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For over a decade, Pantone (the self-professed world-renowned authority on color) chooses a single color that they predict will be influential in the coming year. In case you missed it last year, their pick was 15-5519 Turquoise, because, as the official press release declared, “Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.” For 2011, Pantone selected 18-2120 Honeysuckle – a medium reddish pink, and  released this statement: “Energizing honeysuckle lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges.” Pretty heavy stuff. But if that isn’t a great reason to go shopping for a new pair of shoes, I don’t know what is 😉

So, the official color is Honeysuckle, but I think any pink or coral colored shoe will be in the spirit of things. And designers are knocking out tons of pink shoes for resort and spring collections, so finding a pair right now is easy. If you’re looking for something to start you off early and keep you cozy as the winter slowly ends, I recommend the Koolaburra ugg boots in a soft pink below or an enclosed pink suede pump like the pair pictured by Kelsi Dagger (with the cutest removable elastic bow!).

Pantone says that you can easily pair Honeysuckle with basic colors like black, navy, charcoal or light to mid gray. But, for something more exciting, they suggest mixing in complementary bronze greens or a pinkish Apricot Brandy brown hues into your wardrobe with it. I vote pairing these with a maxi dress or with jeans and a drapey cream-colored blouse. Just remember these shoes are made to be the focal point of a basic outfit.

For the start of warm weather, Manolo Blahnik flip flop sandals are actually an almost-affordable way to enjoy the brand. You should also take a look at jumping on two trends at once by going for a platform style (or a “flatform” – an essentially flat shoe as far as feel goes, with equal or near equally tall platforms front and back) or an espadrille (always a summer favorite). And of course, since I have a special place in my heart for Melissa shoes, I was happy to see they’re also making a few pink shoes this season so that I could feature one here.

You know, maybe there is something to what Pantone said; I already feel my spirits lifting just by imagining walking out of the house with these shoes. I’m sure we can rationalize a pair of two now, especially if our mental health is at stake 😉

Jeffrey Campbell The Turino Shoe

Koolaburra Savanitty

Kelsi Dagger Tiffany

Manolo Blahnik Suede-Flower Thong Sandal

Dolce Vita Strappy Platform Wedge

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedge

Stella McCartney Raffia Crossover Sandals

Lanvin Ankle-Wrap Platform Wedge

seychelles harlow

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Anglomania

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Quick Trend Note – So I’ve noticed that rain boots are being updated in awesome ways lately. Do the rain boots currently in your closet have nothing but a quirky pattern? Ditch them! A solid and not too brightly colored boot is the easiest way to update your look this season. And with these new low-key colors, you won’t feel ridiculous wearing your rain boots all day when the weather forecasters turn out to be wrong (again). But to be really on trend, make sure that your rubber boots are spruced up with zippers, wedges, strap details, laces, trompe l’oeil designs or a sole that’s anything but flat! Rain boots can now come out and play even on the sunniest fall and winter days!

See By Chloe Classic

Hunter Boots Regent Savoy

The pocket design and faux quilting above are both fabulous examples of trompe l’oeil designs. Jimmy Choo came out with a great faux crocodile rubber boot that works too. The See by Chloe pair also has another of this season’s great rain boot accessories: laces! Whether they’re half laces up the front, full laces or back laces, everyone is using real strings to adorn their rubber wear right now (see below for more).

Loeffler Randall LR

Hunter Verbier

Kate Spade Randi

Melissa Ashanti

Long gone are the days when rain boots are simply flat and chunky. Today’s rain boots are trim, sleek and have heels in all shapes and heights. You can find rain boots with mini wedges or full 3 inch wedges, tall and low chunky heels, smooth riding boot heels and stilettos. Honestly I can find a reason to “need” one of every type.

Steve Madden Tsunamii

Cougar Regal

Tory Burch buckled rubber

Chooka London Town

I’ve also been seeing tons of motorcycle inspired rain boots with tons of straps and buckles topping rubber styles (KORS Michael Kors has another version). This style looks great with something a girly on top (a floaty, open cardigan sweater? a winter coat with a bit of ruffle?) to balance the toughness.

And below is one random standout – an OTK (over the knee) rainboot by Calvin Klein. If you’ve got long model legs, go for it! But if you’re a shortly like me, sadly it’s best to just pass on these. You’ll have a hard time walking up steps gracefully (and probably doing other common things like sitting) since rubber doesn’t bend as nicely as leather or fabric.

Now go shopping! 😉

Calvin Klein Ava

On a related topic, as I posted on my Facebook and Twitter, I’m wondering about wellie socks. Do they work in all types and brands of rainboots? Look out for a new blog with what I find coming up soon!

nyshoespyI’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this blog. You’re seriously not going to believe it, but every single pair of the shoes below are made entirely out of some sort of rubber or plastic!!! (with the exception of the occasional tassel, buckle or laces).

I haven’t seen this trend covered much in the mainstream media yet, but when old, well-established houses like Tods, Givenchy and Gucci dabble in molded PVC for their Spring collections and so do designers prone to the avant-garde like Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood AND contemporary brands like Tory Burch, Melissa and See by Chloe… well, I would call that a full blown trend.

The best part is that most of these styles are totally affordable; even with all the designer names I’ve stacked up for you, not one shoe is over $200!

See for yourself 😉

Melissa Joy + Ah Jelly Oxfords Melissa Three-Strap Ballerina Gladiator
Givenchy flat tie-up plastic shoe Tods jelly thong sandals
Gucci Etretat Rubber Flats Melissa Strappy Fetish Sandals
Cesare Paciotti Jelly Plateau See by Chloe ankle-strap sandals
Tory Burch Jelly Reva parrot pink

avatarPeople magazine and Mary-Kate Olsen agree that gladiator sandals are definitely one of the major “it”s for spring. If you already have some of the flat gladiators that were around last spring and summer, here are some new styles moving the trend forward.

mk kia
via spiga tonn melissa

Left to right: Steve Madden Kia wedges in rust, Via Spiga Tonn sandals, Nine West Heech wedges

But as some of the magazine sources from our previous blog (Putting Trend Tellers to the Test) state, gladiators of the flat variety are definitely not out of the picture. Here are some picks and ideas to fill up your closet. Don’t you love the green jelly style by Melissa? I’ve seen some adorable Fendi jelly flats on the spring pre-order lists so watch for more jelly styles. I think they’ll be a nice surprise trend (Remember all the jelly shoes Marc Jacobs put out last year? Like those perforated peep-toe mini wedges? yum).

melissa gloria steve madden spirro
steve madden trinnity steve madden 2

 

Left to Right: Melissa Gloria mini wedges, Steve Madden Spirro flats, Steve Madden Trinnity sandals, and Fornarina Pefam metallic thongs.

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