23 July 2010

Good Thing: Fashion's Espadrille Moment

It's light, environmentally-friendly, authentic, natural: The espadrille is the shoe of the moment. Many menswear labels are making them for next year so why don't you buy a pair now? The term espadrille is French and derives from the Catalan name for the shoes, espardenya, which derives from the Catalan name for esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope. Espadrilles have been made in Catalonia since the 14th century at least, and there are shops in Spain still in existence that have been making espadrilles for over a century.The Museo Arqueológico Nacional has in its collection a grass-soled sandal said to be 4,000 years old, which looks very like the classic espadrilles made in Catalonia for at least five centuries. Traditional espadrilles have a canvas upper with the toe and vamp cut in one piece, and seamed to the rope sole at the sides. Often they would have laces at the throat that would be wrapped around the ankle to hold the shoes securely in place. Early espadrilles were worn by both men and women.
Once peasant footwear, espadrilles have grown in popularity, especially now. Espadrilles can now be found designed by top designers (...and Zara). Most are manufactured in Bangladesh and Spain.Bangladesh is the producer of high quality jute, and has become a manufacturing centre for premium jute soles and complete espadrilles. Ninety percent of the world's total production of espadrilles, as well as jute soles, is now manufactured in Bangladesh, although some manufacturers in Europe import jute soles from Bangladesh to finish espadrilles in their home countries.If you’re in Barcelona, buy them at La Manual Alpargatera, a workshop established in the early 1940s, which supplied Salvador Dalí with his favourite pairs in black or white canvas (if not, Pierre Hardy makes some mouth-watering ones for Hermes). Dalí’s friends and contemporaries – Picasso, Chanel, Colette – also made espadrilles stylish, wearing them with white cotton trousers, sailor tops and an a deep tan.


  1. Rather French expats in 30s Morocco or Algeria are they not? casual chic, but not the most comfy thing one could wear though...

  2. amc

    i cant wait for spring 2011 tho. those prada stacked ones! amazing! the added height and the nonchalance of having an uncategorizable shoe!

    actually its a trend that prevails every sumer. just like leomonade in the hot weather. also what else do u wear to the beach BEAUTY? a pair of shorts a pair of trunks? a pairr of havaianas? flip flops? how stylish. try going barefoot if the option bedaffles u.

  3. Anon: And I thought the soul (sole) of this shoe is its comfort. why wouldn't they be comfortable? Or less comfortable than any other style shoe?
    AMC: I'm feeling more for the traditional ones, not the fashion ones, at the moment. this style should be simple; not overly designed nor indeed 'fashion-y'. But of course i love the sandal ones at hermes.
    Beauty: Why? Why? Why?

  4. Becos they are damn uncomfortable. Haven't we wore them to death when they were the rage at Printemps ages ago kekeke.
    And Anon, you do know sarcasm is really the lowest form of wit, doncha? The only accessory you need on a beach is a hunk rubbing lotion on your magnolia back. If you donch have one, DON'T GO TO THE BEACH?! Every bitch knows that!!!

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  7. alleycaat: Why remove your comments...twice?!
    beauty: mine have been very comfortable so far... and they get more comfortable as they get older!