I've been dredging my memories to see if there were any milestones that I could remember as defining fashion moments when I was growing up. For 9 years, I went to a school where you wore navy, green and white plaid uniforms every day. So the big fashion highlights of the year were my annual pair of saddle shoes or penny loafers (I still love plaid pleated skirts, saddle shoes and Bass Weejuns).
I do remember this one stand out pair of shoes and they were probably the first ones that really made me appreciate the artistry of shoes. They must have been a sign of a somewhat less-than-practical sense of style in development. The shoes were flats (I think I was around 12 or so) but they were red suede with an embossed snakeskin/scale pattern. I'm serious. In trying to think back, I remember having a deep sense of possessiveness about these shoes.
I doubt that I bought them myself but I felt that strong sense of earned ownership about them. I also remember a very Elle Woods/Legally Blond moment wearing them. I was out with my Dad and we got in a fight about something. I was so incensed that I was going to walk home in spite of the fact that I had my new red shoes on! So there! See if I won't! I think my Dad let me walk a bit but then he tried to use the "you'll ruin your shoes" line on me. I think I got back in the car eventually, but I was willing to sacrifice red-suede-shoes on principle. I must have been pretty mad.
I can still picture those shoes.