At Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2016 show last May in Palm Springs, Nicolas Ghesquière showed luxury hiking boots. This worked fortuitously well given the atmospheric circumstance; we were, after all, among mountains overlooking the extravagant Bob Hope Estate. The boots were fun to write about (as in, ye fashion-conscious woman shall walk the distance of manifold mountains in appropriate footwear as a metaphor for life), but from a purely consumer-driven point of view, they were also kind of confusing. Given how many great shoes there are out there coupled with how great they make their wearers feel, who’s going to wear these? Who wants to wear these?
Then again, though, that right there is the magic of Ghesquière. Of any good designer, really. Because it’s that so-bad-they’re-good (or is it so-good-they’re-bad?) feeling that separates the esoteric from the low common denominators. What I’m learning as I go is that you’re not supposed to feel an immediate, thoughtless swoon coming on when you see new things in fashion. Powerful garments make you think, and often they’re a little uncomfortable.
Until they’re not.
Because then they spread, and with the spread is born a likeness. Example: Laurence Dacade, Sergio Rossi, Rupert Sanderson, Virgil Abloh’s Off White and Italian shoemaker AGL have all released their versions of a hiking boot. They’re practical and realistic and that should make them so boring but it doesn’t. It almost makes them more lucrative, further perpetuating the point that perhaps the new luxury in fashion is convenience. Winters are getting rough, so get a pair of efficient boots and feel good about it. Wear them with jeans, or tights and little skirts. Add a sparkly turtleneck because you can! I don’t know. I’m curious about what you think.