February’s issue of Vanity Fair is promoting Vogel boots.  Not just any Vogel boots, but particularly hideous Vogel boots.  (If you want to see them for yourself, pick up a copy of the magazine with George Clooney on the cover, and turn to page 58.)

The first tall boot pictured is black with a stacked wooden heel (which is a contrasting brown and Mistake #1), a toe cap and lacing that stretches from instep to boot top.  Can you spell D-O-M-I-N-A-T-R-I-X?  The second boot is light caramel in color, with a mahogany toe cap, which at best resembles what might happen if you were foolish enough to wear your tan boots and then accidentally stepped in manure.  The heel on this one is hidden behind Mistress Neckstretcher‘s boots, so we can’t see if it’s brown or black (given the trend toward making the more hideous choice, I’m guessing it’s black).

Among the 10 items pictured in Vanity Fair’s February list of shoppers’ “Must Haves,” these two ugly, ugly, ugly boots are highlighted with this phrase (capital letters theirs) encircled in red:  BESPOKE BOOTS THAT YOU’LL HAVE FOREVER.

This must mean because you’ll never wear them and they’ll stay in the closet (not a bad idea, actually).  Of course, if you were never to wear them, why would you order them in the first place?  They’re both custom boots, described as “starting at $825.”  Sound of throat clearing.  C’mon.  Why not tell us exactly how much these wretched custom boots cost, since to picture them, Vogel must have made them?  I bet they’re a lot more than $825.  And I should know, since I recently bought a much plainer pair of custom boots and it cost me considerably more than that.  Sound of choking.

Poor Vogel.  And poor us, to be living in the Age of Vulgarity, which has now invaded the world I love — the horse world.  First it was Der Dau going down the dreaded path to Paris Hilton-inspired popularity, with its crocodile-topped field boots and “hair on calf skin” accessories.  Now Vogel has followed in their path.  It’s not all that surprising, I suppose, since there’s been much ado on the internet for years now, all about custom boots that don’t fit, and the companies who don’t care.

So far, Dehner is holding up tradition, with customization limited to linings and soles, spur rests and toe caps (blessedly, there’s no mention of contrasting colors).  The company is still running black-and-white ads with photo-ready art from the ’60s, but they do have a web presence.  Pictured on their home page is a plain black dress boot.  Dress boot as in riding boot, not as in boot-to-wear-with-a-dress, which, if it goes with either of the boots in this month’s Vanity Fair, must be equally repulsive.

Beneath the picture of Dehner’s dress boot are the words, “Make the Impression – Beautiful Black Calfskin.”  There we go.