A Reason for Rituals

Henry Harington reports on a ritual that was a cause for celebration in his life, with the help of a pair of bugatti shoes.


ituals, we all have them: our lives are all governed by rituals to one extent or another. But, what I really mean by rituals are the rituals of life.

We tend to dismiss them or speak about them in an amused or condescending way thinking of half-naked men in face paint and grass skirts performing unspeakable acts in distant lands.

In doing so we tend to overlook the importance of waypoints by which we

navigate our journeys through life. Births, first days at school, graduation from university or college, marriage and of course the last rite, our funerals, are in fact life's milestones telling us how far we have travelled and, how far we still have to go.

I’d like to tell you about a ritual that was recently a cause

for celebration in my life. One of my sons was recently due to graduate from university and had invited me to attend the ritual of his passing out, the graduation ceremony.

Part of the ritual is the expression of parental pride,

quite unjustified in my case as my son has put himself through university. But, it was the time for celebration. My son was due to don his glad rags, including his gown and mortar board, to be "capped" by the Chancellor of the university amidst the splendour of the local cathedral.

I was however able to make a contribution. My son needed a new pair of

shoes. I had been asked by Footwear Today to road test a pair of bugatti shoes. I could not think of a more appropriate occasion or venue for a pair of stylish yet formal shoes, in which my son could step up to the stage and continue from there into his adult and educated life.

Family and friends craned to see their loved ones receive their degrees on

the podium and stride down the cathedral nave as graduates. Some took the ritual and the tradition considerably less seriously than

others. My son wore a smart blue suit, a Jermyn Street shirt and a tie which, with the bugatti shoes, made him look as though he could walk straight into a profession. What is more, he told me that they were actually, very comfortable to wear, which, according to him, is more than can be said for some of his formal footwear in the past.

I note the kind people at bugatti

include a “high-tec Genial-Insole” in their shoes, for “soft walking and optimum shock absorption”, which probably explains their comfort factor.

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By contrast some of his colleagues wore jeans, open necked shirts and

sneakers, student gear if you like, all of which gave the impression they did not wish to rise to the occasion. I don't judge them, for all I know student tuition fees may have impoverished them to the extent they could not afford a suit, let alone a pair of fashionable, yet stylish shoes for the event. Perhaps they saw the ceremony as a chore and not one of life's important rituals.

My own mother (for whom the ritual of my graduation was very important)

bought me a suit and a pair of good shoes (although neither as good nor as fashionable or as comfortable as my son's bugattis) when I was due to be "capped". Firstly, she did not want her son to "let her down" in the sartorial department on the important occasion of my graduation. But secondly, she wanted to invest in my future job prospects by ensuing I was not going to lose a job because I appeared shabby at the interview.

The construction of the bugatti shoes, made with

the highest quality leather uppers and leather soles, would ensure my son's bugattis will serve him well at many a job interview. But I am hoping, of course, that, if he dresses as he did at his graduation, that he will only need one interview to get a plum job.

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