American-born with roots in Italy and France, Henri Lepore Dezert is no stranger to fashion. As a child, he worked with his father in their family-owned custom upholstery shop; later on, he moved to New York to work with his cousin, none other than the queen of patterned flirty dresses, Nanette Lepore. With ambition and design practically in his DNA, Henri used his discerning palate and superb business savvy to create and cultivate his own brand, separating himself from his family by breaching into footwear.
Luckily, we have obtained the ultimate scoop on this shoe maven and his debut collection. In our interview, he talks about the synchrony that he has found between shoe form, shape, and material; in many ways, the perfect shoe is well-rounded and complementary of itself. He emphasis a lack of forcing a shoe idea or design to happen, which must be why every millimeter of supple leather and suede of Henri’s shoes screams effortless.
Congratulations on your debut collection! After reading a bit about you and given your family’s history in both fashion & upholstery; what really lead you to “choose” shoes & pursue shoemaking?
Thank you, Ashley!
Meeting my wife Antonietta and moving from New York to Italy is what gave me the opportunity to pursue shoemaking the most. In Italy, most people do not live to work, they work to live and enjoy life. With that passion in mind I think shoemaking found me because I’m living in Italy and it has become a part of my everyday life.
Who are the women you design for? How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I design for the woman that desires to be alluring yet classy. My clientele tend to be women that are cultured and well travelled.
As a shoe designer I strive to create shoes that are simple but retain depth. I never force a structure or material just because one or the other is great, they must seamlessly go together to create the right shoe.
I would describe my design aesthetic as ethereal. I spend a lot of time looking for leathers and textiles that are unique and strive to use them in their optimal ways.
Can you explain a little about your design process? Do you have a inspiration board or listen to a certain type of music that helps keep you inspired and the creativity flowing?
My design process has three basic phases: concept phase, prototype phase and final sample phase.
I often begin each shoe by finding particular leathers or textiles that create a certain aura. I like to let the lines or colors of a leather or textile determine each shoe. I’m always going to trade fairs in Italy and France such as ‘Anteprima’ and ‘Cuir A Paris’ on the search for unique leathers, textiles and components.
Next to nature, music is probably my biggest inspiration. My favorite artist right now is Nicolas Jaar; I’ve listened to almost every set of his and each is a masterpiece. Every little sound seems to be precisely thought out, nothing goes to waste. He blends the old with the new so well, it becomes a new sound in itself and has definitely been an inspiration.
Who are your ultimate celebrity clients; who would you love to see wear your shoes on the red carpet?
Wow this is tough… There are so many celebrities that have great style but if I had to limit it to 5, I would say: Angelina Jolie, Zoe Saldana, Amy Adams, Lupita Nyong’o and Marion Cotillard.
Which style are you most proud of?
I love my Carmela ‘t-strap slingback’ pump; it’s the perfect blend of contemporary and classic design. Meet the debut collection which is currently available for pre-order (delivery beginning August 15, 2014) at Henri Lepore Dezert:Carmela crossback t-strap pump in black leather with tonal goatskin suede trim and 105mm heel Carmela crossback t-strap pump in glossy red patent leather with goatskin suede piping and 105mm heel Carmela crossback t-strap pump in white leather with contrasting bronze leather piped trim and 105mm heel Edda spat bootie in black leather with a black suede front panel, anodized antique gold stud buttons and stacked wood 85mm wedge heel Geary geometric cut-out bootie in black leather with a back-zip and 100mm heel Off The Cuff tricolor peep-toe platform sandal in cognac brown leather, pollen gold suede and white lizard with a stacked 120mm heel Razza double ankle-strap sandal in black leather & stingray with a metallic effect and 100mm heel Salana pointed-toe d’Orsay pump in pale gold python with a tonal piped leather trim and 100mm heel Zaldana open toe t-strap pump in blue silk satin with a darker blue leather and 120mm heel Zaldana open toe t-strap pump in augmented monochromatic chevron with a leather covered 120mm heel and platform
When we think of Sophia Webster, we think of sass. Pure, unadulterated, and heartfelt sass; in fact, we’re pretty sure that if you looked up “feisty” in the sartorial dictionary, a pair of her thin-heeled ankle-strap sandals would be pictured. For her Pre-Fall and Fall 2014 collections, Sophia takes a morose theme (“Heartbreak Hotel”) and turns it into something utterly charming and vibrant. Who needs love when you can buy shoes?
The shoes themselves would be at home in Barbie’s Dreamhouse or on the toes of one of the many girl power popgroups of the ‘90s. Metallic houndstooth, fringe, gaudy faux jewels, and vivid colors were just the start of the Cher Horowitz Heartbreak influence, the saturated over-the-top theme is threaded through both the collections. Fur-embellished mules and sandals collide with laser-cut gladiator over-the-knee boots making for a host of statement making shoes that would turn heads in any scenario. No boyfriend? No problem! These darling heels are sure to add enough sweetness to your wardrobe for an eternity – or, at least, until next season.
Leopard prints, rounded stacked ball heels, and cartoonish embellishments (paisley, hearts, and flamingos!) add an innocent streak through the collection, rounded out by the deviously high stiletto points and edgy addition of vinyl. In terms of silhouettes, we can always count on her to release a balanced collection of thick-soled vintage-inspired designs with pinpoint stilettos – though this time, she also included a couple sneakers and flat-soled sandals. One thing we love about Sophia is her ability to incorporate popular trends into her shoes without them losing her je ne sais quoi. She’s readily embraced the sportswear trend of recent seasons but unlike other designers, the confectionary color of the rubber treads and lace-up styles feel fresh, unique, and playful.
This collection has been hailed as another golden star in Sophia Webster’s impressive catalogue. After scooping up the Emerging Accessories Designer at the British Fashion Awards and landing a Fashion Forward sponsorship, she has become a veritable fashion train that is on the fast track to British design royalty. We’re excited to see where she takes her candy colored fairytale world – if it’s anything like this collection, we know we’ll be head over heels (Heartbreak Hotel not needed!).
‘Tis the season for weddings and they’ve seemingly invaded every area of my life as of late…my younger sister just got married, my best friend is recently engaged and I’m supposed to be planning my own wedding!
Whether you want to walk the aisle in a classic pump, silk satin peep-toe slingback or glitter covered ankle-strap sandal, Christian Louboutin’s Spring 2014 Bridal collection has something for every bride – I can’t think of a more perfect shoe brand worthy of a bride’s big day.
Jazzy Doll gold metallic sandal with a twisted t-strap, ruched front and 100mm heel; available in metallic gold at Neiman Marcus or several other styles at Christian Louboutin
Just Soon 85mm open-toe pump in white leather with an asymmetric front bow; available in several styles at Christian Louboutin
Martha 100mm t-strap sandal in white leather with sheer mesh lining, oval-shaped strappy cage design and 100mm; as seen on Charlize Theron, available in white or gold metallic leather at Christian Louboutin
It’s hard to sum up Tabitha Simmons in a nutshell. In her youth, she was a stellar fashion model that successfully transformed her career into a must-have stylist, styling runway shows, lookbooks, and editorials for massive names such as American Vogue, Rag & Bone, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. Her pleasant demeanor and behind-the-fashion-scene acumen sent her career on a sky-high trajectory but Tabitha didn’t stop there. Her voracious appetite to try new things and artistic eye led her to pick up another avenue in the fashion industry: shoe design. Naturally, she and her brand have flourished. With that in mind, if we were to accurately describe her in three words, it’d probably be: Fashion’s Wonder Woman.
Since starting her brand in 2009, Tabitha’s footwear has been widely and warmly accepted by the fashion industry. Her Spring 2014 collection is as strong and lush as we’ve come to expect from Tabitha’s aesthetic, which is to say: everything we could ever want and more. Unmistakably feminine, confidently daring, it’s hard to pick a favorite.
The silhouettes range from sleek to quirky, strappy to minimalistic - giving plenty of options for any walk of life. We love how she’s not afraid to play around with heavier shapes and despite the season, even adding in a signature calf hair boot. Sugary sweet themes, such as thin baby blue stripes or candy colored glitter, are balanced out by the undoubtedly dramatic – we’re talking snakeskin, perforated eyelet leather, and crystal covered bows.
We particularly gravitate to the Bailey fullycrystal embellished sandal and the handful of designs that are printed with colorful butterfly designs on woven silk. They’re the perfect blend of classic and sass which make for the ultimate statement shoe.
Though the heels are high and the impact is bold, Tabitha never designs without comfort in mind. She understands the daily routine of a woman on the go and knows the importance of wearability, no matter the style or height. After all, we find it hard to believe that Tabitha herself is in one place at one time for more than five minutes – why shouldn’t style travel alongside comfort? We can’t ask for a collection of shoes more perfect than hers.
Alexa slingback pumps with a contrast panel at the toe; available in white leather at Tabitha Simmons and in black & nude leather at Moda Operandi.
When it comes to modern, iconic footwear – a brand that ceaselessly melds class and infectious sex appeal into every design, there is only one brand that (rightfully) springs to mind: Christian Louboutin. A designer so obsessed with his craft that he slept in his design studio for eight years while launching his career into stratospheric heights, it isn’t remotely surprising that he consistently delivers jaw dropping collections.
The Fall 2014 collection – the one we had a glorious, if fleeting, sneak peek of back in March – showcases Louboutin’s love of versatility, as well as his total adoration of fabulous, ankle-breaking heights.
Lovely floral prints, delicate laser cut filigree and strappy styles in both classic and rich suedes harken back to the iconic Louboutin image that grab celebrity ambassadors by the handful. Our favorite twist on the classic? Louboutin’s ingenious use of crackled metallic leather; we’d call it the new snakeskin, but judging from his pristine use of python in some of the other designs, we have to consider the gorgeous crackled metallic in a league all of its own.
One of the most notable silhouette additions comes from the dramatically corset-laced sculpted pumps, first seen on the Fall 2014 Marchesa runway. Initially inspired by ballet, the Conquilla lace-up concave wedges are one part kink and two parts “please get in my closet, now.” However, those aren’t the only soles to make a massive visual impact; for example, the Pigalle Follies Strass are crystal-studded masterpieces that we would possibly give up croissants for life in order to have. We also see candy-colored studs used elsewhere, both complementing metallic hues and floating atop of clear PVC.
Other gotta-look-twice features of the collection include lattice-like laser cut suede, oversized grommets accented with whipstitch trim and glitter infused sheer fishnet.
The brand that has forever cemented red-lacquered soles and Christian Louboutin’s legacy into the Fashion Dictionary (chicly sandwiched between Chloé and Coco Chanel) has done it yet again. Whether you’re a woman who gravitates to Louboutin’s classic and sleek designs, or if the mixed media Aztec, Galata, and Gortik designs are right up your edgy alley, this legendary designer has got you covered.
Allegra cut-out sandal bootie in leather & suede with a 120mm heel and front tie fastening; as seen on Marion Cotillard
Allenissima open-toe slingback in black leather & patent leather with a 130mm heel
Lamadone knee-high lace up boot in black leather with a 120mm heel; Plakamina boot with peek-a-boo fishnet panels in black suede & merlot plus a 120mm heel; Tinafrange black suede fringe boot with a 120mm heel
New York, London, Milan….over one hundred shows, countless outfits, and an incredible amount of shoes later, we’re finally in the crème de la crème of fashion week: Paris. The City of Lights and Enviable Fashion! Grab a croissant and a café au lait, because we’re going to show you the hottest soles to walk the runway from Paris Fashion Week.
Anthony Vaccarello is a brand designed around the idea of a confident and sensual woman who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. The line is characterized by microscopic minis, excessive leather, and lots of cleavage. For all of Vaccarello’s verve and sass, the shoes are fairly classic and definitely the apparel’s subtle counterpart. Black, cherry red, and shining silver – the double strap pointed-toe pumps will assuredly show off your legs and complement any mini-hemline you rock.
If we were to describe the Fall 2014 line in a nutshell, it’d be Technicolor pirate meets Velvet Goldmine. From color blocked suede to luscious booties in metallic-laced snakeskin topped with a golden mirrored heel, just when you think that Dries Van Noten has reached the peak of gorgeous designs, he outdoes himself again. We’re in love with the ankle booties, but the t-strap thick heeled pump is also utterly jaw dropping. Who would have thought that silver-toned calf hair could look so futuristic and lux?
Rochas’ vibe in recent years has been ‘50s and ‘60s housewives with a sassy, outspoken twist – usually involving ornate embroidery and punchy colors. The heels (with straps or without, because variety is the spice of life) are incredibly embellished and not in a subtle kinda way. Literally dripping with bead and rhinestone embellishments, the pumps offer a not-so-classic-take on a traditional and practical silhouette. We love the way they’re styled with slightly conservative neo-conservative clothing, as it allows the bejeweled shoes to really shine.
It’s been a rocky road bringing the iconic brand Vionnet into the modern day, but designer Goga Ashkenazi has been tirelessly reinventing the bias cut to bring Vionnet back into the limelight. The result? Vibrant color combinations and stunning draping. However, things get a little more muddled where the footwear is concerned. While the calf hair booties are unique and the calf hair pump with geometric heel is phenomenally inventive, the furry multi-colored sandals are definitely too bizarre for everyday use.
Oliver Rousteing’s latest Balmain offering is a blend of worldly streetstyle, voluptuous silhouettes, and Masai-inspired embroidery – without ever leaving that sensation of Parisian cool. It isn’t surprising that we’re seeing such bold footwear from Balmain; in recent memory, the brand has been devoted to making a high sartorial impact in the coolest way possible (Rihanna’s had a wonderful effect on the young Balmain designer in that way). Rousteing complemented the “safari chic” collection with olive, black, and gold intricately woven footwear that we’ll all be channeling come cooler weather. Those knotted leather sandal booties might actually be what our dreams are made of!
Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin is all about making a woman feel like the most beautiful and the most enticing creature in the world, leading his line to be one of the most decadent season after season. Slipping on one of his designs transports you to a fantasy of Old Hollywood glamour with modern day power; this time around, the shoes did not escape that exquisite treatment. Thickly heeled, satin-covered, and exotically skinned (we spy with our little eyes alligator, snake, and stingray – oh my!), they’re over the top in a way that would make Marlene Dietrich keel over in ecstasy.
The ankle booties that stole Isabel Marant’s show were typical Parisian cool. Strappy and fitted in neutral-to-military colors, just looking at them filled you with a sense of sass and empowerment. While we love the combination of olive green and grey, the show stoppers were the designs that were primarily designed in fur with leather cross straps binding everything together. They were sheer excess in a way that is right up the alley of Beyonce or Rihanna – in fact, we’re sure both the bombastic icons will be snapped wearing them.
Christian Dior, much like other Parisian designers, are having a ‘90s influence. No, we’re not talking about Spice Girls’ level platform heels – Raf’s ‘90s inspiration revolves around colorful sneakers and molded rubber. Where his sneaker interpretation deviates from the literal (we’re looking at you, Chanel), is that he still includes a pointed toe pump in the design. High-contrast and unique, these shoes will be editorial hits and Anna Dello Russo favorites.
If Céline’s line is any indication, flatforms are going to have a moment in fall. While we’re not completely sold on the clunky silhouette, the gorgeous use of patent leather and neutrally colored ombre fade make us warm up to the designs more than we thought possible. Besides, who doesn’t love comfort? A flat shoe on a platform provides the additional height without the ankle strain.
As per usual, Chloé’s line of shoes are clean, sleek, modernist goodness wrapped in stunning suede, supple leather, and intriguing fur. We love the mixture of different textures on every design, if only because she takes simple ideas (black and navy, quilted leather) and elevates them to a plateau of high fashion. The complementary palette of eggplant, sage, navy, and cream make the designs stand out even more; the neutrality means that you will be able to wear these shoes practically anywhere, all winter long. When the heeled boots look this amazing, who could blame you?
The shoes are simply sensational in their open-toed and strappy sandaled goodness. From the exquisite color palette (burnished reds and oranges, stark whites, hints of mint, and streaks of snakeskin) to the perfectly unique silhouette that is edgy without being bizarre, Givenchy’s shoes are firmly cemented as some of the most covetable heels of the season. If this is Tisci’s glamour, we can’t be more thankful for the lack of sweatshirts.
We watch Stella McCartney’s shows for her neo-prep sensibilities, the kind that make you quirk your head to the side and think “wow, I never thought of styling a blazer like that.” Similarly daring, Stella’s shoes for this season are not for the faint of heart – the multi-tone flatforms are one part loafer and three parts gutsy. Ranging from neutral to star printed, they match her aesthetic of modernist with an attitude.
When Elie Saab presents his collections, we’re always expected stunning gowns and perfect, modern opulence. This time around, the footwear is strappy and dramatic, perfectly inter-weaving leather and suede. What has our heart pounding is the luscious color palette; the gorgeous purple perfectly balances the vibrant teal, further tied together with hints of black and beige. Swoon. If these shoes don’t scream sensual sophistication, we don’t know what heels do! We predict that these shoes will be mainstays on the red carpet and we can’t wait to see who rocks them.
If there’s one thing that’s certain about Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, it’s that the collections are made for partying. Miniskirts, sequins, and enough fur to make an Old Hollywood starlet blush, they practically drip with Los Angeles essence; they scream “I’m a cool girl.” Why would the shoes be any different? Coming in primarily three styles, the strappy Mary Janes, London-style ankle bootie, and the sleek knee-high boots are knock-your-socks-off fabulous. Sure, you could go for the black patent leather or sleek chestnut suede variety, but we can’t stop looking at the glitter infused, rhinestone studded, and striped variations. Silver leather knee-high boots that walked straight out of a 1960s science fiction movie? Uh, yes. Please and thank you.
It wouldn’t be a Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel collection without a heaping helping of absurdity and Chanel’s supermarket chic collection is filled with just that. How absurd is absurd? Well, let’s just say we haven’t seen so many gym-ready Chanel shoes in…well, ever. That’s right: the Chanel shoes of the season are exclusively sneakers, taking a cue from the last haute couture collection where kneepads and fannypacks were standard fare. The collection was rife with multi-tweed sneakers that came in ankle and knee-high variety, perfect for those who like their style to have a dose of novelty.
It’s no surprise that Valentino’s FW14 footwear offerings are sensational – their shoes have been ruling the streetstyle blogs for a few seasons now. This collection, they’ve embraced Italian Pop art by use of rich red hues, mod shapes, moody blues, and a stunning mosaic print. Alternating the styles between knee-high boots, a stellar ankle bootie, and a lovely strappy pump, we predict that these shoes will be everywhere come September.
This is the first collection from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen that we’re seeing large undertones of dark and gothic romanticism that truly feel like they were taken out of Alexander McQueen’s diary. Keeping with the brand’s London roots (nevermind that it shows in Paris), the footwear collection was comprised entirely of hiking boots with a stuffy Victorian twist. Imbued with ruffles, and embellished with fur, the booties were on the masculine side of decadent but decadent nonetheless. Some of the most intriguing? The knee-high eyelet lace ups; only the most courageous would rock those.
Nicolas Ghesquière’s premier collection for Louis Vuitton was a smash hit and filled with pieces you want to buy and wear to shreds. The footwear did not escape the lush treatment, designed in combinations of black, beige, and cognac leather – a select few were even adorned with a gold LV medallion. We love the curved heel that pervaded the shoes, but our hearts are set on the two-tone mid-calf boot with superfluous straps.
Miu Miu’s collection was all about girlish, stick-to-your-teeth sugary charm. Pastels were rampant, the bags were perfect, and the shoes? Well, the shoes were just charming. Candy colored satin booties and metallic paisley brocade pumps were all fitted with a playful screw-like pin heel. If the hardware motif is not up your alley, the transparent waterproof boots are sure to make the impact you’re looking for.
For her last award show appearance at the BAFTAs, she wore a menswear-inspired suit but for the most important red carpet event of the year Angelina chose head-to-toe glamour!
She posed wearing a beautiful Elie Saab long sleeve gown with cascading sequin embroidery throughout and thin leather greige belt from the Fall 2013 Haute Couture collection. You may remember Elizabeth Banks wore a similar strapless version last year.
Not only is Angie one of the best-dressed but her finishing touches, especially the smokey bronze eye makeup, was stunning. She accessorized with flawless round cut 42 carat diamond earrings by Robert Procop.
Remember when we covered the best shoes from New York Fashion Week? Well, we’ve abandoned the states and headed to London to gander at the most fabulous footwear from across the pond. They’re funky and kooky – just how we like our London looks!.
We love Matthew Williamson’s unabashed adoration of sparkly, glittery things and vivid bursts of colors. This time around, he toned down his patterns and mixed boho with business…assuming your business meetings are conducted in Studio 54. The footwear paid homage to the theme, being both eye-catching and the direct opposite of demure. Sky high and imposing, the ankle booties come in black satin, banana yellow, Beetlejuice stripes, and shocking glitter. We want to live in a world where these are workplace appropriate.
The boots Joanne Stoker designed for Eudon Choi are definitely one of a kind. With schoolgirl plaids, a red camouflage motif, and cobalt blues being stars of the collection, Eudon Choi’s presentation is eclectic and modern. Polka dots and brown calf hair, zebra stripes with electric pink – all topped off with contrasting tassels. Did the funky shoes match the futuristic air of the collection? Well, we’re not so sure. However, they certainly make a statement.
Michael van der Ham is known for colors and appliqués and this line took us back to Mod style sensibilities. Bright citrus colors, vibrant pinks, and punches of blues make every look eye-catching. The shoes were no different, with as many as five colors appearing on one color-blocked thick heeled take on the loafer curated by Christian Louboutin. Think of it this way: the heels are a fail-safe for every outfit. With so many colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong!
In keeping with the unique, nearly-random compilation of colors and textures found in Jonathan Saunders’ Fall 2014 collection, the footwear Christian Louboutin designed for the line blend wow-factor with classicality, glitter with smooth and supple leather. Our favorite? The lace-up ankle booty with a shining, glittering panel. These shoes remind us that everyone needs a bit of sparkle in their life.
Todd Lynn’s line might be known for blending masculine and feminine themes, but there is no doubt that the footwear – designed by Christian Louboutin – are all sex appeal. The billowing leather, snake skin, and suede is confined by an edgy wrap-around strap. The muted colors are offset by Louboutin’s iconic red sole.
Mosaic patterns, Byzantine influence, and Art Nouveau floral prints were all part of Temperley London’s eclectic and beautiful collection. The shoes themselves – designed by Shoerazzi fave Charlotte Olympia – were relatively basic, save for a color blocked trompe l’oeil ankle bootie. We also love the geometric shape of the suede and leather pump – it’s a classic shoe that will work well for a variety of events.
Antonio Berardi’s latest line was swimming in varying themes. Sculptural tailoring, hand-painted chain embroidery, lamé, flannel – and those are just a few ideas and textures he played with. Still, it managed to encapsulate the powerful sex appeal he’s known for. The shoes, designed by Rupert Sanderson, were no exception and definitely amplified the seduction. Dramatically laced over-the-knee boots in dominatrix black leather, strappy closed toed sandals, and ankle booties that would practically scream “bad ass” add a welcome edge to this collection.
For Roksanda Ilincic’s Fall 2014 line, Nicholas Kirkwood amped up the classic tasseled loafer. The modern feeling flats are sometimes color blocked and sometimes metallic, but the shoes are always a hint of modern and a lot of sweet.
Nicholas’ work for Erdem has perfectly captured the dark, romantic vibe the brand is known for. The dramatic shoes come with a chunky heel and are in variants of a stunning floral pattern (swoon!), bedazzled and bejeweled, and with hints of crocodile skin. Every dynamic pointed-toe shoe has a flat counterpart – just in case you want to switch up your heel game a bit.
Credit: Vogue; photographed by Sonny Vandevelde
Hot on the heels of a fiery collaboration with Target and Net-A-Porter, we knew that Peter Pilotto’s shoes would be something incredible to write home about. Utilizing the designing prowess of Nicholas Kirkwood, the heels are strappy, they’re a gorgeous combination of leather and suede, they’re gem toned, they are piped with iridescent colors and neon, and they’re accented with colorful takes on tortoise shell. They might just redefine “cool.”
One of the standout collaborations Manolo Blahnik was a part of for the Fall 2014 season is surely his gorgeous heels for the ever eclectic, yet always classy, designs of Osman Yousefzada. The collection was rich and dynamic, filled with prints inspired by Morocco’s ornamental tiles – the best way to accent the vivid line? Blahnik kept it simple with a major edge. Black velvet heels accented with tassels, rabbit fur booties with a shocking teal heel, and fuzzy cream and black pumps; at first glance, the shoes might seem standard, but they truly redefine trend setting.
For Emilia Wickstead and Richard Nicoll, Manolo Blahnik recreated classics. Whether casting snake skin prints in satin for a slingback pump or reinventing the heeled oxford (metallic leather and velvet? We can’t swoon any harder, seriously!), Manolo Blahnik proves time and time again that classics are truly wardrobe workhorses.
Because apparently Manolo Blahnik refuses sleep for more designer collaborations (the Karl Lagerfeld of footwear, he’s everywhere!), he also created footwear for Felder Felder, Maros Schwab, and Pringle of Scotland. Each shoe seemed to be more classic than the one before – from satin to lovely metallic leather, the sheer versatility of the pieces make them instant wardrobe staples.
Christopher Bailey deserves a medal for his latest collection for the fashion powerhouse that is Burberry Prorsum. It was bohemian, yet graceful. It was wild at heart, yet still retained an air of sophistication. Patterns, art, and color – simply viewing the collection is like a trip to the nearest art museum. Imaginative and vivid, the shoes mirrored the gorgeous myriad of colors in the collection by acting as canvases for whimsical swirls of varying hues. The open toed bootie was accented with a wooden heel and platform, somehow making these shoes even dreamier.
Mary Katrantzou’s line always sets our hearts aflutter, she’s one of the designers at the forefront of modernized romance. That said, not a single digital print seeped into her designs this time around, having been inspired by the world of the “professional.” Was she crazy? Has the world gone mad? And then you see the footwear and everything just…clicks. Color blocked and packing a punch, the square-toed shoes are hefted upon a thick heel – at times solid, other times as a sandal. If this is Mary’s take on professional, we’d love to see her take on weekend fun!
There is something expensively gaudy about Tom Ford, a luxurious flamboyance that cemented his legacy at Gucci and an essence that still resonates within his latest collections. Channeling Studio 54 and the mid-sixties, the soles we saw were nearly cowboy inspired in that when you saw the stiletto boots tromping down the runway, the correct response was “wow, those are definitely boots.” Exotically skinned, baby blue, and sometimes velveteen, they were as excessive as we expect from Tom Ford. For a more discerning consumer, he also designed an ankle bootie embellished with TF in rhinestones, because “understated” simply is not in his vocabulary.
With a theme like debauched debutantes, it’s only expected that Henry Holland turned out some truly outrageous apparel. Sequins, neon lame, and frilly frocks that would have Paris Hilton circa-2002 clicking her heels in joy. Speaking of the shoes, they kept with the near-cartoonish allure of the bombastic collection. Oversized pearls? Check. Velvet, velvet, and more velvet? Check. Giant pom poms? Check. Candy colored hues indicative of House of Holland? Check! The master of kitsch has struck again.
Christopher Kane’s sumptuous, unpretentious collection was filled with creativity (those 3D effect dresses will haunt our dreams in the best way) and surprising bursts of color. As always, the accessories were pictures of perfection – the handbags detailed and edged in geek chic and the shoes? The shoes. Dynamic takes on the platform Mary Jane, amped up by ruffled leather, mule backings, and exotic snakeskin, make this classic design utterly modern.
If you find the fashion weeks-slash-month completely exhausting, have no fear! We have compiled the must know, must-have shoe sightings from the Fall 2014 runways so you don’t have to! First stop? New York City.
Credit: Now Fashion, Vogue & ELLE
If New York Fashion Week had a line that epitomized romance and luxury, without a doubt it would be Marchesa. Since 2004, Georgina and Keren Craig have been designing and creating some of the most beautiful red carpet looks this side of Valentino. The sumptuous tulle and whimsical lace of Marchesa’s gowns were only complemented by the shoes, designed by none other than Christian Louboutin. From devilishly colored multi-buckle suede ankle booties to dazzling copper hued lacy pumps, as the show progressed the soles only became more enviable. The combination of calf hair and embroidery can only be classified as daring! It’s hard for us to pick a favorite, but we lovedthe concave wedge that – at first glance – made the models look like ballerinas standing en pointe.
Credit: Style.com & ELLE
Credit: ELLE, Vogue, Style.com
At first glance, Ruthie Davis for Duckie Brown sounds like a very peculiar combination. After all, Ruthie Davis has made her name by confronting conventions head on and changing them – her shoes drip with not only femininity, but sassiness. Her brand is all about modernity and romance without fussiness. And Duckie Brown? Duckie Brown is a brand dedicated to dressing men in dapper duds, this season marking the brand’s first foray into womanswear. The result was extraordinarily complementary; Duckie Brown’s menswear aesthetic fit beautifully with the clean, color blocked lines of Ruthie Davis’ playful jewel tone pumps. We can only hope this is the start of a long-standing collaboration.
We are huge fans of Gio Diev’s sensual yet futuristic approach to shoes (hello! We’re still obsessing over his Spring 2014 collection!), so when we heard that he was going to be designing the shoes for Sally LaPointe’s Fall 2014 collection we could hardly contain our excitement. The ankle booties are one of the highlights of the collection, crafted out of supple leather, luxurious snakeskin, exotic stingray, and – just because everyone needs a bit of edge to their wardrobe – phenomenal calf hair. They’re practical, yet elegant. Perfect for adding sophistication to any autumnal look.
There was something decidedly heady about Veronica Beard’s line this season – it could be the way the boho dresses dripped with California cool or the way the jacquard printed matching separates took you back to the best of 70s fashion. A fabulously fashionable collection topped off with sky-high Moiki heels by Rupert Sanderson, who always knows how to make a woman’s choice in footwear the talk of the party. The strappy heels appeared in three variations: not-s-classic black, space-age silver, and color blocked with pink, mustard yellow, and black.
Credit: Vogue & ELLE
If we could sum up the Fall 2014 collection by Altuzarra, we’d have to put it somewhere between simplicity, luxury, and wardrobe staple. It isn’t surprising that the shoes from Altuzarra’s collection match that “wear me everywhere” vibe, because timelessness with a kick is what Gianvito Rossi specializes in. We love the take on a loafer-pump as well as the boots with cut-out accents. The natural color palette (greys, browns, and blacks) provides maximum accessibility and versatility – we can picture the ankle booties in the office as well as a dinner date with the girls.
Cesare Casadei and Prabal Gurung have been collaborating since the Spring 2013 season – it’s no mystery why they’ve kept the relationship strong: the shoes are consistently divine. This time around, Casadei created gorgeously bejeweled pumps exclusive for Prabal Gurung that perfectly blend Gurung’s tactile and experimental aesthetic with the feminine flair indicative of their brand. The shoes are one part costume jewelry, two parts menswear brogue, and all fierce. Coming in an array of colors, we can picture these statement heels taking the place of baubles any day.
Okay, we have a confession: we can predict the future. We can’t divulge all of the juicy details, but we are willing to tell you one thing – our bank accounts are going to be hurting and our wardrobes will be screaming in joy. Why? Because Sophia Webster’s latest collaboration with J.Crew for their Fall 2014 collection is utter perfection. Beautiful prints, color blocking, strappy pumps, and glittery heels are the star components of the collection. We’re not surprised that J.Crew’s prep-meets-edge aesthetic pairs so beautifully with Sophia Webster’s color, prints, and pizazz style, we just hope that the two fashion powerhouses continue to collaborate for years to come.
Credit: Vogue & ELLE
Without a doubt, one of the most luxurious and supple collections of New York Fashion Week was brought to us by Jason Wu. Crushed velvet, fur, marled wool, and sequins so subtle that they catch the light like diamonds were only parts of the ingenious line. Jason Wu’s sumptuous collection was topped off with a beautiful t-strap pump, done in a few variations. The classic, wear-me-everywhere heel came in oxblood, mirrored silver, and a patent black (sometimes color blocked all in one style!). We also love the oxford ankle bootie that made an appearance – one part pilgrim, three parts runway heartstopper, it was a show stealer.
Rodarte’s homage to the seventies, complete with Star Wars iconography and drawstring high-waist pants, is polarizing in its unabashed use of glitter and lurex. The kitschy, thrifty vibe was found from the top of the sparkly berets and down to the tips of the models’ feet. Modest buckles and sequined socks abound, the Mulleavy sister’s footwear is as unique as they are. If you’re not into their idiosyncratic reinterpretation of the flatform, they also have a collection of pumps that range from work-ready snakeskin beige to club-ready bejeweled turquoise.
Narciso Rodriguez’ collection was a perfect meld of casual and sophisticated. The looks are slouchy without being sloppy and the overall feel is one of effortless minimalism. Even the footwear appears modest at first glance. However, the initial thought of simplicity is erased upon further inspection; though streamline and modern, the shoes are definitely a step above the rest. Dramatic takes on a d’orsay heel – the thick strap along the ankle is both fabulous and practical – and color blocked booties with supple leather and snake skin have us going back for another look.
Oscar de la Renta certainly knows his audience, creating stellar red carpet ready gowns and suit separates designed to become classics season, but this season left us feeling a bit cold. Luckily, where this season’s wigs were arguably horrible and many of the looks bored on the unfortunate side of matronly, the accessories were full of the spark and verve we’ve come to expect from Oscar de la Renta’s lux designs. Exotic and ornately patterned laser cut leather? Check. Embellished heeled sandals? Check. Feather and bead embroidered platforms? Check, check, check. They’re so classy and so chic, you’ll by opera tickets just to show them off.
Credit: Vogue & ELLE
Alexander Wang’s utilitarian collection met head on with state-of-the-art techniques (color changing leather? Be still our fluttering hearts); the outdoorsy sentiments were irrevocably high fashion, making it another iconic collection from the flourishing designer. His shoes received the same amazing treatment. The exaggerated height of the over-the-knee boot – done in a gorgeous combination of mid-tone brown and black with a shock of pure white – have a practical vibe that make them beg to be worn during your city’s next Snowmageddeon. Wang also created a peculiar take on the mule, with a thick heel and a very overstated vamp. They might not be for everyone, but man are they cool.
Leave it to Monique Lhuillier to create a show that practically drips with femininity, from the floral embellishments down to the lacy ankle and knee-high boots. We love how, when other designers seem bent on modernizing and streamlining their collections, she remains unafraid to revel in the frivolity. Candy pink sandals embellished with lace? Well, yes, if you insist! Also worth mentioning? The dramatically shaped d’orsay pump, constructed partially out of PVC to hold its theatrical silhouette.
Diane von Fürstenberg’s collection was classy with an edge, filled with pieces that would seamlessly go from day-to-night without so much as a jacket change. However, our favorite part of the collection wasn’t the eclectic prints or sensible totes, but the crazy amazing selection of pumps and wedges. Dramatic suede heeled sandals were accented with gold leather piping, mesh was embellished with darling suede hearts that scream “don’t just wear me on Valentine’s Day, wear me everywhere!” and modern looking wedges that were completed by a stellar mirrored gold heel. Black, gold, and red is a timeless combination – Diane von Fürstenberg just gave it a kick of sass.
The sensible schoolgirl aesthetic of Marissa Webb’s collection was given a much needed dose of attitude via kickass footwear. High stilettos with snaking laces that would make Roberto Cavalli proud and gorgeous blocky ankle booties might seem dour in color, but are jam packed with attitude. Suddenly, tweed doesn’t seem so prim and proper!
Credit: Vogue IT & ELLE
Jerome C Rousseau’s work with Lela Rose this season marks his very first – we know, it’s hard to believe that he’s not on every NYC designer’s speed dial! – runway collaboration and to soaring success. The eclectic vibe of Rousseau’s shoes perfectly matched the quirky edge that Lela Rose used in her collection (think: feathers, gem embellishments, sequins, and ombre hues). Though we love the metallic ombre glitter booties and his tell-tale thorny heel, our favorite shoe from this collaboration is the mesh peep-toe bootie. Swoon!
Katya Leonovich’s Fall 2014 collection was all about futuristic, science fiction designs with a very seductive kick. Metallic, semi-sheer dresses and oblong silhouettes were complimented by sleek soles from Tania Spinelli. We love the amazing selection of boots she provided, thigh-high to ankle, lush suede to shiny gunmetal – we almost paid more attention to them than the line of clothes (woops!). But, we’re not surprised that we love the shoe selection; when Tania Spinelli is doing the designing, you know the product will be amazing.
When you think of Jerome C. Rousseau’s collections, the mental images you conjure should be as vibrant as they are intriguing and as bizarre as they are gorgeous. Remember his Fall 2013 collection? Studs, color blocking, glitter, floral velvet, and bondage straps (sometimes all working simultaneously!) elevated his ultra-high heels to new, quirky heights. However, with new seasons come new inspirations, and we’re very excited to report that the Spring 2014 line from Monsieur Rousseau is a veritable Technicolor wonderland.
Whether you’re into cork-infused pumps, perforated suede, strappy snakeskin, or – yes, you’re reading this right – glittery python, Rousseau has your feet covered and all done with his signature architectural flair.
The crowning jewel of the collection is the embellished bootie – the base of which is his phenomenal Juda model in gorgeous green leather (the color is somewhere between minty mojito and saturated sage) with lemon yellow leather mesh. From the supple leather base, over 7000 beads are carefully hand-applied by Los Angeles artist Emily J. Snyder, including coral, freshwater pearls, and vintage Czech crystal. The booties mirror Emily Snyder’s aesthetic perfectly, with each vibrant clusters of beads combining to create a sole-ful rainbow that will never fail to grab attention.
If you want in on the beaded Juda fun but don’t want to wait 60-75 days for the custom application (or maybe you’re just afraid of a wayward snag hitting your beautiful new booties), the open-toed shoe also comes in a printed silk design complemented by metallic golden leather. Juda is one of Rousseau’s design staples and available in several other stellar designs, like woven leather, animal printed calf hair, and even a leather laser-cut rose motif.
As if the collection couldn’t get better, he has also released a line of clutches and handbags that mirror the themes of his shoes. It’s time to retire your well-worn clutch and invest in one of his statement making minaudières!
Basel ankle-strap sandals with a chunky tapered heel and thick adjustable buckled ankle-strap in cork, tan leather and white croc-embossed leather
Flicker pointed cap-toe leather pump with the signature thorn heel; available in nude patent leather with a silver cap-toe at Jerome C. Rousseau
Karma pointed-toe pump with a thorn-shaped heel and elastic slingback designed in white patent leather with black polka dots, black leather, glossy aqua blue patent leather, jewel-printed silk, lemon patent leather, pearl pink patent leather with polka dots and natural snakeskin
Lio ankle-strap sandal with a 3-d fan bow in lizard-embossed pink glitter fabric and thorn-shaped heel
Lover peep-toe pump with a leather upper, bondage-style leather wrapped heel and leather or snakeskin stiletto heel
Mills adjustable ankle-strap sandal with a fan-shaped front and 110mm covered heel
Narms leather zippered sandal; available at Intermix
Narms stitched leather sandal with a gold-tone zip up front and tapered block-shaped heel
Sweet half d’Orsay peep-toe pump with a high-rise heel tab and thorn-shaped stiletto heel
Topanga banded open-toe sandal in leather or snakeskin with a back-zip and gold-tone pin heel
Vierre pointed-toe Mary Jane cap-toe pump with a buckled halter strap and gold-tone stiletto; available in red leather at Madison Style or black leather Bloomingdale’s