It’s all about black-out style with these cool­girl bar­gain finds.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Fashion Flash Luxe For Less - Pho­tog­ra­phy Na­dia von Scotti at One League Cre­ative Man­age­ment Junior fash­ion editor Mandy Nash Fash­ion work ex­pe­ri­ence Akim Jar­dine

State­ment jew­ellery in­stantly switches up an out­fit. For strong ac­cents, add an arm­ful of bracelets, a hand­ful of stack­able rings and a layer of chain neck­laces.

It’s hard to re­mem­ber the assem­bly-line ver­sions of the ’80s, be­cause sneak­ers have re-en­tered our world so thor­oughly that it’s as if they in­tended to re­write his­tory and erase all of the bad mem­o­ries.

The rev­o­lu­tion was per­haps made of­fi­cial when Karl Lager­feld sent cou­ture sneak­ers down the run­way for the sec­ond time in his au­tumn 2014 Chanel su­per­mar­ket show, and Phoebe Philo walked Cé­line’s fi­nale in adi­das Stan Smiths. Now, not a sin­gle per­son bats an eye at sneak­ers at a fash­ion show, whether on the run­way or the feet of an editor. And they don’t seem to be go­ing any­where any­time soon.

How did these hum­ble kicks get here in the first place, though? Sneak­ers have al­ways had a foothold in the mu­sic in­dus­try: Con­verse and Vans for the punks and rock­ers, Nike Air Force 1s and Jor­dans for the hip-hop crew. Sneak­ers are im­por­tant sym­bols of money, sta­tus and style, and with the lines be­tween in­dus­tries more blurred than ever – Kanye West isn’t only a rap­per, he’s a de­signer, too – fash­ion’s cap­i­tal­is­ing on trends via pop cul­ture and street style like never be­fore.

En­ter the sneak­er­head

Queues out­side chain stores curl around city blocks when a sneaker de­buts – and even erupt in vi­o­lence, so fe­ro­cious is the de­sire to slip on the cov­eted shoe. But what’s the big deal?

“Sneak­ers were orig­i­nally de­signed for sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, so the de­sign of these items took on char­ac­ter­is­tics and a lan­guage of their own not pre­vi­ously seen in footwear,” ex­plains Tull Price, co-founder of Feit, a New York-based Aus­tralian sneaker and shoe line. “In sneak­ers, there’s a con­tin­u­ing evo­lu­tion of de­sign that makes these prod­ucts in­ter­est­ing to the eye.” Tull also cites their link to as­pi­ra­tional sports cul­ture and the cy­cle of re­leases as big driv­ers of sneak­ers’ col­lectible qual­ity.

Crea­ture com­forts

And while sneak­ers of­ten de­mand ex­or­bi­tant prices – con­sider Yeezy Boost 350 sneak­ers, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Kanye West and adi­das, which re­tail for as much as R2 999 (shelflife.co.za) and are vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to buy – they are typ­i­cally less ex­pen­sive than the dressier equiv­a­lent of de­signer heels, and are far more com­fort­able and prac­ti­cal.

This sub­mis­sion to the prac­ti­cal is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing. We’ve long been taught that we were sup­posed to sac­ri­fice com­fort for style, but that’s just not the case any longer. When Is­abel Marant de­buted her wedge sneak­ers, she al­lowed fash­ion girls who cared about height to get there in a more com­fort­able way. And along with her no­table re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Birken­stocks, Phoebe Philo made slip-ons chic with a reimag­in­ing of Vans back in 2012.

De­signer up­grades

Per­haps paired with our re­cent de­vo­tion to more nu­tri­tious food, it’s nat­u­ral that we would be­gin to make more healthy choices in fash­ion, too. Sneak­ers are like green juice for your feet. Look around and you are likely to spot at least one pair of adi­das Stan Smiths. As with bet­ter food, the de­signer up­grades are five times the price of the orig­i­nal, but it seems like a wor­thy in­vest­ment; the adi­das by Raf Si­mons reimag­in­ings of Stan Smiths are made of real leather, with im­pres­sive at­ten­tion to de­tail, and they come in con­vert­ible colours.

From Chanel’s iconic tweed to Alexan­der Wang’s sneaker-in­spired mesh heels, ma­te­rial mat­ters when it comes to sep­a­rat­ing a run-of-the-mill trainer from the de­signer ver­sion. And thanks to mod­els like Gigi Ha­did for keep­ing sneak­ers in style, we all want to rock a new pair every day. We now see what’s been known for a long time: sneak­ers are re­ally com­fort­able.

“sneak­ers took on a lan­guage of their own not pre­vi­ously seen in footwear.”

Polo neck Pick n Pay Cloth­ing R90; dress R279 and gloves R279 both Cot­ton On; neck­lace Top­shop R329; cuff ALDO R149; rings Lo­visa R190 (for pack of 12); sneak­ers Top­shop R559

RIGHT Parka R499 and boots R600 both Cot­ton On; faux-fur gilet Mr Price R270; crop top For­ever 21 R500; jeans Jet R200; choker Ac­ces­sorize R60; ban­gles Po­etry R150 (for pack of three); brooch Ghost Goods at Present Space R100; rings Lo­visa R190 (for pack

ABOVE Jacket R360 and shorts R300 both Le­git; polo neck Pick n Pay Cloth­ing R90; neck­lace Po­etry R175; sneak­ers Mr Price R150

Faux-fur coat Ba­bette R380; top Le­git R130; skirt Mr Price R80; black choker R60 and gold choker R170 both Ac­ces­sorize; solid gold chain Wool­worths R100; twisted gold chain Co­lette by Co­lette Hay­man R220; brooch Glit­terati R250; rings Lo­visa R190 (for pac

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