Leandra Medine is selling shoes and they’re great
My mother always says moderation is key, but she wears Talbots every day. I want to thank Ms. Medine for designing shoes that awaken my once-repressed footwear dreams. You frightened me actually because you had to have seen inside my brain where a young version of myself endlessly chases the ghost of Carrie Bradshaw. The collection, which released last Friday with Net-a-Porter, expertly extracts the loafer, platform and ballet flat trends flaring up our check out queues at a price point to match their surface impracticality. Medine’s designs overtly indulge girlishness in their rejection of male praise. Loafers are sensible and randomly patriotic. The ballet flats merge our path back to practical footwear with the end of a rainbow. The “LOL if you think I’m Walking” platform defies heights and the advice that you shouldn’t wear too many trends at once.
Stars and velvet are an unlikely pairing that raise the bar of luxury. The platform sandal comes in black and forest green velvet, both I imagine will appear in troves in the Man Repeller staff holiday photo, as well as a white and rainbow-striped leather interpretation. They bring us back to the “Gucci Moment” Sarah Harris described in British Vogue, that many simultaneous retro revamps produce scientifically-proven modern looks. Did anyone cite the Rodarte star-barrettes reincarnate, yet? My favorite accessory of all time in shoe form. Seriously, can she hear my thoughts? The three versions are a delightful departure from the athleisure/athluxury trends gaining widespread popularity and in a manic twist might be styled perfectly with cropped Adidas-striped jogging pants and chunky (turtleneck?) sweater.
We also witness the union that makes the slip-on ballerina flat; one parts MIU MIU, The Row’s babouche, and Chinese slipper each. They are hysterically bi-polar in the satin bow/embossed leather pair but calmly hued in ballerina pink and pewter. A deliberate play on man-repellant qualities prescribed to women? Possibly. Irresistibly adorable? Definitively. In a rich, blood-red they would stand beside tweed skirt and vintage t-shirt as wickedly insubordinate.
The loafer, a shoe I suggest is a human right, answers my prayer that dorks across this earth will have an immortalizing moment in fashion. My fear of ten years came to fruition: the 80’s returned in the form of “fashionable” sneakers, active wear as a day-to-night look, and wide-spread promotion of fitness. However, Medine’s loafer is just SAVING me from a meltdown. I must break the news that metallic and candy colored sneakers, while very possibly cute, will someday return to their tacky-ass grave. While we are stuck in the age of post-ironic cynicism, I can accept their benevolence, but I promise you, geek chic endures time and style. Both red/blue metallic and pepto-pink embossed are effortless when styled with fraying blue jeans and could give a dying off-the-shoulder dress shirt breathe in new life.
Maybe in the company of these three designs, the over-the-knee leather embossed boots miss my marks. I recently saw them in a picture that cut off the top two thirds of the shoe and was intrigued to DIY them down to ankle height. They are in fact practical among the others and probably perfect underneath an a-line tulle skirt? Yeah. I imagine Leandra might chime, “indubitably.” After all, she has opened the floor to our outrageous interpretations and given us no option otherwise than to seriously repel the unimaginative. As a career man-repeller, I’ll be happy shoe gazing in the time it takes for them to appear on consignment.