They have long been known as the ugly shoes, often seen worn by gardeners, tourist dads or chefs, just look at Mario Batali, he loves them. Yet, Crocs have never been fashionable. There’s many of us who have that shameful pair stashed somewhere and worn around the comfort of home, but never to be caught wearing, because, oh, the shame!
Despite the Crocs ugly reputation, they have somehow made it onto the runway. During the past week’s Paris fashion week, many designers have released their new designs, ranging from beautiful, quirky, and everyday… to crocs. Christopher Kane went where no one has gone before (probably for good reasons) and brought the rubber shoes to his show. Not looking entirely their usual plastic selves, Kane dressed up the crocs in metallic gems, however this was not enough to hide their holey, rubbery soles.
Kane’s collection “Make Do and Mend” was a reference to the women of the second world war, who had to adapt to the rations and make their clothes last as long as possible. Rather than recreating a 40s styled collection he went back through his own past and gathered memories to bring to it. Items such as a “coat printed with souvenir Polaroids and backstage shots [represented] his “patchwork of memories.”” (Mower 2016). Kane is quite a young designer, and this show marked his tenth year in the industry. Starting out with a younger clientele in 2006, Kane now displayed his ability to appeal to the “sophisticates” by creating pieces such as the “daisy-form lace coats[and] the liquid, pleated metallic lamé dresses”. However his partnering of these with the wacky crocs creates a tension, such an odd pairing of styles should not work, but anything is possible on the runway, so he went for it.
Bloggers who attended the show had mixed reviews, most had the appropriate response, how do crocs fit on the runway? However if we were to look back at some of the fashion trends that have happened, it is possible that the croc could join the fashion world. Look at the Birkenstock. The shoe was once considered a mum’s shoe, or something similar to the croc, comfortable, but keep it away from public. Yet it was featured at the Celine spring 2013 show with some glammed up adjustments, and now nearly every second person has a pair (authentic or not) in their shoe-drobe. So why couldn’t the croc become just as successful in the pretty-ugly department. Fashion journalist, Luke Leitch believes it could happen, “If Christopher Kane can make Crocs cool then his powers are surely unlimited―and I think he might just do it, too.” (Jones 2016)
Is comfort finally becoming the new style? If so, are we willing to bring the croc into our wardrobes as a fashionable item? I’m not sure, but I don’t think I could ever support that fashion movement. Crocs will always be the squeaky, rubbery, comfortable, ugliness that they were made to be.
Armstrong, Lisa. 2016. Christopher Kane. Image. http://www.vogue.com/13480013/crocs-christopher-kane-london-fashion-week-spring-2017/.
Birkenstock,. 2016. The Arizona. Image. http://www.birkenstockexpress.com.
Feudi, Monica. 2016. Celine Spring 2013. Image. http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2013-ready-to-wear/celine/slideshow/collection#3.
Fratini, Umberto. 2016. Christopher Kane. Image. http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2017-ready-to-wear/christopher-kane/slideshow/collection#19.
Jones, Katie. 2016. “Crocs Covered In Crystals Just Happened At London Fashion Week”. ELLE. http://www.elle.com/runway/a39368/crocs-covered-in-crystals-christopher-kane-london-fashion-week/.
Mower, Sarah. 2016. “Spring 2017 Ready-To-Wear Christopher Kane”. Vogue.Com. http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2017-ready-to-wear/christopher-kane.
Nnadi, Chioma. 2013. “Pretty Ugly: Why <Em>Vogue</Em> Girls Have Fallen For The Birkenstock”. Vogue. http://www.vogue.com/867490/pretty-ugly-why-vogue-girls-have-fallen-for-the-birkenstock/.
Wells, Charlie. 2016. Christopher Kane. Image. http://www.elle.com/runway/a39368/crocs-covered-in-crystals-christopher-kane-london-fashion-week/.
Yaeger, Lynn. 2016. “Crocs On The Runway! The Ugly-Pretty Shoe Just Made Its London Fashion Week Debut”. Vogue. http://www.vogue.com/13480013/crocs-christopher-kane-london-fashion-week-spring-2017/.