Friday, July 29, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Doc Martens

Iconic English punk rock band The Clash in their Dr. Martens in the '70s

I recently splurged and purchased a pair of Dr. Marten 1460 For Life 8-eye boots in the oxblood color, which is rich and gorgeous -- but most importantly, the boots are incredibly comfortable.  I have to confess, I can totally pinpoint the first time I really fell in love with the combat boot style -- I was 10 or 11 at the time and a huge fan of the MTV cartoon Daria.  And as you probably know, Daria wore boots with everything.  And did so awesomely (as awesomely as a cartoon character can).

The first Dr. Marten boots released in the UK in the '60s were actually the 8-eye oxblood boot.  The boot was initially embraced by the working class and skinheads, it eventually caught on as a cultural phenomenon, becoming a part of everything from the punk rock scene to the more mainstream.

From an article in the Los Angeles Times:
  ...this iconic footwear (it even appears in the Oxford English Dictionary) has roots more than a century old. In 1901, Benjamin Griggs and Septimus Jones set up a boot business in England, and 10 years later, Benjamin brought in his son Reginald to form R. Griggs & Co. Flash forward to 1945 Germany. Dr. Klaus Maertens has invented an air-cushioned sole. On leave during World War II, Maertens injures his ankle skiing. His army-issued boots are torture, so he designs a pair with finer leather and air-cushioned soles. The footwear doesn't earn Maertens a reichsmark — until he teams up with Dr. Herbert Funck in 1947. Using abandoned rubber from Luftwaffe airfields, they create the perfect sole.
Said Elle style director Kate Lanphear of the mainstream popularity of the boot in the '90s:
...You know it was like, all the cool girls started wearing it, it was no longer like a guy thing...the guys from Friends were wearing them, kids on 90210 were wearing them...
 Top: Punk rockers; Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon in Singles; Claire Danes; Pete Townshend; Liv Tyler
Bottom: Whitney Port, Sienna Miller, Dakota Fanning, Agyness Deyn, Jessica Alba, Daisy Lowe

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