Sandals. Summer. Freedom. Foot-binding.
Foot-binding? you ask. What does that have to do with sandals, summer, freedom?
Well, I would have thought the answer to be: nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Or, perhaps: opposite. But apparently, I would be wrong.
I am flabbergasted by this article in today’s NY Times about the lengths to which women apparently still go for fashion. Having been raised in the era of the obligatory girdle, for example, I know that fashion has always involved elements of pain, and probably always will. But–the sandal? To me, the sandal has always represented the opportunity to liberate the foot from winter restrictions, from chafing and binding and tightness.
But something has happened to the sandal. They’ve buried Birkenstocks, trumped Tevas, nixed Naots. They have found a way to make sandals remarkably painful, and at a remarkable price, too. Ah, progress!
Eva Gajzer, who sells shoes and clothing at Kirna Zabête, a SoHo boutique, has witnessed the casualties. “Band-Aids, I see them all the time,” Ms. Gajzer said.
Suddenly women are pulling out shoes with straps “like little knives,” she said. “They walk into the store with their feet completely covered in blood.”
Ms. Gajzer faults the shoemaker, not the wearer. “When you’re paying between $300 and $600 for a pair of sandals, you expect them to be remotely comfortable,” she said. “Otherwise the designer should be smacked.”
I’m not so sure the designer of $600 sandals shouldn’t be smacked–just a teeny bit, anyway–even if the sandals are “remotely comfortable,” but that’s not the point. Straps, like little knives? That’s taking “cutting edge of fashion” to a whole other dimension.