In Her Shoes..
We're all familiar with the phrase "New Year New You" but what about "New Year New Shoes"? There's been heaps happening on the shoe front in London lately, what with the launch of Selfridges' sizeable Shoe Lounge last season. New kids on the block Gil Carvalho, Nicholas Kirkwood, Beatrix Ong, Charlotte Dellal and Camilla Skovgaard have infused the accessories Press with some much-needed new blood - and hot on their heels comes Anna Kichenside.
Anna's SS11 collection is quirky, bold and colourful, punctuated with dramatic (and dangerous) red leather. For the last few seasons, shoes have grown steadily higher and more sculptural. You'd be forgiven for thinking some designers' offerings had more in common with abstract sculpture than with practical footwear.
Anna's work however, possesses just the right blend of practicality and concept. The red strappy sandals pictured above are a great example of quirky design. I love the way she has taken a "tongue" and criss-cross lace detail normally reserved for the common trainer and has subverted it by juxtaposing it with a classic stiletto heel.
The sandals pictured above with the cuffed leather detail at the ankle are another example of Anna's unique design approach. It resembles a cool hybrid of a classic high heel evening sandal and an 80's ankle boot that has been rolled down for a little edge.
There's certainly something to be said for female designers when it comes to knowing intuitively what their fellow women want. Donna Karan made her name by launching the body in the 80's and Phoebe Philo has been causing a commotion at Celine with her effortlessly chic "real clothes" (read immaculately cut basics in sumptuous fabrics). If Anna sticks to her guns and follows her instincts, it could be her body of work that some blogger or fashion journalist references in years to come.
I'll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite films, "In Her Shoes" starring Toni Colette and Cameron Diaz as two warring sisters. If you haven't seen the film, I'll put the quote into context for you. Toni Colette plays Rose Feller, the more rotund, high-flying corporate elder sister, with Cameron Diaz playing Maggie Feller, her stunning (but clueless) wildchild younger sister. Maggie has fallen on hard times and moves in with her elder sister. Rose is overweight and has a penchant for buying ridiculously expensive shoes rather than shelling out on clothes that neither fit her, nor flatter her larger figure. Maggie has a history of stealing her elder sister's shoes and when they look at the shoe closet together, she picks up some of the unworn shoes and cries;
"Shoes like these should not be locked in a closet! They should be living a life of scandal and passion and getting screwed in an alley by a billionaire while his frigid wife waits in the limo thinking he just went back into the bar to get his cellphone."