First, those shoes: David Bowie-style platforms crafted from a lightning bolt patchwork of Python and metallics were about as high as the silver and gold-foiled enclaves that models walked between. On the other end of the height spectrum; the ballet pump. It’s back. Neat blush pink silk ballet pumps with sweet little bow tie, albeit Mrs Prada’s redux come bandaged at the bridge and ankle in black and white gingham ribbon, suggesting she might have had an injury. She could well have done. These girls were a sinister bunch; with hair centre parted and divided into pig tails and lips painted a blue running to deepest red ombré. It’s this dark and suspect undercurrent that makes the Miu Miu mashup so appealing.
Whose wardrobe had she been rifling through this time? Perhaps her mother’s or an older sister’s but it never gets too trad when she pops a tiara on her head (set to become the hair accoutrement of Spring 2016). Ruffled sheer organza bed jackets, robes and nighties were layered on top of checked midi length pencil skirts, gingham shirts and knitted tank tops. Maybe they had secretly been out all day and night and threw a nightie on top for it to look like they had spent all evening at home, or maybe it’s a veil that disguises what really lies beneath – she’s always up to something.
Coats were also a big theme – oversized mannish duster styles boasted stripy sporty collars, geo intarsia or a recurring argyle diamond motif, while colourful fox fur scarves fastened diagonally across the torso and raccoon tail charms dangled off the side. Miu Miu girls will find lots to get excited about.
THE ballet pump – a starlet classic which we all have at the back of our wardrobes – hasn’t had an easy ride over the past few years. Deemed polite to the point of prissy, the staple shoe developed a bad rep after the high street was flooded with every variation imaginable a decade ago… the patent, gingham or leg-toning adaptations during the Noughties.
Now is the time to switch your attitude to the humble ballet slipper. The simplest of all-day, everyday shoes has made a comeback thanks to Celine: Phoebe Philo showed a stretchy, pliable style on the spring/summer 2015 catwalk. The key to the new-look ballet pump is an elegant almond-shaped toe (rather than round) – try Lanvin, A.P.C or French Sole. Pick a punchy red or tan, matte leather – extra marks go for authentic balletic details such as ribbon ties or blush silk, which works particularly well with suiting, where a box-fresh white trainer now feels a little obvious.
Over on the red carpet, the ballet shoe is elbowing the lace-up stiletto out of the limelight: Karlie Kloss made a very convincing case for the uber-classic Chanel pump at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, pairing hers with a little tweed dress. They look chic, in a sprightly sort-of way, don’t they?
Maybe heels are simply feeling like too much hard work, or post-normcore there’s enough irony to dressing safe to make it appealing now. Either way, the modest ballet pump feels refreshingly feminine for summer 2015 – which is something we shouldn’t be afraid of.