Hi-ho silver lining

On the joy of shiny metallic footwear

Hwaet, style acolytes. What gives? But, wait, more about moi. For something incredibly harrowing happened to me the other day: seismic, life-changing etc. I was forced to endure 20 minutes of film footage in which I appeared listening to a speech at a modish dinner table. You’ll remember when Catherine Zeta-Jones sued for being photographed eating at her wedding? Bitch was right.

The experience was akin to one of those Weight Watchers narratives in which the reformed chubster views a photograph and is forced to see themselves as the world sees them. Only here matters were not three- but at least 20-dimensional. And that was merely the chins: a terrible and prolonged agony starring a cartoonishly Falstaffian middle-aged woman.

I like to think of myself as exuding a serene sophistication. Instead, the gestures that read as ludic, larkily Margaret Lockwood in The Lady Vanishes at 30, now manifest as manic hyper-animation à la Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Where others sat becalmed, I couldn’t stop jerking and gurning. I was also — and forgive me resorting to a technical, medical term here — a #totalfatbastard.

I haven’t actually put on weight — it must just have redistributed in some God-awful manner. Or perhaps I always looked like this and can no longer take refuge in denial? Either way, the writing is on the wall: the most stylish choice I can make this season is not to buy more, but to look better in what I have.

My clothes are terrific, awe-inspiring, the stuff of dreams. It’s the body beneath that’s in need of an update. In place of the radical self-acceptance that society now preaches, what I require is a bout of still more radical non-acceptance. Tedious, but, then, life is tedious. Let us never speak of this again.

We’re talking opulence, transgression, glam-grunge, your basic post-pandemic, apocalypse chic

Now, I know you’ll be musing on the vibe shift. I mean, when are we not? Said societal shunt has been around so long the tectonic plates have almost shifted back again. Cultural analyst Sean Monahan, of the collective K-HOLE, first alerted us that something was afoot re the vibe in June 2021. I noted smoking being back a few months later. You and I first deigned to turn our minds to matters VS in March.

You’ll recall the gist: earnest Millennial moaners give way to Gen Z nihilists, and suddenly everything’s looking a lot less pale pink and avocado-filled, more akin to 2008-era Indie Sleaze. We’re talking opulence, transgression, glam-grunge, your basic post-pandemic, apocalypse chic.

In the spring, I proffered berets as a one-stop means of expressing this sartorially. Now I’m telling you to bag some silver boots. For silver is taking over from gold — not least, Millennial pash rose gold [gag] — as the breaking metallic. Gucci, Chanel, Courrèges and even gold groupies Versace incorporated it into their spring collections.

Silver reads as grottier, thus edgier than gold, deco decadence with the requisite Paco Rabanne/Buck Rogers futurism a go-go, piratical space-cowboy feel.

Jigsaw’s Anika Knee-high Heeled Boots (£290, Jigsaw) are just the ticket. I acquired some last winter, but wasn’t yet up to the job. Reader, now is the time. A pair will fuck everything up in your wardrobe in the way a shifting vibe requires, forcing you to re-think all else around them and — wait for it — reboot.

If you cannot bear to go knee-high/yee-haw, opt for Arket’s Leather Ankle Boots (£229, Arket), which boast a certain Barbarella dash with their zip back and edgily slim heel. Damn it, these babies are cool.

The safe choice will be Zara’s Metallic Kitten Heel Slingback Shoes (£35.99, Zara), pointy slingbacks that will slot straight in with your established garb, yet still make it look as if you know something’s going down. Seek out Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo, Maje, or Me & Em should Zara feel too fast fashion. Anybody who’s anybody is at it. Silver Mary Janes are no less a thing. I yearn for Ayede’s block-heeled, chisel-toed, silver nappa Alines (£295, Ayede).

I’ll inevitably be rocking Sam Edelman’s Tarra Slingback Court Shoes (£150, John Lewis) in silver with a black toe cap. They’re as good an “homage” to Chanel’s fantabulous rhinestone incarnation as you’ll find. And, with the V&A’s first UK Chanel exhibition having kicked off, bound to be being sported around Knightsbridge and beyond by those of us who worship the double Cs without the funds for the real deal.

But, you know what? Get the boots. Live a little. Mess shit up.

This article is taken from the October 2023 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

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