Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tabi



I recently acquired a pair of Margiela Tabi boots. I found myself strangely attracted to them after seeing this picture of the late Daul Kim. The attraction was heightened when I visited Japan last year and traditional 'ninja shoes' (flat soled canvas shoes with a split toe) haunted nearly every market. Of course, Margiela got the idea for his tabi boots from traditional Japanese work shoes. I love the inherent conflict of the tabi — once ubiquitous, working class and utilitarian; now, thanks to Margiela, rare, high fashion and largely impractical (although surprising, I find them easy to walk in, despite the 3 inch heel and my predisposition to falling over). There's a playfulness to Margiela tabis too — podiatrically incorrect, they look like hooves, or as my boyfriend so kindly pointed out, camel toe. They tread a fine line between the ugly and the beautiful — and I think that's why I like them so much.

On the subject of Japanese fashion, I would really, really like a copy of this book:





Sonomama Sonomama: High Fashion in the Japanese Countryside, Taiski Hirokawa, 1987. It was available here, but has since sold.

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