STUART WEITZMAN: Denim clog, $345 at Stuart Weitzman, Beverly Hills. (Stuart Weitzman, Beverly…)
Fashion is stepping back a decade this spring, away from fall's 1980s-style acid-washed denim and power shoulders to a season full of 1970s influences, including sun-bleached colors, fringed accessories and the "it" shoe made popular on the Chanel runway: clogs. We're not talking orange rubber Crocs a la Mario Batali. These clogs are sexy and embellished, some with heels as high as those on your favorite stilettos.
At Chanel's spring 2010 show last fall, models flaunted their spindly legs in short tweed skirts and 4-inch platform clogs. The slip-on shoe with a high, stacked wood heel flatters the leg, and the '70s vibe suits the relaxed look of L.A., which might explain why clogs will be such a ubiquitous style for spring. "We saw a resurgence of clogs on the runway for spring, with Chanel leading the trend," says Holli Rogers, buying director for Net-a-Porter.com. For spring, the site will feature clogs from Pedro Garcia, Fendi and Jimmy Choo in styles including strappy sandals as well as chunky and traditional.
In the high-end and contemporary markets, several designers are doing clogs or clog-like shoes at varying price points and levels of extreme. Banana Republic has the "Rosita" clog in its spring collection for $98. The neutral color and thicker heel make the shoe wearable for everyday. "The nude banded clog evokes a clean, fresh and modern look to elongate the leg without effort," says Simon Kneen, creative director and executive vice president of design for Banana Republic. "It's the perfect springtime accessory."
For a sexier approach, Steve Madden's "Daynty" clog, $89.95, has a pointed heel and slimmer shape that looks a little dressier than something with a thick heel. And Stuart Weitzman has a denim clog for anyone who wants genuine vintage appeal, with scalloped edges and that perfectly '70s shade of periwinkle, for $345.
"This trend is great for bringing back the '70s revival with a fresh twist," Rogers says. She recommends modernizing the clog by wearing it with skinny jeans or a mini-dress, rather than a billowy caftan or bell-bottom jeans, to avoid the costume-y look. Kneen has a less seasonal approach to the accessory and suggests wearing clogs with tights and jeans during the colder months.
For spring and summer dressing, Jimmy Choo and Pedro Garcia have versions of strappy clog-sandals that would display a colorful pedicure. The Jimmy Choo is a style called "Unity" with a dark wood platform and midnight blue suede straps that snake up the foot and double buckle at the ankle. These are the kind of clogs to wear to a chic poolside party or when you plan to make your boho look a bit more formal. The "Dorcas" clog-sandal from Pedro Garcia has a lower heel height and is less intimidating than the Choo. Honey-colored wood forms the lower portion of the shoe, and tan straps of almost the same color lie over the foot and wind around the ankle. These are subtle and casual and can be worn with a swingy day dress or while running around on weekends.
If you want your clogs to look more haute than hippie, the Chanel clogs are it. They are regal with an earthy charm and look as good with beat-up jeans as they would with a Chanel suit. The shiny gold nail heads and ornate, jeweled detail dress up the suede and tweed uppers, elevating a traditional shoe to look modern and unexpectedly elegant.