An Ode To the Shoe

Once upon a time, there was a Cinderella, who went to a Ball, and found her Prince Charming, and lived happily ever after. Yes, we know she was hardworking and that she deserved to go the Ball, but let’s face it, what got her Prince were her sandals. Without them, she’d probably be scrubbing floors all her life, for all we know.

Such, ladies, is the power of the shoe. There was a time when the shoe was the poor cousin of the handbag. Who’s going to see those feet anyway, splurge on the handbag instead, we thought. And before we long realized that the woman may carry the handbag, but it’s the shoe that carries the woman. And shoes became celebrities in their own right.

Just as we began to appreciate the shoe, like sheer serendipity, came Sex and the City, where our very own Carrie Bradshaw took shoe love to another level. Carrie’s open adulation for Manolo Blahniks taught us that after cosmopolitans, stilettos were the modern girl’s best friend.

After the episode where Carrie gets mugged, and lets her mugger take her purse in return for her shoe, we decided that if our favorite fashionista adored stilettos to death, then so would we. A pair of Blahniks suddenly found their way into every woman’s wish list, and the brand, which has been credited with the revival of the stiletto in the 1970s, has chosen to keep the stiletto as its mainstay till today. Because classic six-inches are to our wardrobe what diamonds and blue denims are, timeless.

It’s probably no wonder that when shoe conjuror Christian Louboutin opened his Flagship store in India at Mumbai’s Horniman Circle, an entire bevy of Mumbai’s crème-de-la-crème ladies turned up, wearing his signature red-soled pumps, just to show how loved and popular he was even before he decided to enter the Indian market.

Closer home, Malaysian shoemaker Jimmy Choo knew he’d struck gold when Princess Diana’s patronage and open admiration for his creations made him the toast of Fashion Town. It wasn’t long before, throughout the world, a pair of Jimmy Choos became the epitome of effortless, chic style.

We love heels. And we despise them. We proudly flaunt them with our best LBDs, and dance the night away, and then after soles that hurt and toes that cry, we promise ourselves how we’re never wearing them again, only to find ourselves yet again, in another outfit, but the same heels! And the entire cycle of ‘I-know- I promised-I-wouldn’t-wear-them-again-but-what-to-do-they’re-so-pretty-starts again.

What is about these six-inch beauties that make them uncomfortable, painful, yet so irresistible? Some say, you feel taller. Some say it adds that extra glamour to your outfit. One woman even proudly pronounced her heels as her secret savior. ‘Why do I need a man to protect me when Im wearing stilettos?

If you asked me, I’d say that the stiletto is what makeup is to the face, what nail polish is to our nails. We can surely do without them, but life wouldn’t be the same. It’s that sheer pleasure of seeing those beauties on your feet. Of feeling that sweetish pain when they hurt, yet knowing that they bring out a more glamorous, confident you.

When I was little, I had dreams where I was (you guessed it right) Cinderella! Where my Fairy Godmother came, got me lovely shoes, I went to the Ball & met my Prince Charming. And then I grew up. My dreams remained the same, only now, I say, forget the Prince, I’d rather keep the Choo, oops, sorry the Shoe!

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