Milan Fashion Week is basically synonymous with stellar, gorgeous, and innovated shoes. Spring 2014 was no exception, as each show seemed to have shoes that screamed “buy me, buy me!” as they were strut down the catwalk. Season after season, we can rely on them to amp up the footwear game with unexpected influences and executions. Without further ado, here is your Milan Fashion Week footwear recap:
To celebrate his growing rapport with hip hop and R&B icons like Ciara, Rita Ora, and Rihanna, Peter Dundas’ latest Emilio Pucci collection is a heady combination of streetwise sportiness and opulent elegance. Perforated leather and SCUBA-inspired shaping goes head-to-head with ornate Masai embroidery in sporty lace-up booties, resulting in a shoe collection that is equal parts unique and energetic.
Thin and strappy was the name of the footwear game on Roberto Cavalli’s catwalk. Dazzling sandals were fitted with meticulously braided and knotted leather straps and laces of varying lengths, sitting overtop a sturdy stacked heel. Additionally, the muted and neutral color palette of the shoes make these gorgeous soles perfectly fit for most flouncy and flirty spring outfits.
When we think of Versace, we usually think of a punk-infused, revealing glamor. Even at their most studded and patent leathered, Versace shoes tend to be edgy and sleek. This season, Donatella did a 180° twist from what we normally expect, presenting us a shoe collection centered on a clunky-soled sandal with silver-tone buckles situated on elastic straps piped with leather. We can’t say whether or we like this direction from their design team, but judging how celebrities are already wearing the designs out and about – Lady Gaga was spotted in a lavender pair – we’re sure this will be a commercial success.
Anna Molinari’s latest Blumarine collection was all about balancing the desire to be innocent and the urge to be a provocateur. On one hand, the sandals were dainty, polite, and sweet – perfect for picaresque picnics with friends, or a mid-morning brunch with family; the slight platform was as far as the edge went. The other hand? Dramatically strapped snakeskin booties, embellished with near-gaudy gems and with a dramatically pointed toe. The duality of the collection makes it commercially viable, a pair for every personality type.
This spring collection was all about revisiting the Etro archives, so it isn’t surprising that the shoes spotted on the runway evoke a classic, timeless feel to them. Etro’s signature patterned fabrics, which we have come to know and love, could be spotted the embellished straps of sandals and delicate pumps. Metallic finishes brought them into the modern era, but the line still maintained a ‘70s party allure.
Like Versace and Emilio Pucci, Gucci’s line was heavily inspired by sports. While it isn’t quite as literal as Pucci, we saw three different styles on the runway – ribbon slashed heels, cut-out pumps, and strappy sandal-booties – with differing variations of python, leather, and suede. The illustrations of Erté and the era of Art Nouveau were the inspirations of the collection and we can see that showing through with the pops of marigold, merlot, mid-tone purple, and forest green. Our only problem with collection is that it felt very autumnal and heavy for a spring collection.
Season after season, Prada creates shoes that blogging fashionistas fawn over. Miuccia Prada is a designer that revels in the ugly, loves taking risks, and is a regular in the world of art-fashion. The high rubber sporty heels of this collection were typical of what we expect – mashed-up themes, vibrant primary colors, thick straps, oddball color blocking, and massive rhinestones bejeweled onto every available surface. They’re bizarre and they’re statement making, just how we like our Prada lines.
If Kaiser Karl’s last Fendi line didn’t reignite your love of the architectural aspects of fashion, we’re not sure what to tell you – the shoes presented on the runway were nothing short of stellar. Set upon industrial caged “double heels,” delicate interlocking straps of metallic, patent, and lizard leather were offset by an ingenious use of semi-sheer PVC and gemstones. In his apparel, he layered organza to create unique and stunning motifs; in his shoes, he used thin PVC to replicate the effect, creating an image of varying opacity. When he wasn’t doing that, he was using the vivid colored plastic to mold dramatic angles and pyramidal crevices. There was a whimsical and modern air to Fendi this season, Karl Lagerfeld has reassured us again that he is a visionary.
Dolce & Gabbana
On the spring 2014 runways, it was business as usual for iconic Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana. Those who grow tired of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s use of Sicilian culture and Italian iconography in their collections don’t understand that those ties to the Mediterranean are so ingrained within their brand’s DNA that to not include the images would not be Dolce & Gabbana. It’s a gaudy overabundance that we have come to expect, a sort of literal inspiration – like the rhinestone embellished gladiator sandal, the platform pump set upon an ionic column, the wedge studded with Roman coins – that makes us smile. It’s an artisanal workmanship that turns away from the phrase “less is more,” opting for embroidery, embellishment, and vivid colors.
As if to balance the theme of overabundance in Milan this season, Costume National went for soles that were strikingly minimalistic. To match the deconstructed tailoring of the collection, the footwear feels distinctly practical with a unique edge. There is something in the dramatic point of the closed-toe, the exaggerated slope of the foot, and the color finishes – mostly monochromatic, but we can’t get enough of the woodgrain-inspired pattern on some of the shoes – that make this a unique and downright cool shoe collection.
Jil Sander’s footwear collection was among the more classically inspired from Milan Fashion Week, with focus primarily on breathing new life into the classic oxford. How? Well, with a massively chunky wooden platform heel, of course. The flats on the runway were also not-quite-flat, elevated by an inch or two of platform (flatforms, we like to call them) that drew attention to the added height with the use of dichromatic color blocking. Dove grey, stark white, black, and taupe were the stars of the color palette.
For their spring collection, Salvatore Ferragamo stayed within a muted and soft color palette. Save for the occasional use of black, this season was about an earthy-toned romanticism based in neutral snake skins and soft beiges. Boxy shapes and square toes were innovated by tiny eyelets and nailhead studs skattered along the snakeskin, internal metal plating, external seaming along the ridges, and unique, double-take worthy flared heels. We even love the exaggeration of the edges with the large buckles, it’s a high fashion pilgrim look that we can’t wait to spot on savvy style stars.
Written by Shannon Weston