[F]rom Chanel to Givenchy and Kenzo, Parisian shoe designer Laurence Dacade has lent her magic to every luxury brand you can think of. But it’s since launching her eponymous label that she has really come into her own. Earning a cult following for her Parisian chic meets rock n’ roll ankle boots and quirky platforms, Laurence brings French luxury to the everyday – creating designs that are equally comfortable and beautiful. Inspired by the cultures of women around the world, her SS18 collection presents a dizzying array of styles – from sleek satin mules, to tribal-embellished heels. We caught up with the shoe guru to talk about finding the perfect footwear.
Hi Laurence, how did you get started as a shoe designer?
As far as I can remember I have always been obsessed with shoes. I began my career in fashion by working with textile design, this lead to my deep appreciation and understanding of colour. I designed men’s, women’s and children’s textile collections.
I loved the movement of the fabric, and working for some of the top couture houses taught me the importance of the silhouette – this is something I always keep in mind even when designing shoes today. One day, I was asked to design shoe collections and it was then I decided to turn my passion into a career. I went back to school to learn everything there was to know about the technical crafting of footwear, and everything has followed very naturally since then.
What’s unique about Laurence Dacade as a brand?
As a female designer, I want to spend as much time as possible with other women who inspire me and fuel my passion for creating the most beautiful and unique yet wearable footwear. I always try to put the emphasis on the construction, in order to ensure comfort to those that wear them. I am a believer that the shoe is not only an object made for walking, but it’s also an experimental tool of freedom.
Talk us through your latest collection – what are the inspirations behind it?
Summer 18 offers a glimpse into my creative world: poetic, rock, chic and sassy. The hallmarks of the house are littered throughout the collection: metallic buckles and studs, embroideries and organic materials, bows, jewels and appliqués. The SS18 collection features high heel espadrilles, mule moccasins, spartan boots and platform sandals that are dressed in cheerful reversible sequins, floral embroideries with a flutter of butterflies, metallic daisies, shiny mini dots and studs. The materials within this collection are made of soft satin, velvety suede, textured cotton and supple leather in colours inspired by my make-up palette, ranging from blush pink to sooty black and passing through carmine red, azure blue, optical white and iridescent gold!
Where do you go when you’re in need of inspiration?
I am lucky I get to travel so much, as I find my richest sources of inspiration are the cool and chic women I encounter locally on the streets of London, Paris and Berlin to further afield. For example, from my recent trip to Havana, Cuba I was inspired by the incredible colours of their sunsets, beautiful rich tones of purples, pinks and blues I hadn’t experienced before.
You’ve said “There’s no need to suffer for beauty” – do you think footwear and fashion in general is going in a more comfortable, practical direction?
I hope so, but I hope that this doesn’t mean we forgo beautiful and exciting design.
What’s the most outrageous pair of shoes you’ve ever designed?
The shoes I design for fashion shows are always the most outrageous. I can think of many, such as a shoe with a 30cm heel, a shoe with no heel, a gun for a heel, a ‘bubble’ heel, the list goes on…
Is there anyone you haven’t collaborated with yet that you’d like to?
Valentino, Fendi, Celine, Proenza Schouller… There is no ending to this list.
I love to meet new people and be a part of the magic that happens between clothes and shoes.
Are there any interesting trends in footwear we should be looking out for?
The comeback of colourful pointy shoes!
What can we expect from your next collection?
Very feminine lines, materials that are sensual to touch… High boots reminiscent of a leather trench, fringed boots, classic masculine military styles offset with feminine colours… A colour palette rich with tones of brick, wine and camel colours and feminine pink sequins on the most unexpected of styles.
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