You always know when spring is in the air because it starts with the changing of the footwear. Women forego their boots and closed-toe styles for strappy, sandals, chunky wedges and peep-toe cutouts to show off their freshly painted pedicures. So needless to say, it’s essential to stock up on new spring shoes every year (or, at least we think so!) That’s why we were thrilled to attend the Spring Shopping Night with she designer Jean-Michel Cazabat and his resident style guru for the night, Stacy London from What Not To Wear. Cazabat had opened up his West Village boutique for shoppers and guests to get to know the fabulous Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
If you’ve ever seen the show in its impressive seven seasons — and let’s face it, who hasn’t — then you know London is no nonsense when it comes to her style picks. She’ll never steer you wrong when it comes to fashion. And on this particular occasion, London took stock of the typical concerns of purchasing footwear, such as comfort and budget, and compiled her own standout selection of statement looks. Luckily for me, I got to talk to her all about them.
SCS: What can you tell me about your personal picks from the Jean-Michel Cazabat Spring/Summer 2012 collection?
SL: The great thing about working with a designer like Jean-Michel, and I’ve been a huge fan of his for so long, is that he understands exactly what a trend is all year long. He does six collections a year and it goes without saying that comfort is a top priority of his. I should know, I wear them for 20 hours a day! So what went into choosing my picks was really, what’s going on in terms of fashion for this season. The color-blocking for example, is huge this season. As is the neon and the animal prints.
It’s really fun for me because shoes are a way to really buy into a trend without having to buy an entire outfit that is the trend. So, color-blocking is important, also the snake skin pattern adds texture to an outfit and the suede t-straps (that Stacy herself was wearing) is very art deco to me, which is also a very big trend of the season. But even cooler, when I talked to Jean-Michel about these (the Octavia, below) he told me that they were actually inspired by the Masai tribe. While I thought they were very deco, they also cater to the kind of global traveling trend that’s big right now.
SCS: What other trends can you see translated from the runway to the collection?
SL: Anything that has this kind of geometric print is very on trend with the season. Also, love the bright-colored pumps. Love the nude with neon. And I’m nuts about the silver and the nude cork shoe. The nude patent and the silver feel so modern and fresh to me. Just with jeans! And you can dress them all up or down. The colored snake is surprisingly versatile because you can wear it with a suit, really any color like black, navy or gray, but also keep them on for cocktail hour! They are just an essential part of a grounded and holistic outfit.
SCS: So what else have you been working on lately?
SL: Whew, quite a lot! We finished shooting season 9 of What Not To Wear. I just finished the manuscript of my book it comes out October 2 through Viking Publishing and its called, “The Truth About Style.” Style For Hire, the company that I co-founded, which is a network of personal stylists for real people at affordable prices, goes national in mid-April. And my jewlery collection is coming out soon as well! Also, I’m going to be producing a new show for TLC about a plus-sized company run by a plus-sized woman who got sick of plus size clothes who weren’t pretty and really just wanted to do something about it. She reminds of the most proactive type of change in the fashion industry, someone like Diane von Furstenberg, and it was really an incredible journey to work with her in such a major market. So keep an eye out for that!
With so much on her plate we were even more grateful that style guru Stacy London took the time to talk shoes with us at Jean-Michel Cazabat party. Thank you so much to Stacy London and Jean-Michel Cazabat for allowing us to celebrate spring with them! And check out all of Stacy’s picks, and the full Spring/Summer 2012 collection, at jeanmichelcazabat.com!