Join me, if you will, in discussion of one of the cultural touchstones of my childhood: a little art film called Clueless. In it, we accompany a teenaged girl and her friends through the trials and tribulations created by coming of age in the money-soaked Beverly Hills of the 1990s. It’s a careful rumination on growing up, accompanied by wisdom about difficult social situations (parties in the Valley are totally not worth it), maintaining a health body image (food has less calories if you cut it smaller) and appeasing authority figures (just let them know that whenever the perceived offense happened, you were surfing the crimson wave).
Clueless also bought Alaia a somewhat unique place in pop culture by having our heroine mention the designer during a mugging, and it gave us the concept of a “Monet” as it relates to things other than actual paintings by Monet. With the Alaia Lace-Up Calf Hair Booties, those two things finally meet, for better or for worse.
As Cher explains in the movie, a Monet is anything that looks good from a distance, but when examined more closely, is just a big ol’ mess. Depending on how you see things, this pair of shoes could either be a Monet or a reverse Monet, but I tend to think it’s the former. From a distance, the shoes look interestingly patterned and textured, but up close, it’s just a bunch of tiny, hairy dots.
I expected more when seeing a small photo of the design, and once I saw a detailed image, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Some of you might think the exact opposite, though, and prefer the details of the close-up view to the somewhat complicated look at a distance. Either way, a shoe needs to look good from every angle and distance to be a winner at this price point. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1830.