Fancy Footwork - Summer's Statement Shoes

Another thing caught my eye in the Harvey Nichols sale the other day. Well, many many things caught my eye, but as I perused the rails of Balenciaga and Lanvin, I was drawn, like a magnetic pull, to the shoe section.
Louboutins! Marc Jacobs heels! The occasional Blahnik! Beautiful, beautiful shoes, oh-so tempting and....oh God....oh-so extortionate.

I immediately stopped a beautiful pair of delicate pink Louboutins (as I mentioned in my previous post, see below) that reminded me of Carrie's gorgeous pink Louboutins worn in the final episode of Season 4 of Sex and the City (see left). To hold just a little bit of Bradshaw likeness made me feel strangely connected to that fabulous, chic dreamworld, but I was brought sharply back down to earth with the price tag.
But as I looked over the rows and rows of dainty sandals and killer stilettos, as Carrie Bradshaw says I couldn't help but wonder how these were already in the sale, when the summer, season of silly shoes, had just begun?

That's the trouble with summer, especially British summer - what shoes can you rely on when you can't rely on the weather? But I've branched out into accessories of late, so I've given a little bit of thought to what shoes will tide you through the summer.
Three types of shoes seem essential for the summer - a good pair of sandals, some simple flats, and some summer heels, light enough for day and for night.
And thankfully, the fashion pack have been falling over themselves to provide me with some truly beautiful sandals to recommend!

The fashion extrovert in me is lusting after a pair of knee-high cutout gladiator sandals, as seen from catwalk to celeb there on the left. Topshop's pair have had the most coverage, in black for those who always want to bring a little 'rocker' attitude even to summer attire, and a light brown for those who like to keep conventionally and classically boho-casual. Not my personal style pick - boho was ruined for me by Sienna Miller and it's hard to pull off hippy with vampyric skin and short hair. No, really, you can talk the talk but you can't walk the walk.

So I, personally, would go for the black. I've also seen a pair of amazing sandals from River Island. They're sandals on the foot part, but above the ankle they lace up like boots and have patches of zebra-print fabric. They're fabulous - perfect for the little bit of animal print that seemed so popular in the S/S '09 catwalk shows. And having just browsed the River Island website, there's a brown-and-leopard-print version too.

The basic gladiator is well and truly OUT my friends - yes they're classic, and yes my dark brown leather Zara pair will still be going strong many years from now, but there's nothing like some fabulous footwear to spice up a simple summer dress or simple t-shirt-and-demin-shorts combo.
Aldo appears to have come into their own this summer, taking over the style pages like never before - Beyonce has been spotted in a pair of what look suspiciously like their colourful patent gladiator sandals. They come in either a green and blue or pink and yellow colour base, and are just the ticket to keeping cool and comfortable as well as effortlessly stylish feet in the summer heat. Faith has also got a pair of lace-up 'shanbles' - a cross between shoes and sandals - a word an ex-boyfriend of mine was particularly fond of, in several colours. Fearne Cotton has been seen in the snakeskin pair. Aldo have a snakeskin sandal with a wedge heel as well, and Grazia raved about a delicate snakeskin sandal from Next that looks designer in all but the price tag of under £40.

Aldo have also come into their own as far as heels are concerned, keeping the same colour palette of bold, Louis Vuitton-style shades in patent textures. Primark, as per usual, has come up trumps with some sky-high strappy gladiator heels in hot pink, purple and silver - a steal at £15, and a dead-ringer for a £140 pair from Carvela (now £69 in the sale, according to Kurt Geiger's website - see left). Due to the combination of these factors, however, they're probably hard to track down! It is Primarni, and the big scoops stay around as long as the fashion equivalent of a hot cake. A super-hot, designer-a-like cake. Yum.

If you can't get those, head to New Look, who got the summer off to a fabulous start with an incredible Vuitton 'Spicy' imitation sandal, along with loads of other great designs. And between you and me, it's FAR cheaper to buy a pair of their sandals and some beads and fringing from a haberdasher's - make like Gok Wan and produce your own unique design!
But then again....aren't they just AMAZING? Sigh. One day....

(But if you fancy a break from swanning around in fancy shoes, a basic pair of pumps are essential. Topshop always seem to come up trumps with these for me, but all the shops come up trumps with a variant of their own. Vans and Keds, the tried-and-tested labels, are the investment pump for those who can afford to, and as always, I've turned to my trusty friend Converse for a pair of white lo-rise lace-ups - perfect for dressing down a summer dress or to go from beach to pounding pavements on holiday.)

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