"Height without the pain" is my defence point about brothel creepers, the cult-to-mainstream shoe and their ability to pair up with just about anything – actually the more contradictary the better – anything light and frothy to take the weight of those heavy rubber soles. With three pairs and counting in my 'stomping shoes' section (along with the Docs and trainers), I've actually become Miss Creeper to some people and now to my two pairs of TUKs, some vintage deadstock ones, I've now added a pair of Underground ones.
Underground have recently been getting catwalk happy, most prominently by collaborating with Thierry Mugler on their A/W 11-12 show shoes and in London, the spiritual home of the shoe as seen on WWII returning soldiers to Teddy Boys to 80s punks, Ashish complimented his sequinned take on Brit-grunge with a pair of houndstooth special edition creepers as well as a pair of studded black ones that had been customsied with Tippex. Not sure if peeps in the US do with Wite-Out what we did back at school with Tippex. Rather than correcting typos, we took to our black Eastpak rucksacks with Tippex, drawing peace signs, smiley faces and band names. Ashish upholds that tradition with their customised creepers that sit perfectly with the enlarged sequin plaids, ripped up jumpers and cobweb knee tights.
The studded ones complete with a bottle of Tippex are now available on ASOS (I hope the houndstooth ones make it there eventually too) but you can leave them sheeny shiny black if you wish if messing around with white correction fluid isn't your thing. Of course no one really needs to spend ¬£125 on a pair of creepers and a bottle of Tippex but the encouraged premise of the collaboration is fun and got me thinking about more developed doodles beyond Tippex-ed peace signs.
I had a somewhat more specific idea with what to do with my pair of shiny studded Underground creepers and alas, it didn't involve Tippex. I don't think I could conceivably go out there pretending to be 15 with skulls, hearts or "Blog Off" written on my shoes. I'd feel like some sort of a misguided hack trying to relive my teenage years if I did.
Instead, I defected to an American product and ditched the Tippex in favour of a sharper, more accurate oil-based Sharpie white pen (thanks to Erica of PS, I Made This for gifting me with a shit ton of Sharpies…). I liked the contrast of a traditional looking William Morris floral motif and the brothel creeper and following on from my post about 'Defiant Florals', I took this 'Wey' pattern from Morris' river series and took to the shoes with a shaky freehand. With my shoddy drawing skills, I couldn't be exacting with copying the pattern onto the shoe but hopefully no William Morris expert is going to coming up to my feet with a magnifying glass. I'll keep them well away from the peeps at the V&A museum.
In less than an hour, I had myself a pair of Morris-esque patternated creepers with the D-ring panels coloured in red and blue (I actually just wanted to test out the different Sharpies on the leather…).
They're probably not the secondary-school customised hi-jinx creepers that Ashish nor Underground had in mind but that's the beauty of giving people a blank black creeper canvas I suppose…
How apt that they should go with this Christopher Kane A/W 10 jacket that I bagged in the sample sale (hopefully everyone in London popped along…) with traditional W.I. floral embroidery running up the sleeves and on the back that somewhat falls in line with what I tried to do with the shoes. 'Tried' being the operative word. Oh well, that was an hour of indoors activity well-spent even if I might have to also try and procure these 7cm heightened pointy Underground creepers as a plain unadorned replacement.