There is an undeniable thing happening with shoes right now in the fashion world. They’re going insane. This is not new–shoes have been getting bigger and weirder for a few years now. But this season, they reached some sort of (ankle) breaking point. They are clunky and spiky and outrageous, studded up like dog collars or all out with inverted heels. At Rodarte, Prada, and Miu Miu, models stumbled and tripped and wiped out completely. It was impossible not to wonder: If professional models can’t make it down twenty feet of flat plywood while glued into their shoes—yes, designers have tried to resort to glue and tape—how in the world am I going to make it to my car? And what about the poor clothes? Sometimes the shoes are so fantastic that the clothes were merely an afterthought. They are lovely little sculptures, these shoes, worth admiring and puzzling over the physics. But for traipsing around in the real world: not so much.
Here are some of Spring’s Most Dangerous Shoes:
Dolce & Gabbana
New York Fashion Week is no stranger to divas. Yet on Saturday afternoon, it played host to the biggest diva of all. Or at least the most plastic. Barbie, that icon of young girls everywhere, celebrated her 50th birthday in suitably glamorous style. Forget Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen — this was the show to see! There were at least 1,000 breathless fans crowded into the tents at Bryant Park waiting to see the styles of the notorious Barbie.The runway show squeezed in a 50-designer runway tribute to Barbie’s varying looks over the decades. Most of the big names in American fashion were represented here — Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein Collection, Donna Karan — and lesser-known designers got into the act, too, including standouts from Peter Som, Nanette Lepore and Yeohlee.
Associated PressDesigner Naeem Khan understands that Barbie — and the girls who love her — adore sparkles so the model’s makeup consisted of sequence and sparkles. These slender, real-life runway models didn’t exactly share Barbie’s infamous proportions, but through the magic of hair and makeup, most of them channeled Barbie’s updos over the years, from her bouffants of the ’50s, the swinging ponytails of the 70s, and best of all, the big hair of the ’80s. A few of my personal favorite outfits will be put up here this afternoon.
Pollini was originally a family business specializing in shoes that was founded by Romeo and Domenico Pollini before the turn of the 20th century in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy. It was not until the 1950s, after both World Wars, when Pollini’s expansion plan materialized, beginning with collaboration with Bruno Magli that would go on until 1961. The decade also marked the beginning of industrialization, as Pollini started its own factory separate from the original ‘family room’ style of manufacture. The 1960s saw the complete industrialization of Pollini. Yet, even with the use of machines, skilled craftsmanship was emphasized together with the use of the highest quality leather. In 1963, the company forayed into retail, as the first Pollini store opened in Ravenna. With the tried and successful formula of developing its business decisively yet in a slow pace, Pollini continued the same strategy well into 2000, wherein at the turn of the 21st century, it became part of the AEFFE Fashion Group that started with the production of Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy accessories as well as with Narciso Rodriguez. There are Pollini stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya in Japan, as well as in Florence, Milan, Bologna, Parma, Verona, Bolzano, Bergamo, Varese and Venice, in Italy.
In the latest Pollini Fall 2009 Fashion show, there were earth toned colors, polished dresses, swirled chic designs, primary colors, and edgy jackets.
Zac Posen’s fashion shows are always an extravaganza of girly-glam, and as over-the-top as New York fashion gets. His approach makes for lots of fun, if not always a lot of sense. This season, moments of pretty sanity tempered the mayhem, some of it approaching chic. Among the hits: coats, including a silvery metallic jacquard and a romantic, big-collared number in gray felt. Posen also showed a restrained wool sheath and appealing tailored jackets.
Napoleon’s first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais inspired hair and makeup fit for royalty to complement Zac Posen’s Fall collection. “It’s French courtesan opulence meets punk,” said Odile Gilbert for L’Oréal Professionnel. They used Expansion Body Activating Mousse for volume and then swept hair high into a “large chignon” after it was teased at the roots. Extreme Holding Spray sealed the look and a braided headband with studs added a rocker edge to the elegant bouffant. Makeup, which was done by done by Lucia Pieroni for MAC, pushed the look into modern times with a fresh orange lip (MAC’s Morange lipstick) and a carbon-colored eye. Pieroni rimmed eyes with black pencil and used Blackberry shadow on the lid. “My inspiration is a Tim Burton girl with huge, big smoky eyes, lashes,” said Pieroni, who added false lashes. “She looks a little hollow, a little Gothic.”
Celebrities Rachel Bilson, Zoe Saldana, Claire Danes, Santigold, Nicole Richie, Alicia Keys and Leigh Lezark were all spotted Posen’s runway show. The starlets weren’t the only ones getting attention at the show. When model Coco Rocha took her turn on the runway, a photographer in the pit shouted “Now that’s a woman!” at her, causing the audience to break out in laughter. Ever professional, Coco Rocha responded with a sly smile, though she later confided backstage that she hadn’t understood the snapper’s catcall. “I thought he was being cheeky, so I smiled,” Rocha said. “Then everyone started laughing and I got worried and did a body check to make sure the clothes were still on.”