Best Ugly Shoes Of The Season


Finding those Miu Miu cowboy boots from spring-summer 1999 on the web a few days ago made me think for a while. Those shoes can be worn  with the same (or even better today) relevance, whether it’s the 90s or 2017. My other thought was, ‘wait, I’ve seen that shoe shape countless of times this season’s’, starting from Calvin Klein and ending on Louis Vuitton. My last thought, and the most clear-headed one, was simple: they are just ugly. Lets not lie to ourselves, the colour, the wooden heel, the ultimately appalling look of these shoes makes them ugly in every single aspect.

But ugly is fun. And fashion loves fun. So, apparently, fashion loves ugliness. For instance, Miuccia Prada (the designer behind these cowboy stompers above) is the pioneer of ‘ugly’ in fashion, successfully selling nylon backpacks at Prada and pulling the envelope even further each season in questioning the term ‘good taste’. No one can help it – the uglier, the better. But am I frustrated with that fact? The answer is no. I will never forget Phoebe Philo’s massive impact on ugly footwear, after presenting at her Céline spring-summer 2013 runway THOSE sandals with fur. The instant reaction was bad, just read through the self-acclaimed fashionistas’ comments on some of Blogspot’s virtual junk-sites. But, as time has shown, those fluffies weren’t as bad as everybody thought back in 2013. Enter Zara today, and guess what you will find? Every second pair of sandals (and  heels) are covered with faux-fur. And no one’s complaining.

If you also have a strange affection for horrendously looking footwear (hope I’m not the only one here), that’s one for you – the season’s nine ugliest shoes, captioned.

We still have to wait a bit for Shayne Oliver‘s debut collection at Helmut Lang. But the brand’s newly revamped website has those boots on-line. They perfectly convey Lang’s unconventional sense for footwear with that shearling fur sticking out. Cringey? Cringey. But cool.


Cowboy boots weren’t the only shoes appearing on Calvin Klein‘s runway. Raf Simons also has in offer these PVC stilettos, in different colours. Plastic and suede, that’s so drastically painful.


Céline site claims that these boots are made in Spain according to traditional shoe-making technique. Sharp in the front, slouchy on the back. That peculiar, square silhouette. One of the seasons stranger things, that’s for sure. But of high quality!

Again, Miu Miu. How many Muppets were killed to make these? Note, they’re vegan.


Francesco Risso‘ debut collection at Marni wasn’t only about really, but really messily edited clothing. The designer wasn’t only slammed by the critics for his ultra-psychedelic take on 60s, 70s, 80s, and God knows what else, but also for his shoes. An edgily curved heel. Patent leather. Fur-trimming. I wrote that ‘the uglier, the better’. Well, here’s an exception.

Miuccia hits this post the third time with her Prada footwear. Fur loafers versus those knee-length monsters. I like the fur story, but the boots with buckles everywhere look lame and nerd, even for Milan.


I love Acne Studios doing ugly shoes every season. So many things are going on here – ribbed knit, rusty suede, some kind of glue-y material and polished leather. Oh dear, what Jonny Johansson is a genius.


Demna Gvasalia spandex boots at Balenciaga are already the brand’s classic, but this season’s version in neon-green is toxic like a tropical frog.


You might easily get lost in these Y / Project boots of gargantuan capacity. Glenn Martens knows no limits, and whatever other say – these shoes are as badass as the collection itself.

Hope nobody suffered while reading this post! It’s fashion, after all.

#InstaLOVE – August 2017

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I am an Instagram maniac and I openly confess that I spend too much time on filtering my feed. But it’s irresistible, when you have so many great accounts to follow! If you’re ready for a dose of beautifully curated walls, inspiring photos and delightful shots – see my August recommendations!

@clarissedemory / There’s an undefined aura around Clarisse Demory‘s work, which is called creative direction specifically. The Paris-based individual counts the likes of Sophie Buhai, Barabara Casasola, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Christophe Lemaire as clients, revamping their showroom spaces and interiors with tactile elements and objects from local hardware stores. I personally had a chance to perceive Demory’s power-of-the-detail while visiting Lemaire’s showroom in Paris a few months ago, and – still unaware those vases and floral arrangements were curated by Clarisse – literally felt like home away from home. Following Demory on Instagram means a rare peek into the director’s haute-cozy, minimally-eclectic aesthetic.

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@helmutlang / For those who have a reasoned fear of New York Fashion Week’s downfall this season – Helmut Lang, the brand originally found by the Austrian visionaire, is having a major rebirth. Kicking off this fall under Isabella Burley (editor-in-chief of Dazed & Confused & the editor-in-residence at Lang) and Shayne Oliver’s (who launched Hood by Air) wings, I’m quite sure this will be one of loudest moments of the fashion month. The debut collection will take place on the 11th of September, but till the time comes, make sure to follow the drop of campaign images starring such off-kilter personalities like Larry Clark or Kembra Pfahler, and ‘The Artist Series’.

@blancamiroskoudy / Blanca Miró Skoudy is not your average Instagram girl, that’s for sure. Once with a face painted in blue, then smoking a cigarette with extremely pink cheeks, is she a modern-day, eccentric femme fatale? Blanca is an illustrator most of all. And her doodles and drawings are so, so good.

@miumiuwomenstales / There are many reasons to love Miuccia Prada. Miu Miu Women’s Tales is one of them. Here, Prada’s sister line generates a platform for talented female directors to present their vision on a wider platform. And, of course, they can use as many Miu Miu pieces as they want! Although the concept isn’t new (it launched few years ago and already had Chloë Sevigny, Miranda July and Zoe Cassavetes collaborate among others), the Instagram account appeared just recently. With collage as the main medium of visual presentation, it makes me really wonder what we can expect next from the world of Miu women.

@julystars / I couldn’t help, but select Jaja Hargreaves‘ feed for the August #InstaLOVE. Her content curation will make anyone dreamy, especially in summer. Margaux Hemingway tropical dress-code, Lauren Hutton wearing a bucket hat, Joan Didion wrapped in a blanket. Lots of sun-bathed flesh and straw hats. Need more? See it yourself.

AND, if you want to follow one more account on Instagram… why don’t you follow, ta-da, @designandculturebyed?

Birds of Paradise


Helmut Lang spring-summer 1998

In her twisted elegance for spring-summer 2017, Miuccia Prada sent down a line of feather-trimmed jackets, bras and skirts. The dresses by Prada, with ostrich-feathers on the sleeves, were pure lightness, blurring the silhouttes’ minimal cut and old-fashioned opulence. “No other material stirs the imagination quite like the feather“, said the intro to Antwerp’s MoMU exhibition dedicated to plumes and feathers back in 2014. That’s quite true – for centuries, feathers were symbol of sophistication and refinement in women’s wardrobe. Valued by designers, like Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen (and the late  designer himself) or even Phoebe Philo of Céline, feathers are the quintessence of preciousness. Whether traditionally crafted by skilled artisans called plumassiers, detailed with the help of Maison Lemarié in Paris or simply turned into ethereal headpieces (Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut haute couture collection for Dior; Helmut Lang‘s all-white feather crowns from the 90s).

Some designers choose to use feathers spontaneously, one-time, like London-based Christopher Kane. But others, like Ann Demeulemeester, feel strong affection towards feathers since childhood. The queen of Belgian fashion especially favoured dove feathers and transformed them into timeless pendants. For her first fashion show in Paris in 1992, she placed on each chair a leather string holding dove feathers. In 2000, a priest called her and asked whether she can ‘dress’ the Madonna in Saint Andrew’s church in Antwerp. The effect was a feather bustier, which ideally matched the holliness and spirituality of this place. Although Demeulemeester stepped down from her role at the brand, Sébastien Meunier succesfully continues her feather legacy. Just see his poetic autumn-winter 2017 collection for men (note the hats and shawls).

One of the biggest fashion moments connected to feathers that always hits my mind is Peter Lindbergh’s cult editorial for Harper’s Bazaar in 1993. Amber Valletta, looking like a fallen angel, wanders around New York in her white wings and white suit. Beautiful and melancholic simultaneously. Light as a feather.

Shop the look: Ann Demeulemeester bead and feather necklace.

Amen! From Communion Dress to Sexy Lace.


Who isn’t obsessed with Paolo Sorrentino’s ground-breaking drama series, The Young Pope? I’m on the fifth episode, and I can’t stop watching. And it appears that the fashion industry is into it, too – it’s quite visible on Instagram feed of Massimo Giorgetti. When HBO airs the new episodes, be sure to see his favourite stills. It’s impossible not to praise Jude Law for the role of frustrated-with-life pope, whose cynical attitude plays on nerves of old cardinals. He smokes cigarettes in Vatican’s holiest chambers, badass. And has those psychedelic visions and dreams… Also, what the pope wears each time catches my eye specifically – the most intricately embroidered mitres, traditional silk choir dresses and fancy papal shoes, kept in red velvet. Amen.


Fashion has never been far from the topic of religion, and we can frequently observe how designers play with various stereotypes. Lately, Catholicism is having a ‘moment’, if you can say so, spanning from Stefano Pilati‘s 2010 outing at Saint Laurent to Miuccia Prada‘s constant love for uniforms – specifically, the “nun look” is her favourite to experiment with. What comes with the feeling of sacrality in fashion is a certain type of refined elegance. As Prada put it in the latest issue of System Magazine, “for me, lace is only beautiful if it’s black, and funeral, and super chic. Or white, for a baptism”. And that’s obvious, if you look at her autumn-winter 2008 collection, which entirely focuses on usage of, somewhat, seductive lace. There’s no wonder why a lace dress seems to be both, very Sunday-at-church, but at the same time a romantic essential of every wardrobe. Italian women, like the ones you can spot in Siena or Palermo, know that, just as their grandmas did.

A similar look… Dolce & Gabbana lace topJonathan Simkhai lace skirtPrada tote and icon Gianvito Rossi suede pumps.


Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati intepreatation of a modern-day nun-woman.

Meanwhile, Simone Rocha staged her spring-summer 2017 show in Southwark Cathedral, where the models walked down the gothic aisle. The venue matched the charming sublimity of Rocha’s latest line of delicate textures and girlie silhouettes, and it smoothly worked with the collection’s British accents. While working on the collection, the designer took a glance at baptismal gowns and communion dresses, reworking them in authentic broderie anglaise lace. But don’t expect to see a traditional wedding dress here. Simone Rocha’s fascination with perversion oozes in those not-so-bride-ready gowns. Although we’re talking about sacred and holy, the designer’s pieces are far from innocent. Sheer organza sheath with elongated sleeves shyly exposed nipples, while a tulle skirt with embroidered flowers showed some leg… accidentally. Note the models’ patent wellies and synthetic-white, rubber gloves. Red lips and wet hair. Rocha’s Catholic girls coming from good village families are naughty. In a very elusive, gentle way.

A similar look… Valentino lace midi-dressBalenciaga ankle boots and Manu Atelier bag

In the 90s, the prince of minimalism – Helmut Lang – expectantly presented a look that shocked his biggest followers. A shoulder-exposing black knitted dress would become Lang’s typical classic. But the big, heart necklace (à la Madonna’s Like a prayer) was a statement. Worn like a big cross, that was the moment when Helmut questioned his signature minimalism with use of ornaments. And all types of opulent decorations are close to Vatican’s richness, and the Pope’s collection of heavily embellished signet rings. Alessandro Michele, another Italian who gets Italian women best, isn’t scared to pull off a number of rich rings, necklaces and bracelet at a time. For the last few seasons, Gucci is loved for its jewellery, which defines the term ‘neo-kitsch’.

A similar look… Gucci Swarovski crystal hands earringsGucci pearl ring and Dannijo silver-plated necklaceicon


Demna Gvasalia’s take on Balenciaga is profound, taking under consideration all aspects that were important for Cristobal Balenciaga. For women’s autumn, the creative director delivered flamenco dresses in florals, mentioning Balenciaga’s Spanish origins. This instantly brings on the idea of Catholicism, which was moved this season for the boys. Cristobal was a passionate Catholic, and it was his everyday habit to go to a church on Avenue George V, a stone throw from his atelier. That’s why the last looks were ornamented with Vatican lace, liturgical red and purple silks. As for a menswear debut, Gvasalia nailed it, even though one could be skeptical whether the up-to-now male clients of Balenciaga, used to basic white shirts and sneakers, will devote themselves to this new style religion.

Of course, I can’t forget about high fashion habits, re-invented by such visionaries like Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood or Nicolas Ghesquiere (when he was still at Balenciaga). In case of the latter, the headpieces became must-have beach hats of that season.

A similar look… Eres + Maison Michel rabbit-felt and lace brim hat



#TBT: Helmut Lang SS04


Although nobody knows what’s happening with Helmut Lang at the moment, still, the label’s archives are rich in remarkable bits. The moment when Elise Crombez wore that sporty tank-top, polished skirt and nude stilettos in 2004, it stroke all New Yorkers and Lang fans. Like an intense ray of light. Or sudden arrival of summer. Happy Throwback Thursday!