A Walk in the Sun — KOTUR Takes a Giant Step with its new Footwear Line
Ten years after Manhattanite Fiona Kotur launched her eponymous handbag line, KOTUR — comprised primarily of luxurious clutches and minaudieres fashioned out of snakeskin, mosaic shells, mirrored tiles, elegant brocade fabrics, silk faille, polished and faceted metal, Swarovski crystals, and crinkled and embossed metallic fabrics — the esteemed designer has unveiled a new shoe collection. Launched right in time for Valentine’s Day, the inaugural KOTUR footwear collection consists of only three styles, each painstakingly detailed so as to convey both a sense of elegance and a fun-loving, coquettish, adventurous spirit.
Rather than capitulating on existing trends or relying on the brand’s existing fan base, Fiona Kotur approached the creation of a footwear line with the type of gentleness and respect with which a master painter or sculptor beholds his or her craft. Perhaps this is why the initial collection consists of only three shoes — because each is meticulously detailed, fusing together classic and avant garde design elements, thus managing to feel virtually timeless while also exuding the type of confidence and bravado that’s intrinsic to being a modern tastemaker.
The KOTUR Gilda sandals ($650 at Koturltd.com), for instance, are made out of gold leaf snakeskin and feature overlapping, intricately etched and molded leaf shapes placed atop the thin golden strap above the open toe, fanned out at the center of this strap for a theatrical effect, then placed along the vertical center strap, extending all the way up to the thin golden ankle strap. The way the leaves writhe up the foot, as if climbing a vine, might remind you of the etiological myth of the Greek god Apollo and Daphne, a nymph who was turned into a laurel tree. In the 17th century, Gianlorenzo Bernini illustrated this myth via one of his magnificent, almost cinematic stone sculptures, in which her toes appear rooted into the soil, with laurel leaves sprouting upward and beginning to envelop one of her legs and swirling around her hips, and even her strands of hair transforming into thin branches with laurel leaves.Between their golden hue and their leaf motifs, the Gilda heels touch upon a Grecian sense of glamour, but the usage of snakeskin adds a contemporary and exotic energy to the design.
Fans of more flamboyant, folkloric, Bohemian style might gravitate to the KOTUR Guzel sandals ($650 at Koturltd.com), shown second above, which were inspired by the colorful yemeni slippers sold at bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey. These leather slip-on shoes are often covered in colorful kutnu fabrics, hand-dyed and loomed cotton and silk blends that are usually woven in festive striped patterns. The shoes are often trimmed with pom-poms, embroidered details, and mirrored sequins.
The KOTUR Guzel sandals convey this jubilant energy via the two round mirror details positioned along the crimson and burgundy snakeskin center strip, both of which are accentuated by yellow stitching along their perimeter. Saffron yellow silk tassels dangle from either side of this vertical center strip, compounding the shoe’s Bohemian flair. Tan vachetta leather straps woven through the vertical center strip add contrast to the color composition, with one strap running horizontally atop the open toe, two buckled straps hugging the ankle, and one strap adorning the base of the ankle. Mustard yellow suede straps with red whipstitching complete the exotic, whimsical design.
Last but not least, there’s the flamboyant but feminine KOTUR Jardines sandal ($650 at Koturltd.com), which features clusters of silk blossoms along the vamp. Featuring a 105mm heel, and a tan leather strap that runs diagonally up the foot, then wrapping around the ankle, the Jardines sandal makes a bigger impression than the floral headdress Lady Gaga wore during London Fashion Week in September 2012. The choice of flowers and colors reminds me of Frida Kahlo’s famed headpieces, but the effect is as striking as that of the paper headpieces created by Katsuya Kamo for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Haute Couture SS 2009 Collection.
Talk about a stunning footwear trilogy!