bal harbour blog

Twinkle Toes

Fashion News

by Mackenzie Wagoner

It would be easy to think that, amidst February’s flurry of ground shifting news headlines, the Fall 2017 collections had a tone deaf pep in their step. From New York to Paris, designers were determined to dazzle, down to the jewel-encrusted shoes glimmering on both sides of the pond. It’s not that fashion remained oblivious to food shortages, terrorism or the election of the United States’ President Unpredictable, but designers had found themselves vexed with the challenge of justifying the need for fashion amidst such turmoil.

 

For Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, with style as in society, this proved to be a time for reflection, a theme poised with a question painted by artist Coco Capitán on his vinyl record invitations (“What will we do with all of this future?,” they read—a near perfect projection of the thoughts running through the minds of slack-jawed editors, stylists and international social media onlookers who momentarily tore themselves away from the 24-hour news cycle), and given life on the runway by the literal reflections caused by the house’s most glittering collection to date. Both men and women came forth bedecked in gems from head to toe, replete with sparkling face masks, bodysuits and brilliant t-strap platform sandals that were made to parade as well as march.

 

Fashion’s preeminent feminist, Miuccia Prada, seconded the motion, speaking backstage at Miu Miu about the importance of bearing ourselves against “an uncertain future” with a kind of maddening glamour, an argument made and won on the runway particularly well by one luscious pair of silver silk Mary Janes with a diamanté fringe strap and buckle.

 

These are shoes that incite the kind of intelligible desire that Italian luxury is famous for. For further proof, Dolce & Gabbana doubled down on the directive, with well-heeled sequined boots reinforced with oversized baubles and buckles represented in the full RGBIV scale that gave equal lift to the international cast of mothers, daughters, models and media moguls walking in the show.

 

Even the Americans momentarily shook off impulses for austerity: see the star-studded boots and sandals Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia designed for their debut at Oscar de la Renta.

After all, it’s the three heel clicks of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers that wake her up from her fever dream. But Fall’s gleaming shoes go beyond wishful thinking—and furthermore, beyond a 1 percent privilege—to pile on the jewels and Let Them Eat Cake. Fashion, and women in particular, have a history of turning beauty into a rebellious duty in the face of trying times. During the German occupation in World War II, French women forced to forgo shampoo and leather for the service of Hitler’s troops were given skin-irritating soap and painful wooden soled shoes. They, in turn, took to wearing delicate turbans to hide unwashed hair and creating the highest possible platforms as a display that their spirits could not be broken.

 

It’s an age old defense explained by Lebanese television host Raymonde Butrose, who continued to cover fashion throughout the 15-year Lebanese Civil War because, she said, “Fashion is like a flower in a vase. It helps you forget the horrors of yesterday and cope with tomorrow.” In other words, as you pull on Saint Laurent’s knockout over-the-knee rouched crystal boots, you are not only guaranteed to illuminate a room, but to take a megawatt step forward.

 

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