and here they are on my foot where you can see how well they accessorize a pair of jeans. In fact, I think they're called something like "Le Jean"! Imagine them with a pair of jeans and a white shirt, either crisply fitted or romantically floaty. Or with white denim capris and a navy T. Or a white, navy, or red breezy summer dress. Or . . . I thought at first that with such a strong pattern, they'd be tough to wear, but they've been really versatile and the comfort factor's a big bonus.
and one more shot just so you get how compelling that orange was when I first saw these. I know, I know, that will never be seen when I'm wearing them, but it's a detail that really pleases me.
and that hidden colour contrast lets me segue into a significant role these shoes play in my personal shoe history. See, these shoes are what I got instead of the Christian Louboutin heels my husband offered to splurge on for my birthday gift -- you know, those sexy and iconic sleek, black things that flash their red soles as you walk away from that cute guy you're flirting with (of course that would be you, sweet husband, who else would I be flirting with?!). I've admired the cleanness, wit, and beauty of these shoes for a few years now, and drooled at them from outside the Louboutin shop on the Rue de Grenelle. But they start at about 450 Euros, and that's for the older styles (which would actually have done me just fine, but there's not as much choice in sizes). Since Paul had to get me a birthday gift while we were there and since he does really get the whole concept of quality and longevity, he offered to buy me a pair. Even offered, since I couldn't stand the idea of walking in, finding what I wanted, asking and finding out the pair was, say 800 Euros -- both shops felt as if asking the price would be "pas comme il faut"--to go in and scope the prices for me. Now readers, how many of your husbands would offer to converse, in French, with potentially snooty salespersons, just to help you procure the shoes of a lifetime!
So I could have had the Louboutin heels. I mulled it over for a day or two and I still have the occasional pang of misgiving, but what I finally decided was that although I value the shoe for its classic, sexy design and although I'm sure the quality would mean they'd be comfortable and long-wearing, part of what I'd be paying for would be the recognition factor. And for my usual tribe, that would be fairly non-existent. I'm petty enough that part of the pleasure I would take in the shoes, part of what I'd be paying for, would be that people might notice that "she's wearing Louboutins, I think they're the real thing, oooh, she must have paid a fortune for them!" Tacky, I know, but if I'm honest, that's at least part of the appeal. Which is a problem 'cause where I hang out much of the time, the folks who would notice are few and far between. And when I'm in the city, my lifestyle runs to kilometres and kilometres of walking, not so good for heels. Still, they'd be deadly for the few occasions a year that I'd get to wear them out, and I know I'd love wearing them for years and years. Much of the pleasure that I'd get from them would be in the way they pleased me, that small note of "luxe et
volupte" (again with the lack of accents, sorry) volupté in my life. It wouldn't all be about flaunting a brand, but I'd say the part upwards of $4-500 would be the name factor, and in the end, I just wasn't willing to pay that difference.
To clarify, it's not that I don't think the shoes are worth the money. I believe that good design is worth paying for. It's just that for me, money is a consideration, and buying that one pair of Louboutins would mean forgoing several other pairs of shoes. I admire those people who buy only one or two of the really best shoes, skirts, coats, etc. But I enjoy variety and covet new shoes with shocking regularity. So I said "no" to my black and red beauties and shortly thereafter discovered these shoes in the Stephane Gontard shop. Actually, I first fell for another pair I'll show you later, and these frivolously fun summer shoes are just the bonus I got from my Louboutin restraint -- the two pair of Gontards together cost considerably less than a single pair of the latter. In fact, maybe I should have got three. . . or four. . .
What do you think? Is this all too frivolous? Or can you relate? What splurges have you made on shoes? Or which temptations have you resisted? (and perhaps come to regret) 'Fess up -- I'd love to hear!