At first glance, Chanel’s Spring 2010 shoes seem to have a bit of a split personality. The preponderance of chunky clogs and wooden platforms plays as quite a contrast against feminine, textured, cone heels and layered floral-vamp sandals.
But, this strange variance in footwear make sense when taken with Lagerfeld’s 2010 show as a whole.
As noted in the runway review at Style.com:
Lagerfeld was on a roll. Digging into a theme can sometimes throw up some embarrassing puns, and the effort to be youthful has occasionally had off-beam results at Chanel. But with this collection, Lagerfeld’s summing up of the season’s tendencies—beige, ivory, and black; rough textures; transparency and lace—was spun into a collection so masterfully balanced between classicism and current fashion affairs that the whole thing felt delightfully sure-footed.The knack was that he didn’t rush it—just let the thing keep bouncing out in a sustained variation of caramels, taupes, and ecrus, all logically adapted to the house’s nubby tweed suits, frothy blouses, and fluttery chiffons. The editing of everything to short lengths looked sweet without being chichi—the test being that every teenage girl looked naturally at home in the little thigh-split skirts (that’s what has happened to the bottom half of the Chanel suit), as well as in the mini-crinis and ruffled dance dresses.
What is interesting to me is the one descriptive phrase that dominated my thoughts in looking at this runway collection is conspicuously absent from the above review.
That phrase? Gothic Lolita.
(Image c/o wikipedia.com)
Someone’s been paying attention to the underground fashion scene, boys and girls.
Chanel’s chunky clogs and elegant sandals would normally have felt as if they belonged on two separate runways. But, Lolita fashion successfully matches both ultra-feminine as well as goth-chunky choices in footwear, so it is not a surprise to see it working here.
What I found remarkable was how successful the collection was in merging the extreme frothiness of Lolita with signature Chanel textured bouclés. It really does add an unexpected youthfulness to otherwise conservative materials.
But, you can see this for yourself with some selections from the Spring 2010 Chanel Runway (all photos sourced from style.com unless otherwise credited):
Frilly Lolita styles matches with feminine heels:
School-girl Lolita, matched with chunky clogs:
Most successful, for me, were the styles that managed youthfulness while still capturing a the core feel of the Chanel identity. Less overtly Lolita and more of a ‘Hip Chanel’; these, to me, really captured the sophistication I tend to associate with the Chanel brand while staying accessible and relevant to chic, young, professional women.
Other shoes of note:
Ultimately, if you are looking at the shoes alone, you are probably going to find yourself in a love or hate relationship to the clogs, no matter how dolled up they are. But the decorated pumps – heaven.
So, if these ultra-feminine, gothic-Lolita influences trickle down into mainstream fashion, that’s a trend I can really get behind.
I recently read (can’t recall where) that it used to be a counter-cultural statement to dress casually. Now it’s the norm. If it is now a counter-cultural act to dress up and try to make the world a little bit more beautiful through fashion, then bring it on.
What’s your take?