February 01 2011
When I admit to owning five pairs of boots, all exactly the same style, just different colours, I fear that people think I’ve been at the sherry. But when I reveal that they’re by Maison Martin Margiela, the company set up by the audacious Belgian designer (though he no longer designs for it) who refuses to play the fashion game to the extent that almost no one knows what he looks like, the prejudices fall quickly away like the flowers of an over-watered phalaenopsis orchid.
For doesn’t everyone, fashion cognisant or otherwise, enjoy the reassurance that in an industry founded on seasonal change and the inculcation of deep insecurity and immediate need – “It” bags come to mind here – there are some things that don’t change? Maison Martin Margiela Replica boots (£520) are based on the design of a pair of boots from the 1980s. They are made in France, from calfskin, with a 7cm stack heel, leather soles, rounded toe, back and side leg seams so that they fit well. No zips, no gewgaws, just the single white stitch on the centre back top – the Margiela signature. The only thing that changes is the colour, with a new palette introduced each autumn/winter season.
I’ve worn them to weddings, funerals and the front row at the shows. They do daily service around town and don’t look out of place in the country either. I have them in black, brown, tan, grey and beige. I just wish I’d bought the red and green ones too.