Modernizing Classics: The Best Vintage-Inspired Shoes for Fashion Week

September 12, 2011 • Magazine, Vintage


New York Fashion Week has finally arrived, and although attendees everywhere have most likely been planning their wardrobe for weeks, we all know that a killer Fashion Week outfit is grounded in one thing: the shoes. No one’s asking you to be Anna Della Russo, here. But if you want to get snapped by all those street style photographer lurking around Lincoln Center, it’s got to be good from head-to-toe. No matter your style, Fashion Week is a great opportunity to break out some vintage wares and highlight your ensemble with obscure pieces destined to turn heads. Plus, when asked where you got something, it’s always nice to be able to say, “Oh, that? That’s vintage.” (Perhaps you’re one of those people who responds with that no matter what — that’s okay, too.)

Good vintage requires a hunt, so if you don’t have the time, check out these vintage (inspired) shoes, that will give your look the Hipstamatic edge even if you’re on a time crunch. (You can say they’re vintage — we won’t tell.)

1. Marni Perforated Mary Jane, $650

An eternal classic, the Mary Jane is the chic, 1950s-inspired go-to for any woman. But if you’re aiming to infuse your vintage favorite with a bit of oomph, Marni’s option is the ideal choice. The ultimate shoe du jour for every season, the three layers of stacked heels are built in classic, neutral colors that will complement any outfit. After prancing around Fashion Week in these showstopper heels, you’ll never go back to the classic Mary Jane again.

2.Yves Saint Laurent ‘Palais’ Passementerie Peep Toe Bootie,  $895

When it comes to heels, no one glams up the classics like YSL. Known for their Tribute heel, which features a gorgeous stacked platform and an ever-increasing stiletto heel, this heightened oxford screams 1970s glamour. The curve of the heel and delicate tasseled laces modernize its look ever so slightly, making the pump at once both timeless and refreshingly of the moment.

3.Giambatista Valli Double Platform Pump, $935

“1950s pinup with an edge” is exactly what I thought when I first spied these gorgeous Giambatista Valli pumps. They’re sweet, with their perforated, pink flower detailing, but are punctuated with edgy details which are modern and refreshing. The spiked heel and slightly raised toe harden its edges to rejuvenate its 50s-inspired shape and throw it into the twenty-first century. Sugar and spice — always the best combo. Especially on your feet.

4. Lanvin Laser-Heel Ankle-Wrap Pump, $1348

Alber Elbaz can harden a clean line better than anyone, and these sensational heels are a prime example. He takes a delicate stiletto, and the even more delicate concept of an ankle strap, and jacks it up with gold grommets, double straps and buckles. It’s like vintage S&M for your feet — ideal for Fashion Week (and everywhere else).

5. Nicholas Kirkwood Suede & Metallic Loafer Pump, $995
This is my favorite modernization of the classic, because Nicholas Kirkwood does it in a way that truly speaks to the contemporary moment. Evolving the oxford with both fuchsia metallics and a stacked platform, these heels are the ultimate vintage-inspired crowd pleaser. You may not be able to say they’re vintage, but you can say they’re Nicholas Kirkwood. And that’s good enough.

— Amanda Aldinger

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