I once suffered the ignominy of being refused entry to the exclusive members establishment Dover Street Arts Club in London’s Mayfair. My crime? Wearing pool slides.
Admittedly they were Nike as opposed to Miu Miu, but to be fair, hip designer Ashley Williams had recently kitted out all her models in the same style for her spring 2014 London Fashion Week runway show. Either way, even though they were widely considered to be a fashion shoe was completely lost on the doorman.
For spring 2017, however, it was Christopher Kane who chose to elevate another casual staple to the status of it-item: Crocs. All it took was some marbled-effect spray paint and the addition of some rather pretty mineral rocks and presto.
The Croc-wearing parade of top model Roos Abels and friends on Kane’s runway has segued onto the street as spotted on actress Bella Thorne. In December, Drew Barrymore was unveiled as a Crocs brand ambassador, and even Kate Middleton has admitted to liking the shoe.
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But could a Croc, albeit a Christopher Kane Croc, cut it in Paris, at the hallowed institution that is Paris Couture Week? There was only one way to find out whether Christopher Kane has made the Croc acceptable in the chicest of halls.
Crocs at couture: First stop, an appointment in the Coco Chanel Suite at The Ritz hotel. The doorman kindly enquired if I were cold (the shoe has vents).
At the Elie Saab show, I felt like part of the furniture. My footwear perfectly complemented the marble columns inside the venue.
Later that day at John Paul Gaultier, one of the designer’s glamorous couture clients wondered if I had customized my shoes myself. I explained that it was actually Christopher Kane who had done the honors.
Back in the office, the advertising team cooed over them as one might a very stylish puppy with its own Instagram handle.
And as for the cool crowd backstage at Viktor & Rolf — designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren had their own collaboration going on with Christian Louboutin — they didn’t bat an eyelid, save to bestow approving glances.
The Verdict: With Valentino, Giambattista Valli and Christian Dior all putting flats on their couture catwalks, I was in pretty good company.