Summer Fashion for the Sandal Averse

Closed-Toe Pumps for Summer; Steven Alan’s 20th Anniversary Collection; Flatforms Miniaturize Runway Looks and More Shopping News

Summertime footwear can be extreme: too-high strappy sandals that are simply painful; or, on the trendier front, all of those Birkenstocks and Teva styles. And maybe you’re just not a woman who is crazy about showing off her feet. In the face of all that, demure closed-toe pumps are now looking right, and nicely refined, for the office and for evening hours. At the recent CFDA awards, Marion Cotillard, left, glorious as always, wore a Dior pair with her haute couture dress. Few of us will be wearing couture, but we can pull off the elegant statement with any of these closed-toe options and, perhaps, a pencil skirt and mannish button-down or a smart cocktail dress.



Rupert Sanderson closed-toe pumps, $765 at; Nicholas Kirkwood ankle-strap pumps, $620 at Nicholas Kirkwood, 807 Washington Street, 646-559-5239; Giorgio Armani leather sling-back pumps, $650 at Saks Fifth Avenue,


It All Started in SoHo



In 1994, when Steven Alan opened his first store, a SoHo destination you’d visit for hard-to-find designers, he didn’t have a grand vision for his company. “I knew I wanted to be able to sell lots of stuff: women’s, men’s, kids’, accessories,” he said. Emerging designers gained exposure in the shop and Mr. Alan started wholesaling the labels, selling to like-minded stores across the country. In 1999 he introduced his own no-fuss ready-to-wear line with his now-signature reverse seam button-down shirts. Now, with 32 stores across the United States and a collection that is shown at New York Fashion Week, Mr. Alan is selling lots of stuff. That includes a capsule collection of special 20th-anniversary items, like this limited-edition men’s color-blocked pinstripe shirt, $168, and women’s shirtdress, $215.

Miniature, But in A Big Way


L. Michelle Reneau came up with the idea for Flatforms, two-dimensional fabric and paper sculptures inspired by runway looks, after seeing the Louis Vuitton spring 2012 show at which Marc Jacobs put his models on a carousel of prancing white horses, the girls in eyelet lace and layers of organza. “The show brought me back to the reason I wanted to work in fashion: the fantasy,” she said. Ms. Reneau, who has worked for Nylon magazine and the retailer Aritzia, asked her art director friend Kristin Eddington to collaborate on the project, and since then they’ve made intricate miniature versions of runway looks they deem to have a “wow factor.” For fall 2014, those include Flatforms inspired by Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Christian Dior and Rochas (left, $500), each a realistic interpretation and whimsical work of art. “If something is denim, I use denim,” Ms. Reneau said. “If something is spandex, I use spandex. I like to think that people notice the details, and it makes the hours spent applying crystals with tweezers worth it.” You’ll find her flatforms at

School’s Out For Rebels And Angels Both


Filles à Papa cotton T-shirt, $100, and racer-back stretch bikini, $250, at

Sarah and Carol Piron, the Belgian sister team behind the playfully hip label Filles à Papa, named their summer collection Too Cool for School, riffing on the divisive pull between the well-brought-up schoolgirl and her rebellious alter ago. Among their designs are too-cool sweatshirts with spring-break-flavored cocktails embroidered with crystals and a cute sequined hoodie. They made this slogan tee and sporty Tomboy swimsuit exclusively for Net-a-Porter — sort of collegiate, sort of irreverent.


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