September 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Good enough to eat

Balanced between simplicity and detail, the accessories at Milan’s catwalks were ‘al dente’

The energetic optimism that permeated Milan’s catwalks continued off-piste, in the accessories collections. At Tod’s presentation, for example, designer Derek Lam embraced the foodie theme seen on Dolce & Gabbana’s prints, announcing everything should be not undercooked or overcooked, but al dente: ie, balanced between simplicity and detail. Enter the “Ago” sandal, a high-heeled sandal with an ankle strap and a rubber sole, made from a single piece of leather pinched like a pie crust. Equally understated were flat sandals with gold circles and shoelace-like ties, as well as minimal shoppers with sleek rather than boho fringing. Putty, tan and old rose shades sat alongside bright shots of turquoise and burnt orange.

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The “al dente” theme also ran through Valextra, home of the elegant-yet-functional bag (shoulder satchels are actually iPad cases, etc). Taken one step further this season, the new Namaste Duetto line has adjustable handles which can be worn on or over the shoulder, the Compass line is coated to be waterproof and stainproof; and lightness is also key, as it is at Zagliani, known for its reptile skins. There, légèreté came in the form of openwork python-skin bags that resembled woven wicker, while at Bally it took the shape of barely-there sandals based on styles from the brand’s 1951 centenary poster. Designed to recall the barefoot debutante, the shoe-leather was engineered into cord-thin laces and filo-rolled straps that delicately encase the foot.

All of which is not to say the statement shoe – high, chunky and embellished – is going away. At Guiseppe Zanotti, where the palette included orange, sea green, yellow, snake, pink patent and zebra, platform courts came with 13cm heels or no heels at all, just a huge crystal-studded wedge curving inwards. The major heel was also alive and kicking at Jimmy Choo, from sporty mesh wedges to bright disco-style crocodile sandals, and a spike with a huge flower corsage at the ankle. Flowers were also key at Sergio Rossi. Appliquéd tropical blooms inspired by the photographer Araki and Hawaii appeared on clogs, stilettos, flat sandals and slippers in tangerine and hot pink while Furla’s “Candy” bag made with rubber and python comes in an equally bright turquoise. In a word: delicious.

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