There was that one time when I was a bit feverish and I told my boyfriend: “Could you please find a zero brain work movie for us to watch? I need some mind numbness.” He then found a really bad Steven Seagal movie. It was epic, it was just what the doctor ordered: an ageing Seagal fighting zombies with some mind blowing special effects including sounds like ha-tschhhhh and d-schhhhh as punches.
Of course, had I been in the mood for some serious cinema I would probably be moaning to you right now about how I wish I could get that one hour of my life back.
That’s how I feel about this book, Paris Street Style: Shoes by Isabelle Thomas and Frederique Veysset. It’s harmless, entertaining and will inspire you to buy a pair of shoes. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few pairs that I already own photographed and serenaded to; including creepers by Underground, Louboutins, Nikes and Walter Steiger heels.
Shoe fans will not put this book down until they read it cover to cover. At least three times. It’s a compelling nonchalant read – that’s how French it is.
The authors don’t shy away from crude phrases and some will make you cringe. The translation from French to English doesn’t always work. I am multilingual, so I could feel the awkward grammar crawl in here and there which I found wildly entertaining.
But enlightenment and education are not the primary reasons one picks this book up. You pick it up because it’s on your coffee table as a bookssessory. Because it is a true relief hearing chic French people voice their disgust at nylon knee high socks that cut into your knees, about feet in dire need of a pedicure and marvel at the fact that the word hooker is used in a fashion book.
I can’t find any faults with this read because I take it for what it is: a subject of envy when seen on my coffee table and a book that solidifies my status as a “fashionista” in front of everyone. It’s a piece of fantastic entertainment. Enjoy the cringes, enjoy the bluntness and enjoy the fashion.
Just like you wouldn’t look for Cubrick’s directorial brilliance in a Seagal movie, don’t look for academic conceptualistic fashion in this book. You will however learn to speak French using shoes only. And that’s a skill worth having.
Thank you to Abrams & Chronicle Books for sending me a copy.