Sunday, March 20, 2011
It was always the sidebar ads that caught my eye, with pointy-toe loafers in easter egg colors--lavender, yellow, even pink!--and in exotic textures. Could all this be for men?
On my childhood home of Prince Edward Island, the men wore two types of shoes: snow boots or Kodiak Grebs.
And maybe a pair of North Stars, circa 1978, for dress-up.
(Of course my grandfather wore nothing but Daks lace-ups, but he was a Scottish gent in his seventieth century, and those were exclusively brown or black; pastels would not cut the mustard at his gentleman's club, where he would read the newspaper in the library and enjoy some Glenfiddich, neat, with his cronies.)
(And in a double of course, "gentleman's club" had a entirely different denotation as well as connotation than it does now. Think tweed, bookshelves, pipes, and conversation.)
To return to my original thought: those appealing colors in the GQ sidebar ads of my teens have come rushing back, this time in a full-page ad for Cole Haan starring musician Theophilus London.
His oxford lace-ups, which look to be a combination of pistachio/minty green and caramel tan in the image are so pretty, yet so masculine, that I am once again that seventeen-year-old-girl, yearning for . . . men's shoes, of all things.
To have a closer look, I visited the Cole Haan website, where I learned that not only are the shoes in this colorway sold out, the shoes are quite different close up.
First, the pastel color I loved in the photo is more of a yellow-green (called Green).
But also: the caramel tan saddle (called British Tan), which might look ever-so-slightly textured in the ad, is a true crocodile print.
My yearning halted like a scratchy record.
And herein lies a lesson that I continue to learn, over and over again: sometimes desire is best left unexplored, so that it remains in its most delicious state.
And I do not mind being reminded that sometimes distance is kinder than a close-up. As Cindy Crawford famously said when she pushed away Douglas Keeve's camera in Unzipped: "My pores aren't that small!"
I shall then return to another view of Mr. London's gorgeous shoes, in their state of unexamined gorgeosity:
Now: what about his coffee cup? I feel a yearning for a cappucino coming on . . .