While glancing through a magazine one day, I saw an incredible sight – a shoe to die for.
A red high heel pump covered with all sorts of colorful candies, good and plenty, chicklets, licorice, jelly beans, sour life savers –
I had to have them. But, alas, they were not for sale. I’m not even sure that lone shoe was meant to walk in. Rather, it was just an illustration of how overindulging in candy was a precursor to becoming a shop alcoholic. As though I hadn’t already figured that out. But I was bound and determined to have those shoes – or something like them. I bought a pair of red leather pumps, not too high, not too flashy.
Then I took myself to Dylan’s and bought fifty dollars worth of candy.
“You’re being very foolish,” my son, Maximilian told me. “You didn’t need to buy expensive candy. You’re not going to actually eat it. All it has to be is sticky.”
Sticky. How on earth would I get the candy to stick on the shoes?
Kate Erin Lee, the designer of Grand Dames, offered a suggestion. She said the best glue to use is Duane Reade’s gel. I purchased ten tubes. It wasn’t enough.
Gluing was tricky. I learned pretty quickly that certain candies just would not stick regardless of the glue. Forget jelly beans, they rolled right off. I got more glue on my hands than on my shoes but I finally managed to cover the entire area in a haphazard pattern of colorful candy.
Once finished the shoes bore no resemblance to the picture in the magazine. My son shook his head in sympathy. For one moment I thought I might just toss them. Instead I covered them with resin (used to seal puzzles). It sealed the candy just fine but made the entire area dull and took the color right out of the chicklets. Then I watched the shoes dry on newspaper.
I wore them to work. And maybe it’s because I teach third grade girls, or maybe because I live in Manhattan, but the shoes were a big hit. Not only with my students, but with my colleagues, even the janitor, the cafeteria ladies and the tech guys were in awe.
Never mind that every time I walked down the stairs, the gummies shaped like pyramids fell off or, by the end of the day, my classroom floor was covered in sprinkles (I had dipped the heels of the shoes in cake decorations).
That was three months ago and people still remember the shoes with fascination and glee. And isn’t that what fashion is all about?