Monday, January 12, 2009

Fashion Five – The Industry’s Top Shoe Designers On Their Fall-Winter Collection

Footwear today has evolved into a passion, a statement, an expression of one’s personality and even social standing. There is a whole industry devoted to the creation, innovation and perfection of shoes and it is a thriving industry – thanks to a loyal market of footwear fanatics.

The shoe market is not lacking in variety but there is a select few that is considered a gold standard in the industry. They are the familiar names on the pages of glossy magazines and the preferred brand of the rich and the famous. These are the names that command top prices, elite clienteles and a coveted place in shoemaking history. With the brand new season, shoe fanatics better get ready for a very fashion forward fall-winter.

• Manolo Blahnik – His name is almost synonymous to shoes. This Spanish designer is known for his high fashion footwear that is timeless yet sexy and trendy. The Manolo Blahnik brand is eminent in pop culture fare and his shoes are associated with the fame and wealth of his clientele. Popularly known today as ‘Manolos’, Blahnik’s coveted footwear ranges from sandals, boots, pumps and stilettos.

For his fall-winter collection, Manolo Blahnik is adapting the warrior theme. Metal rounded discs resembling armor suits, dangerous heels and rounded furs are part of this designer’s new batch of footwear collection. However, he is not straying too far from the elegance that he has been known for as evidenced in some classic pieces making its way to Blahnik’s fall-winter offering.

• Jimmy Choo – Jimmy Choo is one of the world’s most famous shoe designers. He is known for his handmade and expensive shoes and handbags. Like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo is popular among rich and illustrious clients which include the likes of the late Princess Diana and Hollywood actress Katie Holmes.

If Jimmy Choo had his way, fall-winter fashion season would be ballet flats, Mary Janes, riding boots and knee-highs strutting down the catwalk onto the streets. His Glint suede boots with metallic stud ladylike trim is perfect for both day and evening, and will glamour up a good pair of jeans. A similarly styled Tier black leather shoe-boot with eyelet detailing is the choice for those who prefer traditional elegance coupled with that distinct Jimmy Choo flair.

• Christian Louboutin – Before his name became a household label, Christian Louboutin sold shoes to women attending parties and dance halls in Paris. Back then, the women claimed to have no money and rejected his creations. Fast forward to the present. With this trademark red lacquer sole, women are lining up to own one of his world famous shoes. This French designer is and has been worn Hollywood heavyweights such as Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey.

As always, Louboutin’s shoes are a work of art manifested in high-end footwear. His fall-winter collection features classic designs given that chic and ultra feminine touch that is the Christian Louboutin trademark. The crossed straps and seductive peep toe is making its way to the center stage as well as the patented leather pumps. Sexy ankle boots with oversized buckle trim are also ‘in’ this season, according to the Louboutin way of doing things. Of course, whatever trend this French designer propagates, the trademark red sole will always be present.

• Salvatore Ferragamo – Italy is home to many fashion mavens and one of them is the late Salvatore Ferragamo. Known for his many innovations in the shoemaking industry such as the cage heel and the wedge heel, his name is more than just a brand to fashionistas all over the world today. The Salvatore Ferragamo trademark spans an entire fashion empire that continues to inspire, innovate, and dazzle with its wide range of footwear – from the seemingly bizarre to the style classics.

For this fall-winter season, the Ferragamo fashion house is unveiling the “Varina” shoe collection. The choice colors are green, cyclamen and chocolate. Tie-dye, which is a technique more commonly applied to clothes, is now used on shoes. Leather with a touch of satin and velvet, new flat models with the world famous Ferragamo patent, leather straps in a tug of war with super fine suede and pumps in super sexy black pony skin cut in squares – the Italian style icon is serving up another hot plate of fashion this season.

• Vivienne Westwood – Eccentric may be the first word that comes to mind when one hears her name. But no matter what critics and naysayers say, it is fact that Vivienne Westwood is one of fashion industry’s foremost trendsetter and trailblazer. Her infamous nine-inch heeled shoes are remembered as the ones which supermodel Naomi Campbell wore when she stumbled and fell during a runway show in 1994. She is considered as one of the originators of punk fashion and her footwear line is a testament to that. Her shoes are often seen with multiple bows, buckles, ties, laces and in outlandish designs and bold shapes that are truly Vivienne Westwood.

She dazzles this brand new season with a pair of bright pink satin pumps and of course, the signature dizzyingly high heels. Just last May, Westwood has partnered up with Australian shoe company, Melissa. The result: black flats and shiny pumps incorporated with the thermoplastic techniques that Melissa uses. The fall-winter season is all about bold, sparkling and even wild designs and this surely is Westwood’s element.

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