Skin Tone Shoes: Shade of This Summer

skin tone shoe

You didn’t need to be a seasoned trend-spotter to notice the latest look at Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall’s wedding last weekend.

Guest after glamorous guest – the Duchess of Cambridge, Natalie Pinkham, Kirsty Gallacher and Katherine Kelly – arrived wearing skin-tone heels. So why has everyone ‘gone nude’ this summer?

Kate is certainly the reigning Queen of Nude Shoes. Prince William’s new wife has been spotted several times in a pair of L. K. Bennett’s Sledge shoes and as a result the style has sold out, both online and in-store, with pairs on eBay going for nearly double the retail price of £175.

Ruth Chapman, owner of the London-based Matches chain of designer boutiques, says: “A lot of people are now taking their cue from Kate, who is taking the trend to a new audience. But nude footwear has been relevant for many seasons, predominately in the summer, but it filters through into winter with designers such as Chloe. There has been a huge surge in sales across all brands in patent, suede and leather. This summer, Stella McCartney showed patent sandals with everything and they looked beautiful.”

Not so long ago, wearing anything as pedestrian as a flesh-tone stiletto would have been style suicide.

Then, about four years ago, a handful of high-end designers began to rebel against increasingly unwearable eccentricities and offered more classic styles in discreet shades.

Christian Louboutin, the Paris-based cobbler famed for his lipstick-red soles, quietly slipped a selection of skin-toned heels into his collections, catching the eye of celebrity fashionistas Kelly Brook and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Niche designer Brian Atwood also adopted the trend, building in a hidden platform into towering heels – a must-have for Victoria Beckham, who went on to collaborate with him for her own fashion label.

Ruth Chapman: ‘Skin-tone flatters the leg and works well with occasion wear, which is where we’ve noticed the trend. If clients want to wear bold colour or prints, the nude shoe provides a strong foil – the dress makes the statement and the shoes are quieter.’

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