No pump -- or toe -- was turned away, because Manning's work has little to do with surnames Blahnik or Louboutin and everything to do with documenting the seniors' final show of self-expression as college students.
"In the last five years, shoes worn at graduation have gotten so much more radical," said Manning, who has worked as the
Inspired by the red-carpet award shows' shoe-cams and "mani-cams" (cameras that document celeb footwear and manicures), Manning launched the #TUgradshoes project last year with a pre-graduation shoot of her own under
This year, the pops of color south of the 9,000 graduating students' hemlines were chicly conspicuous. Women teetered on trendy shoes of the season: floral wedges; chunky, nude platforms; color-blocked flats; and teal pointed toes. Sparkling stilettos and caged clodhoppers were in the house. And yes, to the horror of foot conservatives, flip-flops were part of the celebratory mix, as well.
But it was
"Every Temple [basketball] game I wore these shoes to, they won," beamed 21-year-old
It's an age-old tradition for graduates to personalize their mortarboards -- and in today's world of DIY art, their caps -- especially at the area's artsy schools like
But the shoes? They were typically as staid as the one-size-fits-all gowns. Basic spats and round-toed pumps complemented mature dresses and suits under formal graduation attire. Conformity was key.
Now graduation walks look like the catwalk not just at
It's even possible to have a high posh factor and be pain-free, so you can wait for that diploma without welts.
"I just needed something comfortable," said
"I've been caged for four years," she said. "I'm about to let it loose into the real world now."
"I mean, everyone else had on shoes," the mechanical engineering graduate said. At the last minute, he thought his naked feet were a better option than the beat-up old sneakers he originally planned to wear. "I'm not a hipster or anything. But I want to be different. Show my stuff.
"You only graduate once."
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