Fashion / Style File

Mismatched Shoes are Now a Legit Fashion Statement

Was Sean Spicer Just Ahead of the Trend?

BY Ashley Coley // 06.13.17

Wearing two different shoes in public typically signposts an extreme disdain for social norms. It used to largely mean only two things — you’re in the middle of a mental breakdown or your house was burning down and you grabbed whatever you could.

But now it just means you’re fashionable.

The latest shoe trend made its debut on the Paris Fashion Week catwalk at the Celine show in September, when the brand’s mastermind of all things cool and awry, creative director Phoebe Philo, sent models down the runway wearing mismatched shoes. The look later got coined “odd shoes.” It was simultaneously bold and understated, the kind of well-thought-out styling trick that Philo’s following goes wild for. And, like many of her recent fashion influences (making trainers chic again) it is one that is easily replicated.

Street style influencers are embracing this trend from the runway to real life. Fashion blogger, Aimee Song can be seen wearing “odd shoes” in one of her most recent Instagram posts. Soccer icon David Beckham’s oldest son Brooklyn wore one black Converse sneaker and one white Converse sneaker to the Alexander Wang show at New York Fashion Week and even White House press secretary Sean Spicer was spotted wearing one black loafer and one brown loafer at a press conference.

In nature, there’s a marvel called shifting asymmetry, defined as “small deviations from perfect symmetry.” It affects the way we categorize beauty, and sadly natural selection favors the balanced. Is it too much of a stretch to relate this philosophy to shoes?

Imbalance has long been customary in the fashion industry, especially in some of the Fall 2017 collections. Take the lopsided coats at Balenciaga or the unbalanced lapels at Stella McCartney for instance.

So are the asymmetrical shoes for Fall breaking from the orthodox idea of beauty? Maybe. Or by introducing slight non-conformist footwear are designers actually tapping into some of our most instinctive predilections? Is the fashion du jour becoming a method of protest that goes right down to the stiletto?

Or is it, at the end of the day, fashion just being fashion, ever in quest of the next unusual idea?

Better ask the shoes.

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