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.
IT’S not just Vivienne Westwood who works the campaign trail onto her catwalk – Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are doing their bit to save the planet too. They were reminding us that there is just one planet, no back-up, no plan B. “Protect what is precious” was their instruction.
On the catwalk and there wasn’t necessarily an obvious sustainable conversation but there was an ongoing one with their penchant for skatewear – maxed out, in fact, when it came to proportions. Skater trousers came supremely baggy and palazzo style, shirts big too and shapes mostly enveloping – but in something of a surprisingly serene way. And that was down to the colour palette: pinks, mauve, icy blue, white and white.
But while the collection started out in those skate roots, it soon escalated into something altogether more polished from this duo. Still youthful, still energetic but elegant suddenly became an adjective that hopped into their fashion vocabulary.
WHAT better way to cement your reputation as the working woman’s go-to brand than to stage your spring/summer 2015 fashion show in an entrance tunnel to Kings Cross tube station? The novel idea came from Whistles, who in doing so cleverly took their customer off the catwalk and put her into context: on-the-go and always looking good. The tight edit of sleeveless jumpsuits, cutout dresses, tactile knits and statement jackets in a limited colour palette of white, black, peach and the palest of blue all emanated the brand’s progressive-but-pared-back mix and will no doubt fly off the shelves when they hit the shop floor next year. A very stylish commute beckons.
THE money shot at this morning’s Giorgio Armani show was the finale look: a shimmering, shining bejewelled being complete with a bob of beads. She encapsulated the glamour of Armani and the designer’s inspiration this season: the sea, the sand and the landscapes they shape.
He started proceedings with a short film directed by the Oscar-winning Paolo Sorrentino and in it, we saw a mystery couple lying on the beach, hand in hand, with only rope to protect their modesty. Had they come from the deep blue sea? Were they from this world of Armani that Sorrentino was introducing? Were they simply on a nice beach day out?
Regardless, when we did get into that Armani water world, the designer took his theme and ran with it – to create multiple dresses that riffed on jellyfish proportions, shapes and movement. Pronounced short skirts splayed over sheer trousers (still an idea that might need some time to catch on) to perfectly replicate the entity in clothes. Fringes trailed from long skirts to reincarnate fish tails and scales and trousers came with pleats that looked like sand ripples – just as though the tide had come in.
The trousers here were mostly cropped and tapered, jackets languid and loose – a series of white suits were particularly beautiful – and shoes flat throughout. This style note helped to keep the collection feeling fresh and youthful too – those glistening dresses somehow seeming less obvious as obligatory eveningwear.
Armani isn’t the only designer diving deep this season – Philipp Plein made his own splash in Milan last night while back in London Ryan Lo took the plunge in his own irreverent way.
To shop Spring/Summer 2015 Giorgio Armani click below: