As if this year wasn’t difficult enough—we now have to deal with the inexplicable onslaught of 2004-era fashion. First there was the exposed G-string, the troubling renaissance of which simply will not die out. Then there was the less concerning rise of the low-rise trouser (how comfortable were high-waisted jeans really?). Somewhere in between is the return of the Ugg, cemented in the cultural canon by supermodel Irina Shayk, who wore hot pink Uggs to run errands in SoHo this morning.
Before we delve further, it’s worth stating the obvious: Irina Shayk looks better in a tie-dye tracksuit and Uggs than I will ever look, in any outfit, ever. Which is to say that any critique, especially one delivered in jest, is not a critique of Irina. In fact, it’s a testament to her innate ability to make practically anything look attractive that I find myself compelled to think, let alone write, about such a questionable choice of footwear.
But I can’t help but wonder, are we really, as a culture, ready for the return of the Ugg boot? They may played a pivotal role in the defining the ‘off-duty celebrity’ aesthetic for the better part of a decade, shamelessly worn to dinners, film festivals and Starbucks runs by everyone from Britney Spears to Kate Winslet, but was that… a good thing?
Irina has confirmed that celebrities are experiencing the same sartorial crisis that the rest of us mortals faced during lockdown. We simply aren’t ready to give up the comfort of ‘house shoes’, even while outside. The chic but largely uncomfortable minimal leather sandal of yesteryear suddenly feels defunct. As does the once ubiquitous chunky, heavy-soled sneaker. Perhaps Irina Shayk has realised something the rest of us haven’t yet: If 2020 were a shoe, it would be an Ugg. Why not just embrace the chaos?