Variety

Falling for flats!

Elizabeth Mathew August 14 | Updated on September 04, 2013 Published on September 03, 2013

Tod's Loafers

Louis Vuitton Moccasins

Chanel Ballet Flats

Jimmy Choo Ballerinas

Salvatore Ferragamo Brogues

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Christian Louboutin Brogues

Tod's Loafers

Take a break from your sky high heels and give your feet a breather without losing out on style.We tells you what’s trending in the flats section this season.

Comfort seems to be a keyword this season as trends for Autumn/Winter are increasingly pointing towards loose silhouettes, cool and calm styles that focus on looking effortlessly great – low key is the mantra this season. Loose pants, comfortable fabrics and classic styles are back, reiterating the focus on calm and collected fashion.

And it’s no surprise that the trend reflects in the season’s shoes as well. Comfort over couture, is our take on it and the flatter the better. While high heels have ruled the roost – pun intended –flats seem to have slowly crept into the lime light and this season, they’re not sharing it. From the classic ballerina shoes that have been around for a while to the erstwhile masculine staples of brogues and loafers, flat, covered shoes have been getting a fashion makeover. If, like me, you have ever woken up after a night out with aching feet and glared at your pretty heels, this is the season to pack them up and bring out the flats – in style!

Belle ballerinas

The classic shoe and now a wardrobe staple for the girl on the run, ballet shoes are the new must-haves, since they can easily be paired with every possible outfit and are high on comfort. A more comfortable version of the pointé shoe used in traditional ballet, ballet flats – or ballerinas, as they are also called – first came into pop culture when Brigitte Bardot wore a pair specially crafted for her by Rosa Repetto. Made of red leather with a tiny bow at the front, the Cendrillon ballerina was immortalised for the French woman by Bardot in 1947. Americans caught the ballet shoe frenzy when style icon Audrey Hepburn carried off a black pair with her fitted pants in the movie Funny Face. From the screen to the streets was a quick transition for this classic shoe and today, it’s a wardrobe staple that scores points for versatility as well as comfort.

Sexy brogues

Once considered the staple of blue collar workers and designed originally for farmers who worked in the marshes of Scotland, leather brogues have a come long way since their humble origins. From a men’s staple to a women’s fashion accessory, this classic pattern today is teamed with everything from cropped pants and tweed skirts to A-line dresses, to add some edge. Precisely because of its manly look, brogues are the best way to get that tailored-to-perfection look that’s been heating up the runways. Originally made of leather and in staid colours like brown and black, today brogues are available in bright shades and the animal print ones are especially a rage, whether it’s made of suede, canvas or good old fashioned leather.

Moccasin mania

This Native American invention, made from leftover animal hide that was too hard to be used as clothing, has been a style statement since its inception, with tribes using them as markers of their cult. Depending on the design and beading on the shoe of the wearer, it is said, one could figure out what tribe a person was from. Things aren’t much different today, because if you want to be known as a person from the tribe of fashionistas, you’ll definitely need to own a pair of moccasins. And now, the options for embellishment and material are enough to suit any taste. Add tassels and fringes, pick studs and rivets, go classic in animal print leather or just find a pair with a quirky lace-up pattern – there are no rules when it comes to this fashion footwear.Choose between a Jimmy Choo pair in navy suede covered in black studs to a deep grenadine coloured velvet pair from Christian Louboutin – your feet have never been this spoilt for choice.

Lucky loafers

They may look like their flat counterparts – the moccasins – but loafers came from an entirely different part of the globe – Norway. Made by Norwegian farmers as a ‘leisure shoe’, these comfortable slip-ons made their way across Europe and all the way to America where they became known as “penny loafers”. The increasing popularity of this style meant that everyone from kids to their grandparents and men and women, all discovered the comfort of the loafers. Today, these classics are back in style, and while they’re available in more feminine styles, we recommend you pick a unisex pair to add that bit of edge to your outfit. The same pair of loafers will take you from office chic to laid-back with just a few styling changes and if you’re looking to try the new androgynous trend, loafers are a great way to get started. Gucci immortalised the shoe with their classic leather horsebit loafers that are still considered wardrobe essentials for the sartorially inclined man and woman.

Special Espadrilles

This summer staple of peasants from the Mediterranean (or the Pyrenees to be precise) became a popular style in the mid-twentieth century after being spotted on famous personalities like Grace Kelly and Pablo Picasso. Various interpretations led to many versions of the classic flat espadrilles, including versions with wedge heels, ankle straps, and much more. The classic flat espadrille – with the coiled rope sole and canvas upper part – is back in trend now, with everyone from Chanel and Valentino to Stella McCartney and Louboutin bringing out their own luxe versions of this poor man’s staple. Black lace, neon mesh, studded or laced up, the new flat staple is here to stay. Team them with everything from cropped pants to shorts and take your look from formal to casual with this one flat staple.

>elizabeth.mathew@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 03, 2013
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