I know exactly what footwear to bring for six feet of snow on vacation in the Swiss mountains (après-ski Uggs, fox-trimmed suede lace-up Coach boots, and ruggedly chic suede Prada booties with rubber-soled heels). But what about real life in a sludge-strewn city? I bought exactly one pair of shoes for that purpose this season: a pair of black Comme des Garçons flat booties whose uppers have been lopped off just below the ankle. These shoes became a lot like new, edgy friends: I wanted to hang out with them every day but they incited controversy with my existing crowd. Let us therefore debate: Are these shoes fashion-forward or are they lesbian funeral-wear?
I put the question to the sexiest, most non-lesbian designer I could find: Emilio Pucci’s Creative Director, Peter Dundas, who I dialed up in Indiana while he was visiting his grandmother. “She collects sweatshirts that have golden retrievers on the front of them,” he revealed, as a juicy sideline, of his fashion grandmother. “She has hundreds of them.”
With regards to the footwear, Dundas began by explaining that the girls in Paris (where he lives) are all wearing a bootie that is either cut at the ankle, or slightly above it, with a Cuban heel that he says looks ‘very rock n’ roll.’ “They wear them with parkas and skinny pants, but they also look great with mini skirts and the new long, length skirts.”
But what about my shoe? “Right now when I look at it, it seems like a guy’s shoe,” he said (and I swear I could see him crinkling his nose). “They just feel very androgynous. For slip-on booties, I prefer a little bit more of a heel—just to make it more feminine and sassier. But listen, J.J., I never put girls in flats. They all look better in heels, except my sister who is six-feet-tall and looks like a drag queen in heels.”
Ha! I wonder what would have happened if I had called Rick Owens?
– J.J. Martin