PAGE XX IN THE BOOK 06
Editorial | TAITE KRUEGER
Red Leather Grave
Exhibit Coordinator | JILLIAN POLLOCK
Voice | TAITE KRUEGER
“Red Leather Grave Dancing Boots” is a personal story, written by Taite Krueger, discussing her experience with a pair of her mother’s red boots that has become a symbol of comfort and safety for her.
Red shoes are often associated with traditionally unsavory characteristics in women, whether it be unabashed sexuality, drive or assertiveness. Many times in pop culture, red shoes are a ‘stand-in’ for the liberation of female desires (which are usually seen as negative). This is contrasted with Krueger’s experience, with her red boots acting as a symbol of comfort and safety rather than one of sex appeal, danger and boldness. The images within this exhibit page aim to help you explore your own symbolism of red shoes and think about how dress connects to identity.
This exhibit explores how the editorial connects to the main themes of the book, including memories, nostalgia, personal History and legacy, while also providing additional details of Taite’s story. Within the editorial, Krueger focuses on using the reader’s senses to tell the story. In this way, this exhibit has the option to both read and/or listen to Krueger’s responses.
I can imagine the boots so vividly. It is like a permanent engraving in my mind. The cracking leather of the boot catches at the delicate skin on my fingertips. Soft and ragged, the leather ripples like stalagmites from the floor. It clings to the warmth of the sun and deposits it in my lap. The boot smells like the back of my closet...that quiet place obscured by piles of denim. It smells like the car when you open the door on a warm day or like a new oak table, laden with comfort food.
Sentimental dress is something that has been part of my personal style since my first year of high school. I have always been drawn to vintage pieces, incorporating them into my wardrobe because of the memories and meaning hidden in every find. Similarly, I find myself wearing my mom's old clothes when I'm here in Toronto to feel closer to her. I believe clothing is an inherently emotional object. The best pieces of fashion are the ones that make me feel something, whether it be feeling safe, connected or powerful.
This piece and story are very near and dear to my heart. I don't really touch on it in the piece, but when my mom was little, her mom, my grandma, used to prop open her bedroom door with a white slipper. This slipper acted the same way for my mom as the red boot did for me, a reminder of safety. While I never got to meet my grandma, the strange connection makes me feel close to her.