Everyone’s been going mad about the jumper and the glasses and the snowsuit and the hair and yeah, it’s incredibly exciting, but I think people are missing the point. Clearly, the shots of Adam Driver filming The House of Gucci are not here to make us gawp at a giant ex-marine dressed as a Seventies fashion designer, they’re here to remind us of the supremacy of the Horsebit loafer.
I, like you and everyone else that has been desperately squinting into their phones in search of some light entertainment for the past year, felt a zip of glee run through my winter-bitten limbs when I saw Cheers-Drive dressed to the nines in vintage Gucci. The movie looks serious and stylish and there’s only a handful of good fashion movies so hopefully this will replace The Devil Wears Prada as the first one everyone thinks of… but really, he just looked so happy, which is nice. He deserves it after what he went through in the divorce from Scarlett.
New pictures that surfaced yesterday show Driver and co-star Lady Gaga cavorting around Milan, eating pastries and generally being as silly as possible whilst maintaining maximum chicness. Firstly, they made me pine for the smoky retro kitsch of the Italian city, and then they reminded me of one of fashion’s great universal truths: Gucci’s horsebit loafer is the greatest shoe of all time.
“HOW WOULD YOU EVEN QUANTIFY THAT??” I hear you scream at the computer, and yeah, it’s a good question. How is a certain loafer better than a certain boot or a certain trainer? If you’ll just calm down, I’ll try and explain.
First of all, they have never not been cool. Since the shoe was created in 1953, it has been adopted by sub-cultures at various points across the spectrum, from Wall Street bankers to Greasers. Francis Ford Coppola wore them, as did Matt Damon’s talented Tom Ripley. Brad Pitt wore them in Fight Club, and we’re all aware of the menswear sanctity draped over Tyler Durden. As Driver illustrates, they looked good with flares in the Seventies, and they still looked good with big billowy Eighties tailoring. Latterly, they’ve been proven to look especially good with blue denim and white socks, and now that the loafer (in general) is having a moment, they’ve shown they can be tweaked to hypey effect, too.
In terms of design, they are as simple as a shoe gets (a classic moccasin construction) and being laceless, they’re, like, totally efficient, I guess. How much of your life have you spent tying stupid laces? Think what you could have done with your life if you’d just bought a pair of horsebits as a toddler. Such a shame. That simple design makes them beautiful, too. Like a Mercedes Pagoda or the 7-Eleven logo, they might just be perfect.
Now to the thorny issue of money. Sure, Gucci Horsebits cost north of £500, give or take. But for the reasons listed herein, they’d make a good investment, surely? As I've said, no matter what trends emerge in the future, they’ll still be relevant. After a long week in vice-chancellor Musk’s mineral mines, young Martian lads will still be hitting the club in Gucci horsebits.
If they are little on the spenny side, then “Snaffle” loafers (as other makers often call theirs) are widely available elsewhere. I direct you to Horatio for master-of-the-universe vibes, and Yuketen for a more crafted, handmade, Japanese aesthetic. And then of course there’s GH Bass, which is known for equipping its highly affordable “Weejun” loafers with snaffles and bits and tassels and all manner of appendages.
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