That which does not have a solid foundation, will not last.Â This is aptly applied to homes, relationships, businesses, and most of all…the perfect outfit.Â For anyone who’s seen a woman rocking fabulous style, only to eyeball down and hit whatever unfortunate excuse for footwear happens to be gracing her feet, you understand. No matter what kind of genius is going on from the ankle up, the outfit is tarnished.Â There’s a reason that shoes, bags, and hair hold the importance they do. They’re the finishing touches. And if they’re off? There goes the whole outfit.
Thus, my overwhelming excitement for the current high concept trends in footwear. Boasting an exuberant display of adornment, structure, color and texture, shoe design has exploded to a never-before-seen level – with footwear often holding more trend-setting influence than the clothes.Â Just think of the craze Rodarte‘s thigh-high boots incited, or the eruption of 4-5 inch heels after last fall’s Prada collection showed. More than just a solid (and sexy) foundation, the new trends in conceptual shoes hearken back to the artistry of fashion’s most iconic couturiers – when Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent reigned supreme. Currently fashion’s highest form of artwork, take a look at the hautest of the haute for the upcoming season.
McQueen’s distinctly reptilian collection for SS/10 was taken to the next level with his truly sensational footwear. Completely reinvisioning the functional shape of the bootie, McQueen’s design transformed it into rounded, toeless perfection. Although this shape was the most prominent style featured throughout his collection, McQueen embraced experimentation, producing shoes with gunmetal plates screwed the toe and heel, alongside Alien-esque florescent blue wonders boasting swirly, ribbed, futuristic texturing. Futuristic, indeed, McQueen’s SS/10 collection took footwear far beyond its time.Â
Nicholas Kirkwood’s pseudo-athletic high-tech wedges for Proenza Schouler are amazing. For all-day height without the pain a wedge is the sure way to go, and these fabulous inverted wedges maintain their edginess without sacrificing comfort. Perfectly transitional between Fall and Spring, Kirkwood, once again, proves that he knows how to take care of a lady’s shoe wardrobe. Best of all, he created multiple designs in various styles and patterns – just like Proenza Schouler’s chic and playful collections, these shoes boast incredible versatility.Â
Gorgeous as ever, Prada imbues a bit of classy kitsch into Miu Miu’s footwear this season, showing satin-covered heels featuring playful images of flowers, cats and birds.Â Always captivating, Prada mixes her provocative prints with a heavy heel and stunning crystalline embellishments, creating a look that’s perfectly adorable, yet also classically chic. Prints and jewels! Who could ask for anything more?
Clearly, for Prada, the jewel’s the theme – and this season, the footwear has moved a bit closer to the ground.Â What I love most about these shoes is how fun they look, and how sturdy the heel is. Their solidly-constructed shape appears incredibly comfortable, without seeming like the heel and sole were designed solely for functionality.Â The jewels add a look that’s beautifully ornate, proving to be a stunning reinvention of the fringed look. Jewel tones look sensational all year long, and grey is the best neutral there is, making these Prada gems a must-have.
If ever in the world did there exist exquisite, unadulterated beauty, it appeared on Valentino’s SS/10 runway.Â After less-than-positive reviews for last season’s collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli presented a sumptuous feast of lace, draping and gorgeous extravagance that translated beautifully into their artfully constructed heels. Featuring structured bouquets of lace and organza, they are the perfect combination of elegance and high fashion. Absolute showstoppers, Valentino’s are some of the most beautiful shoes on the market for Spring.
This season, treat you and your feet to something utterly divine. For a strut is nothing without style, and style is nothing without the shoes.Â
Image Layout: Minette Higden