FEET ARE having all the fun, adornment-wise. This season, along with all the jaunty big bows we saw in spring, buckles are staging a comeback. In the 17tth century, they replaced ties on shoes, but we’re talking more recent developments. Like in 1967 when Catherine Deneuve wore Roger Vivier’s prim black leather pumps with large square silver buckles in the Luis Buñuel movie “Belle de Jour.” The shoe became very popular, thanks to the attention of fashion icons like Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Bruno Frisoni (who succeeded Vivier) said that he kept the virgin/vixen duality of Ms. Deneuve’s character in mind when designing subsequent styles. He wanted the shoe to look proper but with a twist. The buckle remains a signature for the brand today, which sells footwear from booties to sneakers in a range of fabrics and whimsical embellishments.
Think buckles are old-school? Not to quintessential sole sister Carrie (aka Sarah Jessica Parker). In the 2008 “Sex and the City” movie,” Big proposes to her with a blue satin rhinestone-buckled Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pump. And the Wall Street Journal reports that Blahnik has just introduced a new mini Hangisi collection in designs that pay tribute to New York City streets. Not so prim.
Although an ultra-swanky pair of Manolos or Viviers can cost almost as much as an engagement ring, there are many less spendy options for buckled shoes, including square-, pointed- or round-toe flats, mules, boots and heels of all heights and shapes. Here are a dozen in all price ranges.
LEFT: Multiple straps and a block heel on Carel’s Kina Mary Jane pumps call to mind the look of a 1920s dancing shoe style. Beige patent leather makes it look fresh and modern. $398, Farfetch.
RIGHT: In another instance of yin and yang, a brilliant bejeweled buckle adorns these Hangisi Denim Flats from Manolo Blahnik. $955, Saks Fifth Avenue.
LEFT: Admittedly, not much of a buckle here. Still Madewell’s Delilah Mary Jane Pump’s old-school style reads new, thanks to the suede fabric and burgundy shade. $98, Nordstrom.
MIDDLE: The roomy toe area on Butter Shoes’ Cloud Square Toe Flat makes it comfy for all-day running around. Not as flat as it looks, a hidden wedge provides some lift. $315, Simply Soles.
RIGHT: Think sexy and prim at the same time, like Bruno Frisoni. Belle Vivier Suede Pumps, $650, Neiman Marcus.
Narrow feet a concern? Buckle up with Zara Ballet Flats with Strap, which adjust to skinnier feet. $45.90, Zara.
LEFT: If these boots feel a little loose, adjust them to be just right with four not merely ornamental studded buckle straps. The Elani Waterproof Moto Boot from Blondo is $179.95 at Nordstrom.
RIGHT: One buckle is not enough for Balenciaga’s Alexander Wang. His moto Cutout Buckle Boot comes with wraparound ankle and vamp straps and inexplicably, side cutouts. $1,490, Nordstrom.
LEFT: Korean footwear brand Yuul Yie’s Buckle-Detailed Velvet Mules are made from pilled velvet and feature an arty buckle detail set with a faux pearl embellishment. Show them off with ankle-baring hemlines. $310, Moda Operandi.
RIGHT: If you’re not so sure about buckles, keep the investment on the low side with pastel gray Buckle Flat Shoes. $39.99, Mango.
LEFT: Attico Italian designers Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini are known for their use of rich colors and materials. On these color-block Buckle Strap Mules with a cone heel, the statement-scale, retro buckle gives a great big tweak to the classic Mary Jane. $700, Farfetch.
RIGHT: Buckles or bows? With Miu Miu Bow Buckled Leather Flats, no need to decide. Shown on the fall 2018 runway, these shoes have both, plus a zipper. $790, Matches Fashion.
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