orgive me for adding yet another appraisal of the 12 months just passed to the surfeit of reflections on 2015 that are swirling around us at the moment. The year is coming to an end, and for those of us who create content on a regular basis, the temptation to go with a tried and true topic is overwhelming. Most news organizations do it because the holidays tend to be a slow season. Not much going on in the world. Troublemakers and celebrities have taken a break for a few days. But still there's the need to publish. So the logical choice as one year turns into another is to look back and look forward. And while I don't intend to inventory the highlights of the preceding 52 weeks in this post, I will offer my general observation on the state of the clog world here at the end of 2015.
Truly, clogs are an offbeat style of shoes. They've had their moments in the spotlight. But like ponchos and culottes, they seem unlikely to ever gain mainstream acceptance. Never mind the fact that they're comfortable or the fact that they can complement a wide variety of fashion choices. Clogs will probably never find their way into as many closets as running shoes or sweatpants. And as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. I love my crazy and unusual collection of wood-soled shoes. For me, a major part of their appeal is the fact that they are off the beaten path. So at the risk of being selfish, I hope they never become de riguer. Good Lord, the noise of all those clomping feet would be extraordinary. No, on reflection, my wish is that clogs remain right where they are on the fashion radar: a style that merits exploration by the more adventurous shoemakers on the planet, but not so popular that their eccentric appeal is diminished...or so unpopular that they go the way of harem pants or Qiana shirts.
That's why I've taken heart here at the end of 2015. You may recall that clogs and their related footwear got a boost in popularity at the beginning of the decade when they became championed by fashion houses far and wide. And just like clockwork, once their time on the runway had expired, they went from being taken for granted to calzature non grata. But instead of that backlash banishing them forever from our online shopping carts, clogs have been maintaining a steady presence in the background ever since. It wasn't that long ago that I could only hope to find clogs worth buying through diligent visits to the secondhand footwear listings on eBay. But these days we're enjoying the ongoing opportunity of discovering wooden goodness in every corner of the web. And to both illustrate and celebrate this fact, I'm listing some of the recent clog finds I've made here at year's end. I think this bodes well for 2016. Clogs aren't so prominently in style that they'll be fated to go out of style. But they do seem to be established sufficiently that shoe makers are not likely to give up on them either.
What can I say, but "Woo-hoo!"?
VIvienne Westwood clog boot redux
Remember that blindingly expensive pair of clog boots I spotted a few weeks ago on Solestruck from British fashion renegade Vivienne Westwood?
In so many ways, this shoe is not in my tribe at all. But I can't pull my eyes away from the exquisite craftsmanship and the delightful design touches and the obvious attention to detail. Really, if I wanted a statement clog boot, this shoe says it all. Specifically, "I'm a clog lover, and I'm proud of it. Deal with it!"
Of course, being a product from the world of high fashion, the cost of admittance was steep. Time, though, is often on the side of those who are able to steel their nerves and wait. And in the case of this shoe, I come bearing good news. Solestruck has dropped the price $170.00. That's definitely a good start.
But then look what else I found!
Now this black leather style is definitely worth an "OMG!", don't you think?
It's also worth a "D'oh!" Why didn't I think to check out the designer's own website. This amazing clog boot originally listed for more than Solestruck was selling it for, but now the Vivienne Westwood folks have reduced it considerably so that it's now cheaper. And available in a range of sizes from UK 6 to UK 11. (It is a men's style, after all.) Clearly it is the lot of footwear fanatics to exist in a state of constant temptation.
Swedish Hasbeens sale
This image appeared in my Inbox on Christmas Day in the form of an e-blast from Swedish Hasbeens. Their remarkable designs are always worthy of a closer look when the prices come down. Personally, I'm really digging all the platform enriched styles they've been showing.
The link to their sale is here.
Speaking of Swedish Hasbeens
Every day there's a new corner of the internet that I discover. My latest find is webzine name Good (http://magazine.good.is). And here's what they have to say about themselves:
GOOD.is is a place to share creative solutions for living well and doing good.
GOOD Magazine, the quarterly, print periodical of GOOD Worldwide chronicles and champions the emerging identity of the global citizen and creative changemaker.
Just recently they ran an article on the history and future prospects of paper clothing. Far from being the novelty fashion item it was in the '70s, it's conceiveable that consumers will be able to 3-D print their own designer items at home.
Here's a sample pulled quote:
Imagine you need a dress for your cousin’s wedding. You go to your favorite designer’s website, pay a fee, and download a file. Load a spool of DuraWeave2018 into the 3D printer and presto—a dress emerges.
Surf on over to the article itself here. And while you're there, take a moment to be delighted by the footwear choice made by the stylist for the photo shoot. Well, what better to pair up with a paper smock than a pair of wooden shoes? Works for me!
Sharp-eyed clog fans will spot the Hasbeens heel insert in the initial photo.
Holiday weather...here and there
My son and his fiancée just flew out of Chicago early this morning (December 30th). My daughter wasn't so lucky on the 27th. Thousands of flights were cancelled here that day due to the weather, and she was only able to reschedule her trip home for early New Year's Eve. As my future daughter-in-law put it in her Facebook post,
Chicago sending us off in true Windy City fashion.
The accompanying image says it all.
That's exactly how I think of Christmas and New Year's Eve here on the shores of Lake Michigan. But then my partner in shoe lust, Melissa, commented that in other parts of the world, these holidays might be considered an excuse to go to the beach. Fortunately, one of my regular readers from Australia sent a photo revealing the perfect shoes for such an occasion down under. Believe it or not, I love my Chicago winters, but I could certainly get behind a New Year's celebration at Bondi Beach if I had the right footwear available.
Pictured are the Gleam sandals from Trippen.
Whoops! I missed this one the first time around!
Molly Siri is...or was...a promising footwear designer. In 2011 she completed a degree with a stunning assortment of platform shoes. As her listing on Behance.com explains,
This is the footwear collection I designed and constructed for my final collection in my Masters of Footwear Program at Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing.
Beyond that, I can't tell you more. Ms. Siri got mentions on the website of British shoe designer Elizabeth Dunn and on the e-pages of The Mag. But when I try to trace her further, all the available links are broken. Her designs are both simple and stunning. What a shame she's dropped out of sight. I would have liked to have heard more from her.
Various vintage 'Vogs
Sightings spotted elsewhere on the web.
Blue clog, size 6, available through the Fluemarket
Janice clog, size 8, available through Etsy seller amodelclosetnyc
Crimson clogs, size 7 to 7½, available through Etsy seller RagandBonesFinds
Another clog collector heard from!
Regular reader Carl wrote to me back in November with photos of some of his latest additions to his favorite footwear. And then all this holiday stuff came along and I got distracted from posting his pics in a timely fashion. My apologies, Carl.
He wrote to say,
I'm checking in with an update of my own collection but also to share some information for some of your guy followers who might need some suggestions as to where they can get wooden goodness.
First, I haven't seen it mentioned on your blog, so I want to point out that Olsson Clogs has their own site now. They have a LOT of colors and styles for men too (relatively speaking). The brown suede pair in my pictures came from them and they're very nice
Here's a link: www.olssonsweden.com
Also something I've noticed about Clog Outlet- their website doesn't organize well. Sometimes when I hit Sanita and open the "wood clogs" link, there are other options that you don't see when you simply click "men's."
I have a suggestion for guys: USA's Amazon is limited in terms of selection, but if you search on www.amazon.co.uk you can find a much broader set of choices for guys, and especially recently. It was there that I found the mens scholl wood sandals in the picture I sent... found em listed as 'pescura'.
Anyway, keep it up with your blog... and if you happen to see where I can get a pair of men's clog boots (preferably leather, and a harness style) please do pass it on.
One last thought: personally, it was a glorious year for clog hunting. Quite a few fabulous styles got delivered to my door in 2015, and one of my favorite finds was the Esme clog from Rag + Bone. My daughter fell in love with them when she saw them in person. The leather is luscious. The wood sole is nice and blocky. And the copper nailheads are a wonderful accent around the entire perimeter of each shoe. I'm quite proud to wear them, too, but I liked rocking them with a major pair of legwarmers when we went out for family brunch the day after Boxing Day. Thanks, daughter, for the photo!