There is nothing that tugs at my fashion heartstrings like a great pair of shoes. It is impossible for me to enter a store with any sort of shoe section, and, not take a walk through to see the footwear merchandise available. I love shoes to say the very least and as a lover of great footwear, I have to review my favorites.
Manolo Blahnik is the essence of footwear in my opinion, followed pretty closely by Jimmy Choo. Both great makes of great shoes, and both have their Spring/Summer 2011 collections available.
As stated on the official website, the newest Manolo Blahnik collection was inspired by the gardens in the Canary Islands which resulted in a botanical look to the collection.
Â The colors are bright and bold and the styles are elegant and floral. The heels of this collection are springtime looking, and each would pair perfectly with a sundress or skirt in the spirit of the warm weather season.
My favorite piece is a delicate heel called the Mirto. The description notes that this shoe is representative of Myrtle bushes.
Mirto is a shoe with varying shades of blue and green small leaf looking cutouts all stacked together to create the straps of the shoe. The cutouts are the main focus of the heels and foot strap as they are placed on the straps in every direction, creating a visual flow from the back to the front of the shoe. The leaves begin collecting more and more heavily and are the most concentrated around the toe of the shoe. The inside toe is mostly covered, and only the very end of the shoe is exposed creating a peep-toe type of style.
The garden look of Blahnikâ€™s newest collection instantly reminds me of a tea party and that is exactly where I imagine these shoes being worn. They would compliment any daytime party outfit for the spring and summer and could take the focus of any ensemble at a wedding or garden party.
In contrast to the floral and nature inspired elegance of Blahnikâ€™s Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Choo has released a collection that is much more edgy and modern.
The shoes in the Choo collection focus heavily on sharp angles, thick straps and heavy embellishments of studs and stones. The heels and the sandals alike are dressed with a lot of detail and accessory to be worn as the star of an outfit.
My favorite shoe in this collection is the Opaque heel loaded with eight straps from toe to ankle. The straps are thinner, and the heel is more delicate and slim in comparison to the rest of the collection. On the outside of the ankle there is a large decorative leather flower covering most of the top side of the shoe. It is definitely the main focus of this shoe and makes it stand out as something more traditionally spring like and feminine next to the rest of the collection. The Opaque comes in both black and light pink; I personally like the pink more.
The collection of Choo shoes is perfect for a â€œnight about the townâ€ outfit in the upcoming months. Most are open toed with straps for more of a sandal heel than an enclosed heel so they still embrace the spirit of summertime.
They would all look great with jeans and a flowing top or any club or party dress. Most of the shoes can be either dressed up or dressed down so they can fill a variety of purposes and coordinate with many outfits.
Many of my outfits are inspired and start with the shoe. I love making footwear the focal point of an ensemble, and that is more than possible to do with any one of the shoes in either the Blahnik or Choo Spring/Summer 2011 collections.
Fashion columnist Erin Nalli can be reached at email@example.com.