But Clark’s has always been at the forefront of edgy British footwear non? Non. Alas their petty obsession with the idea that the ergonomics of shoes should be physiologically beneficial and not crippling to the point where walking unaided is asking too much, has come at a cost to their designs non? Oui. Comfortable, Scholl approved shoes have the same appeal to me as rucksacks, um...none. But they keep powering on don’t they? That’s the thing with these sensible concepts, based not on the fragility of trends and fashion but the common sense of health and comfort; they have themselves a solid foundation. Clarks’ foundation in design terms revolves around their Clarks’ Originals range, and the reigning king of the originals is the esteemed ‘Desert Boot’. Now here’s a trick, design a sturdy little boot, say 60 years ago, based on designs sold in the bazaars of Cairo (obviously), produce it consistently regardless of its reception and calmly wait for the trend tides to turn. And suddenly footwear fashion treads quickly into a world of androgyny, where all our cherished club-kids and fashionistas must be seen in nothing less than a masculine, kind of ugly shaped boot to give just the right impression of effortlessness and style savvy to make the well-heeled crowd feel constantly awkward and over-dressed. Enter the re-discovery of the Desert Boot. Nathan Clark done good here and his creation has been splashed across every reputable mag and blog as the unexpected high-street star of the old granddad boot, creating almost as much drawn out sensation as those Pierre Hardy for GAP ankle boots. I bring these boots up now for two reasons, one is that I just nabbed some half price in the sale, got ‘em for a mere thirty quid, down from £70. Secondly, I walked into the really very claustrophobic (due to renovations) Topshop shoe lounge to find a carbon copy of Clarks’ very desert boot, retailing at £75, in a variety of colours, which will naturally just add fuel to the already well fuelled Desert boot fire. But Clark’s is ready for Topshop’s little glary stealing tricks and is unleashing it A/W Desert boot series soon, consisting of some jaunty interpretations of the desert boot, from a Doc Marten style patriotic union jack pair, to a pair with a lil’ fringing, some with some useless and weird pockets on the side and the adorable tweedy ones which will no doubt steal the show.
Clarks' A/W '09