In this era of peacock dressing, where designers must display the very pinnacle of creativity or be doomed for the sample sale rail, the shoe has risen to the challenge. This season particularises the shoe: while Marc Jacobs' Sixties graphic contrast sailed down the escalators, Saint Laurent showed fifty shades of black and Prada presented pink, the fine soles of your perfectly preened feet prepared for a whole lot of love. Celine's imitation tootsie courts came manicured, while Valentino's models walked on diamond encrusted air; Nicholas Kirkwood was installed at Rodarte to create a teenage dream cheerleader heel.
Since nineties Spice World platforms went thoroughly out, and back in again, the cobbler's world has experienced the comfier demi-heel, and perspex, the latest in heelery. In this much anticipated about-turn, the shoe is celebrated, luxuriously bathing in novelty behaviour, delivering more than a few skipped heartbeats.
There have been many iconic shoes. From Chanel's Resort 2009 pistol heels to the totally-went-viral wedged trainer by Queen Isabel Marant of nonchalance, and Vivienne Westwood's infamous heels that sent Naomi Campbell toppling down the runway in 1993. And who could forget LK Bennett's nude courts, the wardrobe basic that sold seven pairs every two minutes in September last year thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge? High street mayhem at its best.
At the heart of the shoe-loving woman's creative imagination sits Charlotte Olympia. As novelty themes rise under the statement stacks, Ms Dellal's brand is the first on my lips, and feet. With the motto, 'the higher the heel, the better you feel', just imagine anything on a shoe and her London store on Maddox Street has got it. Anything goes. From the Alexa-Chung-effect Kitty flats, to 'Cherie', irresistibly sweet pink poodle-heeled sandals; 'Gigi', the mega-wedge complete with hot pink fringing and a mesh covering, to the unforgettable 'Bijoux', the twenty-first century Cinderella slipper, all clear and all bedazzled, it isn't hard to see the appeal. Dellal's brand steps into a fantasy world where my dreams keep coming true.
Twenty-first century cobbler Nicholas Kirkwood collaborated with quirky duo Meadham Kirchhoff on last year's spring collection, building a series of cartoonish, fluffy and bubble-topped, glitter-wedged, shiny, ruffly...shoes. This season for his own line, a rosy perspex update on the Mary-Jane complete with signature leather ruffle; for autumn, a black boot with a tail. A ponytail, an actual ponytail. Shoes to shock, right?
He is not alone. For spring this year, Phoebe Philo served up the sartorial edition of Méret Oppenheim's furry teacup, a perverse fur-lined Birkenstock, twitter-dubbed Furkenstock, on Celine's deconstructed runway. Are these shoes to hang up on strings once the puppy's chewed them? I think not. Mrs Prada devoted her spring collection to Japanese servitude, producing a bizarre hybrid of flatform sandals and metallic socks. Just what we all need, right? Just remember, works of art. You can't argue with art, you can't argue with Prada.
So embrace your feet. Furnish them well with the most beautiful pieces the season has to offer. I know I will be, they deserve it. And so do yours. It's the perfect complement to the new season.
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