Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Ranking a list of favorite tangibles, I’d say that SHOES AND CHAIRS top the list. With that being said, imagine how surprised I was to come across a "Louis" shoe in a recent issue of the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle. What could be better? Combining all the grandeur and decadence of the stylish Sun King within the constraints of a sling back slipper or even something a little more sensible -- one would think that there might be endless possibilities. Having a “Louis” shoe inspired by antiques in the Louis XV period is the brainchild of Christian Siriano (former Project Runway winner) who has created this line for Payless Shoes no less. Can it be said that HIGH style is finally breaking through the glass ceiling and into the mainstream? Jean Paul Gautier, Michael Graves, Liberty of London and Isaac Mizrahi, among others, are designing for Target, and now Payless Shoes. Could it be that that the shrinking globe is bringing couture accessibility to the masses?
Christian Siriano's Louis shoe for Payless.

Christian Siriano on the runway with one of his creations.

Could this be the inspiration for a Louis shoe?

The Liberty of London store in London...UK chic.

The "Martha Grace" pattern for Liberty of London for Target.

Getting back to the subject of shoes and moving on to other favorites while broadening my horizons, I’m thinking that there might be no end to inspired styles. What would you imagine the Calder shoe to look like? Might it be strappy? Might it be airy? Would it be red, yellow or black? Or would that be more Mondrian? What about Queen Anne style, what would that shoe look like? Might they be fawn suede with the heels something akin to Bambi’s foot? What about William & Mary - how about this literal translation; one shoe is constructed for a man, and the other for a woman, but both are worn together?
Could an Alexander Calder mobile be inspiration for a shoe?

A Queen Anne chair in White.
The "Queen Anne" chair by Knoll.
Could a William and Mary chair be even more inspiration?

Needless to say that while the quintessential spark of creativity flying on the wings of genius is boundless, I am amused, to say the least…that there are still market segments yet to be conquered, albeit this one with sole.

Barbara Ashfield

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