The story of the girl who didn’t wear sneakers & the Luella Vans

I haven’t worn “trainers” since 2005. I even avoided the plimsolls phenomenon, favouring more classic/less trendy black leather flats. I grew up wearing Converse, like everyone else, and I gave up my last pair (white hi-tops – last worn in 2005) after one of my cats destroyed it sometime in 2006. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against a good pair of trainers, au contraire. I used to love my Nike dunks (also destroyed by cat in the same pee blitz attack), and am still the proud owner of a pair of Reebok freestyle.

Paris 2002 – I have NO shame

I was in Office the other day, looking for a sensible-yet-stylish shoe option to go to the park in the cold, bleak London winter, and found myself trying on these:

Photo Office

In theory, they were perfect. Really comfy, looked really good with skinny jeans and with skirts, GOLD, looked kinda cool on me etc BUT after staring at my legs for 2 min, I decided they looked like they were someone else’s legs. Even though the shoes looked good on me, they weren’t “me”. They were only £18 but I couldn’t even bring myself to buy them just in case I changed my mind. There was just no way I could ever wear them.

And then BOOM! it happened.

During one of my many trips to Memoryland, aka Paris, I stopped by Left Behind Shoe creek and brought two pairs with me in the time machine, direction London. One was my first pair of Prada shoes (patent leather with cut out stars and a little bow), and the other ones, were my Luella hi-top Vans. They had both been sitting in a box, under a pile of stuff, and then I remembered I had brought them back. I meant to try on the Prada ones with one of my 40s dresses, as I thought they’d go really well together, but I pulled out the Luella Vans first and started, as in a trance, trying them on with various outfits…

Photo Vogue from the Luella show (2003)

Since then, I have even worn them several times [roll drums] out of the house [crowd goes wild] and felt quite good about it. I didn’t even go to the park, I just went out. I didn’t feel like I needed an excuse. Suddenly, they felt like they were “me”. Mr Moose sings “Skater Boy” to me everytime he sees me in them, but it is just his way to deal with shock I think. I am still to wear them “socially” as in not just when I am hanging out with myself and my animal friends, but with actual real life buddies. I want to see their reaction. I am pretty sure it will go something like this:

“- Hiya [insert friend name]!
– Hiya Tish *stares at feet*. How are you? *looks concerned & stares at feet*
– I’m great how are you?
– OK *stares at feet*. Are you sure you are well? *stares at feet a bit more obviously*
– Yeah I am GREAT. Why?
– Oh I dunno, it is just… You know… You don’t normally… Er… Wear… *whispers* sneakers…*looks down*”

The strangest thing about this is that back in 2003, when I first got those Vans, I couldn’t find anything to wear them with, and they didn’t feel like “me” at all, even though I was still used to wearing trainers then.

I don’t think I am going to go back to wearing trainers regularly anytime soon though, as I am definitely in the mood for interesting heels & nice boots, but after being with me for 5 years, these Luella Vans finally found their place in my closet.

The morale of the story? Keep stuff if you can. You will try it on again one day and it will magically be perfect.


ps – You can watch the Sk8ter Boy video here! I wanted to embed it for you, but YouTube’s lame new regulations mean that I can’t.