Birthday Doc

DSC_1333  I know it feels a bit crass and weird to be following up Nicholas Kirkwood's A/W 10-11 shoe post with another, very different kettle of fish, shoe post but today is THE day and I have precisely 1 hours and 38 minutes to do so before this becomes completely irrelevant.  Some of you may know that today, as in the 1st April, is Dr. Martens 50th Birthday (you may have seen all the music/film/boot link ups…)… hip hip hurray or not?  Well for me it is…  I even specifically wore some today to commemorate the event.  I'm of course not special… so did many others I suspect (did you get down to the Neal Street store to buy some 1460 boots for ¬£14.60…heard they went in like 10 minutes!)

It feels a bit trite to say that I have a 'personal connection' with Dr. Martens.  So do 50 gazillion other people on this planet.  That said, I really can't brush aside those formulating memories of trudging through Camden, looking ever so longingly at really grimy window displays of Dr. Martens (no Dr. Martens store back then… just numerous stockists that also sold shoes with heels filled with U.V. gel).  I'm almost embarrassed to say how jealous I was of girls at school that wore them achingly well with our fairly relaxed school uniform (that would be why Docs were allowed through the gates in the first place…).  I'd like to show you my first pair but I fear they're buried underneath ten years worth of old slippers and sandals that my mother insists on keeping underneath the stairs.  

Anyway, like I said, no need to delve into a tale that most have you have probably all heard/yawned at before many a time.  It's just a way of illustrating the fact that I was ever so slightly miffed that I wasn't able to partake in the bloggers' trip up to one of the only remaining British Dr. Martens factories in Wollaston near Northampton on Monday.  

To semi-make-up for my scheduling blunder, Style Salvage Steve did a bit of double reportage for me and whilst he has concentrated on the making of, the 'factory' elements of the trip as well as the menswear offerings for A/W 10-11, he got me some shots of the A/W 10-11 girlier bits and pieces.

Given that many of Dr. Martens styles are unisex, I couldn't help but surf over onto the other turf and look at the menswear styles that I wish they would make in womens' sizes… much like the Raf Simons x Dr. Martens collab that was shining metallic leathers in my face with their painfully large sizes…and once again, exemplified by these velvet boots and brogues…


… and these primary coloured heeled boots that for some reason I imagine with Uniqlo quilted jackets…


These aren't the instantly recognisable Dr. Martens but are styles being offered for guys that broaden from the classic  boot…

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Moving on to actual womens styles… an expansion on their metallic styles on the 1460 boot…


Dotty hotty… me thinks these were inspired by the 90s dotty ones as seen below in the archive imagery…

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The Darcie boot gets a heel in these embossed floral designs as well as the tartan that I have in the 1460 version…


Even Docs get muted in colours for A/W 10-11…


…as well as sheepskin/faux fur lined…


Ah… the floral set that for some reason really divide some people.  It must be its formulation of the 90s cliche that people either embrace wholeheartedly or shun entirely.  I'm an embracer unfortunately… especially when the floral print in question is big and reminiscent of yesteryear's wallpaper…



Again, this is Steve doing some intrepid photographing for me… here was the exhibition part of the factory… I of course can't really explain further given that I wasn't there but me thinks Dr. Martens' heritage is quite well-disseminated…


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I'd love to explain these but I can't other than …"Errr… Dr. Martens does clown?"  I'm sure somebody far more knowledgeable will fill in the gap…


What is a brand celebration without some specifically-made product for the occasion?  The 1460 boot and 1461 shoe gets a limited edition pebble finish and will be sold in 1,460 and 1,461 runs in both black and cherry colours in Dr. Martens stores and other retailers (though not on their online store as far as I can tell…Opening Ceremony have got their hands on some).


I may not have made the physical trek up to Wollaston but at least I can console myself with some released archive images…

Campaign imagery from the 1960s…


80s skinheads… if I looked this good in my bomber jacket (dude on the right…?) I wouldn't have given it away to charity after two years of faddy wearing…


*Tear*… John Peel signing a pair of Dr. Martens in the Dr. Martens store in the 90s… is it weird that sometimes at night, around the usual time when I would listen to his show, his voice creeps back into my head sometimes…


As if Docs weren't already walkable… I wouldn't mind a revival of these Dr. Martens hiking boots…


I love that the print on the left could be depicting anything from different types of 'happy' pills to colourful beads that people loved wearing in singular form on a leather bit of string around their neck… ahhh… remnants of the 90s (or maybe we are still into pills AND beads these days…)


I had to end the post with this endearing image of Neneh Cherry… whats not to love…the towel turban, the glittery blue eyeshadow (Barry M?), a cheeky grin and a gold penned boot…


40 Replies to “Birthday Doc”

  1. Ah Dr Martens, I feel like I have an affinity with them too, I’ve worn them since I can remember from flowery ones when I was little to big black one when I decided to wear black all the time… Now I sport yellow suede ones when it’s raining.
    They are delights!

  2. ive had a pair for over 13 years and they still seem new!oh and my one rule is never to wipe,polish or shine them. i love my docs, and the louder the better!

  3. Doc Martens… now they take me back! I remember having my first pair and spending weeks trying to break them in but still ending up with painful blisters but I didn’t care because they looked so cool!
    I do have to admit to a funny blue colour purchase that really didn’t work with anything I bought and so just sat in a cupboard for years. I always felt very sorry for them it wasn’t their fault I hadn’t developed a sense of style then!
    Great overview by the way!

  4. So nice of Steve. And good news for you maybe, all the men’s styles (velvet, coloured soles, suede brogues and tassel loafers) you posted are available in women’s sizes, down to UK3.

  5. Those clown like DM’s ;
    I have a memory of something similar circa 1985, I took my then 5 year old daughter, to a I think the word was then Рquite trendy children’s shoe shop in Hannover.
    We were going to buy a pair of colourful shoes, similar in essence I guess to the vibrant style of Dutch children’s clothing line Oilily. They had a slightly raised toe cap which also gave an unusual distortion.
    I thought they looked good for a children’s shoe, but my daughter, who would happily wear the then different shaped and colourful style of clothes (if I could afford!) balked at these – maybe she had more of a sense of style than I gave credit for!.
    great post!

  6. i remember buying my first docs at shelly’s in london when i was 20 yrs old. i was on my first trip to london (from new york) and all i wanted was a pair of authentic docs and i got em. that was the most glorious and serious shoe purchase i ever made in my lifetime.

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