Kung-Fu Shoes: Back 2 Black

Having covered just about every other hue in the color spectrum, it seems appropriate to write about something a bit more basic, that being the complete absence of color.  Black is more commonly associated with various subcultures, the most prominent of which are ‘goths’ and the ‘beatniks’ before them.  Since I am not very fond of labels except when it comes to identifying myself, I will focus on the reasons why I find black appealing.  Being a strong neutral, it coordinates well with other earth tones and lends contrast to bright primary or secondary colors.  Some feel it should be a wardrobe staple in order to indicate their alliance to a specific genre and there may have been a time where I was guilty of that myself.  However I have now come to use black as a base to build a fabulous outfit upon, particularly when pairing it with red [my favorite color] and accessories that add texture but not bulk.

In Johnny Cash’s aptly titled song Man In Black, the lyrics explain that “I wear the black for the poor and beaten down; the sick and lonely old; in mournin’ for the lives that could have been; the thousands that who have died” among many other reasons.  Though there is a somber tone to the words and the meaning behind wearing black, this song is a reminder that it has often been used in mourning of losing a loved one, particularly in Victorian times.  Having said that though, I do find that it often gets tiring when people assume the purpose behind a black ensemble is to invoke images of death, as the color can be slimming when applied in the right areas and even offers warmth when soaking up rays of sun.  Black footwear apparently now carries connotations of fetish gear and makes the wearer a dominatrix, which is just about as ridiculous as assuming everyone who wears black is ‘goth’.  Though your clothes can certainly say a lot about you, always make sure that your personality comes through so that everyone knows you are not another stereotype, but rather a fierce fashionista creating a statement they will pay attention to.


From the front, Rock & Republic’s Loretta may seem like just another black pump.  However, when turned around, there is a corset style lacing that goes down the back of the heel.  Combined with the leather of the pump itself, a pointed toe and 4 3/4 inches of height, there will undoubtedly be many questions of where you got those shoes when you enter a room where everyone else is in the same old heels.


Nothing about Singapore indicates that it is an Ed Hardy design, except for maybe the letter insignia on either side of the vamp and the snarling tiger illustration on the lining.  The black patent peep toe pump is also accented with silver and black zippers that enhance the curves of the shoe, making it sleek and sexy without a tons of bells and whistles.


Set the fashion bar high and let your status be known with Ramma by Betsey Johnson, a black leather peep toe pump decorated with a heavy dose of glitter, two rows of spikes and a hint of animal print on the inside of the stiletto.


If that last style leaves you wanting more, Letona delivers with a wedge that tops out at six inches, the black leather accented by a strip of chunky glitter and spikes on the back, with a surprise leopard print lining.


Usually Iron Fist is known for stunning artwork in bold colors that wrap a shoe in graphic imagery that might make one think twice about actually wearing it outside, but the Ruff Rider seen here is a simple synthetic leather peep toe platform where the details are what stand out.  Sequins clustered together form skulls, while there is a zipper on the out step which actually functions, and more zipper trim along a faux tongue that sticks out over the peep toe, accented with silver studs.


Tucked between the multiple black straps of Lounge Leopard are spots and tattoo style flowers which add a nice bit of surprise when these black booties are being taken off.  The gold hooks in front bring a shiny element that one can match jewelry and other accessories too.



Don’t adjust your computer screen folks, Lace Up by Jeffrey Campbell is a heelless platform that not only has interesting cutouts on the sides, but is also decorated with dozens of silver grommets that give the 6 1/4 inch shoe it’s name.


Smile like a crocodile in Rocksrping, gorgeous shiny and scaled platforms with two thick crossed buckle straps that should keep you securely in these shoes as you dance the night away.


If you are hopelessly addicted to Jeffrey Campell’s stunning designs, you might have to check yourself into the Clinic where futuristic footwear is a must.  Forged from black calf, these babies have a definite industrial vibe, what with the closed toe, silver buckled straps and steel plates secured to the 5″ platforms that will assist you in stomping to techno beats.


Rock major attitude with Tick Chain, which takes the legendary Tick shape and adds a layer of heavy metal chain at the top that swishes back and forth ensuring that those who pass by will know you are not to be trifled with.


Of course if you love JC’s Tick then you will go mad for its lovely and luscious cousin Jesmeen, reported as being the “younger and hotter” version of a design that has become synonymous with the label.  That heavily studded heel is easily recognizable, though up top is pleated leather with a baby strap, making these both flirty and fun especially when paired with brightly colored opaque tights.


Taking you to higher and better places than ever before, Slash Low has similar elements to another style [Slash TK] though this version grazes the ankle and has blend of straps that stretch across the solid black pebbled leather back heel.


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