Phaethon’s Revenge

While winter shoes are exciting in October, January heralds the onset of a deep depression for the Grand Mademoiselle. One too many shearling booties is enough to render even the most devout shoe aficionado profoundly disturbed . Therefore, to celebrate the beginning of 2009 and to initiate a delightful departure from the depths of this frigid season, the Grand M offers a toast to Phaethon, the ill-fated son of Phoebus, Greek god of the sun. While dear Phaethon’s enthusiasm for his father’s professional duties led to his demise, his love of all things bright, gold, and shiny need not go unnoticed. Accordingly, the Grand M has selected two must-have favorite sandals, both in sunny metallics underscored by Grecian themes to relive Phaethon’s final and greatest adventure as a divine charioteer.

For a relaxed, easy look of unhurried refinement, opt for Miu Miu’s Scratched T-bar sandals. The burnished gold leather finish is reflective without being garish, and permits of golden excess without coming across as too pretentious or beachy. When looking for gold sandals, the tendency is to go too “Boca”, but Miu Miu ensures a classic shilouette bereft of gaudy overtones. The toe straps and ankle buckle guarantee a snug fit, and the shape is faintly reminiscent of 2008’s gladiator craze without risking a complete throwback. This sandal proves that all things old are new again, and the Grand M applauds Miu Miu for reviving a traditional form in an unmistakably modern mold.

If you’d prefer to up the modernity ante, footwear designer Matt Bernson will certainly provide the answer. Bernson is perhaps the most exciting shoe-man given to us in ages, and his creations are at once pratical and fantastic. What separates a Bernson sandal from the pack is his decidedly young, opportunistic approach, which imparts an air of trendy carelessness to his designs. Matt’s sandals don’t just act youthful, they are youthful, with all the glorious dreaminess and far-fetched plans that budding hearts entail. A bit like our hero Phaethon, don’t you think? The ‘Equus‘ sandal is a perfect fit for this motif, adorned with a copious splash of souffle leather metallics in gold, silver, and bronze. The fringe seems to spill effortlessly down a T-strap frame, twitching and dancing with each step.

No pair of gilded leather sandals would be complete without an equally exciting necklace to offer balancing support. In the spirit of Phaethon’s ambitious quest, the Grand M has chosen Alex Monroe’s Flying Swallow necklace. The delicately woven 22 karat gold chain, with deliciously oversized lobster clasp, is decorated with a single swallow, focused and quiet in flight. The piece exemplifies Phaethon’s love and dedication to Phoebus’ mission, and his unyielding desire to soar the world’s limits like his father. Scholars portray Phaethon as a stubborn fool, and his story is used to warn us against unbridled impulse and youthful exuberance. Rubbish, thinks the Grand M. We should all live to see such sights, and dear Phaethon reminds us that true courage is speeding headlong into the most blinding of lights…

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