DONNA WALLACE’S GUIDE
TO EXPRESSIVE SHOES

Words: Thea Bichard. Images: Max Barnett.
We invited British Vogue’s Fashion and Accessories Editor to curate this season’s personality-packed pairs.

DONNA WALLACE’S GUIDE TO EXPRESSIVE SHOES

Words: Thea Bichard. Images: Max Barnett.
We invited British Vogue’s Fashion and Accessories Editor to curate this season’s personality-packed pairs. Read on for her top picks, style tips and perspective on using shoes to express yourself. 

MEET DONNA

We sat down with the Vogue editor to hear about her lifelong love of accessories, the heels we’ll all be after this summer, and how the right shoes can win you friends.
You’ve curated our accessories guides for SS22 – first bags, and now shoes. What is it about accessories that led to you building a career as an accessories expert? 

I’m really interested in the small details. What seems very small and insignificant can have a big impact. Also, the user experience – often, when things would come into the fashion cupboard, I’d look at it like, okay, maybe it’d be better if it were two hues warmer, cooler, pinker, greyer. Or why is the strap that wide? Why is the strap that thin? I guess it fed into my nerdy tendencies a bit.

 

How would you describe your style? 

It’s based on feeling. I err towards a slightly more non-gendered way of dressing – not overtly, overly feminine cuts and styling. But equally, I think it’s all to be enjoyed and played around with.

 

Donna wears BALENCIAGA X CROCS - Madame heeled mules / SPORTMAX - Dorema coat / LOEWE - Blur midi dress (sold out) / DOMINIC JONES - Thorn stud earringsThorn stud earrings / BEA BONGIASCA - Foxy earring. Shoes, clockwise from top left: AMINA MUADDI - Ursina Glass courts, RENE CAOVILLA - Cleo heeled sandals (coming soon), Versace - Medusa Aevitas platform sandals, MACH & MACH - Double Bow heeled mules
Who inspires your style? Where do you look for inspiration? 

When I really think about it, I find someone like Solange inspiring in terms of her style. It makes the most literal sense to me – that in my head, this is how I dress. But generally, I think we’re all a bit magpie-ish in the way we pick up our style, the way we want to dress, and what resonates with us. 

 

When do you use shoes to express yourself? 

Sometimes, a shoe is going to make you friends. They’re a conversation starter. We all have those conversations in the bathroom – you’re primping and preening and like, “oh my gosh – those shoes, oh my gosh – that bag!” You’re besties by the end of the night, and that was because you bonded over a pair of shoes or a bag.

Group shoes shot, clockwise from top left: VERSACE - Medusa platform sandals, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN - Multitaski sandals, (coming soon), AMINA MUADDI - Ane Glass wedge courts,  CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN - O Marilyn 85 sandals (coming soon), GIANVITO ROSSI - Elle mules, JIMMY CHOO - Azia 110 sandals, AMINA MUADDI - Ursina Glass courts, MACH & MACH - Double Bow heeled mules. Bottom right shoes: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN - Multitaski sandals, (coming soon). Donna wears: RENE CAOVILLA - Cleo heeled sandals (coming soon) / BOTTEGA VENETA - shirt, trousers, Bolt earring / DOMINIC JONES - Thorn earring, Open ring / BEA BONGIASCA - Foxy earring
What’s getting you excited about shoes this season?

There are two different ways in which footwear is exciting at the moment. There’s how to reuse and upcycle footwear. And then there’s how glam is back. That’s super exciting for everyone – having had a few years of very practical footwear, there’s a return to prettiness and glamour. It’s OTT. It’s also part of that Noughties moment: the rhinestones, the glamour, the crystal. Doing the most is what’s really exciting about footwear right now.

Donna wears: RENE CAOVILLA - Cleo heeled sandals (coming soon) / BOTTEGA VENETA - shirttrousersBolt earring / DOMINIC JONES - Thorn earringOpen ring / BEA BONGIASCA - Foxy earring

DONNA’S 4 TIPS FOR FINDING
THE PERFECT SHOES THIS SEASON

When it came to selecting the expressive shoes for our shoot, Donna followed a few “mental markers”. Here, we break down her four-point checklist for finding shoes that are relevant right now and nod to what’s on the fashion horizon:

LEFT: AMINA MUADDI - Ane Glass wedge courts / Y/PROJECT - jeans (sold out) / BOTTEGA VENETA - jumper / DOMINIC JONES - Thorn silver earring, Open ring / BEA BONGIASCA - Foxy lilac earring, Flower Power green hoop earring. RIGHT: AMINA MUADDI - Ursina Glass Pumps / LOEWE - Blur midi dress (sold out) / MARNI - cardigan / DOMINIC JONES - Thorn large stud earringThorn small stud earring

1. COLOUR, COLOUR, COLOUR 

“Colour was really important,” Donna told us during our shoot. Hence, the hot-pink Versace platforms, emerald-green Christian Louboutin slingbacks, Rene Caovilla’s orange sandals, and tomato-red at Amina Muaddi. There’s no single shade ruling this season – but the bolder, the better.

2. SEEK OUT A STRIKING SHAPE

“The wedge style feels as though it’s coming through as a shape and a style,” Donna said. “I did a Mary Jane element as well because I feel like that’s also really having its time.”

3. THROW IT BACK TO THE NOUGHTIES 

The Noughties revival is influencing everything from mini skirts to maximalist platforms and what Donna playfully described as “that whole clear, colourful, juicy Perspex moment” (see Amina Muaddi’s see-through wedges). “I wanted a nod to the Noughties, when it really was about OTT shoes, and crystal and colour, and there was no such thing as too much.

4. IF YOU LOVE THEM, GO FOR IT 

Sometimes, a pair of shoes instantly grabs your attention. For Donna, it was the latest designer Crocs collaboration. As she put it, “The Balenciaga – I felt like it was rude not to. What can I say? It needed to be done.”

Feeling inspired?

Shop our new-season womenswear collections, as they land 

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