There is some charm connected with them;
but what it is we never knew.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Have you ever fallen in love with a pair of shoes? No, I’m not referring to the frenzy of fashionistas in front of a new pair of “it shoes”, the shoes that everybody wants even if they’re actually ugly. No, I’m talking about the moment in which you realize that a pair of shoes is not an object but a symbol. The burning desire to own them (or at least a copy of them) is not materialism, but the achievement of a dream.
I’ve always had a strange relationship to shoes. I don’t have many and 90% of them are sneakers or Melissa plastic flats. This doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but I usually try to spend as less as possible. Well, I could make an exception for the ones above, first spotted on the Instagram account of blogger extraordinaire Tavi Gevinson. Miuccia Prada has taken my shoe obsession (Dorothy Gale’s ruby pumps) and covered it in silver glitter: the result is breathtaking.
Eva Chen, the lovely beauty director of Teen Vogue, spotted the same shoes at Heathrow Airport and posted a picture on her Instagram account. What can I say? It’s love, hopeless love, because I know I’ll never own them, but still.
Here they are, in all their silvery glory. The first detail which has stricken my attention is the heel (4.5 cm high), not too high, perfect for me. The rest is made of the substance of dreams: silver sequins decorate all the shoe, heel included. The double bow reminds me of the trademark Ferragamo gros-grain bow on the iconic Varina pumps, but it’s bigger and better.
The back of the heels is disappointing, in my opinion. I expected them to be strass-studded, like many other heels in Miu Miu shoes, but I guess I could oversee this minor detail.
The bow is trimmed with silver leather and gives a girly touch to shoes which have a severe shape.
Now, I’ve always wanted to own a pair of ruby red shoes (which I still haven’t found, but this is another story), but this silver version could be an excellent replacement. Well, it wouldn’t actually be a replacement at all: these silver pumps are the modern version of the pumps L. Frank Baum gave Dorothy in the fictional world he created in 1900. The sparkling pumps seen in the famous movie by Victor Fleming, released in 1939, were ruby and not silver to take advantage of the then-new Technicolor process. Ruby pumps surely made a sensation on the big screen, but they would have been equally amazing if they had been silver.
The artist William Wallace Denslow was the author of the beautiful illustrations in the first edition of Baum’s novel. In his drawings, Dorothy’s pumps, previously owned by the Wicked Witch of the East, were obviously silver.
In most adaptations of the novel, Dorothy’s shoes are red, but some of them respect the author’s choice. Diana Ross played the role of Dorothy in The Wiz (1978) by Sydney Lumet, a movie which featured an all African-American cast. Tony Walton and Miles White, the costume designers, chose high-heeled silver pumps for the protagonist.
The same choice was made by the creators of Oz no Mahōtsukai, an anime series which aired in Japan from 1986 to 1987. Dorothy’s shoes actually look white, but the intention was to make them silver (maybe at the time, it was difficult to show the colour silver on screen).
In The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, directed by Kirk Thatcher and released in 2005, Ashanti (who played the protagonist) wore silver Manolo Blahnik d’Orsay pumps, definitely the poshest version of Dorothy’s silver shoes.
Finally, Dorothy’s pumps appear silver in Tin Man, a mini-series directed by Nick Willing, where Zooey Deschanel starred as DG. They’re very similar to the original ones worn by Judy Garland in 1939, but they remind me of the ones by Miu Miu, as well.
Ok, if I had 590 euros to spend on shoes, I’d surely buy the beauties above, but I wouldn’t mind owning another pair of silver shoes by Miu Miu. Here are some examples. Damn! Choosing among them would be really hard.
These are the perfect flat mary-janes, period. Both styles were released some seasons ago – they are made of silver leather with a mirror effect. I prefer the regular version, but the slingback one is adorable, as well.
Miuccia Prada is the queen of glitter shoes, as the two pairs of ballerina flats above clearly show. I love both of them – the jewelled bow is amazing – but I like the regular version better.
If you prefer shoes with a masculine vibe, you’ll surely appreciate these trainers and brogues. The trainers are embellished with studs, while the brogues have strass-studded heels (I love love love this detail).
I like high-heeled shoes, even if I don’t like wearing them (I care about my feet and I have no intention to suffer for fashion). In any case, I love the pumps above: the first are sequined, while the second are made of suede and glitter. The second pair comes from the fall/winter 2011 collection and has a clear 40s vibe.
The most aggressive styles, with sky-high heels, still retain a touch of dreamy romanticism. The t-bar strap sandals are just a formality – I mean, you wear the heels and some centimeters of leather, that’s it. I like the platform peep-toe pumps better, even if the heels are too chunky for my liking.
For those of you who would like to learn more about the title of this post, here are their sources. First of all, one of the last scenes of The Wizard of Oz, where Glinda finally explains the magic powers of the ruby slippers.
The second part of the title – the quote – is inspired to the mantra of one of the most annoying characters ever appeared on screen, the epitome of the spoiled brat: Veruca Salt. The girl appears in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) by Mel Stuart. I don’t even want to think of the tantrums she would throw if she wanted Miu Miu silver pumps NOW!
Do you have any shoe obsessions? Have you ever been able to make them come true?