Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The March of the Silent Sandal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The March of the Silent Sandal

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Dacre

AHEALTHY obsession with fashion is often mistaken for a freakish obsession with shoes. At least that's my experience. Once you've expressed a whisper of interest in all things stylish to your friends and family, birthday cards printed with ugly red shoes become an annual occurrence, as do proxy mugs spray-painted with the words "I Love My Shoes". And then there's the gift of a stiletto-shaped wine glass. Dear God.

While I hold my hands up to suffering from a host of clothesrelated obsessions -- coats by Celine, bags from Louis Vuitton and anything by Raf Simons -- shoes have never really floated my boat. And when I do get excited by a pair (I must admit to yelping with joy when I saw a pair of pale pink New Balance 574s last week) I've rarely been euphoric enough to contemplate drinking chablis out of a pair.

Shoes, you see, aren't supposed to be one of life's star attractions. Rather, they are a sort of warm-up act -- a pretty thing to look at while we get ready for the all-singing, alldancing ensemble that lies above. The foundation for epic sartorial success -- provided you find the right pair -- is a shoe that blends into an outfit instead of jarring with it. In short, the perfect shoe is the strong, silent type. And the good news is the shops are brimming with them this season.

A by-product of the minimalist movement which has dominated design circles for some seasons now, clean simple sandals are among fashion's biggest footwear preoccupations at the moment. Identifiable by their thin platformfree soles, the silent sandal (as it will hereby be known) features one classic bar and an elegant anklestrap.

The most austere examples of this style are to be found in Zara where silent shoes are making a lot of er, noise this spring. Among the finest interpretations is a scarlet red suede shoe which is entirely free from fuss, and a stunning black silk and metallic sandal which is setting hearts and feet on fire all over London. …

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