Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dr Martens

This month the Dr Marten Shoe is observing its 50th birthday. The print ad above dates back to the brand's origin in an era when the continents of workwear and fashion had not yet drifted together. The image below demonstrates appropriation of Dr Martens in the 1980s as Punk gear, and in that guise it expanded from London to the Entire Universe.

I remember buying Doc Martens for my daughter in the early nineties when they were essential equipment for life in an urban California high school. This memory caused a glow of retail nostalgia to pleasantly suffuse my brain when I looked at the following photo sequence (from which I only excerpt here) on the English menswear blog Style Salvage. The shoes are still made in English factories, like the one shown below in Wollaston, where ladies in twin-sets (and gentlemen in t-shirts) whip them out at fantastic rates of speed.

New shapes and colors appear every season. Several of the current ones are displayed below, like a row of mutant chicks. (Today being Easter, that is the simile the springs to mind.)