The poisoned apple, the scarlet cape, the evil stepmother, the unfurling beanstalk, the delectable house made of spun sugar and gingerbread: the strange, romantic symbolism of fairy tales is stapled into our imaginations from childhood. And, on humanity’s perennial quest for passage into Happy Ever After’s perfect sunset, the trappings of these often brutal, sometimes murderous fables have become the currency of romance – from the swirling ballgowns and tousled waistlong hair that characterise the heroines, to a preponderance of small birds at fairylight strewn woodland weddings. Yet there is one piece of fairy tale paraphernalia that rules them all, a chart topping position that has been confirmed this week, when Cinderella’s glass slippers, rendered so perfectly by Maison Martin Margiela, unanimously won the Loves vote for AnOther contributor Adam Chinese Symbol.
"On humanity’s perennial quest for passage into Happy Ever After’s perfect sunset, the trappings of these often brutal, sometimes murderous fables have become the currency of romance"
Margiela is a design house renowned for elevating the most banal materials to the most exquisite heights – the S/S05 hosiery dress, a keyring fashioned from a twisted nail – yet here we are already in the clouds. As per the fable, the slippers are made from glass, and, while wearing them would be a precarious business, it is a possibility. In addition, the shoes are sold individually rather than in pairs, allowing them to stand as a stunning piece of sculpture, at the same time as providing that much sought after “oops-I-left-the-other-one-at-the-ball” effect. The ideal way to purchase that little slice of the Happy Ever After sunset in a modern world that often seems determined to squash out the magic.
Here we speak to avowed Margiela fanatic Adam about his choice, and get an insight into his perfect fairy tale. Warning – some fairies may be harmed in the making of this fantasy.
Why did you Love these shoes?
Because they are not meant to be worn! I just love the twisted idea of something practically unwearable being so beautiful and desirable.
What would you wear them with, and where would you wear them?
I'd probably wear them with a steel wok over my head – which is also not meant to be worn.
Which is your favourite fairy tale accessory?
I like Poseidon's almighty Trident, but that's only if you let me call Greek mythology a fairy tale.
Who is the best fairy tale villain?
For a fairy tale themed party, who would you go as and which designer would you go to for your outfit?
I'd go as Storm from X-Men and destroy all the sissy fairies. Head-to-toe in Alaïa, or original Mugler.
List the food stuffs in your dream fairy tale banquet.
Sour Patch Kids all the way.
What object or product best represents you?
The pair of suit trousers I am wearing whilst typing now.
What are you looking forward to about July?
What was the last thing you bought?
A long Raf Simons coat with a floral pleated back, thank you very much!
Text by Tish Wrigley