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The Accessories Wall: Fall 2009 Shoes

Ladies, let's talk shoes.

Specifically, let's talk Fall '09 shoes. Far more experienced fashion scholars than ourselves could probably spin out theories having to do with the economy or the Presidential election or any of a number of politico-socio-econo-cultural events as to why this is the case, but has anyone noticed how complicated shoes are getting? Where are the simple pumps, mules and slingbacks? Half of these shoes look like they require an engineering degree just to get them on. Walking in them is, of course, a secondary consideration. That's not actually anything new. Fashion has been dictating that woman walk slowly and carefully for centuries now. It's all about the design, not the practicality. Which is fine, we'd rather talk about how they look rather than the inevitable surgical interventions they will induce. By all means, point out that they're hard or nearly impossible to walk in, but that tends to make for a somewhat limited conversation. It's the look that inspires; not whether or not one can catch a bus in them. Because let's face it, no woman wearing any of the following shoes is going to be riding public transportation any time soon.

One thing that's notable about shoe fashion (if not fashion in general) in recent years is that there is no longer one type of heel or one type of sole or one shape of toe box that's in vogue. It's all up in the air. About the only thing you definitely won't see in the following examples is a low heel. It's all about height, baby.

Shall we begin? Yes. Let's.

Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera

That McQueen is perhaps a bit too BDSM for most, but we like the rest of them. The Herrera is especially pretty.

Chanel, Chloe, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix

Love the Chloe and Dior; the Chanel's kind of cool; not all that crazy about the Lacroix.

Derek Lam, Donna Karan, Dries van Noten, Emilio Pucci

Love, hate, love, love.

Fendi, Givenchy, Hermes, Jil Sander

Pretty much love them all except for that sole on the the Jil Sander.

John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton

Love the Lanvin but the rest range from silly to just plain ugly.

Marni, Matthew Williamson, Michael Kors, Miu Miu

Yes, no, yes, and ...hmmm. It's kind of strange.

Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Stella McCartney

Like, LOVE, HATE, like.

Versace, Viktor & Rolf, Yves Saint Laurent, Zac Posen

Love, like, like, and would love them more if they weren't paired with those hose.

Et vous, darlings? What do you think?



How many will we see Paris Hilton wearing in the next five or six sex tapes that will get "stolen"?

The Dior is my favorite of them all.

I like the Miu Miu -different without being fussy. Most of these are far too fussy for me.

Like Derek Lam. They look wearable and comfortable. Hills seem to be a decent size.


Overload. Really.

After divorcing my viewing from the concept of "pain" - I'd say the winners were the Herrera, Lam, Pucci and Kors. The Miu Miu gets honorable mention for a having dance shoe vibe to me.

The swaggery on Balenciaga is wonderful, but in combination with basket weave, toe box & especially the sole it's all just too much.

Ok, I am drooling; that's just torture, you evil bitches. I can't even pick one. Most of them are GORGE!

i really like the chanels and the diors

to be fair about the gallianos, in the context of the collection they are pretty fun and fab....they would just look rediculous paired with anything else

Shoes! My favorite things! Herewith my critique:

McQueen: not outside the dungeon
Balenciaga: I like! But the ribbon could be just a mite hazardous
Calvin Klein: cute!
Carolina Herrera: these are beautiful

Chanel, Chloe, Dior, Lacroix:
no, no, no and no. Though the Chanel heel is interesting.

Derek Lam and Donna Karan: two noes
Dries van Noten: I want!
Emilio Pucci: I like the concept, but with all those straps they'd take forever to put on!

Fendi, Givenchy, Hermes, Jil Sander:
Again, no, no, no and no

Galliano: dear god, how many ideas are in that one poor little shoe?
Gaultier: no
Lanvin: cool heel!
Vuitton: again, an interesting heel, but the rest of it is pretty bad

Marni: ooh, yes!
Williamson: ooh, no!
Michael Kors: yes, but it would be better with a closed toe
Miu Miu: love these

Narcisco Rodriguez, de la Renta, Prada, McCartney:
Four thumbs up

Versace, Vikor Rolf, Saint Laurent, Zak Posen:
like (with a closed toe), like, okay, adore!

Here's a trend I dislike (you can see it on the Versace, the Kors and the Hermes): heavy, closed, fall/winter shoes with open toes. They look weird and random.

The Prada kind of looks like a zebra fish.

My back hurts just looking at them.

My Achille's tendon is making aggravated noises at me just for looking at those things. I can't imagine actually wearing them - I'd be using orthopedic shoes and crutches for a month.

No fashionable shoes for me this season. Not that that's actually a surprise.

Love most of these, although I could never walk in them without doing a faceplant.

The Dior is TO.DIE.

I actually love the Prada. They're feminine with a juxtaposition of masculinity.

The only 2 I covet are the Carolina Hererra and the Zac Posen. I guess I prefer closed-toe shoes in general. Never really thought about it before, but I only own two pairs of open-toed shoes, and they're casual summer sandals.

I don't get high heels, I think all all of them make feet look ugly.

Some of them I think looked wierder than necessary because they look too big or small for the model.

omg i want the kors!!!! how long before steve madden makes knockoffs?

I can't wait til everyone gets bored with all that. Come on, designers, wouldn't you enjoy the challenge of making beautiful low heels? Or is that poorly-designed low heeled shoes make all those size 11 feet look even bigger and you are not sure you can do it.

Absolutely hate the YSL. Looks like she has a chunk of gold cement at the end of her leg. Covet the Miu Miu and Calvin Klein.

Even if I set aside my bias against super-high heels, I am struggling to like any of them. I guess the Herreras are pretty, although the toe looks like it might be too pointy. (I don't care how fashionable they try to tell me pointy toes are, they look like effing court jester shoes to me. Put a bell on the toe and be done with it.)

This post makes me very happy!

Is that Chanel heel sound from an engingeering standpoint? I think that's the pair Salome should practice walking on.


Perhaps the Galliano is for the woman who wants her footwwear to match her exquisitely over-groomed, dyed-to-match poodle....

I like the Michael Kors and the Dries van Noten.

Interestingly, Michael Kors is a more adventurous shoe designer than clothes designer.

Karen in Ohio

From the standpoint of looking good in clothing, the higher the heel, the more elongated (and therefore elegant) the silhouette. But seriously, how many real human beings can a) afford these, and b) walk in them for more than 10 feet? And what good are they if they cannot be used for walking more than ten feet, especially when they cost the freakin' moon?

The Derek Lam is lovely, as is Carolina Herrara's pump. Most of the rest are just crazy, as fashion. As sculpture, or as art, they are exquisite. I just can't see real people wearing them.

Well, I'm sure that fabulous bitch Posh will be working some of these. When it comes to shoes (and clothes, too) she pulls off things that us mere mortals cannot.

I think the word that's missing from current shoe design is gracefulness. It all looks so desperate and turgid. Maybe the focus has shifted from the attractiveness of a woman's foot and the movement and line her foot creates while she walks, to the ornamentation of the shoe itself and the need to be noticed no matter what.

In other words, the foot is a prop for the shoe, rather than the shoe enhancing the foot.

And there's a part of me that feels like designers are simply coming up with these looks because they're show offs.

Wearing these shoes is not part of my equation, so I will assume there's the actual wearing of the them that makes them attractive in a way I can't quite understand. But from a visual standpoint, I just feel that simpler is better; too many seams, straps, discordant shapes and ornamentation just complicate the matter.


Chanel: Badass. I hope they're walkable in any sense of the word.

I also really like the Narciso Rodriguez boot.

What's funny is that despite it's BDSM appearance, the McQueen is probably the most comfortable of the bunch, since the height difference bettern the toes and the heel is not that extreme.

I also wanted to add that I agree with BrianB. The only shoe that appeals to me aesthetically is the Miu Miu. All the rest just have too much crap - it's distracting in a bad way.

Obviously everyone else's mileage may vary considerably.

My favs: Calvin Klein, Herrera, Derek Lam, Kors, Miu Miu, de la Renta, and Zac Posen.
The rest range from pure fug to meh, but all fun to look at on yet another rainy afternoon!!!

Can't judge these as fashion because they look painful. The Lam and the Herrera are the only ones I'd want to try on.

Okay, after trying to detach from reality, I've got to say that Galliano with the pom-poms and the hole in the sole has a kind of fussy ghastliness. Naomi Campbell is always the model I visualize when I want to see if something impossible can be pulled off.

Naomi in her Vivienne Westwood heyday could not pull those purple platform gladiators off.

And, yes, would it kill these guys to just try to make a wearable shoe? Yes, probably . . .

None of them do a thing for me.

Do I have to turn in my ovaries?

Love the Balenciaga, the Dior (FAVORITE!! But that might be my color bias), the Derek Lam, the Michael Kors (close second on the favorites), the Oscar de la Renta, and the Versace. I like the color on the Versace, too!

If you ask me, most of these shoes belong in a fetish shoe store, not regular stores. :-)


"Ladies, let's talk shoes."

Sweeter words have never been uttered. Oh I love you boys! I pretty much agree with you on all points except I like those silly Galliano's with the puff balls. I would never wear them but they make me smile.

Gotta confess, I'm not really much of a shoe girl. There lies a quick path to the poorhouse, if you ever give in to the excitement. Also (and, perhaps, fortunately for the old budget), being in an extremely stuffy profession really puts a crimp on free expression.

But a girl can always dream....

The Dior is To. Die. For.

Setting comfort aside, this trend toward complexity makes the shoe compete with the outfit.

These complex shoes become distracting elements--and yet another accessory that could ruin the look of an outfit.

Clunky, complex shoes look awkward with billowy dresses, for example.

So these shoes are nothing more than complex pieces of "wearable" art meant to complement a specific look. They are not going to revolutionize the shoe industry. They will only contribute to more fashion roadkill amoung clueless starlets and their stylists.

Their true purpose is to serve as little reminder to us all that a few people exist that care about fashion uber alles.

Maybe Crocs are a backlash against this kind of foolishness.

The Hermes looks like 2 seasons ago Louboutin. Been there, done that.

Chanel, Chloe, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, Versace = GORGEOUS!!

Ick. Most of these shoes are butt-ugly. They look like deformities.

the miu miu look like the character shoes college theatre students have to wear onstage...

i'm not dorothy gale

The Prada frilled lizard shoe is my very favorite. Walk in it? No. Put it on a shelf and admire? Yes.

The Miu Miu looks almost too blah compared to the rest of these.

I LOVE the Williamson one (of course it's zebra stripes, but I like the styling as well).

Too bad I can't wear any of them. I love my flats and realized now that I can't wear heels (I have drop foot) how uncomfortable they really are.

i need the miu miu and the pucci ASAP. thanks.

I AM THE MOST IN LOVE WITH THE MATTHEW WILLIAMSONS. They're so swoopy and right and ooh! And zebra-printed, of course. The Miu-Mius... are not cute. They look like little tan hooves. I think there's a part of the arch on a woman's foot that should be considered bat country for shoe designers--DO NOT STOP HERE! It leads to hooves and frumpiness. Which is also why I loathe the Dries van Noten booties. Snakeskin, stop at a bad point on the arch... Big no.


<333 the de la Renta

I'm a dancer and that Miu Miu pair is perfect for me.

And there's a part of me that feels like designers are simply coming up with these looks because they're show offs.

And they hate women. Most of these are just ridiculous. However, the La Croix is making me want to cry because I love it so much. Cut the wedge down about 6 feet and it's perfect. And the Herrera's are gorgeous. I'm also loving the Pucci. I guess even with more outrageous stuff, I like things nice and simple.

The only thing I can surmise about these shoe designers is that they hate women.

Garish, ugly, painful and overpriced. Brava, idiots.

Straight out of Narnia.

"Tlo said: What do you think?"

I think these shoes say that there are an awful lot of shoe designers who like to be spanked.


Gotham! Cackling like crazy here. Thank-you. My computer repairman thanks you too.

You think that the Miu Miu is strange? It's the almost most normal looking of the bunch-- it looks like a shoe...

i'm short and pudgy, and have bad knees, so my high-heel wearing days are probably over (which sucks, because I have some cute - though cheap, very, very cheap - shoes in my closet).

I like the Calvin Kleins - are those lucite heels?

Question: can one wear shoes made partially of lucite without looking like you're wearing stripper shoes?

And I'm still in awe of those shoes from last year, that Victoria Beckham wore - the ones with no heel (can't remember who designed them). I would love to try walking (then falling down) in heel-less shoes, just for the experience of it....

You know, those McQueens actually look very comfortable when you consider that the ball to heel line isn't that upright. I'd wear them in a HEARTBEAT. But I love crazy fashion, and would probably rock them in a geisha inspired look, personally.

Soooo cool, love these shoes.


The foot in the Lacroix looks like it's about to break in two.

I imagine the Jil Sander squeaks with every step.

The Prada says, "Lionfish."

I'm in camp Prada too. I just love them... I need a mohawk on my heel... neeeeeeeeed

I'm a shoe watcher. I love seeing great shoes on other people and I see some really beautiful shoes here, but most of them just make me feel sorry for the models. When I see these shoes again it won't be on the women I see on the subway. I guess that's what celebs are for.


I love the Chanel, though I'd be terrified to walk in a separated heel like that, and I also love the Prada--against my better judgement. It's very Lolita.

BALMAIN for women

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