Susannah Frankel: 'A Burberry biker-style wellie is from an imagination so perverse it’s perhaps best left a mystery'

  • @IndyFashion

This week I will mostly be browsing for wellies. I should point out that I own a pair already – they're tall, black Hunter ones which, I have been told, make me look like a dustbin man, but I'm not letting that put me off. Green ones are a bit too country set, pink ones are girlish, some of my best friends are dustbin men. Etc, etc...

It seems to me that tall black Hunter wellies (below) are the holy grail of waterproof footwear in as much as they are unobtrusive and (brilliantly!) keep the rain out. Still, there's no harm in looking. Except that sometimes, truly, it's shocking what people are prepared to do with a perfectly decent and pleasingly functional design in order to sell it to people like me who might, in a less than pragmatic moment, decide they could do with... With what: a spare pair?

Suffice it to say, any such profligate intentions are swiftly nipped in the bud as I am let down, first, by Burberry – a Burberry check wellington boot is taking irony one step too far; a Burberry biker-style wellington boot is the product of an imagination so perverse it's perhaps best left a mystery. Ditto, biker wellies by Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Havaianas' recently launched wellie collection is small solace. They come with a comedic chunky sole and in the sort of happy-clappy colours that might be fit for the beach but are elsewhere more "I'm mad, I am".

And this brings me neatly back to Hunter. Not content with its original and inimitable tall style, the brand has messed (foolhardily, some might argue) with perfection by introducing a rubber lace-up boot, DM-style, and what appears to be some sort of hybrid wellie/trainer – both just in time for the festival season, and also both short and therefore, a complete waste of time. The tall ones, meanwhile, have been duly embellished (nay, embossed) with a crocodile-skin finish or trimmed with oversized gold studs. Finally, the brand has also collaborated with Jimmy Choo, as in "My biker wellies are Jimmy Choo for Hunter, don't you know." And that, of course, is just sad.

Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'