Thursday, November 1, 2007

Designer Focus: Roger Vivier

I know Roger Vivier is an iconic designer and has been around for years and years, but most of the time I find his designs almost too simple and classic. I love his iconic buckle shoe,

but I've seen it interpreted so many times (including my Aerosoles in claret and black - not that I new they were channeling Vivier at the time) that they have lost some of their specialness.

The latest line of Vivier shoes, led by Creative Director Bruno Frisoni, are gorgeous. I can totally get behind these feather shoes...

For this latest collection he is focusing on the Fifties and Audrey Hepburn (ala Breakfast at Tiffany's, if you ask me). I'm dying to get my hands on these gorgeous, colorful heels!

If you aren't familiar with Roger Vivier, here's a quick overview:

As Claire Wilcox, curator of the V&A’s current show The Golden Age of Couture, puts it, Vivier’s shoes are like pieces of jewellery setting off the clothes they are paired with. He was traditional and at the same time incredibly modern.”

Vivier died, aged 90, in 1998. But his spirit lives on in a brand that is now stronger than ever, thanks to creative director Bruno Frisoni. In 2001, Frisoni was asked to inject modernity into the rich heritage of the brand. First came sightings of the Belle Vivier buckle pump in fashion magazines. Then, new stores created a frisson of excitement, in Paris in 2004 and London in 2006.

Our ambition,” says Frisoni, “was to create a brand, not to set up another shoe shop.”

An art critic recently argued that Vivier shoes are high art, on a par with a Picasso or a Canaletto.

For Frisoni, who cites Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert among his muses, “They are like jewels for the feet. They are a subtle and powerful luxury. Sexy, but never garish. The shoe is an accessory of seduction. Seduction is the watchword of my designs at Roger Vivier. The lady who wears these shoes is alive, she's spontaneous, she is very intelligent but she can laugh at herself too. She's energetic and glamorous all at the same time," smiles Frisoni.

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