Shoe Design and Interior Design: Yes, they relate!


Georgio ArmaniThis past week I had to go on a shopping trip to Toronto for a customer and while I was there I couldn’t resist the urge to walk into a few shoe shops…… which woman couldn’t?  I have to plead guilty to a penchant for shoes.  These days however, I’m not so quick to justify a spend on shoes as I don’t have the occasions to sport the latest shoe styles. I always console myself by saying ….I can certainly admire from afar, and just imagine myself teeter tottering on those four inch stilettos.  And speaking of teeter tottering, in my many moons ago youth, I did literally teeter totter around in those really high heels – platforms, stilettos, sling-backs, espadrilles, wedge heels, peep-toe pumps with a block heel….I owned them all and really coveted my shoe collection.  So much so that I had a really nice selection of boots and shoes at work that would have made Imelda Marco smile.  Google her name and you’ll find out she was the queen of shoes.

Miu MiuThese days with the amount of walking I have to do when I go shopping, the saner side of me opts for comfortable boots, flat heels or wedges, and I relegate the high heels for evening wear. That said, I do enjoy checking out new shoe styles as I know that both shoes and clothing are part and parcel of interior design and decorating trends. So, my little shoe detour in Toronto occurred because I received a beautiful shoe magazine from Holt Renfrew. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you check out the Holt Renfrew site and take a look at their Spring Shoe Magazine…..  The magazine is listed under The Showroom and you want to view the Spring Shoe Magazine.  Bet you’ll be as wowed as I was with Giorgio Armani’s shoe in navy and black suede; sexy, stylish and gorgeous! I wasn’t going to leave the store without trying on the Valentino and Miu Miu sandals. So if you decide to buy these beautifully made, stylish and really comfortable sandals you can justify the buy because they can be worn to the office and later to a special evening event. While browsing all the latest shoe options at the store, I couldn’t help notice that quite a few styles feature the Lucite block heels. Personally, I am glad to see that block style heels are back…..and yes, my age is telling. However, regardless of age, you’ll agree that you can walk around in these shoes for a long time before you can’t wait to kick them off.

If you are a shoe fashionista, you’ve probably noticed that lots of shoe styles today are featuring metallic leather or very sparkly fabrics.  Sequins, studded and jewel detail adorn lots of shoes this season also. It seems like the young shoe fashionista today likes a funkier style with a higher platform or heel; it seems the higher the better! The colours are brighter, bolder and much more noticeable. The nude colour pump of yesterday has taken a back seat to the bolder colours this season. Peep-toes, caged sandals, wedges in bright bold fabrics and leather line the walls of most of the shoe stores today. You cannot help but be drawn to them because the styles and colours are very much bolder than in the past.  While I do think these shoes are beautiful to look at, sparkly fabric or excessively bejewelled shoes aren’t high on my list of ‘must have’s’.  A shoe style that I did sport in the late 80’s and early 90’s that is still very much in vogue is the oxford shoe with a brogue toe.  I recall spending a bomb on a pair of patent leather brogue oxfords from Brown’s and now I had to try Sam Edelmen’s stylish lace-up oxford.  He’s created it in metallic silver and gold, a beautiful peach combination and one in baby blue. I tried on the peach pair and the sales assistant said ‘they look really good with the outfit you’re wearing, you should get them.’  Little did she know that had I been a little younger and just a little more impulsive, I definitely would have bought them, and not just one pair.

Sam EdelmanContinuing on with my shopping trip, I stopped in at Sherway Gardens to check out a few shops there and along the way walked into the newly renovated Ron White shoe shop.  I was most impressed with their selection of shoes and you should check out the Oakville store for their latest shoe offerings.

In Oakville, Town Shoes and the Shoe Company at 200 N Service Rd West feature very affordable trendy shoes and purses too.  Remember I said I needed comfortable walking shoes?  While I was at Town Shoes  I couldn’t resist purchasing a pair of Sketcher shoes.  I couldn’t have picked a lighter weight and more comfy walking shoe than these. If my feet could have spoken, they’d be sighing ‘aahhh’ with each step.

You can expand your shoe collection by shopping locally.  The Bay, at Oakville Place has now started featuring more stylish foot ware so much so that I have started checking them out periodically. Any fashionista would be in her element at the Nine West or Aldo shoe store.  Each of these stores carries a line of footwear that meets with your personal style, mood and budget. Their accessory lines are also worth a look.

While in Toronto, I may have spent way too much time oohing and aahing over several pairs of shoes by designers such as Kate Spade, Valentino, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Tod’s, Rag & Bone, Tory BurchDiane Von Furstenberg and L.K Bennett. However, I certainly felt satisfied that I got the opportunity to indulge in my shoe fantasy…….who knows, an occasion may come up in the near future and I may need that special pair of shoes. You can certainly guess where I’ll be shopping!


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