On the autumn/winter 2012-13 catwalks they came in every which way and were highly worked: Filigree cages wrapped stiletto heels at Ralph Lauren; Seventies wood vinyl prints came into play at Rochas; layers of coloured sand filled hollow Perspex heels at Rodate; while models were teetering around on icy stalagmites at Chanel. In contrast to the bright tweed boots, Nicholas Kirkwood incarnated his in Constructivist style for the designer – bolting on Perspex blocks with screws deliberately left on show.
Elsewhere, Missoni took the signature house zig-zag and embroidered it on to Toblerone-shaped heels and then overlaid them with triangular-shaped studs. Yves Saint Laurent crafted shards of metallic green, gold and silver plastic into conical mirrored shards, while Consuelo Castiglioni played on contrast at Marni, lacquering heels in scarlet or gold to contrast with her shoes.
The fascination with decorative heels travelled off the catwalk too – with designers including Rupert Sanderson, Pierre Hardy, Stuart Weitzman, Aperlai and new-comer Joanne Stoker all getting intricate. The latter was inspired by the towering columns and stain glass windows of ancient temples spotted on her travels and created a gold-leaf- effect resin that she inlaid into heels for her velvet platforms.
As they say, the devil is in the detail – what a fabulous way to uplift a pair of scruffy jeans or a simple outfit.