Career Day: "Llorraine Neithardt, A Full-Time Psychic And Part-Time Shoe Guru"


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“She’s this sort of mythic goddess, Auntie Mame with second sight and Manolo Blahniks.” Again with the Blahniks! The NY Times ushers in a new trend?

If our consumerism has become mindless, our distance from process shocking and our enthusiasm for the holistic simultaneously vivid, well then it makes sense that shoes, that emblem of all materialism, should be the next frontier. Artisanal shoemaking: certainly, it’s one way to get people to consider the work that goes into the status pieces. And if, like some of us, you’ve always maintained a healthy degree of skepticism about the dog-wagging nature of our alleged shoe cult, well, it could serve as a useful panacea for that, too – or at any rate, justify the worship.

Anyway, if, like Daniel Day-Lewis, you have a lot of money and want to study the art of cobbling, Ms. Neithardt (who inspired the eccentric-shoe design part of P.S. I Love You) teaches a $1,820 workshop. And, oh yes, she’s also a “Jungian clairvoyant.”

Actually, if you’ve got a few grand lying around and are into this sort of thing, the workshop does sound pretty nifty: it’s not often you learn an entire craft, let alone art form, in such a short space of time. Whether a podiatrist would approve is another matter entirely, but Sex and the City would have had another dimension entirely, the characters had indulged their shoe fetish with a few weeks of intensive craftsmanship and painstaking labor rather than split-second consumerism. However, the last line of the article gives me major pause, both in its sheer weirdness and the unintentional reductiveness of its commentary on modern femininity: “Ms. Neithardt raised an eloquent eyebrow. ‘You created that,’ she said [of a newly-crafted shoe.] ‘And you don’t have to send it to college.'”

A Veritable Vision In Five-Inch Heels
[NY Times]
[Image via Yana Paskova]

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