Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Deidre talks about Jen & Oli for Cole Haan’s Chelsea Strap Sandal.
I remember going to a party in the basement of a bar on Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn, not yet 21, but slurping down rum and cokes and brushing off offers to dance and swatting off would-be suitors like I was a seasoned pro. The real reason I never left the bar, though, was because what played on the TV behind it was far more interesting than anything happening on the floor. I stood there transfixed to the shitty VHS tape of a Dancehall Queen competition. If you’ve never seen them in action before, Dancehall Queens are bold, they’re audacious, they’re damn near acrobatic. Their brassy showmanship and daring moves are something that you just can’t turn away from, and, as is the custom, they dress in the flashiest, light-catching gilded ensembles imaginable. There’s something about a woman that can confidently hold her own on the dance floor, commanding the eyes of the entire room—at that moment they’re invincible.
Dancing on a stage might not be in my future, but stylish tastemakers Olivia Kim and Jen Brill have teamed up with Cole Haan for a collection of strappy sandals and pumps that remind me of those Dancehall Queens, but in a way that fits comfortably into my life in Downtown NYC. I’ll wear these around every bar in New York and there is nothing timid or demure about them—they brighten up a room like a string of christmas lights and make me want to do more than a stodgy old two-step pon de floor. With all of the holiday party invites starting to trickle in, I’ll be cutting many a rug in these dancehall jammies.