Having earlier exhausted my trusty male assistant at the Paris Flea Market, (he not possessing the killer instinct or endurance needed for shoe shopping). I like a lioness on the plains of Africa set out to hunt. I ventured out alone as I did not have any women companions, nor gay compadres to continue this ritual, in the Mecca of one of the most important places on earth to shop for fashion. (Mind you Spain is good to.)
Edie Waving Goodbye to her Family to Shop.
The famous summer SHOE SALES are happening right now in Paris just before everyone leaves and the city for summer vacation. I have reserved a different kind of budget for this, a much different kind of shopping. (Ancient Rome’s markets kept appearing before my eyes). Armies of Parisian women of all ages, social rank, race, religion, attractiveness, political, intellectual and economic level – hit the streets this week to buy their fish.
Paris is a living, moving art show.
Edie in Paris.
It is all before you. Casual, funky, elegant, functional, sexy, chic, understated, tacky, sassy, unconcerned, arty, expensive, political (yes, it’s possible to make someone shame or guilt with your shoes!). Powerful, outrageous or cute the women of Paris know what’s important and they don’t let you down. Everywhere you look, under every silhouette is the shoe you expect. I followed women all over – taking notes on the “way” they put it all together. African women, to find out where to get the best flats and low heels. Young intellectual middle class girls to see the new “Mary-Jane “, the coifed, elegant matrons (to get that pump I needed for that turquoise silk skirt I had scored). Latinos for sexy, Scandinavians for practical, and then the quintessential beautiful French girls, for every other type of shoe you NEVER would have thought was necessary yourself, but when you see these beauties wearing them – you shrug your shoulders and think “but of course how lovely !”
We battled together side by side at the sale tables, the ladies of Paris and I. I would like to say that my involvement was purely of research value, (me being in the “retail business”), and to experience the other end of the equation is so valuable …or understanding how to be “inspired to buy” so to speak, but I admit to you all that in fact …….I JUST HAD A GREAT TIME – and deliriously enjoyed my acquisitions. (This where I do some sort of ritual victory dance….and rush home and arrange the things AAAALLLLL over my bed gleefully stroking and trying things on- this is often the BEST part of this experience.)