Posts Tagged ‘Prada


Clear & Present: See-Through for Spring

“I can see “clearly” now: Prada’s 2010 spring summer show features clear plastic heels, bags and shades,” writes social diarist The Daily Truffle. “This post is … about the re- occurring theme of plastic, vinyl, and crystal accessories. What caught my attention about the accessories of this collection, was the repetition and cohesiveness of the designs. The shoes, sunglasses, and purses all fit together beautifully.”

Prada, for Spring 2010

As The Daily Truffle points out, Prada is not to the only designer who brought clear plastic accessories to the Spring 2010 runway shows. Chanel and Michael Kors followed suit, though these are a far cry from the the inexpensive plastic “jelly” sandals that dominated beaches in the 80s (and experiences a resurgence a few years ago).

Michael Kors

“Michael Kors designed a sleek and architectural shoe collection for his Spring/Summer 2010 collection,” writes blogger Obsessed with Shoes. “They had a very polished and clean look in basic colors like black or white. Clear plastic was a key component in this collection, and while that can sometimes cheapen a look, that wasn’t the case for Michael Kors.”

Prada collection, images from

In the January issue of W Magazine, Prada’s clear (clearly expensive, that is) heels make a showing in the extensive Spring Fashion spread.

Christian Louboutin's Engin spikes

Even Christian Louboutin jumped on the bandwagon with a pair of peep-toe pumps. The soles are the ubiquitous Louboutin red; the toes are clear plastic with silver cone studs. “Don’t be jealous about the Christian Louboutin men’s spring/summer 2010 collection, the women’s collection is just as good if not better,” enthuses blogger Nitrolicious. (Though one commenter noted, “I just don’t dig the clear plastic on shoes; is it ever flattering? Sorry, not these Loubs for this kid.”)


Spit and Polish

At a party hosted recently by friends, I found myself in the kitchen (where else?), with a group of men and among the suspect and somewhat expected line-up of footwear . . . scruffy Converse, Campers, dodgy loafers and non-descript lace-ups (it was a casual affair), we spied one of our friends, the Italian – surprise, surprise, sporting the most sleek and uber glossy shoes from Prada.


The Italian's Pradas

No baggy boy jeans and worn sneakers for this guy. Oh no! He looked slinky and sharp in a slim-fitting shirt, beautifully cut trousers and those to-die-for Pradas! Given that he hails from somewhere near Milan rather than Islington I guess its to be expected, but never before have a pair of shoes drawn so much attention from the species from Mars, each one admiring them and oohing and ahing like they were peeking under the bonnet of a vintage Porsche.

Admittedly, the Pradas were new, having been no further afield than the floorboards of Number 3o. But I kid you not, those shoes were so shiny I could see my own reflection in them (not a good thing given the amount of alcohol I’d consumed by that point), and the luster of them against the pedestrian footwear worn by everyone else prompted the thought . . . is the art of shoe polishing dying on its feet?

Well Olga Berluti, creative director of the men’s luxury shoemaker Berluti, doesn’t think so. Olga’s credentials extend beyond her hand-made shoes for the likes of Andy Warhol and John F. Kennedy, to a shoe-cleaning club she has established for her favorite clients. The ‘Swann Club‘ is a gathering where the members come to ‘dine and shine’ and indulge in a highly meticulous shoe polishing ritual to the music of Vivaldi and Wagner, involving iced spring water, Venetian linen sheets, pots of coloured wax, chianti and vintage champagne.


Mention shoe shining generally and most people think of the military – where having anything less than a mirror finish to your boots is likely to result in a court martial. Or a bygone era, when a tin of wax polish was an essential for shining gents’ shoes on a Sunday evening. All my friends acknowledge having watched their fathers and grandfathers polish their shoes regularly, but few admit to rummaging around in the under stairs cupboard in search of a rusty tin of Kiwi, an old sports sock and a well worn horse-hair brush inherited from a long deceased relly, on a quest to return their now scuffed and scratched ‘best’ leather shoes to their former glory. Not quite the same league as The Swann Club!

But what is it about our generation that has caused a decline in the art of shoe shining? One which Asda, the Wal-Mart-owned UK supermarket chain, claim is dramatic and upstoppable. Well, we’re a lazy bunch and we’d rather be indulging in 101 things on a Sunday evening than applying a bit of elbow grease to our leather uppers. Modern footwear is far more low maintenance than brogues and loafers and many of us don’t actually know how to clean our shoes using old-style polish and a frenzy of buffing, opting instead for timesaving wipes that are growing in popularity. In our consumerist society, we’re not about ‘make do and mend’ as it was for our forefathers, and the preservation and longevity of shoes just isn’t important when its easy and relatively cheap to replace worn out pairs, or those we simply no longer like.

And a final thought for the rare beasts who today believe in the importance of a parade-ground finish – is it strictly men? Would the fairer sex be caught spitting on a duster, applying a good level of elbow grease and buffing to a shine . . . or do we reserve that ceremony exclusively for our thighs?

For advice on how to achieve the perfect shoe shine, go to ‘ask andy about clothes.’


I Hate Reptiles, But I Love Prada.

It’s hard to imagine what an iguana/Trojan warrior might look on one’s foot, but it appears Prada is on to something. Generally, reptiles don’t evoke the warm and fuzzies inside me, yet as I flipped through latest issue of Chicago Fashion, I was far from creeped out—I was in awe. Chunky soles, studs and mohawks, oh my! With such fabulous details, this shoe might have me rethinking my philosophy on cold-blooded creatures.

Prada Fall 2009 Shoe Collection

Prada Fall 2009 Shoe Collection

Iguana by Cy via Flickr Creative Commons License

Photo by Cy (Via Flickr Creative Commons License)


Peppers, Ponies, and Prada?

greenacres_duoI’m not sure at what point my life turned into True Life: Green Acres, but some days I feel like a combination of Oliver and Lisa (and occasionally Arnold).

When most people get home from a long day of work, they relax, get something to eat, and perhaps even have a drink or two: HA! Yesterday, I got home from work only to discover that my dear, dear horse had broken into my garden and successfully trampled half my tomato and pepper plants. Obviously I did what any “farmer” would do; I went out and tried to chase him out of the garden!

10983520-2f1ee369842ef25453b04938a236c890[1].4a566229-thumbDid I mention I was still wearing my work clothes? I can’t say I know too many farmers that run around a field in a Diane vonFurstenberg dress and Prada sandals. It must have been quite a site for passers by. Maybe I need my own reality show…

Anywho, you would think at some point I would finally invest in proper work boots (especially redwingafter my Wellie debaucle). But what do I know about work boots? I hear Red Wings are quite nice, and they do come in a rather lovely shade of burgundy. Should I go for a steel toe? I wonder if they make a patent leather version?


Tough Love

One glimpse at the studded leather mohawk mary janes debuted during Prada’s Milan show and my winter shoe rut is shattered. Warm, tough and exhaustively beautiful, these MJ’s opened my eyes to the hard but delicate detailing that can be achieved with a few perfectly placed studs⎯something I generally associate with icky biker vests and Hannah Montana belts. I’m afraid to even consider the cost, so I went straight in search of a pair to fill the void.

231995417_tpThese 80’s pixie-punk loafers would be the perfect boot-to-sandal transition shoes for spring.

e747_1Textured, gold-studded Nina heels from EBay’s La Bella Vita Boutique would add the right amount of edge to a flowy spring dress.

ric-673932-aAnd, I know it’s too soon to even be considering shorts but oh how these studded sandals from Cherie’s Designer Boutique would look with a crisp pair of J.Crew chinos (any length), a sweet cotton tank and a rooftop barbecue.


Coming Out of the Shoe Closet

Not only am I obsessed with shoes, I’m also obsessed with cleaning and organizing.
However, I’ve come to realize that the two don’t mix.
I devoted last weekend entirely to spring cleaning, sorting through all my closets so I could pick out the right suit for morning meetings when I’m not quite so wide-eyed and bushy tailed, and finally put together an outfit without having a ‘what am I going to wear?’ panic attack every week.

I started early on Saturday, chugged my espresso at the wee hour of 7 a.m. and got started with my closet raid.

All was going right on schedule – I was parting with the old, making way for the new, and even managed to fish out some old Doc Martens from yesteryear
But then, came the shoe closet. My shoe closet is actually attached to my regular closet, a private sanctuary, a peaceful cove of shoes – stacked floor to ceiling – a place that only a true shoe lover can appreciate. Jimmy Choo, Manolo, Prada and Cavalli all have a home here. Each shoe is neatly placed with its partner, one pointing forward, the other facing one side so I can enjoy both views. Everything’s arranged by color, and then alphabetically by designer
Obsession? Maybe.
Anyhow, as I enter the shoe closet – this little corner of paradise that often serves double duty as ‘time out’ space when stress levels run amock – I feel real, genuine pain at the thought of parting with anything here.
I’m not ready. There’s no way I could discard my flamingo pink Miu Miu slides
Letting go of the Prada wedge heel in canary yellow would be too much; how could I?
Give up my patent Gucci knee-highs? Not going to happen.

I go down the shelves, pair by pair from Balenciaga to YSL, reminiscing about the memories that live on in each shoe, re-living the moment when I first discovered those dearest to my heart – and realize they are a part of me that even the spring cleaning bug can’t touch.
I came out of the shoe closet a good three hours later, a refreshing walk down memory lane. Not a single shoe was leaving its home, I was determined to only build and grow from here, not scale back. Build a bigger and better closet that would house all shoes of my past, present, and future.

Spring cleaning or not, the shoe closet shall remain untouched.

Now which shoes do I wear to the home improvement store?…

Shoetube on Twitter

July 2020