“If you wear good shoes, they’ll take you to good places.” There’s a famous girl’s comic book called Boys before Flowers known all over Asia- originating in Japan, it’s also been turned into television dramas in Taiwan and Korea- but the story hasn’t stuck that much in my head- just this quote. When the main character, spunky but poor Tsukushi meets one of the few kind members of the upperclass associated with her rich private school, the woman, a fashion model longing to be more, tells her (after having her very lovely shoes admired) that when you wear good shoes, they’ll take you good places. Later she gifts her a beautiful pair of her own, to take her good places as well. Some time ago, I read in a Harper’s Bazaar article that you have to be pretty flat out ballsy to buy really nice shoes; there isn’t that huge of an aesthetic difference for anyone looking at your feet between horrifically expensive designer footwear and that knock-off you can pick up at the mall. But I do subscribe to the fact that good shoes will take you good places, and it’s about frame of mind. Mind you, I own anywhere from Christian Louboutin to random $10 footwear bought on the streets of Taipei, and I consider all of them good shoes. Sure, fashion is about how you look. But more importantly, it’s about how it makes you feel.
I couldn’t think of a better way to kickstart this blog than to introduce one of my favourite pairs of shoes. With these snake-skin style black leather Pradas on my feet, I feel like I’m headed for the best life has to offer.
I work as a graphic artist and I don’t come from money, which means you better believe that I don’t just go running around buying Prada shoes from the Prada boutique while drinking ridiculous fancy coffee from my solid gold travel mug or whatever. Part of what makes these shoes so special to me are that they were a surprisingly lovely find in Culver City’s Last Chance Boutique.
Like most artsy folk who enjoy fashion without infinite means, vintage treasure hunting has become a way of life. It’s definitely about the thrill of the chase- will I find something fantastic today? Will it be in good shape? Will it be in my size? Every so often the stars align, and a beautiful pair of Prada wedges like these just fall in your lap.
There they were, staring at me from the upper shelf between a pair of brown Chloes (too large) and a nondiscreet pair I can’t even remember right now (though, also too large). Getting vintage finds for shoes can be a challenge for me as I have tiny feet. I looked at the shoes. They looked at me. Even at a secondhand store, they were still a bit pricy for me, but also looked practically new. I told them, hey you. I’ve been shopping all weekend. You better not be in my size.
They were. Not only that, they were staggeringly comfortable. Well, at this point, having tried the shoes on, I was basically screwed. They knew what the deal was. I knew what the deal was. We were definitely going home together. (Spoiler and/or spoiled girl alert: as this was around my birthday, my wonderful sister covered my Last Chance purchases as my gift- another reason I love these shoes; I think of them as a gift. Thanks again sis!!) As I staggered up to the cash register, arms also loaded down with other finds, the saleswoman picked up the pair, inspected them, and informed me, “The Prada shoes…! You’re so lucky! Tons of girls come in here wanting to buy them but these are just too small.” Well, bless my tiny feet for once. She also told me that the shoes were in such good shape because they’d come from a movie set. I was too flustered to ask which movie, and now I wish I had.
I slipped the shoes on immediately as we headed for an art gallery opening that evening. With these shoes on I felt like a different person. Taller, well, duh. But also more grown up, a little more refined, and definitely like a person headed for good places. A truly wonderful pair of shoes- be they a surprising Prada find, or those random on-sale heels you got last week that just make you feel great, really can help you feel like you’re on your way somewhere truly wonderful. And that, my friends, is what the best kind of fashion can do for you.