#SuzyNYFW: Bringing Shoes To Life In The Middle Ground

Paul Andrew started his show with a display of fluorescent lights beside pink patent leather shoes with a tough, square heel. The reason behind the designer’s choice to reduce the focus on just dainty and narrow styles?

“I feel like the modern woman doesn’t always want a towering heel,” Paul said. “The way that she lives her life today, she needs a lower heel to take her on that journey. She wants to feel put together and sexy, but not necessarily in a staggeringly high heel that’s going to cripple her.”

These words of wisdom were at the heart of the new collection that expressed a shifting attitude to shoes. While the market has been flooded with fancy footwear, this designer is hoping to put fun into the more practical shoe.

“I wanted to show a different side of the brand and ‘occasion’ shoes – I am pushing the envelope even in the Wiener Werkstätte way,” said Paul referring to the early 20th-century Austrian community of artisanal designers that inspired him to add ornament to seams.

Then there was the inspiration from a different cultural corner.

“I developed the print myself, but I was looking at Andy Warhol’s pop art pieces,” said the designer who had been working the sharp prints with soft materials, often handwoven in satin.

Other unexpected effects came from working with PVC – but super slouchy and really moulded. “Others are more rigid, but the heat of the foot moulds it and they become super comfortable,” he said.

But most important of all is the introduction of those hard-to-find heels that stake the middle ground between flats and high rises. Add sneakers with splashy patterns and there was something stylish for every woman who wants to walk fashionably.