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Decades + Modern Vintage Launch A Time-Traveling Footwear Collection

When hunting for vintage designer finds, Angelenos know to venture to Melrose Avenue and pop into Cameron Silver‘s Decades boutique. Given Silver’s expansive knowledge of fashion history and the trends that dominated each era, Modern Vintage founder Rick Cytrynbaum saw him as the perfect person to spearhead a footwear collaboration influenced by classic vintage motifs.

For Spring 2012, then, Decades and Modern Vintage are revealing a limited-edition footwear collection featuring four unique designs that embody the overriding themes and design principles of a particular fashion era. For this particular project, Silver chose the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, creating a silhouette for each decade grounded in historical images and date while giving each decade’s hand-picked silhouette a modern twist.

The Decades + Modern Vintage ’50s Pump, for instance, features a slightly pointed toe, a medium-height vamp, and the curved comma heel invented by Roger Vivier in this era, along with suede uppers. This particular style is available in a classic black (the color of choice for most women in the mid-1950s) or in an electric blue shade that pays homage to Elvis Presley’s 1955 rockabilly hit “Blue Suede Shoes.”

 The ’60s shoe design, meanwhile, is a peep-toe sandal with a high heel, built-in frontal platform, and T-strap construction. By using python-embossed leather in a color-blocked structure, Silver conjured up images of the Pierre Cardin and André Courreges frocks that set the tone for the Mod movement, while the tangerine and honeysuckle pink hue combination nodded to the exuberant spirit channeled by Mary Tyler Moore and Julie Andrews in 1967’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. Metallic silver touches and the snakeskin motif, meanwhile, ground this vintage-inspired shoe in the contemporary fashion landscape, making it feel on trend as opposed to some dated relic of the past.

For the 1970s, Silver derived inspiration from the era’s disco and Bohemian movements, creating an ankle strap sandal with a cork-based platform and chunky heel that channel the hippie aesthetic of Jodie Foster’s character in Taxi Driver or of  Valerie Harper‘s headscarf-wearing lead character in Rhoda. The two-toned, woven metallic rope details, meanwhile, infused a dose of glitz to the silhouette that made it consistent with a Studio 54 inspiration.

Lastly, the ’80s wedge features the showy, opulent glamour of its respective decade via mirrored bronze, sheen-heavy gold, chestnut brown, and creamy taupe leather bits that recall the metallic looks made popular by such TV dramas as Dynasty. Triangle-shaped leather pieces and cut-outs, along with a triple-layered wedge platform, recall the geometric textile prints and chunky stripes made popular by such shows as Punky Brewster, The Cosby Show, and Saved by the Bell.

My favorite: the ’60s T-Strap sandal, with its sorbet-like color combination and Pucci-inspired vibe.

All four footwear styles (ranging from $250 to $300 in price) are available as we speak on Gilt.com and will soon debut on Shopbop.com and Modernvintage.it.


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