Nov 15, 2010

Jeffrey Campell Neorealisimo

tie dye poncho, vintage.  hooded sweater vest, vintage.  khaki cargo skinnies, Old Navy.  boots, Jeffery Campbell.  turquoise bracelet, vintage.  cross ring, Forever 21.

Photography by Dave McKelvey
Vintage Clothing Provided by Designer Days Boutique

Shoe obsessions run deep, and I know that this is not a weakness relegated to women only.  I’ve spoken to many a man about the intricacies of their favorite shoes, or the shoes that they are lusting over.  Two of said men are my brothers, and they’re straight, brusque specimens of manliness, stacked with muscles, height, large feet, and they totally love their shoes.

But why not…is my question.  Why not obsess over something so seemingly superficial, so seemingly disposable, and yet so utterly expensive?  Why judge me for having some 6 odd pairs of boots, and countless other shoes that rarely even see the soles of my feet?  Let he who does not harbor quantities of anything-unnecessary cast the first stone.


The day that I finally broke down and bought the blogged-to-death Jeffrey Campbell Litas, was also the day that I had to read Some Ideas on Cinema by Cesare Zavattini.  The idea of mixing shoe shopping with Italian neo-realism leads to a quandary of a discourse, but Zavattini himself bridged the wide gap between superficial consumption and neorealisimo.  

Zavattini begins, “No doubt one’s first and most superficial reaction to everyday reality is that it is tedious.  Until we are able to overcome some moral and intellectual laziness, in fact, this reality will continue to appear uninteresting.”

He then goes on to cite an example of realism being fleshed out with a women, shopping for shoes.  He equates the shoe-shopping-woman as an adventurer, “in all of [the action’s] banal dailiness it will become worthy of attention, it will even become ‘spectacular.’”  That’s right bitches, Zavattini makes shoe shopping spectacular.

The Litas embodied that sentiment for me.  Of course they’re cool looking boots that excrete JC’s trademark oddness; boots that at first sight garnered excessive lusting by me and every other sartorially inclined shoe freak who also desires height beyond their leg’s capacity, but, as I mentioned before, they are  The ‘dailiness’ of seeing the Lita’s on every fashion bloggers feet, in every other streetstyle photo, and splattered all over my tumblr and Bloglovin’ dashboards, made them commonplace.  The excess made the otherwise bizarre boots, dare I say, normal.  I’m never one for normalcy.

Despite their gradually diminishing appeal of eccentricity, I had to have them.  I had to take them from the dailiness of my computer screen, to the reality of my feet.  I had to make what was a digital image, into a tangible, wearable, reality; to wear them in this city where, miraculously, some fashion majors at the Art Institute don’t know who JC is (which kind of irks me), to feel the height of 5” heels and the oft reviewed surprising comfort of the platforms.  

I proceeded to labor intensely over which color to get, which material.  Black distressed leather, brown suede, white pony hair, silver sparkles, leopard print…blue was my first choice, but unavailable unless I lived in La Jolla, CA or something.  Taupe suede was next, but of course once everyone saw that Rumi Neely had those ones, they promptly sold out.  I searched online shoe store after online shoe store, checking sizes, colors and prices.  I finally decided on the practical grey distressed leather, partly because I rarely saw others wearing them on the interwebs, partly because I don’t own grey shoes but mostly because, what doesn’t go with grey?

Further Zavattini-like exploration of the Litas can be read here: Litas, Meet Pittsburgh

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Caroline Hagood said...

Mixing shoe shopping with Italian neo-realism? Love it.

UnoCosa said...

totally love ... great layering style, xx


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