Fashion by Felicia
Felicia Caponigri | Tuesday, April 26, 2011
True love only happens once in a lifetime. While many of us desire to be on par with our idol Elizabeth Taylor, the truth of the matter is that great women like are the exception, not the rule. Nevertheless, when love strikes it does so with speed and intensity. One look and you can kiss your previous existence goodbye. You are forever changed. Of course, the best of us know that this type of all-consuming amore always hits hardest when one is abroad. Out of our day-to-day rituals, we are more vulnerable and open to new experiences. Suddenly, we try that restaurant that we otherwise would have shunned, we interact with people we would have avoided, finding long-lost kindred spirits in the process. Some of us even become totally different people — you know who you are — letting our inner wild child loose in unspeakable ways. On the other hand, some find a previously dormant sense of responsibility. All this, of course, leads to the culmination of the ideal study abroad experience — the one moment when you look across la strada and see the one with whom you vow never to live without. I myself have had this life changing experience while on vacation in Southern Italy. While walking across a cobbled street one hot summer afternoon, I spotted my true love(s) through a window. They immediately promised comfort, chic-ness and to never leaved me unloved. I promptly took them home with me, introduced them to all my friends and when spring and summer are on the horizon, I take them out on the town. Indeed, the espadrille and I have been a happy couple ever since our fateful meeting many years ago.
The espadrille is a staple of any Mediterranean spring/summer wardrobe and has been the fateful fashion lover of many a great artist, actress and even politico — think Picasso, Grace Kelly and even JFK. First worn by Catelan foot soldiers in the 14th century, this footwear has been appropriated over the centuries by many European vacationers. Characterized by its jute sole and a raffia-like material, it is eco-friendly and sends an aesthetic vibe of savage, untamed luxury. Historically flat, Yves Saint Laurent elevated it with a platform sole, causing women everywhere to invite it onto their summer party circuit. With a cloth toe and an open back, the best part of espadrilles is their long laces, which can be tied with abandon along the entire calf, emphasizing those hard won results of your latest work-out. The neutral-colored sole allows designers to go wild with color on the upper part of the shoe. Usually paired with articles of clothing that show off the laces, such as skirts or shorts, you can also make your espadrilles work with your favorite pants by tying the laces low by your ankle. Best of all, espadrilles are still manufactured in the classic flat form, making them a perfect unisex fashion item which you can encourage your significant other to wear instead of sneakers, following in the great style-footsteps of Cary Grant. Like any great love, the best part of espadrilles is the feeling of support and stability they give you during those long days of work and study, while still making you weak at the knees with their beauty. DSW currently has a high- heeled pair for $44.95, and a flat variety for $29.95. Happily ever after, I’m on my way.