Memo from Salvador Dalí Re: Espadrilles
“There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.”
— Salvador Dalí
When a man who takes the art of living as seriously as Salvador Dalí makes a life-long commitment to footwear, I take note. Behold, Dalí in various states of dress and undress wearing his beloved espadrilles.
I'm intrigued, and for a few reasons. First, Dalí doesn't strike me as the kind to make lifelong aesthetic commitments. Sure, as a painter he had a style, but nothing was a given in his world; everything could be re-imagined, broken down, and built back up. Why, then, would he choose to wear the same pair of shoes over so many decades? Artists' clothing decisions are a subject of fascination, generally. For as radical and free thinking and expressive as many artists might be in their medium, many gravitate to a uniform in their everyday dress. Picasso adored his stripes, and Georgia O'Keefe, her black and white (and her hat). Why?
If shells can be facial adornment, surely anything is possible for footwear, too? Yet, Dalí remained steadfastly committed to the espadrille. Images: (L) Charles Hewitt/Hulton Archive/Getty, 1955 (R) Xavier Miserachs, 1958
Second, with summer upon us, a season that calls for a carefree approach to chic, I'm contemplating the merits of a streamlined approach to dress that incorporates one or more elements of a uniform. I'm imagining a big billowy white linen dress and a hat. And a pair of espadrilles!
a quintessential take on the espadrille here, worn with summer capris
and with a terrycloth robe near the sea
in an example of more outre styling, here Dalí pairs his espadrilles with a leopard coat; not ideal for summer; absolutely ideal for transitional weather everywhere
most would find it challenging to retain a sense of chic with a large crustacean on their abdomen, but Dalí looks resplendent in a white military-inspired suit worn with a contrasting pair of black espadrilles
the espadrilles really make this look
evidence that espadrilles weren't just Dalí's footwear of choice for leisure, but also for work; and we all know the value of a shoe that transitions seamlessly between work and play
worn with socks, on the rocks
contemplative and cross-legged, Dalí's styling is on-point here
these are very unlikely cut-off shorts but one can dream
espadrilles as part of a larger accessorization strategy
this is just a very important fashion moment
i love my shoes!
If you are convinced (note: marine life styling optional), here are a few pairs for your consideration: