Designer Shoes

“They’re perfect for what’s happening in fashion and art and architecture—this great kind of melting of all things,” Jeffrey Kalinsky told me this past November on a crazily warm New York day.

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All photos by Laura Cassidy

He was talking about Snarkitecture,  the of-the-moment, in-the-mix design practice headed by artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen. Harnessing the trend for mixing the chicest ready-to-wear with the best built environments, our VP Fashion Director set out to collaborate with the best and commissioned the Brooklyn-based crew to create a backdrop (only part of it is seen here) on which to shoot his favorite looks from Valentino, Gucci, Simone Rocha and more on China-born model Fei Fei Sun for our new season Designer Collections lookbook.

We were there at New York’s Pier 59 Studios, and we’d love to take you behind the scenes.

GET A CLOSE-UP ON THE SET AND THE STYLES

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It’s Carolyne’s birthday—she’s 30 this year, and doesn’t she make it look amazing? _11783708

Manolo Blahnik Carolyne

The Manolo Blahnik signature slingback in all its iterations—high to low heels, suede to patent leather finishes, neutral tones and knockout yellow—is named for the woman who came up with the original silhouette back in 1986.

WHO IS CAROLYNE ROEHM?

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We all know that toting along a bouquet of flowers, an extra bottle of bubbles, and maybe a crusty baguette goes a long way with holiday hosts, but you know what goes a long way with fellow guests? A few good questions. Holiday Season Party Tip #9: Ask people about themselves. Be interesting and interested. Get folks to open up—about their lives, their work and the year we’re all about to put behind us.

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Pedro Garcia, easing down the road; all images courtesy Pedro Garcia

We chatted up Spain-based designers of Pedro Garcia and Dale Dubovich of Pedro Garcia (via email of course) about the year we’re about to put behind us, and the one that’s cueing up as we speak. Here’s what they had to say about nabbing a coveted fashion award and some very ambitious #lifegoals.

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We all know that toting along a bouquet of flowers, an extra bottle of bubbles and maybe a plate of appetizers or a crusty baguette goes a long way with holiday hosts, but you know what goes a long way with fellow guests? A few good questions. Party tip #406: Ask people about themselves. Be interesting and interested. Get folks to open up—about their lives, their work and the year we’re all about to put behind us.

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While we weren’t in a darkened room celebrating with Malone Souliers‘ creative heads Mary Alice Malone and Roy Luwolt (above), just eyeing their killer heels and iconic booties is a party, so bear with us here. We lobbed a couple of conversation-worthy queries about 2015 their way, and we’re sharing them here so that you might take our lead and run with it—and learn something along the way.

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So your calendar is stacked with a season’s worth of day and night events and you’re calculating the chicest way to make it all work? Check this out: the two themes behind Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Chois current collection of strappy heels and sumptuous bags were sunlight and moonlight. So with Jimmy Choo, 24/7 style is built in.

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Image of Jimmy Choo Viola via Jimmy Choo

We asked the Jimmy Choo team to help us build two transitional looks—shoe- and handbag-centric outfits that’ll take you from girls’ brunch to girls’ cocktail night, or from the office to the office party—with some of their resort-season standouts.

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The plot thickens. Remember how we told you about the Robert Clergerie x Man Repeller contest? Some lucky Instagrammer is going to Paris on their dime, and now we know who it might be.

For instance, it might be Jen Szeto, who ’grams dreamy scenes and cool-girl looks from San Fran as @windowofimagination. She’s among the four style-makers chosen by Leandra Medine and Clergerie Creative Director Roland Mouret from among the oh-so-many who attempted to hashtag their way across the ocean and into the star shoe brand’s design room. Because, yeah, in addition to just getting to the City of Light, the lucky winner gets a place at the table as Mouret and team work on upcoming styles.

robert_clergerieImage via @windowofimagination on Instagram

Here are the other three contestants, and the notes on how you can get involved in the game from here:

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“Yes, since I ‘shop’ for a living the assumption is that the perfect gift is always available and around me,” admits Sahar Sokhandan, Nordstrom’s buyer of designer fine apparel and evening collections.

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Call it a job hazard for Sahar (above), but it’s a win for you; today we’re sharing her pro gift-giving insight as well as tips and trade secrets from fellow buyer Jennifer Sabenorio.

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There probably isn’t a single designer working in fashion today who doesn’t want to lay claim to the idea that he or she knows exactly what women want, but Pedro García designers Pedro García and Dale Dubovich really have it on lock.

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Especially when it comes to shoes, women want uncompromising style and comfort. With a direct emphasis on both of those things, the made-in-Spain brand delivers in those categories—season after season.

We visited their Paris showroom to take a look at what that means for spring 2016.

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Considering the recent four-city run of global Fashion Weeks, it’s likely you’ve got three things on your mind:

1. I need more amazing shoes in my life.

2. I really want to go to Paris.

3. I can’t get off Instagram.

IMG_0664Image via Man Repeller

Robert Clergeriein cahoots with the blogosphere’s winningly offbeat style icon Leandra Medine of Man Repeller—wants to gift you some killer Clergerie styles and an all-expenses-paid excursion to the City of Light.

So just stay right there with your smartphone tuned to that IG feed, and we’ll fill you in.

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“All designers have a point of departure and mine is geography,” said CFDA award-winning footwear designer Paul Andrew backstage before his presentation. Last season, at New York Fashion Week for fall ’15, Andrew showed a collection based on Manhattan.

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All images by Jessa Carter

This time out, the short and tall heels, and suede and brocade platforms are all about Hong Kong, and the “mystique of the Orient with the modernity of what is now a modern city for fashion, finance and industry.” The British-born, New York-based designer says he’s drawn to the combination of influences: what remains from the time of his native country’s colonial rule to the Chinese threads woven throughout the landscape today.

Take a look at what we saw at the show—which included live models as well as Andrew’s known shoes-as-art pedestal presentation—and see how the points of interest and geographical reference coalesce for some all-out killer shoes.

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