Barbara Briones Spring Summer 2011 Collection

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.

To purchase , visit BarbaraBriones.com.  I heard it through the grapevine that soon one of Barbara Briones shoes will be available at Anthropologie!

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Spring Essential, #1: Sam Edelman Dawson Sandal

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!

Buy it now: Sam Edelman Dawson, $49.99 at DNAFootwear.com

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Spring Forward With The Season’s Hottest Shoes

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:

Espadrilles

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!

Military

The military shoe trend is still going strong, especially when it comes to open toe booties.  These Report Mozelle open toe ankle boots are the prefect way to make your favorite sundress less frou-frou and more fashion-forward.

Flatforms

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.

Statement Wedges

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!

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St. Paddy’s Day Shoes: Tsubo’s Sirona Platform Wedge Sandal Review

Green Tsubo Sandals for St. Patrick’s Day

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.

The flatform trend is taking center stage in fashion this spring, and if you’re going to try the look, I suggest the Sironas because they are built on a rounded athletic-inspired bottom, rather than the unforgiving flat bottom of others such as Michael Kors’ triple-buckle platform sandal.

What do you think of the Sirona platform wedge sandal by Tsubo?  Of flatforms in general?  Leave your reactions in the comments below!

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Spring Must-Have: Kelsi Dagger Ivy Espadrille Wedge

Espadrilles are a wonderful shoe for spring.  They give you lift, they’re super-light, and they provide a comfortable fit thanks to the flexible sole made of rope.  Not to mention, they are perfectly on-trend right now and will make your legs look great!  Make sure you have at least one espadrille in your spring shoe wardrobe, preferably in a neutral hue so you can wear the sandals with everything! I’m currently loving the Kelsi Dagger  Ivy Espadrille ($49 at Endless.com).  What do you think?

The Kelsi Dagger Ivy is also available in black and pewter.

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