I didn’t think I’d ever have occasional to use the phrase “casual lucite” in either my personal or professional life, but that tends to be how shoe trends work. Just when you think something will never exist, an enterprising designer goes and creates it. In this case, two enterprising designers had the same idea, and the Chloe Patent Leather Toe Pumps and Vena Cava Lucite Heel Pumps both came to be at exactly the same time (but at significantly different price points).
I find myself particularly intrigued by the Chloe pair, which hits an important Fall 2011 trend a season early by incorporating a slim ankle strap into the sleek, minimal design. I could see these shoes incorporated into outfits that are both very sophisticated and quite casual, and with the neutral color palette (I suppose that clear is the ultimate neutral), they’re an expert twist on a wardrobe staple.
The Vena Cava pair also a philosophically interesting design for much the same reason as the Chloe shoes; the pair desexualizes the stripper-referencing lucite heel by making it both thicker and lower and then attaching it to a very conservative pump, this time with a healthy dose of weathering to contrast with the stark modernity heel. I’m less sure that I would wear this shoe, but at less than half the price of the Chloe alternative, it will likely prove a welcome respite from the premier designer price tag for some people.