Low down on high heels for fall/winter fashion

Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:54pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - After teetering on vertiginous stilettos women may get some relief as designers lowered their heights for their 2011 Fall-Winter collections.

Spiky heels and stilettos haven't disappeared from the catwalk but designers showing their newest lines at New York Fashion Week featured plenty of lower, stacked, chunky heels, wedges, booties and colored socks.

"They're quirkier. I think they're more wearable and cooler right now," said Dana Schwartz, the director of communications for Jill Stuart about the shoes and the look.

"It goes with the current trend of longer hemlines, blouses and more done-up, sophisticated silhouettes. The shoes counter that to bring it back."

New York designer Stuart paired bold, abstract animal prints, strong colors in rusts, red, oranges, black and aubergine and below-the-knee skirts in a collection inspired by the forest and a dark wintery fairy tale with wedges, booties and socks crumpled around or above the ankles.

The chunky shoes off set the feminine looks and gave the collection a quirky touch.

"It adds playfulness to the overall look," Schwartz added.

Dark colored socks were an added touch and accompanied nearly every outfit including tapered trousers, elongated skirts, as well as softer shifts and feminine dresses.   Continued...

<p>Manolo Blahnik shoes are lined up backstage before the Carolina Herrera Fall/Winter 2011 collection show during New York Fashion Week February 14, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>