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Sole magic

Footwear for women was never so varied and chic. A dekko at the stores in the twin cities

Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world— Bette Middler.

ANTIQUE ZARDOSI, beadwork, a generous sprinkle of Swarowski crystals, cowries, fluffy tufts and more on cotton-lycra, denim and leather uppers — this is a sample of what the uptown footwear stores have to offer in women's wear segment. Gone are the days of black basic sandals and one odd golden stiletto in the shoe rack. Today is the era of shoes galore — one for every occasion. Going to work? You have footwear in new buck and leather, in black, tan and red, with comfortable block or wedge heels. Come college times, platforms are the best bet or maybe a pair of sporty mules or then a branded Lee Cooper. For a soiree there are delicate pink sandals or those Roman tie-ups, and a cool pair of boots for the gigs. One can also find summery beach party dos in jute with a dash of flower power in foot wear stores in town. Well, the season's forecast makes its way into the shoe biz, one finds.

"Breathable footwear in lighter shades such as peach and with floral motifs, a line that spells summer ness is what we have lined up for the season. We have a team of designers who look into international forecast for the season and bring out the season-specific line," says Siddhartha of Revolutions, Prasad's IMAX. Footwear in sea green, pink and refreshing blue, adorn the softly lit niches here.

Apart from pastels and flowers, the footwear designs are also based on the wedding spurt that Indian summers bring. Come summer, a plethora of sandals to go with trousseau, in maroon, red, yellow and green, embellished with stones and zari, is available that you could,, maybe pick up on the way to the shaadi!

"People do not like jazzy party shoes any more. They would rather like an antique work. Also, instead of mojris many people are opting for pointed toe shoes with a jooti look," says Silas Paul, Customer Care Executive & Retail Manager, The Loft.

"The hand embroidered ethnic party shoes with matching purses are sought after. Also people can mix and match the footwear with purses," says Ibrahim of Citywalk Shoes, Road No.1, Banjara Hills.

Acrylic heels are in so are stilettos that have come back with a vengeance but in their metal avatars. Preferred heels are between 3" and 5" options. "We also have takers for the 8" party sandals — we have sold 20 pairs already," says Ali of Mochi, Begumpet.

The list seems endless and there are takers.

"I do buy footwear often. I look for simple yet trendy lines," says Richa, a student of MGIT.

The buying behaviour is another reason that is fuelling the women's footwear scene in the twin cities observe store officials. "Women come at least twice in 45 days to check the new stock and tend to buy two pairs at a go," says Paul. "Khareed rai bolke aaraien (new stores are coming into the foray since people are buying) sums Niyamat Ali of Soles, Nagarjuna Circle, Banjara Hills.

And you thought that it was only couture that was haute in town!

* * *

What's in:

Pastel shades and floral motifs are haute this summer

Preferred styles are Roman tie-ups, mules and pointed toe jootis

Metal stilettos, acrylic and block heels are back

Swarowski, beaten silver and zardosi are in vogue

Look for leather, cotton-lycra, jute and new buck


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