A Lighter Shade of Pale

According to the color specialists at the Pantone Color Institute, the year 2012 will be all about reddish citrus hues. The official color of the year is “Tangerine Tango” which, as the experts say, is meant to “provide the energy boost (you) need to recharge and move forward.”

However, it seems like the ladies have an even better idea and turned to softer hues instead to spruce up their outfits. Bold colors may be the crowd favorite during the previous years but designers have eventually come to embrace the subtle appeal of pastels. Pale-colored pieces, from tops to accessories, have effortlessly become the recent fad among the chic crowd. The reason? Well, there are a couple of them. For starters, the pastel palette gives an undeniable freshness to practically anything. It’s clean and the appeal is subtle—it doesn’t come on strong or harsh. Secondly, it’s fun. Don’t pastel colors remind you of cotton candy and all the cute knickknacks at a fair? Lastly, it’s outright feminine. (No explanation needed there.)

It’s not so hard to find these light and bright items as plenty of designers have included a handful in their recent collections. To name a few, there’s Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Guiseppe Zanotti, Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Stuart Weitzman, Chloé, Sergio Rossi, Jessica Simpson and Nine West.  Here is a list of shoes that defines ‘eye-candy’ at best.

Capsize by Stuart Weitzman

The cap-toe fever has not quite waned apparently as Stuart Weitzman incorporated this trend in his Spring 2012 collection. Interestingly, the label was successful in mixing contrasting elements like metallics and pastels.
As aptly stated in their e-commerce site, the Capsize is “a seductive twist on the traditional Mary Jane”. The patent leather of Weitzman’s creation glistens as much as its silver toe caps. In true Mary Jane fashion, the Capsize comes with a slim, adjustable buckle ankle strap. The heels, however, get a twist as they measure a towering 4 inches in height and are noticeably thick.

The Capsize is available in 3 color variations, two of which are pastels:  green and pink.

Ingenue by Yves Saint Laurent

Speaking of toe caps, Yves Saint Laurent has also adorned their Spring 2012 collection with the hottest accents of the season. You can just imagine how eyes sparkled at fashion shows as models came out one by one on the runway, each walking in a pair of shoes with shiny brass adornments either on the vamp or the toes. It looks like the French brand has made a complete detour from the usual floral and/or fun prints and bright colors that fill most spring collections to the brim. Instead, they opted for both deeper and pale palettes and bits of brocade.

The Ingenue pumps are made of suede leather upper that are exquisitely soft. They’re sure to draw more attention to your toes as its mirrored brass toe cap shimmers beautifully. The Ingenue has slim double ankle straps with an adjustable buckle, but if you’re feeling lazy and you just want something you can slip into, you can remove the straps and wear them as slingbacks. Either way, you’d still look as foxy in these heels.

Patent platform sandals by Christian Dior

It used to be that accents and any shoe adornments were affixed only on the vamp, toe and ankle. But today, designers have learned to defy standards and began focusing lovely details on the rear end. Yeah, that’s right. THE HEELS! As you can observe in this elegant creation by Christian Dior, only the heels are embellished while the rest are completely naked. However, that seemingly minute detail makes all the difference and triples (or increases by a hundred fold) the very aesthetic value of the shoes.

The heel embellishment is actually a metallic rendition of Christian Dior’s trademark ‘Cannage’ pattern. Showcasing a patent leather upper, these crisscross sandals are anchored on slightly thick heels that measure a staggering 5.11 inches! This doll is definitely not something you would wear on casual days (unless you’re Kim Kardashian), but rather on dressy evenings.

Patent pumps by Guiseppe Zanotti

Platform pumps may have stolen the spotlight from the regular ones, but with Guiseppe Zanotti, NOTHING is regular, even for the classic high-heeled pumps. Like the rest of his Spring 2012 collection, these almond toe, patent shoes are bathed in the most attractive of colors, from loud neon hues to pale and tame swatches.
The beauty of these standard pumps lies in their versatility. You can just pair it with pencil skirts for a corporate look or with denim jeans on casual days. Whatever look you are aiming for, you can count on these shoes to add a certain oomph.

Mary Jane pumps by Dolce & Gabbana

When these heels debuted on the runway, fashion critics and the like were all but mesmerized. And it reached an even wider audience when it made its way to Elle UK March 2012 issue with British supermodel Alexa Chung as cover girl. With her affinity for preppy outfits, these Mary Jane pumps couldn’t be any more suitable to finish the look.
For the label’s Spring 2012 collection, Dolce & Gabbana added a twist to the timeless Mary Janes and incorporated PVC in the shoe design. The PVC trend is pretty viral among top designers, much to the delight of the ladies.

Leather mules by Miu Miu

When it comes to saving the best for last, you can count on Miuccia Prada to deliver with flying colors—in this case, the lighter swatches. Miu Miu was the last label to take the runway for the Spring 2012 collection but they certainly didn’t disappoint. The brand unveiled pieces that were, to say the least, elaborate.

Some of the highlights of the collection were the lovely mules, which have emerged as a staple of the season. While other labels such as Louis Vuitton came out with metallic pointed toes, Miu Miu went for floral appliqués, satin and even velvet. The seemingly retro heels are interestingly curved, as if in an effort to maintain the label’s notoriety for quirky fashion pieces.

Top Shoe by Nine West

Basing on how often it has been featured in various magazines such as Seventeen and Marie Claire, there was practically no need to ask why this design is filed under the “Editors’ Picks” category on Nine West’s e-commerce site. The Top Shoe is, in every aspect, on top.

For one, the structure is just superb. The heels are thick enough for a sturdy support and they’re high enough (4.5 inches to be exact) to help you stand tall, literally. Secondly, the design of these Mary Jane peep toe pumps is simple and fuss-free, thereby making the pair a versatile piece in your closet. And last but certainly not the least, the Top Shoe comes in four pastel swatches namely ‘blue sky’, ‘pink grapefruit’, ‘honeydew’, and ‘egg shell’ which is well contrasted by its yellow heel. All colors would make for a great collection.

Miladys by Sergio Rossi

Okay. So they’re not exactly the lightest of all pinks but in fairness to the gorgeous Miladys, they could really pass for pastel-colored shoes.  These pale pink sandals are absolute stunners! Covered in smooth satin, they’re the type of shoes you would want to sashay on a red carpet or with a dazzling dress.

The Miladys take on a rather minimalist design, with closed toes and an ankle wrap, but as the cliché goes, simplicity IS beauty.

Platform wedge sandals by Chloé

The items on the list may have so far driven you to let out enough oohs and ahhs, but you haven’t seen anything yet until you check out these wedges by Chloé. Not that the previously mentioned designs weren’t astounding but when you talk about pastel swatches, this design takes the crown. Why? COLOR BLOCKING. There’s not only one pastel color here but two: yellow and pink. And you know how they say that two is always better than one.

The leather upper is made of suede, which seems to be the unofficial material of choice in most charming pastel-hued fashion pieces. As soothing as these shoes are to the eyes, they would go well with an equally eye-soothing light-colored dress in chiffon or cotton.

Scarletta by Jessica Simpson

To complete the list, here is one of the many coveted creations by Jessica Simpson: the Scarletta. The name may be a bit misleading (you’d think the shoes are painted red) but it’s a minor detail you can easily shrug off once you lay your eyes on them. These pumps are just electrifying! Color blocking is perfectly executed on both the heels and platform as a “colorful twist”.

A peculiar but nonetheless cute detail of the Scarletta is the cut-out at the rear ankle with a stretchy string. Its function wasn’t really clarified but really, who wants to find out about one tiny accent when you can just relish the shoe in all its glory?

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