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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

The peacock shoe pecks out the plain handbag

But guess what: the peacock shoe has picked at the plain bag — and spread its wings.

19 Марта 2015

Aquazzura Peacock feathered boot
Aquazzura Peacock feathered boot

Aquazzura 

The prize piece from Aquazzura was literally peacock footwear. A feather-covered high boot, in plumes of many colours from green shading to grey or fuchsia pink and sky blue, was the strutting example of how decorative shoes have borrowed fancy effects from handbags. 

Aquazzura is the name of a Florence-based brand from Colombian designer Edgardo Osorio. His shoes are wildly decorative and mostly high and strappy. But responding to the trend for high-lo, there were also suede snow boots, in ginger with a knotted fringe; by contrast, a shocking pink suede shoe with turned-back flaps at the ankle was unashamedly a stiletto. 

Aquazzura
Aquazzura

With a store in Florence’s Palazzo Corsini, the historic building looking over the river Arno, Aquazzura teams the intense hand skills of the Italians with the wild energy of Columbia. A peacock is its perfect symbol. 

Roger Vivier 

“I am making masculine shoes,’’ said Bruno Frisoni, as he showed me flat shoes and a mannish approach in the low boots in graphic black-and-white checks — large or small. 

Roger Vivier. Photo credit: Roger Vivier
Roger Vivier. Photo credit: Roger Vivier

Looking up at a crystal chandelier with a pair of thigh-high boots swinging, disembodied, like a photograph by Guy Bourdin, I was not totally convinced by this idea of masculine defeating feminine at Vivier. The compromise: feminine flats with graphic star patterns or colour blocks. 

Roger Vivier
Roger Vivier

The skill was to find not just a decorative approach, but also to invent a new signature for Vivier and Frisoni’s three-dimensional “Prismick” cutting. The answer was not the established “virgule” or comma, shape, but the new trumpet heel — high but curved, and inspired by the cut of 1970s trousers. 

Photo credit: Roger Vivier
Photo credit: Roger Vivier

Paul Andrew 

As a British designer working out of New York, winner of the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and newly nominated for the CFDA/Swarovski 2015 award, Paul Andrew’s variations on his signature stretch boots might be knee- or thigh-high, but are always seductive in their dark or bright colours. 

Paul Andrew
Paul Andrew

British-born, US-based Andrew cut his teeth designing shoes for Alexander McQueen before moving to New York to work under Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez. 

Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew
Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew

In a New York state of mind, Andrew created high heels inspired by the High Line — New York’s raised downtown walkway. Although it would be a brave woman who walked the path in the designer’s stilettos. 

A stretch boot with New York’s skyline in gilded studs offered a dramatic way of bringing the Big Apple to Paris. 

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Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew

Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew

Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew

Paul Andrew. Photo credit: Paul Andrew


 Nicholas Kirkwood

The era of Carnaby Street and Mary Quant back in the swinging Sixties was the inspiration for Nicholas Kirkwood — but not as a retro look. The designer focused on the futurism of that era, with the op art, or optical illusions, of artist Bridget Riley appearing as modernist effects in black and white. 

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Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood


The Carnaby story included Plexiglass heels in a concave shape and silver platinum-style, with graphite adding metallic cool. For winter 2015, Kirkwood envisaged the Olly boot mixing a peep-toe with rabbit clasps to add what was called fun fur back in the Sixties. 

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Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo credit: Nicholas Kirkwood


Hermès 

A pair of cotton velvet sneakers from Hermès, anyone? Sports gear from the purveyors of riding boots? Really? But you can get cavalry boots, too, smooth as silk in fine black leather but with streaking lines of red and blue to enliven the classic shape. 

The breadth of the Hermès shoe offering was shown for the first time in a specially constructed display of mirrored cases, to give the illusion of the reality: a vast number of different offerings. 

Hermès
Hermès

Most footwear was, of course, in leather, from the company that started off with the saddle. But among classics such as ballet pumps – given a touch of toughness with metal ties — were some bold pieces: a medium-heeled pump in a “tricolour” of turquoise, scarlet and pink; ankle boots with rows of metallic studs. 

The ultimate in Hermès’s discreet luxury: a leafy green loafer in alligator trimmed with mink.

Hermès
Hermès

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