Musings of a shoeaholic — Cinderella was outright careless. Sympathies with her wretched childhood, but she abandoning her little glass sandals like that? Not acceptable.
Ignore this with a laugh. But when a child pours red ink on her shoes to transform them to those magical red ruby sandals which Dorothy wears in the Wizard of Oz, or stitches up cardboard sheets to get those hooker boots of Julia Roberts in Pretty Women, the obsession is evident.
What reinforces this camaraderie between girls and shoes now is the new range of hand painted ones, that is eccentric, loud and yes, customised.
“It requires courage to wear them,” says Shweta Patwari, owner of Azariaa, the only showroom in Chennai that sells hand-painted shoes. “And the right personality to carry them with elan, because obviously you are going to get noticed wearing those,” she continues, pointing at the shelf, on which rest the pieces of art.
They are nothing like the strappy sandals that you find every second woman wearing, or the thongs sandals which you have abandoned in your attic. And, if you thought the Mexican Huarache, an overlap of straps running over the feet was the ‘in’ thing, or T-strap was the only solution for a chic look, you are in for a surprise.
Imagine the ‘peacock’ eye feathers imprinted around your feet or a fresh-blown ‘rose floral’ at your toe tips. If that’s too sassy, there are the subtle retro types – the ‘black and white’ collection or the ‘black lotus’ that has a single radiant lotus adorning the shoes. Also, one can’t ignore the vintage style polka dots and the whimsical ‘candice’, an abstract beauty. These designs are among the 15 innovative ones which are available at Azariaa that has its brainchild back in Kolkata under the banner Spirited-soles, founded by Anees Salim.
“Each design is carefully selected among hundreds of different art-work and colour pallets,” says Anees. What follows is colouring on the rexine, based on the art-work. This is done using high grade acrylic paints that are applied and dried. The secret behind that glossy finish, he says, is a protective layer that is applied after the paint dries. This layer, in turn, makes the pair chip and water resistant.
The suave shoes, though can find its way to your home in two weeks by ordering online, Shweta says that it’s better if the customers actually touch and feel the shoes before buying it. “There is not enough awareness about this style. Though people want it, they don’t know whom to approach,” she adds.
Despite this bottleneck, she has sold more than 500 pairs since its opening in last November. The shoe brand has made its presence felt in Lakme Fashion Week and Meena Bazaar Exhibition.
While you await the new themes on your wedges, pumps and ballerinas, brew ideas to make your own unique pair, and aloha! Spirited-soles would get them ready. Because, even they, like us, agree with Carrie Bradshaw’s words in Sex and the City - sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.