So when is the foot-fetish fashion week? For the Spring 2015 season, I saw clothing collections where the eyes were drawn immediately to the shoes – either because of their beauty (the best scenario) or because the models were balanced so precariously that the walk down the catwalk was an excruciating experience – even for the audience. I also saw more models in flat shoes on the runway this season than I have ever seen before.
But imaginative shoes do not have to be crazy and unwearable. The art of the shoe, so brilliantly laid out at the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Killer Heels, which is on until February 15, has dizzying examples of fashion at our feet.
Charlotte Olympia: It Happened Out West
“I’ve rarely been to the places I’m inspired by, I travel there in my mind. It’s more romantic,” said Charlotte Dellal, designer of Charlotte Olympia, holding a horse-shoe-shaped bag and a ponyskin stiletto with a horse-shoe built on the sole.
From a window with a glamour-puss mannequin wearing blue jeans and riding a bucking broncho, to ‘Wanted’ posters featuring figures with their shoes treading desert sands, the designer’s offering lived up to the collection’s name: It Happened out West.
The fact that the images were taken on a film set in Almería in Spain, rather than in America’s cowboy country, did not take away the power and the fun of this footwear.
Stand-out pieces included clutch bags in tan leather with American Indian embroidery, suede shoes with fringed ankle decoration and heels painted with a corralling cowboy on one and a bucking horse on the other.
Christian Louboutin: Nailing Beauty
“It’s selling out everywhere!” said Christian Louboutin of the multicoloured nail polishes that form a tower topped with a foot-fetish shoe in the windows of his Paris store.
Louboutin’s foray into beauty is based on the showbusiness behind his shoe business: the story of the young designer back in 1992 who painted the soles of his shoes scarlet using nail polish.
The success of the summer launch of the red nail polish has been followed by a 30 different shades, presented in a tower topped by a shoe that even his most avid client cannot wear: an impossibly tall Fetish shoe that he created with David Lynch for a surreal film.
The price of the nail polishes? If you can’t afford Louboutin shoes, you should not think of the varnish for your toes.
Roger Vivier: Pilgrim Sexy
The pilgrim’s path is known to be long and arduous – an ancient trail past the stations of the cross. So surely the shoes to suit would be flat and stout?
But the Roger Vivier version of the concept has been updated as Pilgrim Sexy – a high-heeled sandal with a sturdy ankle buckle that offers what designer Bruno Frisoni calls “a casual sensuality”.
Although the Vivier collection labelled Summer Lights included classic updates on the three-dimensional Prismatic architecture, Bruno was also in a mood for tribal inspirations.
The Mask collection, with its design variations on native art, included ultra-sophisticated high-heeled sandals with feathers at the ankle and that particular meld of raw and refined last seen in Yves Saint Laurent’s glory years.
The many aspects of the Roger Vivier collection included Fifties elegance for Miss Viv, the modernism of Le Corbusier and bags in a rainbow of sequins giving the effect of a three-dimensional play on light and shade.