(Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images)
The Devil Wears Prada had many wonderful moments–”Florals for spring. Groundbreaking.”–but few stand out quite so well as her speech about trickle-down fashion and the frumpy cerulean sweater her smug assistant Andi is wearing while feeling so superior to the frivolousness of fashion.
It is a brilliant moment, and Meryl Streep is a treasure.
I’ve been thinking of that scene a lot lately, because around this time two years ago, Rihanna attended the Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2014 show wearing a pair of bespoke tweed sneakers with a matching fanny pack. It was weird and not flattering, but also kind of cool. And the shoes were definitely ugly, but in that good way that happens sometimes when fashion decides to stop trying to be pretty and just be weird for the sake of being weird. Shiny metallic tweed sneakers fit that bill, but the Chanel ones were haute couture and never meant for retail and as much as it hurts me to admit, I am not Rihanna. I’m not even Kristen Stewart, who also got a pair of sparkly, tweed Chanel couture sneakers to wear with a sparkly jumpsuit at Cannes. So I just thought, “Huh, fashion is fun. It’d be nice to be Rihanna.” And I went on wearing my ballet flats and white Stan Smiths.
But now it is 2016 and the proverbial cerulean sweater is in the sale bin, because I found these gold tweed sneakers the window of a random shoe store by my house, and now they are causing a conundrum that has occupied my entire brain for days:
Are these good, or bad? Are they so bad they’re good, or are they just really, really, unconscionably, unironically awful? Are they edgy in New York but pedestrian in Pawnee, like a pixie cut? Or are they tacky in New York and glamorous in Pawnee, like a football mum? I don’t live in New York and Pawnee is fictional, but I feel like this is crucial information.
I’ve been staring at these shoes for days and I legitimately can’t tell anymore. At first I thought they were awful, and then I thought they were hilarious and fantastic, and now I feel like this is some kind of test and if I choose wrong I will dry up and crumble to dust like the Nazi who grabbed the wrong grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?
Why have I been thinking about this for the past six days? I think I need to start meditating again. I need you guys to decide for me.
What do you think of these shoes? Please let me know so I can stop obsessing over them.