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The Well-Heeled Ladies of the Chadwick Bell Fall 2012 Show Wore Edmundo Castillo Shoes

For his first-ever runway show inside the prestigious Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, Southern California-bred designer Chadwick Bell found inspiration in a woman whose fortune, fame, and social stature stand in stark opposition to her dionysian and hedonistic tendencies, the often self-destructive behavior she exhibits in the constant quest for pleasure and gratification (however short-lived or dangerous). Her wardrobe included snakeskin-embossed dresses, crimson peplum-accented jackets with matching pencil skirts, and long-sleeved, knee-length black gowns with leather rosette accents at the strong shoulders — all jazzed up with such accessories as ladylike pantyhose, opera-length leather gloves, and plush fur wraps. And yet there was something about Bell’s “Midnight Rose” character that felt off-kilter, as if this woman who appeared to be the epitome of perfection was, in fact, standing on the edge of a precipice that could very well lead to her undoing.

The old money, matronly air created by the voluminous hair look, for example, was infused with a deranged air thanks to the twisted, undone shape, one that seemed to suggest a night of over-indulgence.

Still, the fashions themselves were as habit-forming as the cigarettes, cocktails, and pills these socialite characters most likely relied on. And the footwear showcased in the Chadwick Bell Fall 2012 show played no small part in hooking audiences right in. For that, we can thank Puerto Rican footwear designer Edmundo Castillo, who collaborated with Bell on a series of unique shoe designs that debuted at the show.

The Edmundo Castillo Chad, a play on the classic tuxedo slipper as shown above in both aubergine and black, features a loafer-like pump construction, with suede uppers, a straight heel, and a glossy platform at the front of the shoe. What makes this particular loafer pump style so distinct, however, is the high vamp, which seems to stand up as stiffly as an upturned collar, and which boasts a peculiarly rounded shape that resembles a peaking wave. The low indentations along the sides of the vamp section could be described as the troughs in a wavelength-like scheme, particularly since they dip and then rise again to form the upward sloping sides of the shoe.

Our favorite footwear style, however, was the Vanessa (pictured at top), a sassy pump with python-like leather uppers, Dalmation-style black spots against a white backdrop, a hefty platform along the front of the shoe, a low and rounded vamp, and a bright blue ribbon strap that could be tied into a neat bow so as to adorn the top arch of the foot.

Expect shoe hounds to come undone over their eagerness to score the Edmundo Castillo Chad heels come fall!


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