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Isabel Toledo for Payless Collection — Do The Shoes Fit?

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Steadily expanding its designer label roster, Payless now counts on the work of Cuban designer Isabel Toledo, whose career kicked into high gear when First Lady Michelle Obama donned a yellow, satin-backed wool guipure dress and overcoat on the morning of her husband’s inauguration. The Isabel Toledo for Payless line debuted at Colette in Paris last week and will officially launch in Payless stores across the U.S. on September 7th. Fortunately, some styles are already available online at Payless.com. Pictured here are some of the Isabel Toledo for Payless offerings.

So does the collection feel presidential to us? Find out after the jump!

We’d be surprised if the approval rating for this collection was high, my friends, since the taste level exhibited is beyond questionable.

Sure, the basic and boring silhouette of the Pom-Pom Flats mirrors that of the granny flats worn by many a stodgy, skirt suit-wearing office manager, but even they would have to trim off the fluffy, cheerleader-ready pom pom adornments to make the shoes business appropriate. The Pom-Pom Flats style, then, winds up navigating through a No Man’s Land — it’s too stuffy for young, edgy girls, but too childish and silly for older, more conservative types.

A couple of footwear styles are acceptable — which shouldn’t be interpreted as a compliment since I simply mean that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear them if, for some reason, all my other footwear options were in some Fort Knox-type secure storage space guarded by a pack of True Blood werewolves. The Toreador Pump pictured above is probably the one style that can truly be deemed cute — if not exactly original. A D’Orsay black satin sandal, the Toreador features a holly berry-colored red ribbon adornment running across the cheeky peep toe. I’d detract some style point for the sporty, traction sole along the built-in platform, but that’s a minor quibble.

One of the most interesting and unexpected designs is the High Ghillie sandal pictured at top, a slick, black patent leather shoe with rounded cut-outs, laces along the front, and a chunky yellow EVA heel measuring 3.75 inches in height. Unfortunately, experimentation doesn’t always end well, and “interesting” doesn’t always equate to “good,” and the High Ghillie shoes could be a prime example of that truism. It feels like Toledo fused together the most unflattering elements of orthopedic shoes, Crocs, and clogs, then inexplicably added Jack the Ripper-style slicing as part of an ill-fated attempt at giving the shoes a modern flair.

As for the rest of the collection, the Belted Poodle Boots (pictured second to last below) will have most women looking like they tied stuffed animals around their calves, while the Metallic Ghllie Flats (picture second below) look like they’re made of chunks of aluminum foil glued together and finished off with the drawstring from a laundry bag.

Though our hopes were high for this colllection, Toledo and Payless left us with little choice but to bid shoes adieu.

 

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Styles pictured before the jump: Isabel Toledo for Payless High Ghillie, $39.99; and Toreador Pump, $44.99; Available at Payless.com

Styles pictured after the jump: Isabel Toledo for Payless Sliver Bootie, $54.99; Metallic Ghillie Flat, $34.99; Belted Poodle Boot, $59.99; and Pom Pom Flat, $34.99. Available at Payless.com

 

 

 

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