Maybe Im just overly sensitive to blunders in footwear (a distinct possibility given how much time Ive spent in my life thinking about shoes, which probably makes me sound like Cher Horowitz to you but please know that, as I rarely do any actual shopping, my interest in footwear, as with all fashion, is largely cerebral) or maybe all of this is terribly chic and Im just missing something, But I found the footwear from the fall shows detrimentally distracting. It all started with Simone Rocha, a show that I loved but whose inclusion of black pattent clogs and oxfords paired with sweet, pastel cocktail dresses completely baffled me.
Then I started noticing that Ms Rocha was far from alone in her bizzare choice in footwear. For reasons completely beyond me, everyone from Dietrich Emter to Holly Fulton, from Thakoon to Suno, has fallen for a dark, hoof-like, leg-stumpifying shoe that does absolutely nothing even for the leggy models that wore them, so I can hardly imagine what they would look like on the rest of us. I find them particularly offensive in patent leather.
Ive been trying to figure out exactly why these bother me so much, as Ive nothing against a smart black ankel boot, in principle (though I think Ive realized that, as an autumn, Im an exclusively brown-leather girl in my own life). A lot of the problem, quite obviously, is hem-line contingent. At the Milly show, we see the important role context plays in the success of this shoe; with some outfits (usually mini-skirt-based) it makes perfect sense, while with others, the effect is purely dowdy:
at Jenni Kayne, the unfortunate effects of this shoeshape were lessened by lowering the height of the vamp, but Im afraid it still communicates a hoofish quality to me. And see how much better it looks in a lighter, neutral shade? Infinitely more flattering, in my opinion.
Again, with Pringle of Scotland we see how important color and material is: the straight-across-the-ankle cut looks chic and flattering when produced in a pale neutral (or even, somehow, in cerulean)
And at Alexander Wang. How much more flattering and elegant and ladylike is that slanted vamp, as compared to that blunt, straight-across-the-ankle club foot?
I guess it just doesnt make sense to me with all of this mid-calf hemlines. Also, black patent looks terrible against pale skin, which is why I believe a shiny shoe is better either in a paler shade, or with trousers; youll notice these look the worst with long, full skirts, which already shorten the leg, visually. Of course it could be that my height has me more obsessed with the leg-lengthening effects of footwear than the average jane. Or maybe, like I said, Im just missing something. Call me crazy, but I feel like, if youre going to go through the trouble to design a collection that hopefully people respond to because its chic or current or whatever else draws people to clothes aside from their being flattering, you should at least, you know, make sure theyre flattering. Because otherwise, whats the point? You know what I mean?