I am a shameless lover (and wearer) of completely impractical, beautiful shoes. I’m lucky that I can still wear crazy heels at my age, but I am told that this won’t last forever. Like 2014, all the new Spring/Summer and even Autumn collections for 2015 are showing a really strong offering of flat shoes. They are being worn INSTEAD of heels in an intentional, too-cool-for-stilettos kind of way. In fact, after the New-Balance-wearing Normcore invasion of 2014, which I am so pleased to see the ass end of (I’m wary of any trend which eschews sparkle, in the same way I’m wary of people who don’t like dogs) and last year’s Birkenstocks and pool slides which were all over the runways as well as the streets, I don’t think that collectively, we are quite ready to give up our comfort and step into high heels again… yet. Even I, a dedicated heel wearer, feel that they can look a little try-hard, a little Kardashian, a little dated, if I’m not careful with how they’re styled. Who do we have to thank for this sea change in Fashion from heels to flats? Celine’s Phoebe Philo. She is known as ‘the thinking woman’s designer’, and hammered that point home by using Joan Didion in her most recent ad campaign. If you’ve seen Adidas’ Stan Smiths everywhere recently, she’s the woman responsible. Here she is wearing them, after presenting her runway collection for Celine (note the hair insouciantly tucked into the turtle neck, which has been copied by every fashionista competing for Street Style lenses).
Here is Phoebe again, wearing voluminous wide-leg trousers, another age-friendly trend she’s launched for 2015.
What we need to embrace with this white sneaker trend is this: the sneaks have to be box-fresh white so they look jarring. Intentional. They need to be flat (no Nike Air Maxes) and round-toed. Isabel Marant, who singlehandedly started the wedge sneaker trend and uses Stan Smiths in her own shows, just launched her own branded pair (below) in white with either metallic red or blue accents. Of course, they cost almost 5 times what Stan Smiths cost, but they are a perfect example of the style.
Below is a photo of La Moss, who has managed to incorporate white sneakers into her own Rock n’ Roll style for a night out.
While I’m thoroughly loving this look on other women, I know that I’d feel self conscious wearing blindingly white sneakers myself. I’ve decided I’ll buy a pair with a touch of black on them, so they’ll work into my existing wardrobe a little easier. My inspiration for this is the always stylish blogger, Blair Eadie (below), of the blog Atlantic Pacific.
White sneakers are fresh, modern (well, a retro shoe worn in a modern way), age-friendly, comfortable, and after several years of extreme platforms and vertiginous stilettos, they feel like a well-deserved fashion break! I wouldn’t wear white trainers on a night out, a la Kate Moss, but I WILL wear them to run around in my everyday life and to add a bit of laid-back cool to my fairly structured wardrobe. I think I could just about substitute them for a biker boot in some of my outfits, (with boyfriend jeans, with skinny jeans, or even leggings… and with the wide-leg trousers now on my wish list).
What say you, stylish ladies? Will this trend work with your style, or will you give it a miss? I’ve been on the fence for a while, but the black stripes on the Adidas pair above won me over. It isn’t a new ‘trend’, but it has taken me a while to warm up to it.
PS: I’m going to do a series of posts on Stylish Comfortable shoes. I’ve not only decided they have a place in my own wardrobe (of mostly stylish and slightly uncomfortable shoes), but I’ve had a few requests from readers and friends to do this. I hope it will be useful to you.