Style starts at the an­kle with a new crop of fun footwear – let your shoes lead your look.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - TREND RE­PORT WITH JOSIE STEEN­HART

The re­cent London and New York fash­ion weeks were a riot of pat­terns and colours. Some took it to a glo­ri­ous ex­treme; oth­ers played it cool with just a splash of bright or a pop of print. In­ter­na­tion­ally, fash­ion’s mood is dis­tinctly tak­ing a turn for the more play­ful and bold, and I think it’s time we fol­lowed suit.

I’m usu­ally a pretty plain dresser, but even I have found my­self scour­ing stores for flo­ral blouses and state­ment jack­ets that will still work with my favourite fail­safe jeans/black pants and white tee/ shirt com­bos.

I am also a firm be­liever in the power of the right pair of shoes, and their abil­ity to make (or break) an out­fit. If you’re stuck on what to wear, start with your shoes and rest will fol­low.

So why not have some fun with our footwear while style’s in such a good mood? Based on what the fash­ion week set were wear­ing on the streets of NYC and London, I think a state­ment an­kle boot is the best bet for right now. They’re all about au­tumn and we’re see­ing in spring, but it’s th­ese trans-sea­sons where our sar­to­rial choices can most hap­pily align – and the an­kle boot is one of the great all-rounders.

They’re com­fort­able, sta­ble, an­kle-slim­ming if cut right, and also of­fer a larger sur­face area, so can act as the per­fect can­vas for show­cas­ing some­thing a bit less or­di­nary. Top New Zealand stylist Kylie Cooke is an­other fan. “I think the ap­peal of the state­ment an­kle boot is that, like any good ac­ces­sory, they can ei­ther el­e­vate a sim­ple look by adding a bit of flavour or they can com­ple­ment a bold, con­trast­ing com­bi­na­tion. And this gives them wide ap­peal to all tastes,” says Cooke.

It’s a small (but still pow­er­ful) state­ment, so don’t get too bogged down by try­ing to find the ul­ti­mate pair. Pick a block colour that ap­peals (I’m par­tic­u­larly drawn to li­lac, marigold, bright red and metal­lic pink); go tac­tile with a chic fab­ri­ca­tion such as em­broi­dery or jacquard; or push the boat out with a strik­ing print – polka dots, stripes, flo­rals, geo­met­rics, pais­ley – even slo­gans if you’re feel­ing re­ally dar­ing. Any­thing goes.

If your wal­let al­lows, start build­ing a col­lec­tion of eye-catch­ing op­tions, and en­joy let­ting your mood choose your shoes.

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