Charlotte Olympia is one of those labels I love to look at, but I wouldn’t normally want to buy. Her designs are undoubtedly stunning – so clever in their conception and so fun. They are shoes with a sense of humour, which is something I love, because I don’t think fashion should be taken too seriously. Who doesn’t like looking at shoes with kitten faces on them, or mini statuettes built into the heel?! They’re the kind of shoes that you can spot in an instant and know they must have been designed by Charlotte, but they aren’t shoes you see out and about in real life that often, because, well, they’re just a bit too ‘out there’ for most people, myself included. I have often found myself having a look through her latest collections wishing I could own pair just to display in my home, like art, but it isn’t often I can picture myself trotting down the highstreet in her wacky creations.
This collection, though, is different. Originally launched back in 2015 – why on earth have I only just realised they exist I ask myself – the Around The World Collection features nine intricately designed T Bar sandals, each inspired by the cities in which her stores are based. All the humour and whimsy is there – there are flamingoes, showgirls with feather head dresses, The Statue of Liberty and tiny cheerleaders complete with pom poms! But they are also still incredibly elegant and stylish. Despite the fact they have characters on them and bright, gaudy colourways, I could see myself wearing most of these, thanks to the classic shape of the shoe and the cleverness of the designs. I think my favourites are probably the Thai T-Bars – a gorgeous combination of purple satin and gold brocade (and yes, probably the most conservative of the lot – I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to whimsy after all!) but I’m also quite enamoured with the Mae Wests, a dazzling creation in gold and blush satin, with Mae integrated so subtly so would have to look twice to realise she was there. The patriot in me really would like to own the London Calling shoes though. Those tiny lady Queen’s Guard soldiers are just adorable!
Which ones are your favourites?