Posts Tagged ‘Camper


London’s Loose Laces


While most people are scrambling around hatching plans for New Year’s Eve, I have been developing some new dance pieces for First Night 2009. (Don’t be startled if you see me on the WBZ evening news or a downtown Jumbotron!) In addition to using music by Uncle Monsterface and the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, I am creating a soundscape using field recordings from my travels to Iceland, England, Italy, and the Netherlands this year.

As I have been snipping sound bites together, I remembered how Jason and I had thought that we made it through Logan’s airport security without an incident. For us this was no small feat. If the screw in my knee doesn’t start things buzzing then there is always something harmless, i.e. a lobster, in our bags that somehow wreaks havoc. Please, switch to another line if you ever find yourself behind us.

I was so startled by our good fortune that I found myself staring dumbfounded at the floor. That’s when I noticed the floppy footwear headed towards me. I must have looked rather goofy gawking because the girl in bunny ear boots giggled to her friends as she went by us. We had barely gotten ourselves organized at the gate when the gaggle of kids approached us again.

“Were you staring at my shoes?” She inquired with a bouncy British accent and a bit of belligerence.

“Yes,” I replied.


“I write about shoes and I’ve never seen anyone wear theirs like that before.”

“Really? In Manchester everybody does it.”

“Yeah, I don’t even own a pair because they’re too ordinary,” her loafer loving friend piped in.

This odd encounter provided a sitcom like sense of foreshadowing for our brief stay in Kensington. Similar sets of sheepskin boot shanks slouched next to me on the tube and lounged about the lobby of the Sadler Wells Theater before a Pina Bausch performance.

Ladies in a wide range of ages sported this laid back look in Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Hyde Park.

Their omnipresence reminded me that I had forgotten to ask the giggly girl which brand of boots they were. Some internet sleuthing, however, led me to Camper Industrial boots. They were the closest I could find to the original kind the kid had on and they matched many of the pairs I’d seen lurking about.

So if the stress of the holiday season is pressing upon you, perhaps it’s time to loosen up your laces, and get into a British groove.


Twins – A Tale of Gender Bending Boot Buying

A man extended his hand to me. “I’m Sean Owens,” he declared.

It felt a bit like meeting some mythic action hero dressed as his alter ego. While others might have been fooled by his subdued neo-Ralph Cramden togs, I knew who he was. I had heard the legends of his solo “swish-and-swashbuckling” adventures on San Francisco stages.

Audience members from the Exit Theater say his wit is more acerbic than apple cider vinegar. He’s capable of portraying 8 1/2 Women in a one Man Show. He has legs that are longer than my most rambling blog entries…speaking of which, why didn’t anyone tell me about his shoes?

Now most women would be more interested in his footwear finesse when he is sporting a dress, I guess, but not me.

I salivated over his dandy manly boots. They were made of a mismatched patchwork in corduroy, suede, and leather. My wide tootsies would be so happy in a slightly smaller sized version of those sassy shoes.

“They are by Camper,” he confessed when I asked.

Somehow I wasn’t surprised. Lately, Campers had been catching my eye on the crowded streets of European capitals.

I was stunned, however, to discover that Camper launched their line of Twins shoes in 1989. These footwear confections are designed to be unexpectedly asymmetrical yet complimentary.

Why did it take me almost 20 years to discover them? My socks haven’t matched since high school, a trait I apparently inherited from my father.

When my parents met on a blind date, Mom regally resembled Jackie O in her sleek, fur trimmed, wool cape and dress. Dad arrived wearing cut-off camouflaged shorts, a mis-buttoned shirt, and two different socks and types of shoes. They just celebrated their 43nd anniversary last week and those two Gemini’s are still fabulous foils for each other.

Oh, the irony of this tale of gender bending boot buying! Camper doesn’t seem to be making men’s Twins boots anymore. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the fall season however. Until then, you can snag several styles of Camper Twins sandals on Zappos.

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June 2020