Wedges are a seasonal favorite each spring. Your typical cork or rope-espadrille styles bring a casual, effortless, feel to almost any summer outfit. But, while classic, your basic chunky, neutral-toned, wedges are not really bringing anything new to your outfit. Luckily, we have started to see shoe designers embrace varied wedge widths, swept-forward angles, layering, and more when it comes to adding fantastic and feminine details on their wedge-heeled offerings. I am loving this. After all, think of all of the potential artistic real estate the wedge surface offers; why pass up the opportunity to take advantage of this oft-ignored area of the shoe’s design canvas?
So, while we have already shown you the season’s statement-wedge to beat all statement wedges, there are still plenty of other fun, flirty, or outright glamorous options available to spice up either your weekend-casual or elegant-evening summer wardrobe (most of which will, incedentally, run you a whole lot less green than the oh-so-over-the-top McQueens at the above link).
These first wedges are these Lanvin Puzzle wedges. The neutral pump, in particular, can easily be dressed up or down for daytime or evening occasions. (Lanvin* puzzle wedges available at Nordstrom.com for $1120 (snake print) to $1280 (black or beige).
Nest, we see that Yves St. Laurent is also playing with the dimensional quality of the heel itself. The above Lanvin puzzle wedge follows the basic silhouette of a classic, slim, wedge. But this next shoe from YSL is all about exploring outside the classic wedge shape.
A lower-cost alternative to these is available from Diane von Furstenburg. The DVF ‘Opal’ is slightly chunkier than the YSL caged wedges, but these do offer a more affordable, if casual, alternative to the shoe-loving, budget-conscious, fashionista.
Now, lets peek at a couple of lace-embellished sandals from Valentino. I like the texture and dimension on these; the simplicity of the top sandal design allows the impact of the decorated wedge to really come through.
Valentino is also offering a caged-sandal wedge with a different interpretation on the lace-over wedge detail. I’m still trying to decide if the dark laces on top are working for me or not.
For wedges with a slightly ‘tougher’ vibe, Givenchy, Ash, and House of Harlow have you covered. With wrap-around straps, buckles, and studs, these are great wedges to have peaking out from the bottom of you favorite pair of blue jeans.
Finally, there’s just those wedges that are straight-up funky. These two from Opening Ceremony and Leifdottir are all about making the shape of the wedge the focal point.
And finally, Maison Martin Margiela is playing the tromp-l’oiel card and making a wedge that is covered to look like a classic pump.
There is a lot of variety available this season in wedges, from streamlined-elegance to chunky-fantastico. So, will one of these styles reflect your shoe personality?
Edited 03/31/2011 to correct my mis-identification of the first wedges as YSL rather than as Lanvin Puzzle shoes. The funny thing is that I searched them out by designer when arranging the links in the article. For whatever reason, my brain got stuck on some sort of typing overdrive where I was already thinking onto the second shoe of the trend I was talking about….once those wires were crossed, I didn’t catch the mistake during my final grammar, spelling, and web-link final-draft error-checking. My apologies for any confusion. ‘To err is human’ – and I’ve never claimed to be anything but your average, shoe-loving, representative in that sea of regular folks.