With an injection of sporty elements, brogues get a makeover

Years can alter meaning and context. Brogues — which are said to have originated in Scotland and Ireland as a form of outdoor shoes — have, over the years, acquired formal, gentlemanly elegance. These are shoes for men, not boys. With a conspicuous return to the classics and Savile Row tailoring, brogues have been, naturally, walking more streets. While amidst the pointy heels, court shoes, steel-capped stilettos, wedge heels, platforms, kitten heels, peep-toes and booties, there cannot be much of a standard silhouette for elegant women’s footwear, brogues have, forever, epitomised that for men. Only, this time sportswear elements have lent a dash of playfulness to what, unfortunately for many, has bordered more on the frumpy than fun.

It’s the season of the power brogues (somewhat akin to the power platform in women’s shoes). While Hermes saw orange shoelaces on high-top versions, Bill Gaytten at John Galliano used neon versions to inject colour in a clothing line that came in neutral colours. The twins at DSquared2 made brogues walk with this season’s cropped trousers, while Oliver Spencer at “London Collections: Men” saw suede versions in cobalt and MAN saw two-toned versions in which you could walk your dog. And at the ongoing fashion week in New York, women’s wear designer Timo Weiland put out some covetable metallic versions with block heels, while Kenneth Cole stripped it down to the classics.