By Rae Hadley

You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet” – Dior

Black was often deemed the only colour for ‘true elegance’ across the history of fashion.

Focus on this ‘non-colour’ started during the early 1900s with the use of ‘shopgirl’ style as an edgy co-opting of class concepts and utility, before taking off in the mainstream as it recreated the glamour of the ‘newly fashionable’, and incredibly romantic world of black and white film. 

Thankfully, times have changed, and black can now create elegant, rebellious, or edgy impressions. As can any other colour. Current fashion sense does not dictate that black is the only route to elegance. Ladies can rock out their style in whatever way, with whichever colours they choose, and look damn elegant, damn hot, or damn funky doing it. 

In spite of the plethora of choice, and the idea of wearing what you love with enough attitude to make the choir sing, there is something to be said for wearing a great pair of heels. Something about the elongated grace and poise that comes with the suddenly elevated status: refined simplicity, from the toes up, speaks of understated, but unmistakable glamour, and calm confidence which exudes from the wearer.

There is a reason that fashion shows evolved into the vast spectacles in motion that they have become, and the master of the show, Karl Lagerfeld, puts it better than anyone. “Elegance is an attitude, a way of moving”,  and you can be sure that putting on a beloved pair of masterfully crafted designer heels will magically synthesize elegance. Even those who profess to a sorry gracelessness are transformed as they walk, from the focus on style, and the skill of  designers to bring out the best in every physical form.

With this ‘je ne sais quoi’ in mind, here are designer heels in non-black options, that we are utterly in love with, and are sure you will be too.

Prada

These gorgeous shoes, in geranium pink satin, with striking silver thunderbolts give a touch of freshness to your outfit. The innocent hue is juxtaposed with the bold strength of its statement heel. Show your “joie de vivre” by accenting the colour elsewhere in your outfit, and display your “laissez faire” attitude while wearing your pride and joy to the office, or out on a coffee date. You are sure to turn heads with these beauties.

Gucci

Retro, and almost nautical in style, these classics are the epitome of understatement and class. Fusing sportswear-inspired elements with modern chic, these slingback pumps are far from being an accessory; they are the main event. Combine them with classic tailoring and neutral or plain tones to create a visage of elegance and sophistication, one which every woman can carry off with style and grace. We confess– we also love the gold bee motif. It has just the right combination of cute and classy.

Dior

These slingback pumps in burgundy “technical canvas”, have a 10cm heel, and are embellished with embroidered ribbon. They are a masterpiece in subtlety, making a beautiful “j’adior” statement without appearing to flash the designer label in anyone’s direction. The ribbon detail, narrow sole, and the timeless elegance of the heel is sure to have you stepping up to command the attention of those around you.

Jimmy Choo

The Kix100, patent leather, sexy booties in ‘latte’, have an edgy zip-back, converting easily from daywear to night, without the necessity for dark hues. A statement shoe that slims the ankle with its mesh front, and elongates the leg thanks to its contemporary 10cm asymmetrical heel. They are a stunning, versatile addition to any capsule wardrobe, and will subtly elevate your style, without bragging. These booties are the perfect combination of edgy chic, with just a nod to the old favourites.

Yves Saint-Laurent

If you want to make a statement –and YSL not– these sculptural heels provide that opportunity. Architectural heels are a big deal right now, and these elaborate on the recent trend with structural sophistication. The Opyum pumps in metallic shades of platinum or gold, strike that delicate balance between effortless, modern classic and cutting edge. Statement pieces like these will be the main focus of any special occasion outfit for years to come. Sporting a striking 11cm heel, with which you demonstrate your fashion house allegiance, they are also available  in a luxurious, glossy patent leather ‘latte’. 

Be Brash. Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Be You.

In addition to these elegant classics, our other favourite trends cutting a dash on the runways in recent months include: animal print from Brandon Maxwell, gorgeous patent shine from Christian Louboutin, and finally, matching tights and shoes combos from Anna Sui.  Changing seasons have us looking forward to making bold statements with vibrant colours and playful textures as well. 

Elegance is an attitude, not a wardrobe or accessory item, but a little assistance in that direction never hurt. As Coco Chanel proclaimed, “a woman with good shoes is never ugly.” So, if she, and the creator of the ‘Little Black Dress,’ nodded in that direction, well who am I to argue. Get me to the shoe shop, poste haste!