Market Watch: Shirttail Tops

Gingham Tee
 Dancing, light as air, in a flutter of brilliantly colored, brightly printed layers of airy silk, gauze, and chiffon. In London, Paul Smith even stenciled butterflies on his runway, to give the audience a bit of a hint.
 “OK shoes just got bigger,” announces the accessories director of My blog. “Wa-a-ay bigger.” She pulls out a dozen enormous shoes to prove the point: “Supersubstantial, clunky, chunky heels, lace-up fronts, some in thick leathers, some heavy platforms, bi-i-ig round toes, super-super-high heels, but heavy,” she says. “This is a moment. They’re weighing down the light silhouette of the clothes.” Heavy? Clunky? Weighing down? Oh, right. A hobbled butterfly.
 For a minute I wonder if this is fashion as chaos theory, which you may remember is predicated on butterflies. The famous proposition was: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? (For fashion purposes, delete Texas; insert the House of Dior.) But then I remember how bored I’ve become for three or four seasons now with the ubiquitous tiny, sexy, strappy sandal because: One, they’re everywhere. Two, they all look the same. And three, undress is not the same as dress. Basically, this is a bare foot.
 For the longest time, women have been wearing the tiniest, most delicate footwear in the history of cobbling: a tissue-thin sole, a needle heel, and one loop of leather. (All right, maybe two loops one around the ankle.) These fairy shoes are a technological miracle, and the making of them gets more futuristic by the minute, but fashion-forward they are not. The strappy sandal doesn’t look new anymore; it doesn’t look interesting. And there hasn’t been any choice. Even shoes you wear to the office are narrowed down, built on a low last, pointed, tiny. The only alternative to tiny is a boot or a sneaker. I’ve been aching for the shock of the new in a shoe. Something thrillingly revolutionary, like I don’t know a rounder toe? Something over the instep that’s bigger than a loop?
 Whoops. Be careful what you wish for, eh? 

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