The fashion industry loves to get behind a Big Event - from the first man on the moon to the recession, it absorbs social and cultural happenings and spits them out into new fashion designs.
Questionable footwear at Christopher Kane's Spring/Summer 2012 show. Photo: Getty
With the London 2012 Olympics around the corner, it's no surprise that sportswear is one of the biggest trends to emerge during the current bout of fashion weeks, particularly in London. The runways have been strewn with toggles, neoprene, zips, hoodies and even the odd haute jogging bottom. So far, so comfy.
But there is one sporty trend that no one saw coming: the pool slider.
This chunky flat mule is normally the domain of the terminally unstylish on holiday. When this ungainly beast represented the bulk of footwear at Christopher Kane, we were able to shrug it off. He might be Anna Wintour's protege, but he also makes dresses from plastic filled with glycerin. This was just part of extreme catwalk styling. But when they reappeared yesterday at Stella McCartney, things got serious. When looking for who to blame for this offensive creation, we can't help but point the finger of suspicion at Rebecca Adlington.
Pool sliders at Stella McCartney. You'll love them by next spring. Honest. Photo: PA
But perhaps this is attacking the conundrum from the wrong angle. Fashion moves quickly and the repulsive becomes covetable in the blink of an eye. Remember when neon was the reserve of 1980s fancy dress and wearing leopard print was a right exclusively owned by Bet Lynch? Neither do we. Maybe the clever money is to give your feet a treat, swallow your pride and buy a pair now. And if chic passers by look appalled, you can be smug in the knowledge that come next spring they'll be tripping over themselves to get their grubby mits on a pair.
See Christopher Kane's Spring/Summer show (complete with the controversial sandals) in the gallery below: