Shoes, glorious shoes

I've been trying to work out how to update my summer wardrobe on the cheap. I'm not the biggest trend follower: I don't buy into those diaper-like harem pants, (I imagine if you tried to run in them, the low crotch would make you trip over just like if you tied your shoelaces together), I don't really dig baggy, torn up boyfriend jeans rolled tightly at the ankle, and the resurgence of floral dresses worn with Doc Martens reminds me way too much of Alicia Silverstone in all those Aerosmith videos. I find a lot of trends are made for the very young and the very tall and thin, and when we the short and normal try to pull them off, we can end up looking kind of dumpy and kind of silly. So all the lamenting unflattering clothes aside, I've decided that shoes are the perfect way to update my wardrobe without doing a complete overhaul. Shoes are always good to us women. No matter how much weight we lose or gain, our shoes always fit. Trying on a pair of shoes will never make you regret the Big Mac you ate for lunch, or make the change room mirrors reflect back at you in that devastatingly hideous way.

If the shapes in your wardrobe are fairly classic, then the best way to update is with an edgy pair of shoes. A good pair of shoes can make a dress that's a bit too pretty look chic and fashion forward. Equally, a bad pair of shoes can make an amazing designer dress look rubbish. Sorry Sandra Bullock, but you need to fire your stylist. (I originally had the actual photo posted, but it offended me so much every time I opened the blog that I had to replace it with a link) As we see from the Sandra Bullock exhibit, a bad pair of shoes can destroy an outfit. Bad hair doesn't help either.

Recently I was a bridesmaid for a friend's wedding. Our dresses were sleeveless, high-waisted chocolate brown chiffon that fell below the knee. When discussing footwear options by email, someone suggested a practical black, closed toe shoe. We all owned a pair, after all. It was all so illegal my head almost exploded. I had to shut my laptop and walk away, otherwise I would have been shouting in all caps about how we might as well wear those black lace up sneakers they sell at the chemist that are extra wide to accommodate diabetes-related foot swelling. BLASPHEMY. In the end, the bride won and we all wore pale gold.

Thankfully I can put that episode behind me and focus my efforts on important things. Like trawling the collections for good shoes to post on my blog.

For the last few seasons, shoes seem to have been becoming more and more avant-garde. Many are downright weird. There is the ankle boot, and the strappy, sometimes bondage-esque platform shoe, there are strange interpretations of the heel (or in Antonio Berardi's case, the heel is removed altogether and replaced with...air), eccentric embellishments and the always practical boot with the toe missing, (which, by the way, I LOVE).

Anyway, here are some of my favourite shoes from the Spring collections:

Booties

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Photo: Nina Ricci

Way to ruin a perfectly good photo of beautiful shoes with your creepy claw toes, model.

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Photo: Miu Miu

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Photo: Alexander Wang

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Photo: 3.1 Phillip Lim

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Photo: 3.1 Phillip Lim

I love the first Phillip Lim pair, but they don't seem very Spring to me. I can imagine them with opaque tights, a ridiculously short skirt and a fluffy fur, real or faux.

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Photo: Alexander McQueen

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Photo: Alexander McQueen

Am I crazy? I die for these mechanical robot-looking booties from Alexander McQueen. They're so unique, and as long as your outfit was fairly toned down, I don't think they'd look that weird. (According to the Boyfriend, the style of these booties is based on a fiction genre called Steampunk)

Strappy

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Photo: Burberry

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Photo: Burberry

I also die for these shoes from Burberry, especially the knotted pair with the black platform soles. Not everyone does the socks and heels thing, but I think they really suit the knotted and tangled look that Christopher Bailey has going on at Burberry this season.

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Photo: Yves St. Laurent

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Photo: Yves St. Laurent

Elegant Confections

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Photo: Valentino

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Photo: Valentino

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Photo: Valentino

I love the new young point of view at Valentino now that Maria Grazie Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli (doubt I'll ever be able to remember those names) have taken the helm.

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Photo: Dries Van Noten

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Photo: Nina Ricci

Crazy Go Nuts

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Photo: Alexander McQueen

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Photo: Alexander McQueen

These shoes from Alexander McQueen look like they have a brain and could control the wearer telepathically.