Scenarios of life after "the apocalpyse" are generally pretty grim and awful. And peripatetic. Lots of having to escape zombie hordes, evade gangs of ne'er-do-wells, fight to the death...and all generally before breakfast. In other words, lots of raggedy-ass threads and frantic moving around. Meaning shoes which will probably look a lot less chic than the fabulous footwear of "edgy" post-apocalypse fash-magazine spreads above and much more more like this charming "sort of Neo 18th century future cowboy (that's a tongue twister) living in the plains" created by Mo, a student at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK. The premise for the project was based on apocalyptic scenarios and "the items and clothing that the human race would be using in those situations...and what would these scavengers use on their feet."
Something pretty cobbled together, no doubt, but still - the look of Mo's "future cowboy" creation immediately brought to mind for me those super-long & pointy shoes of yore which were popular in Europe from around 1300-1450 or so. Called Crakows or Poulaines (meaning "in the Polish style"), they kept growing ever longer and needed to be stuffed with mosses and even reinforced with whalebone to keep their elaborate shape. Both the Pope and King Henry IV attempted to curtail the wearing of these things, but more fashionable heads prevailed. As did practicality, eventually, when at the 1396 Battle of Nicopolis, French Crusaders resorted to nipping off the tips of their poulaines in order to run away from the enemy.
Their shoes apparently made a run for it as well, straight to the new millenium in the form of these "half-Aladdin, all-Vegas" numbers that were apparently quite the rage to wear out dancing for a time in Matehuala, Mexico. "They would put all kinds of things on them, strobe lights, belt buckles, and those red lights that flash when you step on the shoes," recalls a DJ in a area of Dallas, Texas where many Matehualan migrants live. To which the wife of another wearer added: "The boots makes them look more sexy because you can tell they are daring." (via)
Here's the podcast I recorded about this - enjoy!
Music: "Enter the Party" by Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott