Saturday, 26 September 2009

Trend report: Accessorageous...Womens footwear

Above: Fresh from her collaborations with Henry Holland, the super talented Atalanta Weller was kind enough to allow me to photograph her samples for SS10.
Below: Some even more dramatic designs made by Atalanta.

Women fighting back: intro

As I've mentioned here before, alot of people have spent the last 9 months complaining that womenswear is not as exciting as menswear this year. Now it seems people designing women's clothes are coming to a consensus that the best way to fight back and create interest is through exciting accessories.

As men borrow more and more from womenswear - the long dress-shape knits form many designers but best executed by Rick Owens this season, Topman's long-awaited expansion which has allowed them to begin to appeal to the more experimental among us, the creatives behind womens fashion and the girls themselves are grabbing extreme accessories as totem protectors of the femininity. This is the first of three posts, from material shot during London Fashion Week and before, focusing on specific women's accessories trends which I'm excited about right now.


Since these accessories are about women staking their claim to their femininity and their wardrobe it's no surprise that something which has traditionally been a no-go area for men has become the main weapon of choice in this sartorial battle of the sexes. For me, footwear is the most exciting sector of womenswear right now. Similar to the effect of the new CAD programmes used for Frank Ghery's Bilbao Guggenheim which were then simulated by architects all around the globe, it's the one area where technological breakthroughs such as rapid prototyping and centrifugal molding are having a huge effect on the shape of the products and all this is feeding back into the imagination of the designers whether or not they're using those specific techniques. The result is sharp shapes and sculptural forms that blend feminine curves with Zaha Hadid-esque angles.

Above and below: One of the many highlights of this year's RCA graduate show was the display of Chau Har Lee's women's footwear. Unsurprisingly she caught a lot of people's attention with her avant garde designs. Following graduation, she won the Its 8 award which will be funding another collection from her and Manolo Blahnik also picked her out for a prize in his award collaboration with the Royal College.

Above and below: Central St Martin's masters student, Nina's designs as worn to the B Store after party at Kettners last week by the designer and her sister...

Below: Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent is producing my favourite internationally available shoe designs right now. Hot on the heals (pardon the pun) of the my favourite shoes of last season - the soon-to-be iconic Cage design, the originality of these AW09 Bandage shoes comes from the inset stiletto which gives a cantilever effect. Available in YSL now.

On the slate...


  1. Yeah, I think I saw Chau's work on Vogue, right? Loved her display at RCA too...would love to know how wearable they are...

  2. About time you did another report on Men's shoes I think Mr ManAboutWorld.

  3. LOOOOOOOOVE Chau's work, she is a genius!