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In April, I was lucky enough to be in jolly old England attending a fashion education class. London, being one of the fashion capitals of the world, had plenty to offer as to what is now and what is coming up in the next few seasons. This brief guide will help you to determine where to splurge, save or pass in order to have your fine self-looking on-trend.
As the heart and soul of the athleisure trend from the past few years, sneakers have come out of the gym and into the world. While a simple pair of white leather Adidas Stan Smiths have been a proven winner season after season, the embellished sneaker is proving to be a fun and flirty alternative. In almost all shoe store windows along Oxford Street, trainers were being displayed in a different array of materials and each had a twist on the classic details.
Finland’s own Minna Parikka bunny sneakers were proudly featured on the shelves of Selfridges and Co. The fun thing about the embellished sneaker is that it adds interest to an otherwise conservative outfit. Say you are wearing the athleisure trend; leggings, a sweatshirt and a parka. Adding a sneaker in satin, in velvet or a set of oversized laces (playing with the scale of details), you will be presenting the world an outfit with a touch of excitement.
While an embellished sneaker may be on-trend at this very second, it might not carry you through years and years of stylish wear. I would exercise caution before splurging on a pair and pick up a fun set of mid-range priced sneaks instead.
The Block Heel:
While kitten heels have had a moment over the last year, thankfully the block heel is making a return to give us stability, comfort and wearability. The block heel has been a friend to those of us who want to wear a bit of a heel all day and still manage to navigate the inner workings of a city. Block heels are being seen on mules, sandals, strappy Mary Janes and ballerina styles. They add an instant ladylike polish to any shoe.
Take one part mom jean, sprinkle in a Breton striped top, toss in a navy blazer and add a block-heeled shoe and you have instant Parisian chic. As Helsinki is a very walkable city, block heels have that practicality about them. I would see this as an investment piece, not as a whim.
Thanks to the genius-level creativity coming from Alessandro Michele of Gucci, the world has revisited one of Gucci’s signature shoe styles, the loafer. And the loafers of the moment are not just a basic black pair with a gold snaffle bit, they are brocade, they are metallic, they are painted and they are very maximalist! Loafers are an excellent way to add a finishing note of preppy to any outfit. Wear with the pleated midi skirts of today to look Ivy League, wear with cigarette pants and a neckerchief to look capital-C Classic. The best thing about loafers is that they are comfortable meaning the soft leather will mold to the contours of your feet over time. They make an excellent addition to any wardrobe.
While the maximalism trend is here for a spell, classic pieces are classic pieces. Choose according to your personal style and wearability. Do you walk a lot? On cobblestone? Then skip too much of a heel. Think a polished sneaker instead. Do you love camel coats and pearls? Invest in a leather loafer. Are you off to France and want to look like a Parisian? Then the block heeled ballet slipper is for you.
Remember, Fashion is fun!