August 28 2014

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Yea, Nay, Or Eh: Embellished Shoes


I just spent the past two weeks in Los Angeles, and while I was there, I very coincidentally spent a lot of time thinking about shoes. I’m friends with these guys—”dudes,” if you know what I mean—and they work out of a storefront in West Hollywood that has frosted glass windows facing the street. Bear with me here, this gets back to shoes. About a foot of said windows is not frosted, the foot closest to the ground, and my friends spend a decent amount of their downtime making snap judgments about the people who walk by, based entirely on their footwear. One day, I came to the door in stiletto-heel Givenchy cage shoes, and it was clear they were expecting someone else. A supermodel, presumably. Anyway, it’s an interesting exercise. Spot a woman in practical brogues, and immediately, you comprehend a businesslike sensibility at work. Vintage moccasins say: I’m a hipster. Low-heeled brown pumps: Lawyer. FitFlops: Sucker. And so on. With all due respect to the several brands I love that are bringing out super-adorned shoes for Fall and now for Resort, the reasonable assumption I would draw, upon subjecting their footwear to the frosted-glass window test, is: I am nuts. Studs, spikes, chain, giant crystals, pearls, and God knows what else have embellished shoes and boots the past few seasons. Now, Givenchy is throwing hair into the mix, new brand Omelle is going with fur, and Acne is coming out with heels that are covered with multicolored pompoms. I mean, what’s next? Dead bugs? Nail tips? Maybe designers should just cover the vamps of their shoes for Spring in Velcro and see what sticks. I’m all for an artfully embellished shoe, but I feel like some kind of trend tipping point has been reached. Do you agree? Comments, please.

Photo: Courtesy of Acne



  1. flightofthedreamer says:

    NO!! I don’t agree at all! If it can be done, do it! People are too afraid to admit they like something because it’s different. GO FOR IT!!!!

  2. kerileanne says:

    as with most things, less is often more. i think the key to what you said was “artfully” embellished. especially when the trends for spring are showing a renewed interest in classic, relaxed silouettes with luxe fabrics that are timeless and have great value. and i say this as someone with an embarrassing number of shoes!

  3. SalescoopCaro says:

    I definitely agree that too much embellishment is just…too much! Classic shoes are the way to go, especially if you are paying a high price for them! I want a shoe that is gorgeous but doesn’t show up the rest of my outfit!


  4. Valerio says:

    Just a short comment Maya, I totally agree with what you wrote, it becomes a little ridiculous if I see what woman/man have on their feets. If it are Uggs or Crooks, it’s terrible now these days wear comfortable and fashionable shoes like the kind of Jan Jansen or Armani etc. Arriverderci

  5. ntongson says:

    I’ll admit, the pompoms are a little (ok, VERY tacky). But I’m ALL for embellishments. If done right – they can complete the total works of art :) I’m the owner of a custom design shoe company, and we are currently working on adding some more steps into our design process that allows women to choose and add their own embellishments. If you have any good idea, let me know!

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