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The `chappal' charm

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ALLURING Choices aplenty
ALLURING Choices aplenty

With flamboyant designs introduced, it is a colourful time to grab that perfect pair for your feet, says A. SHRIKUMAR

Fashion is fickle, yet certain trends go bythe gong. The finishing touch to any ensembleis added by that apt pair of footwear.It prettifies and completesclothing.

This season, footwear has ushered in multipleoptions from the sky high heels to theflattering flats that can be your `big buys'. So, ifyou are on the hang to get high on style, thewait is over! The shoe-scene this time round ishighly comfort-centric, with more simple andsubtle designs over the otherwise highly stylizedforms that perhaps hindered convenience.

"Footwear has gained much fascinationamong the fashion freaks and has become anintegral part of one's wardrobe. We have madegood sales and Madurai is definitely a potentialmarket, with change-grabbing people," gushes,Mr. Gopinath, Store Manager at Mochi, Milan'emmall.

Though the classics like `stilettos' are still onsizzle as women's evening wear, `Flat' is big infashion with the high-rises and pencil heelstaking a rear seat. Sandals are hot haps for bothmen and women apart from the relaxed flipflops in intense hues and funky designs. On aparallel note, simple styles like rope slippersand woven cane sandals are also in.

As far as heels are concerned, glamour is thekey with lustrous metallic colours that gel wellwith any outfit, while everyday wear turnsmore rustic, sporting crude textures in earthycolours.

Playfully perfect

The range for men is heavily masculine, withwell-chiseled and edgy designs. Heeled bootsin dark tans and dull browns shoot off a strictlook. The long nosed, metal studded boots withchains add drama to party wear. Some of thesecome with straps overlapped and buckled inglossy leather with zip-neck and high-heel asadd ons.

"Since, this is the wedding season, the `Mappillaishoes' like the ornate jutties with curvedtips and traditional cuts, are finding amplefavour. Party shoes are also moving fast, aspeople prefer these types for receptions andpost wedding get-togethers," shares Gopinath.

Duck-bills and suede leather-cow boy shoesremain in casuals, yet the crinkled look flavoredwith darts and paneling may add interest.The other best buy this season is thekolhapuri look alike. rough textured andelaborately sharp cut soles in modish tints.

"The handmade colourful sneakers in lucentplush colors are a boredom-break fromthe all time black and brown men shoes. Itmakes a rare variety to wear with denims,"feels, Vincent, a BE student.

Exclusive collections for the season are flatsoles that accent a modest brilliance! Theembossed leather straps and subdued huesare humble yet bestow a stunning grandeurwith balancing panel tucks and studs. Theyrender a bucolic Indian feel and may impartan eclectic combo with kurta-denim.

"The work wear lair is mainly of thetraditional leather ones with lace but thistime with new-age touch like Velcro substitutesto ease use. The trendy entrant is theleather knit shoes with bold stitches on rusticbrown and military green. Shock absorptionand arch support are incorporated to facilitatecomfort," explains, Vignesh, sales man atMochi.

"These are a nice blend of formal featuresand casual colors adding an air of majesty.Moreover, they are soft on foot and cause lessshoe-bite," observes, Nirmal, an MNC worker.The cult collection is highly path-breakingin its raucous finish and fibre sole, which areyouth preferred. The collection also includessporty ones in crazily bright retro designswith abrasion resistant features.

Men's wear includes brands like J.Fontini,Floreshelm and other in house brands. Theprice range is from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 10,000.

Women might enjoy a stark change for notto wear that necessarily sleek and femininelyloud designs. The collection is well put together,with a blend of simple work wear andthe heavily embellished wedding wear, whichagain shouts feminine grace!

"In Madurai, women have been the forerunnersin taking up fashionable footwear. Asthe options for women are more luring, theyare our main target. We got immense responsewithin a week," reflects, Vignesh.

The limelight designs are of a wide rangethis summer. Platforms, six-inch heels andwedges find shelve space, but only as partywears. Peep toes in wedges are the exclusiveparty design. Shoes in animated hues such ashot pink, gold, turquoise are new. Or you canelevate your esteem, with the square ortrapezoid heel -stilettos in glossy leather.Plump crocs, pumps and flat flip flops mightend your summer search.

"Nowadays, mix-match is trendy and alsocomes handy in making up your own statement,unlike the outdated way of havingmatching footwear with your outfits. This is astrict no for the fashion conscious!" opines,Ms. Kamala, a beautician.

"Juttis turned into slip-ons come in variousdesigns, patterns and bright colours and aretrendy blend of traditional and modern look.Back open beaded slippers have become acraze, as they go well with the Madurai modeof strictly salwar-kameez. Increasingly, wesee young age women going for similar stuff,"says, the store keeper at `Foot prints', on NewNatham Road. The sensuous slip-ons andgirlie ballerinas in satin talk of subtle-sophistication.

The mystic purple and bright orangeadd tempt. "They are certainly lively andsmart, with the carelessly knotted bow or theelaborately done rose on the toe. attentiongrabbing and it can make me stand out," chipsin, Preeti, a B.Sc. student.

Comfort heels with bold straps come innature-inspired forms and prints. Anklestraps are very big this season whether it is onflats, wedges (platforms) or on stilettos. Hybridizeddesigns in psychedelic prints andkitschy colors are out even for office, lendinga graphic carnival mood.

Women's wear starts from Rs. 1,250 to Rs.3,000. Work wear and casuals are availablefor Rs. 599 onwards.Wedding wearThe wedding collection in all its richnesswould surely cast its spell on you. The Indianbeaded jutti is back in its charm to complete atraditional trousseau. Some exquisite varietiesare decked up with zari or gold embroiderywork and phulkari. The designer juttispose heavy surface embellishments of semipreciousstones and some with heavy threadwork in its imposing intricacy. The otheroption is the mughal inspired chunky moijiriwith contemporary intakes. They are crystalstudded and golden strapped to perfectly suitthe splendor of marriage.

Footwear adds flavour to fashion and withdesigns aplenty, this is a favorable time toshop. You can feed your inner fashionistawith the crafty-looking glossy-girlie stuff, gethigh on heels or pamper your feet with a pairof pumps. If you follow the Madurai modesty,then the traditional options might serve you.

So, join the latest fashion trend troupe andadd a new pair of `fanciful chappals' to yourshoe-rack!

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