It seems even Isabel Marant, purveyor of all things French cool, can’t resist getting into the “ugly” shoe game. For Spring 2014, she sent her version of a classic Birkenstock down the runway, festooned with grommets, cute little bow-ties details and wrap-around ankle straps.
And now comes this cute little Birk/shower slide hybrid, called the “Holden,” from the Etoile Spring 2014 collection. The criss-cross straps, while vaguely reminiscent of a style from Céline Spring 2013 (aka the collection that started it all), actually remind us more of those old man Chinatown slippers that everyone co-opted in the ’90s.
This whole footwear movement (and it is such by now) is of course steeped in late 20th century nostalgia. It was a time when X-Girl, a minimalist line of A-line skirts and baby T-shirts designed by Kim Gordon and Daisy von Furth, ruled. Back then, the duo even staged a guerrilla fashion show on the streets of New York City — and what were the It girl models, such as Ione Skye, sporting on their feet? Yes, slides — ones very much like these. An eagle-eyed fashion editor friend also recently pointed out that Miu Miu actually produced a pair similar to the Etoile ones for its Spring 1996 collection, modeled in the ad campaign by Chloe Sevigny (who was also an X-Girl fit model).
The whole attitude of this style, including athletic ones from Converse and Adidas, both vintage and new, is one of don’t-care ease, which plays perfectly with slouchy separates or, honestly, whatever. To bring the point home, Freja Beha Erichsen looks enviably both relaxed and stylish in a pair of Nike slip-ons in Vogue UK’s January 2014 issue.