Oh how I love my Dr Martens! They seem to make an appearance in a lot of my outfits. Not only are they extremely comfortable and durable, they represent something way more important: rebellion and self-expression. Originally worn by factory workers and postmen, Dr Martens, swiftly became an integral part of the British working class’ proud and rebellious youth culture. This iconic shoe is now a global symbol for ‘sticking it to the man’.
To compliment my Docs, I’ve created a sort of masculine, grunge look. You’ll see throughout my looks that I customise a lot of my clothing. I’ll go to a store, mainly a second-hand store, and I’ll see something unique and beautiful, but it might be too big or too long. So I’ll buy it, and depending on the nature of alteration, I’ll either get it taken in by a professional, or I’ll get all DIY and sew it myself. Sometimes I just cut it and let it fray. Sometimes I enlist the creative skills of my mom and dad. For example, I’m wearing jeans that my dad ripped for me. It’s crazy how much money people spend on ripped jeans these days. I’ve walked into stores that sell jeans with holes in them for more than those without. So you’re buying less, for more. Be smart – get creative!
This was a tough shoot. We took a half an hour trip in traffic to Braamfontein, arriving just in time for a massive thunderstorm where it rained for basically the entire duration of the shoot, which was inevitably cut short. On Valentine’s Day too, hence my less-than-thrilled facial expressions. The universe was clearly feeling creative that day. The setting was quite limited due to our fear of getting the camera wet, but I love this look so I have decided to share it with you guys. Looking back I can have a chuckle, especially when I think about everyone slipping and sliding around me; my Docs kept me pretty stable.
As I’ve mentioned before, I loathe fast fashion, and even though I am guilty of supporting it at times, I really try my best to avoid it. The concept of buying poorly made shoes, that will only last you your first long walk before you have to chuck them out, kills me. I’d rather spend a bit more on a durable, practical, resilient shoe that I can keep for life, than a cheaper shoe that I won’t be able to use the following year. I don’t know, that just makes sense to me. I’m speaking from experience; I’ve had my Docs for two years and they look just as good as the first time I tried them on.
Dr Martens footwear basically comes with a lifetime guarantee. I remember going to a friend’s house and checking out all her mother’s Docs from decades ago; shoes that she wore throughout her youth and shoes that she continues to wear to this day.
All images by Dan Erasmus4