Bettye Muller has dressed things up.
After several years of receiving personal requests from family members to create their wedding-day shoes, the New York-based designer has taken the plunge with a collection of special-occasion and bridal footwear for fall.
Taking cues from European royalty, the nine-style line features slingback pumps, flats and kitten heels in Swiss brocades, German lace and vintage fabrics, and is embellished with pearls, faux jewels and beading.
“I’ve always loved the French, English and everything romantic,” said Muller. “England in the 1930s [was] so elegant and regal. Even now, it’s exciting with all the buzz over [soon-to-be] princess [Kate Middleton] and what dress she’ll be wearing.”
Like Muller’s core namesake collection — which launched in 2001 and is known for prints, mixed materials and embellishments on ladylike silhouettes — the new line aims to take women beyond the wedding chapel.
“Everything I do in my collection is meant to be dressy or worn with jeans, so it’s not ‘bridal’ per se,” said Muller, who also has been working with Anthropologie on a fall ’11 shoe line to coordinate with the store’s recently launched bridal business. “They are definitely very dressy, but can even be worn with a blazer [after the big day]. I love the juxtaposition of the sparkly with a fabulous pair of tight jeans.”
Muller’s bridal and special-occasion collection, which will retail for $375 to $500, is targeted at high-end department stores and boutiques already carrying the core offering, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Zappos.com.
Before venturing into her footwear career, New York native Bettye Muller worked as a shoe model, graphic designer and soap opera actress. She has had design jobs with Henri Bendel, Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis and Kate Spade.
Enamored with British and French aristocracy, Muller looked to Marie Antoinette (at right), England’s royal family and the Oscar-nominated film “The King’s Speech” when creating the line.
The collection made its debut this month and will be shown to retailers at FN Platform and The Atlanta Shoe Market.