THE big news in shoes this spring is fabric: shoes with floral grosgrain fabric, brocade-pattern shoes, reminiscent of medieval tapestries that dress up office daywear and add the final touch of elegance to evening dresses. Next to fabric, color is the key. Brights and pastels. Pale yellow, pink and blue, as well as electric blue, fuchsia, and mustard-yellow appear everywhere. Black patent leather, that old standby, gains new meaning paired with another color, like bright yellow or mustard. Two-toned conservative styles, such as the white-and-beige Chanel model, are still a signpost of elegance, as is the warm weather soft white leather shoe.
Pumps, either plain or with cutouts, pleats, and drapes are a must, and sandals are starting a comeback.
High, high heels are still a part of the fashion scene, especially for formal evening wear, but more and more women are opting for the low-heeled pump or even the fancy, sequined flat as an alternative to the very high shoe.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for shoes this season, aside from comfort and common sense, is the fact that today the shoe is part of the whole fashion look, not just something you add as an afterthought; color should be chosen to counterpoint the fabric, to accent the style, or to make a bold spring statement. -- H. N.