In These Shoes: Footwear as Autobiography


 Suede Prada Sandals Purchased New Year’s 2012

Photo by Cindy Banescu




I got my first pair of heels for my sixth grade graduation after months of badgering my mother. On the day of the big shopping trip she turned me loose in the shoe section of her favorite department store gently nudging me in the direction of a display of lady like kitten heels. Imagine her shock when I presented her with a pair of three and a half inch stiletto heeled sandals and announced “I want these”. My mother was never one of those mothers who spoke in absolutes. She figured out pretty early in parenthood that subtlety and a smidge of reverse psychology were her friends. She smiled very sweetly and said, “Ok, you can have them, if you can walk in them.” She was pretty confident that this would be the end of things as I would never make it out of the chair let alone halfway across the shoe department. In this instance, though, she underestimated my determination to have those shoes. The walk was far from graceful, but I made it from point a to b. The shoes were mine and an obsession was born.



I love the transformative power of a pair of high heels. Three inches is good, four are better and six the best. My shoes have the power to give me the confidence to face difficult and scary situations. They make my legs look long, and change the way I walk. They’re also great icebreakers. I am pretty much an introvert, starting conversations with strangers is one of the most difficult things for me to attempt. You wouldn’t believe the conversations that have been started simply because someone was curious about my shoes.



I realized I often remember the events of my life by what shoes I was wearing. They all tell a story. They aren’t the whole of my inner self, but my shoes definitely reflect different aspects of my personality. Having amassed a pretty fair collection over the past decade or so I thought I’d take them out of the closet a pair at a time and see what they have to say.



Working with Michele B. in her LA Studio

Photo by Cindy Banescu




These Prada sandals are a fairly new addition to the fold. In our house we have begun the Christmas tradition of doing a large family gift for the three of us rather than a lot of little things no one really needs. This has two great advantages. One: I get a lovely and rare evening out with Spouse and Spawn (this year we saw Allen Rickman, Lily Rabe, and Hamish Linklatter in Theresa Rebeck’s play Seminar. We were appropriately awed) and two: it frees me up to scoop up a great post holiday bargain for myself. Can you really go wrong with any celebration that includes great theatre AND deeply discounted Prada?



Choosing shoes is very personal art form for me. Though I’ve been given shoes that I love on several occaisions as gifts they’re never quite as special as the pairs I choose for myself. I want to fall in love. I’m looking for that elusive chemistry that might come from the shape of the  heel, the feel of the fabric or the way the strap falls across the vamp. In this case it was the color. Turquiose suede, lush, sexy, happy, we were destined for good times. We’ve been very content thus far going to the theatre, working in LA, out for a night on the town and even the occaisional gig. Strangers stop us to remark upon  how suited we are to each other. These shoes are a straight shot of visual Prozac. It is almost impossible to be unhappy when they are on  my feet. I wish that everything in life were that easy.



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