Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Summer Sandal Story

How Sandal Season Begins

For 10 years or more now, sandal season has started in mid to late spring with edgy young women leading the way.  They seem to favor heavy, black, almost Goth-like models.

Below is an example released this year by Rag and Bone.

And here are a couple less expensive variations.

The look attracts the eye, but it is not exactly summery.

After Memorial Day, things settle down, and women start wearing more familiar open-toed footwear.   This year all the favorites are in evidence -- wedge heels, espadrilles, strappy numbers and flats -- in lots of colors.

There are also echoes of summers past.


What dominated last summer was a trend that started in 2013, or possibly earlier: Birkenstocks and, specifically, brightly colored variations on Birkenstocks.

Here are some faux-Birks, a couple among many, released by Givenchy and other designers last year.

Even Birkenstock got in on the act, but I'm not sure the organization's heart was really in it.

Anyway, by late last summer all the lesser manufacturers released knockoffs like the pairs below, which could be purchased for as little as $20.

This year the fashion viziers have decreed that Birkenstocks are over.   (I'm sure people in Seattle and Santa Cruz are just laughing at this;  in certain places, Birkenstocks are NEVER over.)  

In fact, Birkenstocks, gladiator sandals, flip-flops and even -- shudder -- new Uggs and Crocs models are being offered this summer.

What's New This Year

What you will find this summer are more sleek sandals.
At left is an example from Jil Sander, a minimalist house that was revived several years ago and has kept to its roots. These are available in many colors and no doubt will sell well.

And then there are the flatforms.

These are sandals, often with clean lines, perched atop 
very thick platforms, like the one at right from Stella McCartney.

Or this less expensive one from Steve Madden.  

     (You will have noticed that these sandals are black.  I may have chosen more such models because I live near New York, where black is always the new black.  
     In fact, these are good city sandals even if they are not appropriate with Lily Pulitzer pastel dresses or for summer vacations on island beaches.
     I can see these sandals being good to go well into the fall when paired with socks -- black, white or multi-colored.  Imagine them with cropped jeans or even straight-legged black ankle pants.) 

Of course these flatform sandals come in various colors.  Some examples below.

This platform/flatform theme promises to continue into the fall season.  More about that later.

Chunky Heels

Finally, dressier, block-heeled sandals are showing up on fashionable women this summer.   
Below is an example, already sold out, from Won Hundred Kanilla.  There are many others.   

We can expect to see more of these heels -- higher and lower and in more exaggerated forms -- later this year when the fall fashions arrive in stores. 

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