One of the things about Fashion Week that people don't generally discuss is the boredom. It's not the shows or presentations that we find dull (good or bad, they're always interesting), but all the waiting gets a bit tedious. When we have to deal the inevitable delays caused by some publicity-hungry "personality" refusing to take her assigned seat, we turn to two forms of self-amusement: The Daily and people watching. Though the former's front row scoop is always fantastic, it's really the latter we adore, as observing our fellow attendees is always a highly satisfying pastime. It's also quite informative: as you might have noticed in our What They Wore: Fashion Week coverage, we spotted several of our favorite tastemakers displaying their inner deviant (shoe-wise, at least)! That's right, dear readers, it's time to kink up your heels, because summer's gladiators have transformed into something slightly more sinister for fall-fetish footwear.
Though we understand that some readers might take one look at these buckle-bedazzled, strap-happy, spike-heeled shoes and decide to skip this style entirely, we promise they're not as extreme as they seem at first glance. Though seriously tough and sometimes complicated, these shoes give a much-needed edge to the season's lady-like lace dresses and floral prints. They also look equally sharp when worn with a simple, monochromatic outfit, as Mary-Kate Olsen demonstrated backstage at Rock & Republic's when she styled her little leather jacket and sleek leggings with a subversive pair of Givenchy sandals (try Steven by Steve Madden's Ginn Booties ($169.95) for a similar look).
One of the other excellent aspects of this trend is the simple fact that there are so many variations available this season, from the extreme runway versions (like the freakalicious styles at Gareth Pugh or Givenchy's straightjacket boots) to ultra-wearable contemporary options. Whether you're ready to unleash your inner dominatrix or are just looking for something to tide you over until the weather warrants over-the-knee boots, we found a fetish-friendly style for you. Just read on for the shopping details!
1. Pour La Victoire Sacha Gladiator Bootie ($314)
One of our favorite shoe brands as of late, Pour La Victoire, made an exceptional tough-girl bootie for fall. Available in gray or black, these four-inch heels have just the right amount of studding and straps for this footwear trend. While wearing them with a body-conscious frock will make you look a wee prostitutesque, they'll look great with a short, semi-shapeless dress.
2. Givenchy Ankle Bootie ($665)
Some of the season's best bondage booties and sandals can be attributed to the genius Givenchy. The house's designer, Riccardo Tisci, is responsible for the marvelous multi-strap shoes recently seen on fashion favorites like Mary-Kate Olsen and Vanessa Traina. These cage-like black patent leather and suede ankle booties are lust inducing and seriously sexy, so wear with caution.
3. Sergio Zelcer Chipper Ankle Boot ($297.95)
One of the simplest versions of this look comes courtesy of Sergio Zelcer. Their Chipper Boot has lots of sex appeal-stiletto heel, wrap-around ankle strap, understated silver buckle-while still remaining chic, thanks to its minimalist design.
4. Steven by Steve Madden Slasssh Booties ($189.95)
The moment we spotted these affordable and trend-accurate peep-toe booties, we knew we had to include them in this Go Buy Now. They're wild enough to share a name with our favorite member of GnR, but the fetish elements are subtle enough to appeal to people with slightly more conservative personal style.
5. Bebe Alexandra Multi-Strap Pump ($149)
There's something very prim and very provocative about these peep-toe platform heels from Bebe. We think they look like something a Victorian schoolmarm-turned-imperial-mistress would wear (this is a compliment). Show off their buttoned-up style and wear them with dove gray tights and a mid-length full skirt.
Photo of Mary Kate Olsen, courtesy of Splash News.