French Haute Couture has always been a fantasy for most of the world’s female shoppers. We are not immune to wow-ing and ooh-ing over the elaborate masterpieces dreamed up by the world’s greatest designers and brought to life by the world’s best craftsmen but only a select privileged few could ever factor couture into their everyday wardrobe.
That is until Spring Summer 2014. The season that sneakers – yes the common man of footwear – make their couture debut.
Christian Dior couture Spring Summer 2014. Credit: Showbit
It was Raf Simons who first fitted some of his models with tiny flower-strewed slip-on trainers at the Christian Dior show. Paired with airy, lattice cut-out couture dresses, the easy footwear pieces were a modern touch and a nod to the growing trend of women opting for comfort when it came to shoes.
Chanel couture Spring Summer 2014. Credit: Chanel
The next day at Chanel, luxury sneakers were the only shoes that stepped onto the runway. It was a good thing, as Karl Lagerfeld had the models skip, prance and even sprint down the circular stairs of the show’s set.
An upclose look at the elaborate sneakers on the Chanel couture runway. Credit: Chanel
But before us mere mortals can pull out our Air Maxes, Stan Smiths and the likes, a closer look at the sneakers confirmed that they were made of python leather and embellished with lace, pearls and tweed. Definitely not a pair for the running track.
So the question is – is couture, at least starting with footwear, stepping off its pedestal and working towards being more accessible? Time can only tell.
If you are off to your nearest Chanel boutique to place an order for those sneakers, we hate to burst your bubble but you need to know that you have to buy the whole couture look in order to secure them.