The shoes are sexy, but the walking is treacherous.
Both on and off the runway, shoes were turning heads—and possibly a few ankles—at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week's Spring 2011 shows.
Whatever the style—be it a gladiator sandal, a platform wedge, or a stacked heel—there was a common theme: extreme height. So much so that more than a few women were spotted having to slip off their heels and slip on another shoe in order to navigate New York's streets, especially in the cobble-stoned Meatpacking District where some fashion shows took place.
Click ahead to see a sample of what's in store for spring.
By Christina Cheddar-Berk
Posted 17 Sept 2010
The shoe excitement wasn't confined to the runways. Plenty of fans turned out for the shows sporting shoes worthy of the spotlight. This pair of shoes worn by spectator Comora Roberson highlights the popular animal print trend for the spring. Roberson says she likes the print because she's "not a black or a brown shoe girl."
"I love them," Roberson said. "You can't really walk with them."
The shoes were particularly eye-catching in the front row. One example were the heels Julianne Moore wore to the Reed Krakoff Spring 2011 fashion show on Sept. 15. These were from Krakoff's fall collection. For spring, he has a new version, this time made with boar hair.
The designs at Fashion Week continue to become more accessible for fans. Collective Brands' Payless ShoeSource has partnered with designers to bring high fashion to the masses. Christian Siriano, the designer who won the fourth season of the reality show Project Runway, is one of them.
Siriano's spring collection drew on inspiration from India, China, and Africa. His shoes included heels that were almost architectural in their design. Pictured here is an example from his show at The Stage at Lincoln Center on Sept. 9, 2010, with a "chop-stick"-inspired wood heel with an electroplate finish.
Designer Lela Rose also is working with Payless. Her shoe designs are named after streets in Lima, Peru. This striated wedge heel is "Loreto," which the designer says was inspired by the city's hillside landscape.
Other designers at fashion week were also showing stacked heels for spring.
Another common trend for spring are neutral colors. Here's an example of an open-toed bootie that was shown at Nicole Miller's show on Sept. 10 at 82 Mercer.
These metallic heels are a great pairing with the heavily beaded designs of Naeem Khan, who is known for his ultra-embellished gowns and cocktail dresses that have been worn by celebrities including Beyonce Knowles, Carrie Underwood, and First Lady Michelle Obama.
A model walks the runway wearing a teal, T-strap sandal at Naeem Khan's show at the Stage in Lincoln Center on Sept. 16.
The shoe styles were very exciting at Vassilios Kostetsos Spring 2011 fashion show at The Studio at Lincoln Center on Sept. 12.
The silver metallic color of this pair contrasted nicely with the gold and blue hues that dominated his collection. Kostetsos drew inspiration for his clothes from Greek ceramic vases and the ancient Amazon culture.
Some of the shoes are beautiful to look at, but seem to defy the laws of physics. Here's a particularly high heel worn by actress Gillian Jacobs as she walked around Lincoln Center.
Award-winning musician and vocalist Gwen Stefani continues to wow with her sense of style. There's a lot of buzz about this spring's L.A.M.B. collection.
Here a model walks down the runway at the L.A.M.B. show at the Theater at Lincoln Center on Sept. 16, 2010.
Speaking of shoes, "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker stepped out several times at Fashion Week wearing head-turning footwear. Here's a close-up of the shoes she wore to Diane von Furstenberg's spring debut at the Theater at Lincoln Center on Sept. 12.