Memo from Salvador Dalí Re: Espadrilles

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

 Photo: unknown

Photo: unknown

 

and with a terrycloth robe near the sea

 Photo: Jean Dieuzaide, 1947

Photo: Jean Dieuzaide, 1947

 

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

 Photo circa 1975; photographer unknown

Photo circa 1975; photographer unknown

 

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

 Photo: Robert Whitaker

Photo: Robert Whitaker

 

the espadrilles really make this look

 Photo: unknown

Photo: unknown

 

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 

 Photo: unknown

Photo: unknown

 

worn with socks, on the rocks

 Photo: unknown

Photo: unknown

 

contemplative and cross-legged, Dalí's styling is on-point here

these are very unlikely cut-off shorts but one can dream

 Photo: unknown

Photo: unknown

 

espadrilles as part of a larger accessorization strategy

 Photo by Robert Descharnes, 1959

Photo by Robert Descharnes, 1959

 

this is just a very important fashion moment

 Photo: Charles Hewitt/Hulton Archive/Getty, 1955

Photo: Charles Hewitt/Hulton Archive/Getty, 1955

 

 

i love my shoes!

 Photo: Charles Hewitt/Hulton Archive/Getty

Photo: Charles Hewitt/Hulton Archive/Getty

 

If you are convinced (note: marine life styling optional), here are a few pairs for your consideration:

 

 

Feature image: Getty

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