that is the question.
When I was a kid and lived in a mining town far, far away from fashionable civilization, there was a newsprint magazine called the Bargain Hunter where people listed wares for sale. One day, an ad for "jeweled patent leather shoes" caught my eye (I was 8 OK?). No one seemed to know what this glamorous sounding material was, so I obsessed over the mystery shoes until my mom agreed to drive me to the next town, where the seller was located (kind of like primitive ebay). I distinctly remember being insanely curious and excited as I walked into the seller's home and was met with..... a pair of shiny, tacky low heeled things. Of course the fake jewels on the toe didn't help the overall sensory experience, but I think I was forever traumatized, because to this day I can't stomach patent leather. Not even those quirky Fendi belts with enormous buckles. Or the colourful bondage-esque gloves that popped up all over the spring runways.
However, despite all this, I can appreciate the appeal of the glossy material to others, so if you are like Justine Picardie of UK Stella magazine ("patent leather tends to bring out my most irrational side"), and revel in the spring trend for all things patent, then you may enjoy this article.
**I do find patent leather interesting when used as part of a head-to-toe stylized look, like Linda at right. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for blue hair and angel wings. Photo by Toronto photographer Paul Buceta.