Mr Price Fashion Show styled by Agyness Deyn; pic by Vaughn Treyvellan

What is it about these fine art creations we wear on our feet that we cannot get enough of? Perhaps I first fell in love with them when I saw Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen having a fashion shoe swap on Gossip Girl with these shoes before setting off on their Parisian holiday.  It’s just that this style of shoe seems to epitomize summer and all things floral, light and sexy all in one design.

Wedges have been known for decades by every heel-bearing woman as one of the most comfortably fitting shoes around.  This is due to the fact that the foot does not lie on a ‘pressure point’ (the stiletto heel for instance!) So the weight of your foot is evenly spread across the shoe – which means a few more hours to show off your dance moves at the club.

Back to the Roots

According to the origins of this shoe, espadrilles were normally casual and flat, (only sometimes high heeled) and originated from the Pyrenees.  They usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of rope or rubber material moulded to look like rope.  The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style.  The term ‘espadrille’ is French, and derives from the Occitan & Catalan name for shoes , espardeny, which derives from ‘espart’ the Occitan/Catalan name for esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope.  They first became fashionable in the USA in the 1940’s.  The style was revived in the 1980’s, due to the success of Miami Vice – the shoe worn by Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson).  These shoes have been spotted on the catwalks of Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Dior, Prada and Jimmy Choo, so it goes without saying that the fashion world is wildly impressed by this style and have made them a ‘shoe-staple’ in their Spring/Summer 2010 collections.

Interesting – because when I put on a pair of utterly feminine espadrilles I feel as if I could be exploring the Greek islands wearing a summery cotton dress, a tanned Mediterranean male model with me, without a care in the world.  Perhaps it is not how fashion makes us look – but how it makes us feel that really encapsulates our love of fashion. Needless to say this style of shoe is here to stay for a while – so get your hands on a pair!

Our Pick

Embellished Espadrille Wedge, Woolworths, R 350.00

Get down to your nearest Mr Price Outlet for a more reasonable option or shop online at TOMS for really cute and unique styles and colours which will brighten up your wardrobe for Summer.

-Gabriella Chelini

Categories: Fashion