Monday, January 08, 2007

Let Us Begin With the Balenciaga Boot, and End with Willow.

Ladies and gentlemen, the infamous Balenciaga boot:


Yes, this is the terrifying shoe (although should it really be called a shoe? Perhaps "Morbid Foot Chamber of Torture and Pain" is a better suited moniker?) that Mary Kate Olsen loves. A lot. Like, this is how much she loves them:

photo from people.com

She wears them all the damn time. I'm not gonna judge too harshly here; I mean, there have been days where I've gotten up from a nice restful sleep and said to myself, "You know, I feel like purposefully and calculatedly afflicting myself with severe back pain today," and these shoes would be perfect for that.

But I digress. These boots are an extreme but potent example of the Great Shoe-Appreciation Gender Gap. You see, most women probably hate this shoe. They probably think it looks dumb and scary and they would never want to own a pair, but they also kind of get it. They have a context for this shoe. They've worn mega-high heels and platforms before; they've heard of the "pain is beauty" concept and employ it occassionally (or maybe often). So while they may not appreciate the shoe itself, they can appreciate the path of slowly escalating fashion moderation that ultimately led to such Balenciaga extremes. To the average comfort-embracing, shoe-confused, sneaker-wearing man, however, these boots are a mysterious phenomenon, a strange and terrifying beast unlike any Nikes encountered before.

With that in mind, today I'd like to introduce a new Daddy Likey feature: Five Men's Fashion First Impressions. Ever so often, I'll show a controversial high fashion item (hence the boots) to the extremly honest and blunt group of men that are my 3 brothers, father, and boyfriend, say "What do you think of this?" and publish the first things that come out of their mouths.

Without further ado, Five Men's First Impressions of the Balenciaga Boot:

The boyfriend: (audible and dramatic gasp) Oh my god! That's horrible! What is that??

The father: Cruel shoes! Cruel shoes! (this time said in an accent with a look of anticipation) Oh...You've never heard that Steve Martin skit? You should. It's funny. They're cruel shoes. They look cruel.

Brother, age 11: Too fancy. Too leathery. Too strappy. Too fabricy. Did you already put "too high"?

Brother, age 17: What? What the hell? Look, that heel looks like a Handy-Vac!

Brother, age 19: (lights up with recognition when I show him the picture) Oh! The midgets in Willow wear those! (Raises his hand into the air and lowers his voice a few octaves) Out of the way, peck!

Now, if you are confused as hell right now, allow me a bit of explaining that will probably confuse you more. Willow is a 1988 movie starring Val Kilmer that pretty much all men (and by "pretty much all men," I mean "all the men in my family") are obsessed with. The IMDB plot outline says it all: "A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen."

In one of the scenes, this reluctant dwarf is clutching the baby as a soldier on a horse gallops by and bellows, "Out of the way, peck!" Apparently, men know this scene like women know Harry's final appeal from When Harry Met Sally, because when I mentioned Willow to my seventeen-year-old brother later that day, he immediately sprang from his seat, raised his hand into the air, and in an identical tone bellowed, "Out of the way, peck!"

Of course, this begs the question: Is Mary Kate's boyfriend secretly amusing himself with Willow references everytime she wears the boots?

It's a definite possibility.

29 comments:

QM said...

Why does MKO always look like she's fallen into a garbage can whilst covered in syrup so that when she comes out everything in the trash has stuck to her?

I like an ugly shoe I admit it, but these are way, way too ugly even for me. Too much like correctional footwear.

ambika said...

I just watched 'Willow' a couple of weeks ago with friends. Loved it as a kid but it doesn't hold up well over time. Had no idea it was a guy movie (no brothers so that figures :)

The shoes? Definitely frightening.

Karinaxoxo said...

I agree they are ugly!!!! But Mary Kate doesn't do much to help them either... seriously - who the f*ck is her stylist???

Anonymous said...

I totally would have worn those a couple months ago, but I have to agree they're scary.

Moi said...

It's a wonder MK can even walk in these crazy things and not trip all over herself.

LOL Your five men are so adorable!

Sam said...

Husband: That's ugly as hell. What is it?

zozosmamma said...

Wrong. Just wrong. And not in a "so wrong it is right" kinda way!

C said...

But I love that it's so obvious that she is so in LOVE with them. It's as if she has a conversation with herself every morning saying, "I will not wear them today...I will not wear them today"...and then she just can't resist!

Alice said...

I like the shoes, I think MK looks sort of great in them... sigh. But there's no way I could wear them.

Brother, age 11: Too fancy. Too leathery. Too strappy. Too fabricy. Did you already put "too high"? That is the cutest thing ever.

Delphine said...

So violently ugly it's chic. And I have to say that Willow was one of my childhood favorites. Sigh...

mylene said...

i kind of like them. they're prettier in black on mk. but i still wouldn't wear them :)

Honeybee said...

God, they're ugly. The only good thing that might come of them is your legs looking teeny tiny in comparison. But even then...

eurobrat said...

Haha, I love the men's impressions.

I used to think these were very very ugly shoes, but they're growing on me. Few people could pull them off though.

Carissa said...

I must admit, I love those shoes. I'm a huge fan of ugly-interesting shoes, I admire them for their architechtual design - they're like sculpture.

daddylikeyblog said...

They're kind of secretly majorly growing on me too.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Hah. I, too, loved Willow as a kid. And am totally enjoying referring to MK now as "peck".

Alice said...

handy-vac!

*snork!*

I like your bro ;)

Chanel said...

I don't understand these shoes. So most times, when I don't understand something... I don't like it. And everytime I see MK out in these things with some skinny little leggings on or torn tights with a short little knit top and a lumberjack coat, with the skull scarf, bolero hat and oversized sunglasses, I wonder if she even knows what the hell she's doing when she gets dressed.

misssixty said...

this is a briliant post. the very last picture made me laugh and laugh, but i didn't know that they actually made these shoes for people to buy i thought they were just one of those things that people with too much money bought to stare at wistfully.. oh well..

Siobhan said...

they look agonising! though as she is only 4'11/5ft tall i guess the 8 inch shoes give her the height she never had.
brilliant blog
care to swap links?
x x x x x

Cate said...

hahahhaha i reread this post every time i need a laugh. and yes, i spend a scary amount of time in the archive of your blog, and since we're on the admitting train here, i googled "peck" on just your site so i could reread it. this is a classic that time has neither dimmed with age nor vigor blunted it's edge with use. i just wrote "youse" instead of "use". time to get back to laundry.

Jillian said...

hahaah i am really laughing. loved this post...those shoes are indeed horrible.

Anonymous said...

I actually own those boots in black and wear them very often. I live in Raleigh and, yes, I get looks but they are actually quite comfortable and do give me the added height I need... not to mention edgy black boots are Always "in"

Gerdur Gudrun said...

I would love to own a pair of these Balenciaga boots, but I dont, maybe some day :D

I think MK is stylish, she isint like all the other, I like diffrent and I specially like that she wears wide clothes, much more comfortable, I just love her style!!! I dont care what anyone else thinks.....

caitrĂ­n said...

I. Love. You.

HAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

begging the question is a logical fallacy in which the conclusion of an argument is assumed in the premise of that argument. to beg the question does not simply mean to present or bring up a question. by the way.

Madeleine said...

Ahhh, they're beautiful. If you take a second to look, while they do have quite a high platform the actual angle that the foot sits at is of a regular heel, so really all you'd be concerned about is managing the height. You'd be surprised how comfortable ankle boots can be, even with a high heel. I am in love. Also I highly doubt I look anywhere near as beautiful as MK manages even on an extremely good day. She basically invented the high fashion grunge look that is ever so popular these days among starlets.

Elizabeth said...

I think Mary Kate is just trying to anchor herself a bit, much like a human bobblehead. Except without the girth. OK, like clippings from a shrub that need to be planted into a pot. They're Anchoring Shrubpot Shoes.

The Cat's Meow said...

Hahaha, I actually quite like those boots :)

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