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Hoofin’ It! Harness-Inspired and Hoofed-Toed Shoes At Christian Siriano FW11






Last night, Project Runway wunderkind Christian Siriano unveiled his latest collection at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011. As customary, Siriano debuted a new selection of avant-garde footwear styles that after some design tweaks — most likely involving lowering heel heights, choosing less expensive materials, and softening silhouettes to make shoes more “accessible” and “marketable”— will be mass produced for the Christian Siriano for Payless collection.

When Payless reveals the final, retail-ready designs, they will likely differ a bit from the runway-ready styles shown at Siriano’s couture show, but we think these shoes will be easier to reproduce on a large scale than some of Siriano’s earlier designs since they involve a more straight-forward design blueprint. Remember the platform pumps with the curved heels from his Spring 2010 collection? Only a handful of Payless stores carried these styles, as even seasoned runway models seemed to struggle sauntering down the runway in the tusk-inspired heels. These season’s footwear designs, on the other hand, are way more uncomplicated — without sacrificing their bravado.

Equestrian motifs guided this collection’s designs, with shoes featuring blunt, hoof-shaped toes (made all the more hefty by hidden platform soles) and strapping details, vintage-looking buckles, and triangle rings recalling horse saddles. Gold-toned studs, meanwhile, added an edgy, rocker-ready vibe.

Take, for example, the black matte satin pumps pictured at top, which feature this season’s trademark hoofed-toe shape, a thin gold metal bar with rivet details wrapping around the square toe area, a hidden platform sole, and a heel adorned with domed, gold-toned rivets along its interior ridge. The green python print version of the pump (pictured second from top) oozes a welcome-to-the-jungle, menacing-but-irresistible exoticness.

Western motifs are imbued with a medieval ferocity and an unabashed eroticism in the Tall-Shaft Armor Boot (shown third from top), a platform pump with a T-strap-like construction and sexy cutouts along the vamp area that tease the onlooker, not to mention a hoofed toe, a built-in platform, and a stick-thin heel with rivet details. This shoe is then married to a buckled, removable, gladiator-inspired shaft with broad panels shaped like saddle strips and attached to the leg via straps that cris-cross along the back of the leg in a chaps-like manner, giving the style a dominatrix’s dose of whip appeal. The shaft extends up the leg and culminates below the knee, and the way the malleable material conforms to the leg’s form creates an armor-like effect sure to entice all of you urban warriors and style mavens.


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