fashion world is being forced to grow up? Seems strange for an industry that fetishizes youth as much as feet.
“I AM WOMAN,” the new issue roars. “I am not girl.” How, erm, enlightening.