Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life on the Dark Side: Patent Leather

As I was driving in to work today, I saw a young woman in the parking ramp who was wearing a black dress with great patent leather heels. (Also, black.) I wanted to shout -- but didn't -- "You go, Gurl! Way to carry the torch for patent leather!" It made me so happy. As if the younger generation of women were just confirming what I've always known: patent leather is cool.

I love patent leather. Perhaps I spent one too many years in parochial school, graduating from Mary Janes into low heeled pumps. It seems there were quite a few years when I didn't wear patent leather. (Maybe it was the 70's?) But I can recall patent leather being one of my go-to choices when the 80's came roaring in. Anyone remember the 80's? I was working in New York at The Times at the time. We liked our shoulder pads big, our furs endangered and our heels elegant. Oh, and we never forgot the pearls. (Did Barbara Bush have anything to do with this?)

But I am getting off the point which happens to me all the time.

I started to wonder about how long patent leather had been around and found some amazing articles in The Times dating back to 1918 about "...the great crying need [for] patent leather oxfords." LOVE IT. Skip forward a few years (1953) and patent leather is still in the news, with the added innovation of matching shoes and handbags.

Just to make sure that I wasn't stuck in my own time warp (or Times warp) I checked again for more recent fashion statements on patent leather. Too good to be true: I struck gold (patent?) with these Valentino Noir Capsule flats made from pythons, crocodiles, patents and ruthenium spikes for the bargain price of $895.

Aren't these cute? I think they're adorable. What's more, I think they'd look amazing if we could bring them back to the 1970's and pair them with an Our Lady of Lourdes plaid skirt. They're practically a reinvention of the Mary Jane with a lot more style, personality and potential for danger. Like Mary Jane's bad sister, Marilyn. I bet these babies would scare the heck out of the hall monitor and get the wearer detention for a week.

Like I said: cool.

1 comment:

  1. love them i almost never wear leather i prefer patent or suede both look/wear a lot better and dress up (or down) better .. i admit it. i am a shoe slut. sigh.