Luther, starring Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson, is one of my favourite TV programmes. In a number of the opening scenes, the ever-brooding Luther is seen looking down a hole or into empty spaces. When he first visits arch criminal Alice Morgan in her flat they discuss a picture of a blackhole hanging on her wall. Alice is a physicist and a psychopath.
In his great Seminar 7 of 1960, Lacan posits a hole as the core of our identity. He focuses on vases, matchboxes, chalices, tombs and in all of his works locates the subject — the core of the person — in a gap, a hole, a cut or an absence.
Idris Elba is a huge sneakerhead with a room devoted to his shoes (http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/lifestyle-fashion/stylenews/idris-elba-whole-room-dedicated-shoes-973681.html). A recent phenomenon in sneakers is a peculiar blending of reality and irreality, the wearing of a sneaker that does not actually exist. Highly sought after are sneakers that mock up collaborations between designers or logos that in fact have not been officially blended. Certain blendings are famous, Supreme and Louis Vuitton, for example, but this article (https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/59wagd/fake-bootleg-knock-off-sneakers) covers a host of sneakers created privately to conjure up dream blendings that sneaker fans would like to see.
The article touches on a metaphysical theme, speaking of “a blurring of lines between real and fake, high and low, desirable and undesirable.” Tyler Watamanuk concludes his article: “Now, we’re living in a “post-truth” world full of lavish fashion, loud design, and logo-crazed consumers. The name of the game is rarity and exclusivity—authenticity be damned.”
If human truth is, as Lacan contends, the cut, gap, or hole, “the subject as a discontinuity in the real” (Ecrits, p. 678), then these types of sneakers are authentic, displaying the truth of human identity, a disruptive and often disturbing (Alice!) “instating” (Lacan’s word) in the great panoply of meanings that make up our world. And it is not only these off-piste sneakers but what we try to capture in the essential words of fashion — flair, style, panache, charm — that mine the holes of human identity.
And, to end, the magnificent Ruth Wilson as Alice: