March 11th, 2015
in coco. (Last updated: March 12th, 2016)
THE TWO-TONE SHOE

THE TWO-TONE SHOE

For this Fall-Winter 2015/16 Ready-to-Wear show, every model wore a beige shoe with a black toe, squared heel and revisited proportions: “It’s become the most modern of shoes and makes beautiful legs,” Karl Lagerfeld explained.

Mademoiselle called them pumps. "They are the final touch of elegance" she used to say. To perfect the silhouette that Gabrielle Chanel introduced to the world, it was necessary to create a shoe that went with any outfit, one that was elegant, could be worn morning to night, and was suited to the new lifestyle of women.
In 1957, Mademoiselle Chanel created the two-tone slingback shoe in beige and black. It created a highly graphic effect: the beige lengthened the leg while the black shortened the foot. Whereas shoes had previously been made in a single color that matched the color of one's clothing, Mademoiselle Chanel once again overturned the codes of fashion by pairing beige and black with all outfits. In her words, "You leave in the morning wearing beige and black, you have lunch in beige and black, and you attend a cocktail party wearing beige and black. You're dressed for the entire day!" Chanel's slingback shoe experienced instant success. It varied in style, offering versions with a straighter or thinner heel and a rounded, square or pointed toe. Mademoiselle Chanel improved its comfort with the help of Massaro (which has remained Chanel's custom shoe brand to this day) by adding an elastic strap. Located "just steps away from Rue Cambon," the Massaro workshop continues to create all of the footwear creations for Chanel's Haute Couture and Métiers d’Art collections. Starting with his very first collection, Karl Lagerfeld has channeled his talent to modernize this model. The two-tone shoe thus lends itself to a myriad of metamorphoses. In just one season, it may be transformed into a ballerina slipper, boot or sandal without losing any of its original spirit.

© Photo Philippe Garnier / Elle-Scoop