Thursday, January 26, 2012


It was after the end of World War II. After spending many days at sea, soldiers were back to the British capital partially destroyed by the war. At a time when fashion was shaped by the lack of fabrics and material and the wartime rationing regime guaranteed only survival; ex-soldiers – who by now felt like tourists in their own country – didn’t pass unnoticed. The shoes they wore, their most precious belonging in the desert, brought to Londoners a breath of novelty.  They consisted of hardwearing suede boots and a thick crepe rubber sole. They were nicknamed “Brothel creepers”. In 1949, they were adopted by the future shoe industry magnate George Cox who launched the style on the market. Initially, creepers came in various shades of blue, from pastel to electric blue, and had been developed in suede or shiny leather and only later were they produced in the most extravagant prints and patterns. "Honey lay off of my shoes" sang Elvis Presley celebrating this type of footwear which boasted many fans.
           During the 1960’s, Mods and Rockers ruled English streets having inherited from their predecessors these thick para rubber soled shoes. In the 1970’s, Vivienne Westwood and husband Malcom McLaren sold these odd-looking shoes from their iconic “Let it rock” London shop succeeding in making them popular among a wider and more diverse clientele. At the beginning of the new millennium, creepers are still going strong and are set to make history. Among the designers who reinterpreted them with a modern allure, two styles are especially worth mentioning: those created by Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony and the famous version by the eclectic Miuccia Prada who successfully launched a type of footwear that combined creepers and espadrilles. Similarly, Armand Basi paid tribute to George Cox by bringing to the runway some of the iconic styles while Nathan Jenden has successfully worked the thick soled creepers and feminine party dress combo.

No comments:

Post a Comment