Solestruck has always vowed to “rid the world of ugly shoes.” But with every fashion blog hailing the reign of “the ugly shoe trend,” we feel it’s time to tackle the tough subject and discuss: what is “ugly?”
First, let’s go back 10 years:
In 2001, it was the high-fashion slut who ruled the land. She had her allies in Tom Ford’s Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and, of course, John Galliano’s Dior. Sick of earth tones and, heaven forbid, corduroy, skin was the forefront of her agenda. Soon enough, however, she got too popular for her own good. Pretty-eyed copycats everywhere copped her style: exploiting her look in pop music (Britney), reality television (goodbye, MTV) and Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns. The term “blonde bombshell” went from bold Vogue headline to selling issues on Cosmo. Now, 13 years later, we look back and wonder why we ever supported fishnet sleeves.
The only constant in fashion is change. Fashion is forever in search of the “new.” Never faithful, it quickly betrays “trends” the moment they begin their high-to-low rotation through street-wear, Tumblr and middle-America H&M stores. Thus renews the search for “the next big thing.”
When sex appeal and bronzer were no longer The Look, it was Marc Jacobs’ quirky girl who pranced forward. Her with her grandpa’s wayfarers, color-blocking sensibility and overall “refreshing” sense of humor: it all worked because, of course, behind the goofy faces and carefree attitude, she was still a bombshell. Hence the irony of it all (see: Cara Delevigne).
But as she too begins her exile via the “hipster” epidemic, who now takes her place?
What about the girl with “ugly” taste? The girl who takes it one step further and completely rejects the contemporary architecture of beauty with her Birkenstocks, knotted hair, disproportional pants and undeniably fearless style?
“Pretty,” dare I say, might be “out?” We’re intentionally dressing jarring. Switching pumps for impractical fur-lined slippers. Ditching eye shadow and, at least in the Solestruck office, embracing the I-only-slept-for-three-hours look. SKORTS, for crying out loud.
Is it again time to throw an eff-you to the current definition of beauty? Are unique fashion models changing our ideals? Do we all just wanna dress with less effort? After all, nothing’s more consistently in-style than a renegade; and nothing’s more rebellious than embracing your “flaws.”
Last week, I attended Portland Fashion Week looking like a true. hot. mess. While others glittered with their curled hair, utterly chic suit jackets, Chanel purses and tapered pants, I waltzed through that venue in frumpitty-frump-frump denim pants with some major F.U.P.A. action, an ill-fitting leather jacket and hair so distraught it would’ve easily brought Grace Coddington to her knees. And as I soaked in the stares and glares throughout the night, I couldn’t feel more proud or, oddly, beautiful. For I was completely rejecting the normcore, and I absolutely loved every second of it.
Lara Stone first disrupted the scene with her harsh, hooded eyes and unapologetic gap teeth. Daphne Groeneveld further exaggerated these striking features and now, Daphne makes way for Lily McMenamy. How do you define radiance?
YSL 2004, Marc Jacobs 2004, Prada 2003
YSL Fall 2013
Marc Jacobs Fall 2013
Prada Fall 2012
Refinery 29′s “Ode To Ugly Shoes.“
“I’ll be goin back for you uglies. Don’t you worry.”
The very essence of our favorite blogger, The Man Repeller.
Solestruck’s mission is to “rid the world of ugly shoes, one pair at a time.”
This is, of course, a complicated statement, for it depends entirely on your own definition of “beautiful” and, consequently, “ugly.”
Beauty, and ugly, are in the eyes of the beholder.