My Reflections on Reflections in Photos
When I took my first photography class in 1997, my teacher was really old-school. We had to do everything the old fashioned way — from carrying around gray cards to check our exposure to unspooling our film onto reels in a pitch-black closet and plunging the prints into vats of chemicals in the dark room.
At the time, I found the process to be annoying — why couldn’t I just use digital, UGGGGH — but in the process, I learned photography is truly an art — one that takes massive amounts of technical skill and patience.
Not every photo can be amazing, and that’s especially true if you are capturing the world as it actually exists. You have to be quick, accurate and have a little bit of luck.
Take this famous photo by Henri Cartier Bresson, which must be shown to every single photography student:
Puddle-jumping photos have since become cliche, but this is a very special photo when you consider the elegant framing and the serendipitous juxtaposition of the ballet poster in the background.
There are little references to this photo all over the place, but I particularly enjoy this little homage, which was just posted today on the NYT website.
It’s the giant man with the red umbrella who cinches it.
My Secret Disaster
So, I’ve been on a masochistic streak lately, and I’ve been watching all these closet tours on YouTube. These chicks clearly do not live anywhere near Manhattan, because their closets have enough room to hold filming studios for cosmetics tutorials, as well as about 500 pairs of Tory Burch wedges.
Time to get fucking real.
This is my closet, and this is as organized as it will ever get. It’s organized (from left to right) by dresses, skirts, pants and tops (with a special little space for denim vests because I like them, so shut up).
There’s a whole other area for T-shirts (in the living room, squashed next to the DVDs) and a whole OTHER space for coats (hint: under the bed), but this is basically everything I own.
I swear to god, I have nothing to wear.
My thoughts on expensive shoes
I just streamed God Save My Shoes on Netflix. It’s a documentary about women’s psychosomatic obsession with SHOESSSSS, OMG. It was fascinating.
The movie isn’t really about shoes. More specifically, the film is about high heels — and not those stupid Nine West ones you found in the bargain bin at the mall. This film focused on EXPENSIVE high heels from Loubie, Manolo and all the other shoemakers lucky enough to wind up on SJP’s hooves between 1997 and 2004.
The history of the modern high heel started out in the 1920s with the flappers and then migrated into a “symbol of female independence” in the 1940s (excuse me while I choke back indignant bile). Then came the dawn of the cartoony pin-up, and heels moved firmly into the fetish pantheon (along with rubber corsets and toe sucking). Heels dwindled in popularity during the 70s, but they came back screaming in the 90s, thanks to the dawn of the strappy stiletto sandal, which might be the most diabolical invention — aside from the atom bomb — of all time.
The best part of the movie are the interviews with the shoe addicts, who include a philanthropist, an artist, a professional poker player, a drag queen and Kelly Rowland. (Uh, what?) I’ll give the drag queen a pass since a girl’s gotta work, but the rest of these shoe aficionados were bonafide cray cray, exhibiting obsessions that border on animal hoarding.
The designers Loubitain and Blahnik are also featured, and they readily admit that they design shoes that aren’t mean for walking, which infuriates me. Anyway, the movie got me thinking about my own collection of shoes, curated since 2005, since that’s when I got my first full-time job. Here’s a quick rundown of my most ridiculous pairs:
- Mint green patent leather Jimmy Choos, purchased “on sale” for something insane like $375. Here’s a tip: Don’t buy expensive shoes in patent leather, because the shoe stretches, and then they don’t fucking fit. Worn: 0 times this year.
- Black Manolo pumps, purchased for $50 at a vintage store. I have MURDERED these shoes. They were already tore up when I bought them (those were the only Manolos I could afford), and I still wear them to this day. Worn: 30 times this year.
- Black sating strappy Manolos, purchased for $50 at Tokio 7 in New York: I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought these. They are insanely adorable — and barely worn — but the only thing keeping them attached to my body are these skinny, spaghetti noodle straps. Worn: Once in the last year, and they clip-clopped all over the place.
- Chunky orange Prada heels, purchased at DSW by my mom, because I could not afford them. Okay, these shoes are worthy of obsession. They’re truly eye-catching and well-made — and best of all, you can wear them without ruining them because they’re as tough as a tank. Even so: Worn 0 times in the last year.
- Pink suede Missoni strappy sandals, purchased at Lohemann’s for $100. I think I’ve worn these twice. They’re MAGENTA, and suede, so they’re not exactly office neutral or good for NYC weather 95% of the time. But they’re too cute to throw away. Worn: 0 times this year.
That’s maybe 10% of my overall shoe collection, but you can get a feel for the utter ridiculousness based on the color selection alone. (Magenta, mint green, orange — I didn’t even mention the lime green pair.) I should note that I do not wear heels on the city streets, so if I ever trot them out, it’s for a few hours at the office — and even then, I usually wear flats or boots.
So, do tell — Do any of you have insane shoe collections?