Designer Shoes: Bionda Castana

During my [long] break from blogging, and even though I wasn’t writing everyday, I was still checking out the latest collections – once a shoe lover, always a shoe lover ☺.

One of the reasons I felt it took me so long to get back to blogging is that I couldn’t help but feel overall uninspired by everything I was seeing stocked in my favorite stores. Aside from a few standouts here & there, the designs seemed monotonous. Which is the reason why I have so much respect for designers who manage to balance creativity with wearability and staple pieces while at the same time maintaining a unique brand voice.

I was browsing through new spring styles and wanted to share the shoes which really caught my eye:

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Bionda Castana x LK Bennett checkerboard printed pointed-toe pump in navy and white leather.

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Manolo Blahnik soft orange suede pointed-toe pump with shiny blue piped leather trim.

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Marskin Ryyppy Merope strappy cutout pump in tangerine suede and metallic peacock green snakeskin.

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Chloe Gosselin cutout pump in vermilion red suede and matching leather.

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Paul Andrew Haikou pump in white satin with raffia & sequin flower embroidery in white and dragon red.

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Casadei cobalt suede sandal with natural snakeskin straps and long ankle-wrap laces with tassels.

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Tabitha Simmons natural raffia strappy sandals with blue starburst floral embroidered straps.

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Alexandre Birman sky blue suede sandal with tube straps and snakeskin detailing.

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Giannico Picasso mule with Beverly Hills palm print canvas and pale blue leather covered stiletto.

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Chelsea Paris for Jean-Pierre Braganza black leather cage sandal with multicolor details.

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Liudmilla jacquard Leandra sculpted wedge pump with a cutout heel and long gold leather ankle-wrap.

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Alejandra G. multicolor pastel snakeskin cage sandal with matching tassels.

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Oscar Tiye Kitty sandal in glossy black patent leather and contrast white stitching.

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Malone Souliers Ida gladiator sandal in a beautiful laser-cut teal leather with red patent leather and pretty pink laces; available at Avenue 32.

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Mary Katrantzou floral printed leather pumps with croc strap and sculpted gold-tone heel.

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Le Silla cutout sandal in platinum snakeskin and long corset-style laces; available at Le Silla.

Images via designers, FootwearNews, Vogue UK

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Credit: Wenn

Sophia Bush was spotted on the set of ‘Extra TV’ at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles wearing Bionda Castana Daphne Bis pumps. They’re from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection featuring dalmatian printed silk satin and 120mm covered heel. Daphne Bis available at Bionda Castana.

Sophia and her ‘Chicago PD’ costar, Jesse Lee Soffer spoke to host Mario Lopez about Season 1 of their TV drama series. She arrived wearing a black Jill Stuart cap sleeve dress with a cutout neckline, crochet paneled bodice and short, flared skirt from the Spring 2014 collection. You can find a similar dress from the same collection at Shopbop.

She also accessorized with a Gaydamak Koral hand bracelet, Andi Alyse bangle and H.Stern cognac diamond Zephyr earrings.

Check out more shoes spotted on Sophia.

Winter is upon us, which can only mean one thing for the ever-moving world of fashion: Spring shoes are just around the corner and a heap of new trends is going to come with it. It’s intimidating, but have no fear! While you’ve been zipping up your knee high boots, we’ve been hot on the trail of the best shoe styles of the upcoming season. Even though it was difficult to narrow it down, here are the trends we’re most looking forward to for Spring 2014:

Mules: Not to be confused with the animal, mules are shoes characterized by their exposed heel and this Spring 2014 season they are everywhere. Backless shoes are a trend everyone can rock, as they come in a myriad of heights. We spotted them on the catwalks of mega-brands Alexander Wang, Chloé, Stella McCartney, and Céline. Our faves? Of course, Gianvito Rossi is the master of the mule – he even designed Altuzarra’s gorgeous runway mules – but, we also can’t help but love Monique Lhuillier’s gorgeous use of PVC in her heel-baring designs and Christian Louboutin’s bead-embellished creations.

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Placid Blue: This icy-toned blue is one of Pantone’s top picks for the Spring 2014 season. Dubbed “placid blue,” this hue does indeed have a calming and serene quality about it and designers latched onto it for their warmer weather designs. Used as both the main color and as an accenting neutral, we love the way this normally subversive color is taking control this season. From the curved heel of Walter Steiger’s glorious pump to Miu Miu’s chunky heeled platform, this color has proven itself to be much more than an Easter egg favorite.

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Freesia: As if to tell placid blue to move over and share the stage, this Pantone pick is a blazing yellow that commands attention. Freesia is the color of electric citrus, and where placid blue is a blue sky, freesia is the smoldering sun. Just a glimpse at the color instantly energizes you, which is why it isn’t surprising that designers such as Giuseppe Zanotti, Nicholas Kirkwood, Prada, ShoeRazzi favorite Jerome C. Rousseau, and John Galliano (spotted on the trendy heels of Rita Ora) have all utilized this vibrant color. After all, there is no better way to add a kick of ferocity to an outfit than with a sick pair of shoes!

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Sporty: This spring, the femininity of high heels are combining with an unexpected element: sportiness. We briefly delved into this trend in our recap of the hottest shoes on the Milanese runways, but this trend is proving to be much more than a footnote. Whether it’s through the use of athletic materials such as perforated leather (Daniele Michetti), woven nylon (Balenciaga), and neoprene (John Galliano), or through design like Emilio Pucci’s padded leather straps, Prada’s rubber bumpers and sole, or Christian Dior’s sneaker laces, it’s clear that one of the hottest trends of Spring 2014 is combining urban style with luxury.

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Funky Embellishments: For the past couple seasons, wild embellishments have been a designer standby to make their shoes really stand out, and this season is no different. We’re seeing a wealth of extravagant and unique embellishments that are making classic shoe designs total statement makers. From Sophia Webster’s spunky and vibrant butterfly wings to Bionda Castana’s ingenious use of lace and silicone to create a leopard print, using embellishments is the go-to way to make your shoes the most enviable soles on the block. Christian Louboutin even got in on the trend with his darling doorknocker embellishments and that’s how you know it’s a must-follow trend.

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Floral Appliqué: Along the same vein of embellishments, another incredibly popular trend during this upcoming spring and summer season is the use of floral appliqués. It makes sense when you think about it: what better way to celebrate warm weather’s flowers and gorgeous variety of colors than using those very vessels of vibrancy as shoe-spiration? The flowers range from subtle (Christian Dior, Brian Atwood) to a veritable bouquet (we’re looking at you Aperlai and Kotur!), but no matter the size of the flower, we love the elegance and femininity it effortlessly conveys.

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Beaded: By this time, you’re probably sensing a theme: next season is all about personality-filled shoes. The more accoutrements the better. Following the shoe jewelry trend (shoewlry? We’ll work on a name for this, we promise), some of the hottest shoes you’ll be seeing in Spring 2014 are ornately beaded works of footwear art. Emilio Pucci’s Masai-inspired beading is picture perfect, Paul Andrew’s floral inspiration combines two trends in one pump, and Aperlai’s caviar beaded platform shoes – seen on Willow Shields during The Hunger Games: Catching Fire press tour – is edgy while still being darling. However, the shoe that takes the bead-embellished cake is definitely Jerome C. Rousseau’s multi-beaded, multi-dimensional heel, which is sure to turn heads.

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Written by Shannon Weston



Bionda-Castana-logoFounded by two half-Italian Londoners – Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman – Bionda Castana collections are built upon the fashion principals of class, sophistication, and impeccable craftsmanship. Season after season, their sleek designs are inspired by pinnacles of feminine strength. Whether it’s strong, vibrant, and textural pop art styles, or slinky, seductive, and strappy soles fit for femme fatales, their shoes are perfect for a woman that has excellent taste and a heavy hand of self-confidence. When the quirk of London melds with the panache of Italy, the result is a pair of shoes that women feel proud to slip into. With this in mind, it isn’t surprising that their fall 2013 collection is nothing short of enviable.

“Our autumn/winter 2013 collection took regal inspiration – from the fabrics, to the colours, to the detailing. The couture detailing is further elevated from last season, showcasing the talents of the Italian artisans that produce our collections each season,” Natalia said about the duo’s latest collection to Fashion Gone Rogue.

One look at the designs truly cements the opulent feel, as the pumps, boots, and smoking flats are crafted with ingenious combinations and vision. Lace-overlain leather, sumptuous velvets, and mesh incorporated into geometry soar to new heights with platforms, studs, and ornate fan-inspired shaping. It all harkens back to the Renaissance in its attention to detail and old-fashioned feel, but with a modern twist that makes every design distinctly eye-catching. We love how unafraid they are of integrating old themes – such as brocade fabric and courting shoes – into new age tastes without the end result feeling like the footwear found at a costume party.

They’re a brand that effortlessly exudes class and elegance. Lately, their styles have been seen on the feet of style stars like Eva Mendes, Elizabeth Olsen, Miranda Kerr, and Gemma Arterton. By attracting actresses and fashion icons that radiate an Old Hollywood va-va-voom appeal, they have found their niche in the market that we didn’t even know needed to be filled until they stepped up and showed us that “classic beauty” is not synonymous with “boring.”

These shoes practically beg to be worn this winter season, because these shoes are holiday spirit and warmth incarnate. Order a pair now and feel Christmas come a bit early this year.

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Amelie blue velvet round toe boot with leather trim; available at Avenue32 & Opening Ceremony

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Amelie green satin boot with gold lace overlay; available in black at Avenue 32

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Daphne black suede pump with Elizabethan ruffle collar pump; available at My Wardrobe & Bionda Castana

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Daphne green satin & gold lace pump; available at My WardrobeNordstrom & Bionda Castana

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Daphne blue satin chain print pump with Elizabethan ruffle collar; available at Bionda Castana

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Giovanna black & white leather boots; available at My Wardrobe and Bionda Castana

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Karlie black sheer lace & suede lace-up platform boot; available at Bionda Castana
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Lana red leather and mesh paneled pump; available at Bionda Castana

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Lana black suede and mesh pump; available at My WardrobeAvenue 32Bionda Castana & Opening Ceremony

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Pia black & red suede ankle-cuff pump with gold pinpoint studs; available at Nordstrom and Bionda Castana

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Roisin black suede round toe bootie with leather laces and small gold studs; available at Avenue 32Nordstrom & Bionda Castana

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Roisin grey suede bootie with gold pinpoint studs; available at Bionda Castana

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Roisin bright red suede bootie with front corset-style leather laces; available at Bionda Castana

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Bionda-Castana-Victoria-Pump-Fall-2013-Collection

Victoria leather pump with a tapered toe, low heel and studded accent; available in black at Nordstrom & Bionda Castana

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Lily over-the-knee boots with a block heel; available in vintage inspired black crushed velvet and dark grey velvet at Bionda Castana

Written by Shannon Weston