Top Image: (Left) Haider Ackermann makes combining street style with high fashion look effortless. (center) See thru to the hottest trends for spring/summer 2017 with Fendi’s sheath skirt layered over fanciful floral. (right) Masterfully combining prints, Giambattista Valli creates sophistcated yet fun looks. – INDIGITAL IMAGES
I’ve always loved employing the concept of juxtaposition, whether in my designs, my brand partnerships or my outfits. In fact, juxtaposition is in the DNA of my Ruthie Davis shoes.
When I launched, people asked me what my shoes would look like, and I used to respond, “Imagine if a Manolo Blahnik and a Nike had a baby – what would it look like?”
For me, the excitement in a fashion product is the mix. “High-low mix” are fashion buzz words – meaning mixing high-end luxury pieces with street affordable garb. Think Saint Laurent shoes, a Celine bag with a Top Shop jacket and H&M dress. But it goes further than that now – integrating all sorts of genres: vintage with modern, dressy with casual, even outerwear with underwear!
The concept of juxtaposition also plays out in collaborations between brands, in many forms and sizes. One innovative new trend is the partnering of a large, “non-fashion” company with an independent, smaller fashion designer. The larger company seeks the cool factor and cachet , while the small brand needs the deep pockets and reach of the big guy. It’s the perfect marriage.
Taken a step further, there are increasingly more collaborations between luxury designers and volume retailers such as Alexander Wang X Liberty of London, Alexander McQueen X Target or H&M X Kenzo. Why does this work? Because it’s exciting, it’s unexpected, it makes for a thrilling combo that has richness and texture to it. Who says opposites don’t attract!?
Personally, I’m involved with a number of such joint projects. For example, I’m creating shoes inspired by “Minions” for NBC Universal Studios (check out my X Minion Stiletto!); shoes inspired by “Beauty and the Beast” for Disney/HSN; and an apparel capsule collection for Designow Studio. Not only do such collaborations jazz me and get my creative juices flowing as a designer, they allow me to reach new markets and customers. They get me thinking in ways that keep my own line original and fresh.
My Resort and Spring 2017 collection reflects this forward-thinking trend by mixing colors, materials and hardware, for plenty of wearing options. These shoes can transition seamlessly from a daytime event to a wedding, from after-work drinks to an evening gala. There are no limits! I accomplish this with simple juxtaposition of colors, materials and hardware to create designs that can be dressed up or down.
The key is to mix it up! If your shoes are high-end and sexy, the outfit can be more utilitarian or street. You can pair functional and casual shoes with a glam and dressy outfit. The following tips can help you create your own amazing style for SS17:
- Combining prints is totally in style right now – so you can wear leopard and floral with a bright neon color!
- Mixing materials and layering different materials is super chic – tulle layered over silk and worn with denim or sweatshirt material. Tech fabrics are even incorporated into elegant eveningwear.
- The high-low mix integrates collegiate or pro sports logos into dressy, highly stylized pieces.
- Lug footwear is the rage from brands such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry, but you can buy the classic Dr. Martins and be in vogue. Wear them with dresses, even a gorgeous evening gown with a sexy slit.
- Dressy luxury heels such as my Ruthie Davis “Willow” or “Kiernan” styles look amazing with casual outfits like jeans (especially rolled up or cropped), denim shorts, a cute romper or a breezy caftan post beach.
- Your shoes no longer need to match your handbag or outfit – all colors and materials are allowed. For example, my “Kiernan” sandal incorporates four materials and four colors! They work with just about everything.