Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Keira Knightley could do for Imelda Marcos what Meryl Streep did for Mrs Thatcher'

Share
Related Topics

Who knew that if Keira Knightley 'adores' a pair of shoes she sees in a shop, she will buy them whether they are available in her size or not?

Students of red-carpet photography will have noticed considerable heel-gape (the gap at the back if you step into shoes that are too big for you) in shots of the winsome young actress. Indeed, so capacious is some of her footwear that you could fit a whole extra Keira into the chasm.

Shoes are not the only commodities that are sometimes too big for Miss Knightley. Her dresses have been known to gape enough for us to count her ribs, while critics have suspected her of being swamped by her film parts. From the 18th-century portraits of her, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire looks a shade stout for our adorable little waif, while Elizabeth Bennet was possibly more bonny than bony to Jane Austen's mind. This is absolutely not a comment on Keira's acting ability, merely a musing on how a pretty, pouting girl with an emphatic jawline carries off an empire-line dress.

But back to the footwear. Billy Bob Thornton, who as an OCD sufferer himself must be listened to on the point, has observed that, "When people wear shoes that don't fit them, it says something about their soul" (though, given that this was a verbal quote what he might have said was "it says something about their sole"). On the other hand, some regard ill-fitting footwear as a sign less of psychic pain than moral strength.

"I would hate for someone to look at my shoe and say, 'Oh my God! That looks so comfortable'," declares Christian Louboutin, the world's most fêted shoe designer, a favourite of Victoria Beckham and Coleen Rooney. "Comfort is not part of my creative process." Meanwhile, the late Beryl Bainbridge compared uncomfortable shoes to being constantly with small children... irritating and often painful, but ultimately rewarding. She couldn't bear to throw out a pair, even if it gave her blisters.

And back to Keira, who would be cast against type as Cinderella (of the perfectly-fitting glass slipper) but who, when Hollywood finally gets round to it, could do for Imelda Marcos – someone who saw shoe collecting as "a symbol of thanksgiving and love" – what Meryl Streep did for Mrs Thatcher. And God willing there won't be a millimetre of heel-gape when she goes up to collect her Oscar.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions