Presented under the headline of “Fashion That Makes Us Sad” by Yahoo! fashion blog The Thread, DaniKShoes’ idiosyncratic jean sandal boots earned the distinction of “unimaginably odd footwear” by blogger Julie Pereira – and much ridicule by yahoo commentators who live up to the stereotype of yahoo commentators. You can read the rather condescending article here.
But I’m going to come to designer Danielle’s defense – with alliteration! And a proper portion of pontification!
First, however, here’s a look at a few items from Danielle’s Etsy shop:
|Images borrowed from the DaniKShoes Etsy shop under fair use.|
Each pair of rubber-soled sandal boots are handmade from vintage jeans and assorted fabrics, with ornaments ranging from colourful buttons to chains. Prices range from $125-145, and the shoes are one-of-kind.
Some have called these ugly. Some have suggested that whomsoever would wear these deserve to be ridiculed. In short, the response has been the very opposite of what defines the “Fashionoclast” spirit. Which isn’t to say you have to like, covet, or otherwise indulge in the kind of genuflection reserved for particularly inspiring designs.
For my part, while I might take issue with the construction of individual pairs of sandal-boots in Danielle’s shop, there’s much I appreciate about the concept:
- This is an undeniably novel way to reuse old fabrics instead of condemning them to landfills. Eco-friendliness: always a big green plus in my book.
- Humour is as legitimate a design element as any other. Why shouldn’t fashion designers infuse a bit of good-natured absurdity into their work? People seem to forget the distinction between laughing AT something and laughing WITH something.
- Everything adds up to create an unconventional variation on the “conventional” sandal-boot like this one from lyst.com:
Image borrowed under fair use from Lyst.com
|Image borrowed under fair use from Cactus Creek Daily|
So yes, I like them. They're different. While I don't think these jean sandal boots are for everyone, I think they're far more interesting than the garish, cheap-looking Crocs and shapeless Uggs that a few yahoo commentators brought up in comparison.
My only reservation from a design standpoint is one I tend to have of any sandal-boots; a too-generous circumference at the ankle disrupts our perception of body proportions. Result: the appearance of stick-legs in too-big shoes, or fattened ankles. (Sandals 2 and 4 above illustrate my point, compared to 1 and 3 which to look better on account of working with the body instead of against it.)
As for how to wear the jean sandal boots, I think pragmatism suggests the obvious: not with full-length pants, but with capris (maybe), shorts, or skirts. You don’t need pants tucked under the hem of your pants, right?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!