Ugly fashion. We’ve all been there. Do you remember the capri camo-pants and matching gold-foil dragon tank tops (a la Natalie Imbruglia) of the early noughties? Let me jog your memory. What about those plastic butterfly clips and boob-tube/shrug combos? Don’t forget about those! Today’s Ruby Slipper blog embraces an ‘ugly fashion’ trend that business women commuters have been rocking for as long as there’s been trains and trams: the sports shoe and skirt.
Ugly fashion doesn’t necessarily mean BAD fashion. Like brutishly handsome heroes, ugly fashion is a special kind of irresistible. It’s not worn for sexiness (although it could be) – it’s more about doffing your cap to the fashion zeitgeist you acknowledge fomenting around you. Ugly fashion is a response to the culture around us – the economy, the arts, the politics. Minimal sports-luxe and its monotone palette shot through with sports finishes and textures thus responds to a simple sense of luxury demanded by an economy where the ‘more is more’ adage feels sordid – dangerous even. Sporting shoes as part of luxury suits a woman who will likely work her whole life-long. She’ll go to University (if she can), she’ll work a corporate job, perhaps break out of it to build her own empire (or not). She might marry and have kids, and go back to work. She’ll shop and cook and care for her family and her own parents. You know darn well, this lady needs solid shoes to live a life with so many demands. Cue sports-luxe and the addition of low profile sneakers to feminine shapes.
When Mr Ruby Slipper took me shopping for new running shoes, I couldn’t resist including these snazzy dove-grey and electric coral Nike Lunarlaunches in a ‘farshun’ editorial. Worn with a pleated midi skirt in a similar neon and made Melbourne-winter proof with the addition of a leather jacket and woollen skivvy (a nod to Jil Sander minimal layering), I think I’ve struck the right balance of sport-irony luxe. Highlighted by Infrared lipstick from TopShop and DIY Dior-inspired Tribal earrings, just a hint of pearly white breaks up the two-tone palette.
Sensibly-shod businesswomen of the CBD, I salute you. Chanel and the fashionisti have incorporated your sartorial footwear of choice into what is now more than a choice for comfort – it’s a statement that goes both ways: the warrior-worker’s efficiency influences high fashion, and high fashion responds.