Margiela’s Tabis – the camel hooves everyone loves

April 18, 2012

by Gracia Ventus

My first encounter with Margiela (the label, not the man) was with the famed Tabi boots. They were standing by the glass window, beckoning passerbys to take a good, long look at them. I did, and I scoffed. Back then I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend why anyone would want to wear camel hooves. Apparently I was not the only one who felt this way. While searching for images of Tabis, a number of people expressed the same views too. First, there was a feeling of repulse and bewilderment, then comprehension, and finally falling head over heels in love.

This is exactly how I feel about Margiela’s best works til today. Although the feeling of repulse is no longer present, more often than not, I will subconsciously raise a brow when seeing something new on the runway, or the archive. Someone once remarked that Margiela is all about visual puns, and that’s exactly what it is. Many of Margiela’s best works, with or without the man himself, begins from a classic item found in person’s sensible wardrobe, which will then be given a weird proportion, cut, or treatment. It makes the audience go, hey it’s not meant to be made this way, but it’s just bloody brilliant, that’s what!

Margiela’s Tabis are no different. They stemmed from the classic Japanese footwear of the same name. It took me several years before I could finally understand why people went apeshit over these strange, hoof-like shoes. Perhaps it’s the constant exposure bathing them in a positive light that influenced my opinion, or perhaps it’s Margiela’s magic working itself on me. Whatever it is, I know I’d like to collect the stranger versions of the Tabis, split toe or no split toe. I believe that if one should like to wear crazy camel shoes, one should go all the way and paint the town red in all its glittered glory.

Here’s to all you Tabi fans out there. Cheers!


4 thoughts on “Margiela’s Tabis – the camel hooves everyone loves

  • inkarlcerating

    by inkarlcerating on April 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    i love this post so much


    by THEKITTYCAGE on April 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

    The heeled version of toe shoes. I’m involved

  • Alicia – Sea Of Ghosts

    by Alicia - Sea Of Ghosts on April 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Yes! I was just saying to my boyfriend the yesterday that these will probably be my next big fashion purchase, but I’m in love with the black leather/clear heeled version and they’re over $1,000 which means they’ll incur import duties into Australia.

    After the ridiculous duties charges I had to pay on my Rick jacket I just can’t face it again. Hoping I can find some in my size while we’re in Japan in June (unlikely, I have huge feet), or that they’ll eventually go on sale!

  • Semicosmic

    by Semicosmic on April 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

    The plexi and painted PVC, soooo good.


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