At Saturday’s USA Dance monthly social, I complimented Joyce Newman (top local tanguera) on her amazing shoes. They were open-toed sandals with skyscraping stiletto heels, unbelievably flattering on the foot. The fabric was the real attention-getter: brown silk with white polka dots. “Joyce,” I said, “I just love your shoes.”
“Thank you,” she replied. “They’re Comme il Faut.”
It took me a second to work out that Comme il Faut is a brand name–clearly, among tango dancers, it needs no explanation or clarification. Googling reveals that Comme il Faut tango shoes are made in Buenos Aires (home of the Argentine tango) and are quite exclusive: only a limited number of each style is made, so one is unlikely to see the same pair twice. And the company is so guarded about its styles that online retailers aren’t allowed to display pictures of an entire shoe on their Web sites–just a close-up of a detail like a toe decoration or heel cage. As a dancer and a shoe nut, that kind of mystique makes my mouth water a little!
The real reason I paused when Joyce said “They’re Comme il Faut” is that my brain immediately translated the phrase: “as they must be.” My first instinct was to reply “Yes, they certainly are.” Our friend Misty quipped that I should have added “Mine are Comme ci, comme ça“–which means “so-so.”