A new shoebox full of open-toed stiletto sandals, caged straps and goldtone hardware—our toolkit to glitz up the night.
Well, we’d hate to say we told you so, but Paul Andrew has been a winner in our eyes since his feminine, edgy collection for Spring ’14 hit our floors. Color us just plain extra happy then, that the footwear genius was awarded the CFDA’s highest honor this week in New York. On the occasion of this Very Big Deal, we spoke to the designer himself as well as the in-house tastemaker who knows his work best.
“As you can imagine, I’m on cloud nine right now,” Paul Andrew told us. “I’m so excited and so proud to receive this accolade. It is such an incredible honor and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. This is literally a dream come true. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund program has put so many small designers on the map, it has not sunk in that I am now part of that class. To the shoe obsessives of the world, I say ‘stay tuned’! There is much more coming from Paul Andrew; I have ambitions to launch a men’s collection, e-commerce, and am looking to further elaborate on the core offering in my women’s collection, and while there is significant work to be done and much more focus and energy required I could not be more motivated.”
‘Aztec’ Fringe Suede Sandal
“Our attraction to Paul Andrew stems from his unique designs, which embody both a sexy refinement and focus on fit and comfort. He is genuinely engaged in making women look and feel good,” said John Langston from our designer shoe team. “We’re eager to see the momentum behind his creative direction, lending credibility to his new must-haves in seasons to come.”
SHOP: Paul Andrew
A gorgeous shoe is a gorgeous shoe is a gorgeous shoe—except when the shoe is actually a metaphor for desire. In that case, the gorgeous shoe is actually a story. Consider, then, the new Jimmy Choo collection, Vices, a short story collection that’s long on style. Each of the limited-edition shoes and handbags is based on a specific gem or jewel and a specific vice or vague wickedness—think greed, lust, envy. To find out more about this accessories-based riff on the classic juxtaposition of good and evil, we spoke to creative director Sandra Choi about her inspiration, concepts and design process.
THE THREAD: The subject of vices is a rich one; we all have plenty–those we share and admit to, and those we don’t. Did you find you were revealing part of yourself in this collection as you explored ideas of envy and need?
Choi: Yes and no, the inspiration for the Vices collection stemmed from my own personal fascination and obsessive enchantment with jewels and the unmitigated and irrational desire they have the power to evoke. For Vices, I explored themes of envy, seduction and irrepressible yearning for objects of beauty. Shoes and bags in diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, jet, black diamond and citrine crystal comprise the seven sins that seduce and beguile as part of the collection.
What is your first and most specific memory of being dazzled by jewels?
It was at the Gem Palace in Jaipur. It is a breathtaking Aladdin’s cave of precious stones that is such a surprising contrast from the environment outside, which is a dusty and bustling city in Northern India. Inside the Gem Palace you have a remarkable amount of freedom to play and connect with the precious stones of every variety.
What is your first and most specific memory of the transformative power of a really great pair of shoes?
For me it is childhood memories of Cinderella, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Betty Boop’s heels; they are forever ingrained in me.
Let’s talk about black diamonds. They’re a bit under the radar and rather underappreciated, so it’s cool that you included a style based on this, the strongest and scrappiest of all natural diamonds. Tell us about your design process for Piper, the black diamond-themed shoe. For instance, the heel is slightly lower than the other styles, and the detailing is especially dynamic. What did you hope to achieve with the look, and what specific elements did you include or leave out in order to make it happen?
I wanted a sultry yet seductively beautiful shoe. I based it on a tango-style shoe that ensured you glide when wearing it; it is a shoe that you can dance in all night.
SHOP: Jimmy Choo
Images and video courtesy Jimmy Choo
It’s not every day you get a window on the path of a rising star. While British shoe designer Rupert Sanderson has been on the ascendancy since his 2001 launch (he was named the British Fashion Council’s Accessory Designer of the Year in 2008 and, in 2009, the year’s Accessory Designer at the Elle Style Awards), the past few seasons have been a star-studded, wicked-heel-wearing golden arrow. We caught the London-based stylemaker via phone on a recent Friday as he, his wife and their three boys motored off to the “wilds of the Suffolk Coast.” Sounds like the perfect place to tromp around in some Crescent riding boots if you ask us.
THE THREAD: Your collection includes both strappy, cut-out sandals with four-inch heels and borrowed-from-the-boys booties. Tell us about the modern mix, and the modern woman you design for.
Sanderson: Because I have my own retail business bang in the middle of Mayfair on Bruton Place, I can think about these real women who come into my shop and design with them in mind. I can put myself in the mind of these women and see them dressing up in the evening and wearing something very light and almost frivolous, and then kicking about in biker boots at the week’s end. I can see a woman throughout her week wearing all of my shoes. I enjoy having a flight of fancy with the really glamorous styles, but I enjoy making shoes that women can wear again and again as well. I really enjoy the definitions between seasons. We’re in the middle of designing for fall/winter 2015, and I find myself still going for incredibly light sandals, but I love designing boots as well.
Fall marches on! The new season has been here for a few weeks already, sure, but for the sartorially inclined, the shift is about more than just lower temps or fewer hours of daylight—it’s about watching the parade-like stream of new arrivals.
Here comes a lovely example right now: a set of ink-hued, just-released styles from SJP Collection.
(L to R): Florence crossbody, Beekman clutch, Blythe T-strap pump, Daphne pump, New Yorker hobo and Crosstown crossbody.
The latest shoes and bags from the fashion-loving mind of Sarah Jessica Parker continue the classic-meets-sexy vibe we’ve already grown to love from the nascent label—now refreshed with new details like mirrored metallic finishes or saturated colors, like indigo and cobalt blue.
Keep reading to get your eyes on some of SJP’s top picks from the new collection, plus a little outfit inspiration, courtesy of the actress/designer’s recent whistle-stop tour of select Nordstrom stores.
The Brother Vellies springbok boots pictured above—part of our TMRW TGTHR Pop-In Shop—represent not one, but multiple acts of good karma. They create solid jobs for the skilled artisans who handcraft them in South Africa. They offer additional income for farmers providing the hides. They put materials to good use that would otherwise go to waste. They provide a consumer like you with high-quality footwear that will last for years. And, perhaps most importantly, they share a cross-continental story about people’s lives and cultures, which might otherwise go untold.
Keep reading to see more photos that Brother Vellies founder Aurora James (along with her stylish friends and their adorable offspring) shot just for us—and to hear Aurora’s thoughts on growing up in Canada, listening to your mother and the evolving definition of what it means to help people in need.
We invited a handful of our favorite NYC Instagrammers to collaborate with us on our fall trend accessories and shoes campaign. They joined us at an Instameet-style shoot in the Big Apple because, party! We filled the studio with next season’s shoes, handbags, jewelry and hosiery, and let them do what they do best. It was a photo shoot match made in heaven, and we’re in love with the results. It’s a little bit of catalog and little bit of Instagram. We’re calling it Instalog! Here’s our partnership lineup:
Caroline Harper Knapp @HOUSEOFHARPER | Getting the shot behind the scenes.
Saturday night we partied at the Brooklyn Museum to help kick off its newest exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. From the mid-seventeenth century to the modern day, the exhibit features some of the most want-worthy shoes ever created—like Marilyn Monroe’s Ferragamo stilettos and Lady Gaga’s 8-inch platform booties.