Monday, June 12, 2006

More summer obsessions: Espadrilles

Ok, so now that my purple obsession has somewhat subsided (though it has not yet been satisfied--I'm still holding out for the perfect AND perfectly priced pair of purple shoes), it's time to focus my shoe-shaped brain onto a classic summer staple, which has recently made a comeback: the espadrille.

I used to own at least one pair of espadrilles per summer, up until a few years ago, when I got fed up wtih their flimsiness and their rather alarming penchant for disintegration. That's probably because I had not heeded the advice of the Manolo and I didn't buy the superfantastic shoes, but rather the cheaper ones that are often a hit or miss in terms of quality. I'm glad to say that, despite my innate cheapness, I've mostly corrected that character flaw, and will perhaps blog about that process at my leisure.

This Wikipedia article on espadrilles gives us a glimpse into the long, rich tradition of this style of shoe. I'm not clear why they claim the espadrilles to have originated from the South of France, when in fact the etymology of the word points to its Spanish origins (although "espadrille" is French, it "derives from esparto, the Spanish name for a tough, wiry North African grass used in making rope"). The site also mentions that "espadrilles have been made in Catalonia since the 17th century, and there are Catalonian shops still in existence that have been making espadrilles for over a century" (hey, wouldn't you like to take a look at what they're selling?).

At any rate, I think I need a good, flirty, come-hither espadrille to brave the heat of summer. To get the true espadrille feeling, you need the rope/jute sole, and the canvas/cotton upper (a leather upper, at least in my opinion, would defy the original purpose of the espadrille, which is a lightweight, breathable, casual shoe for sunny days). Oh, and don't forget the optional ankle-tie, if you can pull it off.

Combining wedges and the classic espadrille rope sole is again in high fashion this season, so I might as well find something suitable--not too high, but still feminine, comfortable and cute at the same time. Such as these Kate Spades (currently on sale at Neiman Marcus) promise to be:
Cute, cheerful, breezy--what more can you ask of a summer shoe? Oh, speaking of Kate Spade: a reader pointed me to her online sample sale, up to 65% off, lasting June 12-15, registration required. Be warned, however, that the website has big functionality issues. I couldn't get many of the links to work, let alone try to buy anything! I hope they fix it soon.

I'm also quite attracted to these cute, cute Lulu Guiness d'Orsay espadrilles (also on sale at Neiman Marcus):
They're espadrilles with a delightful twist and a flirty print. I know they're a bit high for my standards, but they're wedges, and have a little bit of a platform, and an unbearably high adorable quotient, so they're a DEFINITE possibility.

And then, in a world of their own, are the fabulous Louboutin red espadrille wedges, which are as luscious and tempting as the original sin. In a sundress, with large shades and these shoes on, who wouldn't feel like royalty?

These are as far from the original espadrille concept (which was pretty much cheap, disposable peasant wear) as, say, the Marc Jacobs jelly gladiator sandals are from what real gladiators actually wore in the arena.

Still, it's nice to dream, n'est ce pas--drille? (Ok, bad pun, don't kill me. But I've got these shoes on my mind, I'm helpless!)


At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Nancy Friedman said...

Just discovered your wonderful site--kudos! I wanted to add my own vote for most-coveted espadrille: this charming kitten-heel style from Zappos:
So many colors...what's a shoe fanatic to do?

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Scarpediem said...

Cute, indeed! As a shoe fanatic, I can't show any restraint when it comes to shoes I love--think you can fare better?

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Quentin said...

It will not work in fact, that is exactly what I think.
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At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get the true Diablo 3 Goldespadrille sensation, you need the rope/jute main, as well as the canvas/cotton second (a new leather higher, at least in my view, would likely leave behind an original reason for the actual espadrille, the light and portable, to be able to, relaxed shoe pertaining to sunny days).Guild Wars 2 Gold Ohio, and don't forget the optional ankle-tie, if you're able to pull it off.

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