Frequent and faithful visitors to the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, however artistically dressed, might limit their footwear to boots, sneakers and sandals. But for Bruno Frisoni, Roger Vivier’s Creative Director, the gathering in the desert sands was a source of inspiration. With performance skills almost as dramatic as the artists in situ at the ephemeral Black Rock City, the designer’s footwear creations included high sandals crawling up the leg like greenery or with Native American tribal patterns worked in tiny beads. The eagles that might soar overhead at dawn also came into focus in the display.
“It’s Midnight Rendezvous — for birds!” Bruno announced, explaining the wingspan theme of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection. That included the heads of cockerels and golden eagles to give a grand feel, but with a focus on nature. Other bird elements were modernist, created as geometric patterns on flat clutch bags.
The designer was one of the first to realise that the shoe business today should include show business — hence brogues fancied up with a crystal upper and a flourish of a ribbon bow at the heel. Crystals forming geometric decoration appeared on bags as well as shoes.
But it was footwear with a flourish — including the balance of the Vivier high heels — hat attracted attention, especially of Taiwanese star Ruby Lin, who examined every piece.
The secret of this midnight rendezvous was its quality — both in terms of luxury materials and construction. I doubt that some of the elegant shoes decorated with coral cabochons would make it across the desert. But, as a dreamscape, the collection had both pace and grace.