What does luxury mean in this day and age? Traditionally, where couture is concerned, it’s about expensive materials and handcrafted pieces that take months to make by skilled artisans at the very height of their profession. From the spring ’18 shows at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week that wrapped yesterday, it means playing with a variety of heel heights (ballet slippers and thigh-high boots were both shown at Giambattista Valli), the surreal (Dior had gloves tied onto shoes) and the exquisite.
The sandals at Schiaparelli is one such example of the latter. The heels featured delicate butterfly wings done in laser-cut leather that had the look of filigree lace and fluttered with every step. Soles came overlaid with an ethereal web woven from threads of linen. “The fabric was made especially for the show by an dedicated artisan,” said creative director Bertrand Guyon.
Similarly, Chanel’s tweed boots with their Perspex demi-wedge heels took a whole lot of “petites mains-power,” while footwear designer Amina Muaddi’s holographic gold pirate boots at Alexandre Vauthier will no doubt be a hit among the wealthy (and Instagram-savvy).
And as we mentioned, there’s a place for flats in couture footwear. “I love to retie the rules,” designer Giambatista Valli told FN about how modern it feels to wear a frothy ballgown with a flat. “I don’t work for a museum; I work for women, and I respect her body and her lifestyle.” He paired his finale gown, which was made out of 400 meters of tulle, with a pompom ballet slippers.
There’s even the option of wearing a sneaker, like at Maison Margiela, where the style was so big, it looked like a ski boot.
Click through to see the most luxe shoes from the spring ’18 shows at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.