Once upon a time (well, in February), a pair of knee-high boots, salted with 3,000 tiny individual rhinestones, walked down the Saint Laurent catwalk in Paris. The industry instantly swooned, as if under the spell of head designer Anthony Vaccarello. But a month later they were spotted on the feet of pop’s most fearless and fashion-savvy princess, Rihanna. Then came a shoot of Cara Delevingne in this September’s Elle, the feet of 2017’s beacon of fashion-forward hope Celine Dion, and, just like that, their status as the boot of the moment was cemented.
And, because we can’t all wear the Saint Laurent boots “phresh out” the catwalk like Riri, the high street has produced an array of homages. From black sequinned mid-calf boots at Next, to knee-high, non-slouchy, very shiny versions at Topshop and a relatively understated offering from Russell and Bromley, they have virtually become a meme. The most wearable pair is the Topshop chunky-heeled version.
It’s a tale as old as time – every season has its cult item(s). Last autumn it was the Balenciaga padded jacket, worn shrobed, as was the season’s way, on the catwalk in Paris. Variations on the theme soon found their way from the catwalk and on to high streets up and down the country, with Urban Outfitters’ green iteration proving so popular and ubiquitous that it got its own Instagram: “thatpuffa”, papped the jacket in chicken shops, on dates and at the library.
But the boots have an edge over the padded jacket – shiny, bright as diamonds, they are solid Insta-bait, no filter necessary. At one with the season’s broader trend for all that glitters – chainmail and sequins have been widely deployed at Gucci, Emilia Wickstead and Versace – they look like something Liberace might have worn. Or disco balls hammered out and moulded into boot form. It’s no wonder they have – despite their £6,855 ($10,000) price tag – sold out on Net-a-Porter and reportedly racked up gargantuan wait-lists at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Or that they are on the pages of many of the September issues.
If you are feeling brave, style them like Rihanna, who owned the inevitable wrinkle of jeans stuffed into boots by making that an intentional styling device and teamed them with an oversized T-shirt, leather biker jacket and discus-sized gold hoop earrings. If you are feeling less brave, go the Celine way with an otherwise all-black outfit. Either way, be ready for plenty of attention.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010