From school dance to social stance – the journey of the strappy sandal
Evening sandals have hit their renaissance period. No longer is Jennifer Aniston the sole proprietor of the 'barely-there' silver high-heel sandals and equally glistening set of pins. Well-pedicured toes and a tanned leg is the formula for a well-approved Spring/Summer fashion week.
For a lot of us, the last time diamantes were of any importance was at the school dance and, if we remember correctly, it wasn't exactly a 'fashion moment'. This, amongst other things, has changed dramatically. Those glittery party sandals on our feet may not go by the term 'diamante sandals' anymore, but they certainly still fit the description. The big change? It's not just your mother who agrees with the sartorial need to sparkle, you might even get permission from Vogue.
But who started this footwear phase? Glitter sandals found their unlikely princess in none other than Miuccia Prada, reigning dictator of taste and surprisingly girly aficionado with her label Miu Miu. We could trace back the naked foot trend to editors Giovanna Battaglia and the indisputable Anna Dello Russo, very early adopters of Firenze-based brand Aquazzura. Edgardo Osorio, designer darling and founder of the label, first saw fame with his 'Sexy Thing' style. This hybrid of evening sandal and ankle boot brought back the desire to expose our feet once again, creating an unstoppable chain reaction that now, a few fashion years down the track, is at an unbreakable state of amour. As ankles, the new décolletage, are increasingly a focal point, so too are the shoes that frame them. Embellished sandals adorned with pompoms, jewels, feathers or even fur create a spectacle, a show shoe, that take up most of the attention. The wonderful side effect of this trend is that even your boring old jeans, freshly cut to expose the ankle, are commendable accompaniments to your strappy, sparkly sandals.
Swan boats and gold sandals
It would be near impossible to talk about shoes and not mention Jimmy Choo. When Tom Ford was busy making Gucci sexy again, Tamara Mellon was bustling away at Jimmy Choo making shoes sexy again. It was a time when you would be hard-pressed to find an evening gown without a Choo of some kind peeping out at the bottom. Today, they are still the go-to label for the perfect pair of wedding sandals or special event gold strappy sandals. It’s the tasselled or jewelled sandals you require when there is the sneaking suspicion the host has arranged for flamingos to be shipped in from Africa, and can guarantee the competition is going to be fierce.
Gianvito Rossi has been proving his weight in gold (in this case gold sandals) for some years now. Starting off as the hard-to-find Milanese stiletto master and turning into the worldwide celebrity-accessory creator in the case of pointed toe pumps. Evolving again last year with almond-toe strappy sandals with small cubed heels that were easy to wear (fact: Gianvito Rossi heels are so well balanced you can run through the streets like Carrie Bradshaw) they again elevated themselves into the realm of masters and style directors, and we all followed suit. This season you can hear a few notes of jazz, with silver strappy sandals that have a Parisian swing club style, and very delicate black sandals that scream New York elegance.
Speaking of elegance, Valentino, the designer with a penchant for whispery silk, has solidly claimed studded sandals as his very own, with the Rockstud sandals becoming something of an icon, to be documented in history. And last, but certainly not least, is Dolce and Gabbana with their increasingly more intricate embellished sandals made like religious shrines for the fashion gods. Each season we have been amazed not only by the creativity, but the craftsmanship created in each accessory. From crowns to gold heeled sandals, there isn't a label more likely to make you feel like King Louis XIV.