Upcoming Chilean shoe designer Barbara Briones has crept onto my shoe radar, and she is definitely one to watch! I’ve been smitten ever since I laid eyes on her purple tie-dye pump, just one of the beautifully-handcrafted shoes from her Spring/Summer 2011 collection.
Barbara is reviving the shoemaking tradition in her home country, employing local artisans and leather artists in Santiago, Chile to produce her shoes. The way she mixes various materials and moods with an undercurrent of vintage glamour is extremely charming.
After studying in London at the Cordwainers school, Barbara worked for Mulberry in London, and for Ferragamo in Firenze before launching her line a few seasons ago. From ankle booties to sandals and flats, the current collection offers something special for every taste.
And, as the designer herself asserts, these shoes are designed for wearing.
Even though what we design should be an object of desire, we cannot forget that it should also be wearable.
I’m sure by now that you’re sick and tired of hearing about flatforms, but I thought I’d define this popular spring shoe style to clarify what makes it so…unique.
A flatform is a shoe with a platform equal in height to the heel, resulting in a high but flat or nearly flat walking surface. Try wearing them with wooly tights and a pair of skinny cords now, and when warmer weather arrives, freshly exfoliated legs and a cute summer dress.
Take, for example, this pair of colorfully-striped Jeffrey Campbell sandals, which are more attractive than most other flatforms I’ve found. The towering wooden wedge platform stands 5.5″ tall but has a 2.5″ platform for a leg-flattering style. Leave your comments – are you liking the flatform?
Consider this the ultimate trendy way to transition from winter to spring…the Charles by Charles David Canoodle sandal is made for flirting, featuring delicate lace that covers the foot, and wraps all the way up your ankle. The sexy side cutouts and open toe design coupled with the daring 4″ heel ensures you’ll make a statement wherever you go. A back zipper makes these easy to take the shoe on and off. The beige version is a perfect companion for spring’s bright garments, but Canoodle is also available in always-flattering black.
As part of this week’s “Spring Forward” topic , I present to you the first featured spring shoe from my closet…
Sam Edelman Dawson Sandal in black
Sam Edelman‘s low wedge “Dawson” sandal is the perfect casual style to complement sheaths, knits and denim. The intricate beading and polished stones create a trendy look that is as versatile as it is edgy. The universally flattering strappy design is flirty, and the soft toe post and covered heel ensure a comfortable fit. I’m sure this will be one of my favorite embellished sandals of the season!
Today marks the first official day of spring, which means it’s time to bring out those sandals! During this week I’m going to present to you a few shoes from my own collection that I just can’t wait to wear. LOOK FOR VIDEO CLIPS! :) I’ll be showing off embellished flats, thong sandals, sandal booties and more, so stay tuned! Now here are my thoughts on some of the top shoe trends for spring 2011:
My favorite! This is a popular look every spring, but this year look for flats, wedges and even platform pumps with rope soles. If you only buy one shoe for spring, I suggest the Kelsi Dagger Ivy espadrille wedge, so chic!
I am not at all a fan of flatforms. Sure, this style gives you a bit of lift without pitching you forward on your toes, but I don’t see anything avant garde or “good-looking” about these shoes. They’re not at all flattering, or easy to walk in for that matter. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them here, because they’re being touted all over the fashion blogosphere as one of the hottest trends to watch. At least I’m not alone – ShoeBlog wonders why flatforms are sweeping spring shelves.
The higher and brighter, the better! I particularly love wedges with bold prints, like these Julian Louie for Aldo wedge booties. Wait until you see my Michael Kors wedges, they’re super-high, super-light and I swear I can wear them all day long.
Embellished Flat Sandals
This week I’ll show you my favorite new pair of flat sandals, with plenty of elegant embellishment. No one should have to resort to regular old flip flops when you can wear these Jessica Simpson embellished thong sandals!
St. Paddy’s Day is around the corner! I suggest you slip on these sporty, stylish, and comfortable “Lucky Green” Sirona spring sandals from Tsubo for the festive occasion. You’ll have no problem keeping up with the guys as you hop from pub to pub in these comfy sandals.
Tsubo Sirona Review
As you can see, Tsubo’s Sirona platform sandals are nothing like the spindly, romantic stilettos and trendy platform heels I usually feature on Shoe Smitten, but we can’t wear those kinds of shoes every day, now can we? Featuring built-in cushioning and a fit designed for superior comfort, Sirona is the perfect choice for your warm-weather weekend adventures.
The Sirona ($140) is also available in camel (which I received for review) and black. The first thing I noticed when slipping the shoes on is that they feel big and awkward, due to the extreme platform wedge design. I was afraid that the shoes would slip right off, but as I kept stepping I settled into the easy rocking motion required to walk in platforms as tall as these. I could feel the give in the polyurethane footbed and wedge, yet at the same time the bottom of the shoes provided firm stability.
You can always count on Loeffler Randall to provide chic and incredibly wearable shoes each season. The spring 2011 collection, launching today, features some of the brand’s most drool-worthy styles yet. Seriously, I would wear each and every single pair. Photographer Jamie Isaia has captured the Loeffler Randall campaign imagery in motion. While I await the new bout of snow on its way to New York City, I find myself wishing to be carried away to this enchanting Flower Child paradise.
The Loeffler Randall spring collection includes trends such as prints, snakeskin, suedes, lace-ups, mesh detailing, and mixed metallic—pulling together a collection that pops with flair and effortless sophistication. Here are a few of my favorites:
I was in the shower this morning, and suddenly it hit me that I haven’t talked much about spring ’11 fashions yet, let alone put down a proper wish list. I have just started a shoe wish list on ShoeHunting, but I’ve been pretty focused on winter fashions. Blame it on the NYC Snowpocalypse, or going home to Kansas for the holidays. Regardless, it’s time to look ahead because there are a whole lot of amazing shoes and beautiful pieces to be had. I’m really feeling the 70s glamour movement, especially those oversize tinted sunnies and far out prints. Here’s what’s topping my wish list for 2011. I’d love to hear what’s on yours in the comments below!
Nothing is more universally flattering than a DVF wrap dress, and now there’s the Diane von Furstenberg Skylar Romper! Whether frolicking in the sun or doing the daily grind (just add a blazer and opaque tights), I’d count on this little number to be my go-to staple.
Last October I wrote about how you could get the season’s must-have shoes at Marshalls, and it was so popular (and so much fun for me!), that I’ve decided to report on my Marshalls shopping trips on a regular basis! If you go to the store this week, you’ll find everything from work-appropriate Nine West nude pumps for $34.99 and cozy Born slides for $39.99. As usual I spotted an assortment of dress shoes and designer heels, wellies and fur boots. But what’s news…chunky platform shoes, a hot spring trend, and TONS of toning shoes to get in shape in the new year! As you can see above, you can pick up some of the bestselling toning sneakers, including Skechers Shape-Ups, New Balance Rock & Tone, Avia Avi-Motion iTONE.
Here are a few of my hottest finds. I apologize for the date stamps. I seem to have clumsily hit something on my camera in my shopping frenzy.
Roberto Cavalli platform sandals
high espadrille sandals
Embellished Kate Spade flats and heels, $99-$129
It saddened me to find this Kate Spade shoe missing its crystal bow! :(
Victor & Rolf black pumps, $99
Sam Edelman studded wedge boots, $99
Dolce & Gabbana black strappy heels, $399.99
I received a $50 gift card for use during my Marshalls shopping trip. This in no way influences my feelings toward Marshalls, as I have been a loyal shopper there for years. I can’t guarantee that any of these shoes will still be available in stores, since the merchandise is rotated and sold so quickly. If you take the time to look, you really can’t find better shoe deals anywhere else!