I have said this before, but it is worth reiterating: if leather is like a durable companion to your feet that is both reliable and friendly, satin is like a devilish diva — the most unfriendly of the cat kingdom – that will not so much as look at you unless you are bent over dying. Not a fan of compromise, it won’t make for comfortable footwear. Not a fan of weather either, it can only be worn when the sun is out and the surfaces on which you plan to walk are cleaner than the floors of your home. If ever you have had a fair weather companion, you know about this.
Sweat in satin and you’re screwed. Try wearing it to a party, where common gaffes like a spilled drink are essentially guaranteed or simply traipse by your lonesome poolside and see what happens. I dare you. So how is it that this particular fabric — blanketing the sandals and mules and kitten heels of summer — has become MVM (most valuable material) of the season?
The trickle down was slow: Rochas showed satin platforms last Spring. The Row released satin sandals last summer. Balenciaga made satin boots for Fall. Manolo Blahnik reissued their satin flat mules and now…?
They’re everywhere! It’s fantastic because they make no sense and that’s a paramount part of their allure; here’s a shoe that’s breathtaking in color (any color) and elegant in form, that will turn an innocuous outfit into one of depth, but that promises prescribed inconvenience. It will compound the negative affects of bad weather; now it’s raining and you have no shoes to wear. It will not fill a closet void nor masquerade itself as “The One Thing” that revamps the rest of your wardrobe. Satin is specific — pointed, opinionated and stubborn. It is not bipartisan. But as with anything that is beautiful, they are imperfect. A sparkling metaphor for life. And in life what we do is take the good with the bad, manage our expectations, plan for mishap. So keep the baby and the bathwater, waste your money. Do it with grace. Walk a mile in your own shoes. After you’ve found some Band-Aids for the inevitable blisters, let me know how you feel.
Photos by Edith Young; doormats from Anthropologie.