Monday, 9 February 2015

The Staple: Well jell of Gazelles

Anyone that knows me knows I am a creature of habit. From my Sunday evening Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow routine to my pretty much unshakeable current wardrobe of crewneck sweatshirts and jeans, I'm not often knocked out of my comfort zone - part of the reason that the Shirt challenge was a bit, ahem, challenging. (That said, I have actually done a few days of shirt-wearing; I'm saving them up for a proper post, promise).

Anyway, I have been rooted in my Vans, Vortex and Converse for, well, pretty much the last decade now. But I've always had dalliances with other footwear. Part of settling into the 30something vibe for me this year was about getting a bit smarter...and I still have to deal with that on the footwear front, despite owning some lovely smart shoes. But for some reason, and this is what I'd like to examine today, for the last six months I've lusted over '90s trainer classics the Adidas Gazelle.

These desires are odd, but when they happen, I'm more than happy to investigate. It's the kind of thing I've probably subconsciously seen in magazines, on shoots, in the street (in fact I think Lou Dalton sent her models down the LCM catwalk in them for SS15); the kind of trigger that you don't realise is building up in your brain until you're in a shoe shop on a day off in December, trying on a pair of trainers because you've decided you definitely need them in your life.

As you will have gathered from reading the blog for any length of time, my approach to a lot of fashion - particularly the stuff I buy - is very driven by my gut reactions. I don't often set out to buy something specific - especially during the sales - and I guess the last few years of working at a magazine has meant that freebies poured through the door and that's always a nice position to be in.

However, with these Gazelles I'm not quite sure what set off the desire. It might be in part a real masculine, Northern thing - Gazelles are of course a key part of the football terrace uniform (along with Stone Island jackets). Maybe I'm trying to cling to some Northernesque roots as I've been down here in LDN for over twelve years. TWELVE YEARS. Christ.

Anyway, maybe it's partly that. Maybe it's a 90s thing - that whole acid house, rave generation, leading into Britpop...they would all have worn Gazelles. If the music's good - the clothes must be right? Look at disco! I remember slopping round Camden in Puma Romas back in my uni days, and Gazelles are just a better Roma, really.

I think it might also be a bit of a reaction to the universal fashion acceptance of Stan Smiths too. I had a pair briefly, but they were so flat and uncomfortable (not to mention now ubiquitous at fashion week), that I got rid of them. There's something very pleasing about Stans' minimal appearance, but a trainer that isn't comfy might as well not be a trainer.

So I picked up a pair of Gazelles from Mr Porter - plumping for the black classics, and they've become my go-to winter shoes, despite being not that grippy, and not that waterproof. They're super-comfy and give a nice, dressed-down feel to my outfits. Which is good for those days when I wear a shirt...maybe I am getting out of my routine? Who knows. Only 2015 will provide the answers.

In the meantime, Gazelles. They're fab.


Matthew Pike said...

Puma made some pretty shocking trainers back a few years ago, remember those ones that were like F1 racing shoes? Gees. But maybe you're onto that britpop tip yeah, they do look good. I have some Stan Smith, I actually find them super comfy, maybe you got a dodgy pair?

Buckets & Spades

Seb Law said...

Oh those F1 ones were VILE! tbh I've had a few pairs from Adi in the last few years, but they were just never *quite* right. Great marketing & events tho, compared to Nike. And the Stans...well, I think trainers should be comfy straight out the box, and Stans were just too flat. These though! YES - take me to the terraces...