By Jacqueline Parrish
A wise woman once said “You never truly know someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes” while a simple man stated “There’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes”. Taken literally, both quotes essentially extol the same wisdom; pretty or practical, comfortable or stylish, a person’s footwear says a lot about them. I don’t own a pair of flip-flops; no sneakers, hiking boots, Crocs or kitten heels, the comfiest footwear I possess happens to be a ratted pair of fuzzy gray, bedazzled to a Swarovski-sheen slippers. I live for heels (well, live in them at the very least). My obsession, while not quite as serious as famed shoe-whore Imelda Marcos’, borders on the addiction; I’ve had a longer relationship with some of my stilettos than I have had with a man. Repeatedly ignoring the practicality of an item while wielding my weapon of choice (Visa) at the nearest cashier, I’ve yet to experience buyers’ remorse. I came close this past week. A ten day visit to my hometown saw me fending for myself with a monstrous, silver rag-top Jeep; it had me cursing my beloved purple platforms with the first turn of the ignition. Driving never was one of my strengths; road rage and an innate inability to turn left not the least of my vehicular disabilities. The addition of a standard transmission only served as a hindrance in my quest for freedom. Going from a city of 5.5 million -where 20,000 alone reside in my condo complex- to an entire town comprised of 20,000 people. From AstroTurf and concrete, where taxis are the most common vehicle on the road to mountains, and bushes, one main street where you would be hard-pressed to hail anything resembling a cab. The obvious solution to my ‘stalling and –subsequent- whiplash’ problem would have been to swap out my skyscraper shoes for something flat and functional, but - proving once again that I can oftentimes be just as stubborn as I am absurd- not once did that ever enter into my mind as an option. So what, exactly, does this say about me? Sashaying down the route of narcissism, a moment’s reflection has led me to the seemingly pathetic and -not altogether surprising- realization that high heels have become my security blanket. For some people, it’s hair, others, stuffed animals, for me, it’s shoes. I don’t wear them for men, I don’t wear them for women; I wear them for me. When slipping my feet into my favorite pair of platforms, I am also slipping on my persona. I am slipping on a self-assured confidence that gives me a fierce –not false- sense of empowerment. I can take over the world one strong-willed step at a time. I would never be so shallow as to say that ‘shoes make the person’, but while they don’t define who you are, they can certainly have an impact on how you feel. So while a person might judge my preference in ped-wear, I will continue to happily strut, tall and confident down the sidewalk in pretty but impractical footwear.
- Photographs by Michael Tang - Hair by A.J. Jomha/Sarah Pearson for Lines & Legends - Makeup by James Kershaw- Metal Sculpture by Peter Hyde - Portrait Bust of Alena by Annique Comeau - Location The Faculty of Fine Arts Sculpture Studio
By André DeVeaux
So these last ten years have flown by like clockwork we’ve had our up’s and we’ve had our downs, but what men fashion trends have stood the test of decadism, and what trends have we left to rot in the closet of yesteryear, Let’s take a tip back down memory lane. Key Items: Oversized T-shirt’s/Pants/ Jackets, excessive diamante jewellery, Velour, Basketball Sneakers. R.I.P: 2000 -2004 The Suit Moment This follow up to Bling Bling urged the metrosexual man for some type of return to sophistication, gone were the oversized pieces in turn for sleeker, true to fit items such as Dior Homme blazers, super skinny ties and slim fit pants. Key Items: Fitted blazers, skinny ties, and Suit trousers or slim-fit pants with White Tennis sneakers or leather shoes. R.I.P: Although this trend has adapted itself into current trends its heyday was from 2004-2006. Eighties Revival: Mini Trends 2007- 2010 Old Skool Once again guys taking back old hip-hop influences donning items such as Hi-top trainers, nerdy glasses and Varsity jackets along with other retro inspired pieces to give there outfit some extra punch. Key Items: Hi-Top Sneakers, Paint box/ Neon Acid Coloured Tops or Pants, Slim/Skinny Fit Jeans, Gold Jewellery, Military Jackets, Aztec/ Mosaic prints, and retro pieces inspired by items of the eighties. Grandpa Sleek A style inspired by the so called “Geeks” of the eighties but also with clear influences that lead back to traditional imagery of grandfathers. This trend involves taking classic items such as bow ties and braces but remixing them with today’s fashions to create a timeless vintage look. Key Items: Vintage blazers, Grandpa Slippers, cardigans, chunky knitwear, bow ties, braces, big retro reading glasses. Of course these trends are simply a blueprint to go by today’s fashion savvy men are no longer sucked into fads and fast turnover trends instead they yearn for individuality and looks that take inspiration from things other than celebrity. With all that these are the things to look out for this spring: Heavy usage of Denim – Reworking classic looks The return of Military styles – Well Tailored and sharp detailing Classic pieces - Work sports looks with formalwear bringing life back to old pieces. Neutral Colours – Beiges, Pastel Greens, Greys, these are working their way back from Jackets to cargo pants. New Shapes – Don’t be afraid to experiment with new shapes whether it be a coat or a pair of pants. Layering – play with different textures to bring depth to outfits. Other trends are bubbling under also but these seem to be the most promising to last for now. Quality Over Quantity Lastly a stylist’s tip: Go with a theme then begin to work your outfit around it, always start with one item and work from there. Shoes or pants are always a good place to being. Remember work the vision don’t let the vision work you.