#268 Walk with Style

Yippie! I got a pair of Dutch klompen as souvenir! Well, actually it’s my mom who got it from her friend. And you might already be able to guess that the klompen is merely a miniature (my mom’s palm does emphasize that 😀 ).

Originally consist of wooden sole and leather top or strap tacked to the wood [1], the shape of klompen evolved to what we know today – shoes made from entirely wood and protect whole foot -. For centuries, the wooden shoes were worn by Dutch farmers, fishermen and workmen to protect their feet and also keep them dry while working in muddy fields or on boats and docks. Even more preferred than boots.

No doubt that klompen has been part of Dutch culture, even become an iconic feature of the Netherlands. You may find it painted or carved, besides the plain one which workers in the past usually wore. Today, 3 million wooden shoes are still produced annually, for many of them are purchased as souvenirs [2].
However, do you notice that for all those years, klompen had maintained its traditional shape the way it was?
Fall 2007 Ready-to-Wear show became a witness when culture meets innovation. Heel was lifted from the ground as Dutch designers Viktor and Rolf brought into reality: high-heeled klomp [3]. Don’t question the quality because the high-heeled wooden shoes were crafted by actual craftspeople and decorated by unique technique and pattern. A layer of silicone inside the shoe provides stability and helps cushion the ball of the foot. Unfortunately the shoes are not on market, although there’s rumor that it was for sale once.
If it is really for sale, can you imagine a young lady with fancy dress and high-heeled klomp walking elegantly on streets of Amsterdam? You might first have to erase the image of traditional klompen worn as footwear – paired with Dutch traditional costumes -, to agree that the new era of klompen may start soon enough. Still decorated with traditional pattern, high-heeled klomp may become a fresh identity of young Dutch people who are proud of their nation without giving up their young spirit.
Innovation, in this case, transforms into a bridge between tradition and modern life. Actually, not all innovations in this field are accepted. In a traditional society, innovations are hardly welcomed. I’m pretty sure, not in the Netherlands where innovations are highly appreciated.

So, if high-heeled klompen are really on sale, would you have them as one of your collection?
– ditulis oleh Mutiara Sidharta

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