You might not think of Louis Vuitton as a shoe brand, but the brand would like you to reconsider your assumptions. Not only did Vuitton open up its first-ever independent shoe salon on the redesigned footwear floor at New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue flagship a couple of seasons ago, but now LV is paying tribute to America’s fashion capital in a pair of fabulous pumps. Be quick, though – they’re limited edition.

Thankfully, the Louis Vuitton Exclusive Shoe for Asks Fifth Avenue manages to be a glittering tribute to NYC without having, say, an embroidered Statue of Liberty or something else super literal and obvious. Instead, Vuitton went the sophisticated route with a beautiful brocade in metallic neutrals, topping off with a crystal-encrusted bow and heel. The shoe looks rich and special, and the glow of the combined metallics does indeed recall the Manhattan skyline at dusk.

Not only that, but these shoes very much look like the thing a certain type of die-hard New Yorker wears. If you’ve spent any time on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (west of Lexington, natch), you know who I’m talking about – stately women on who wear brocade to breakfast. If you think that could be you, swing by Saks’ NYC flagship – the shoes, which retail for $1,220, are only available there, and there are only 70 pairs to be had. If you’ve ever been to Saks’ shoe floor on a Saturday, you know how quickly they will probably disappear.

Although I don’t generally carry them myself, I don’t have anything specific against a monogram bag, as long as its well-executed and feels modern. Most materials, even those that tend to feel tacky or gaudy, can be used in judicious ways that retain the air of luxury that most designers are looking to cultivate. It should be about execution and context, not an inherent bias against a material. That being said, I’ve never seen a pair of logo-covered shoes that I’ve liked, including the Louis Vuitton Rosemary Pumps.

The rose-printed lining of these shoes is lovely, and if it had been on the outside, I’d probably be dreaming of the spring garden parties that their eventual owners will likely wear them to. Instead, the lovely print is hidden on the interior, with the well-known Vuitton monogram covering ever inch of the exterior. I own a couple of LV monogram bags, so it’s not that the monogram itself repels me, but it just doesn’t feel right on a shoe.

I think the problem is that I look at shoes as little sculptures, even when they’re simple. They have an artistic feel to them that isn’t quite as present in most other fashion items (especially functional fashion items), which makes this sort of logo-a-gogo treatment a turnoff. Do you own any logo-covered shoes, besides sneakers? Let us know what you think of the look in the comments.

If you disagree with me about this pair in particular, pick them up for $830 via Louis Vuitton.

Over at PurseBlog, we’ve been discussing Infinitely Kusama, Japanese modern artist Yayoi Kusama’s collaboration with Louis Vuitton, for quite some time. Most designer-artist collaborations yield lots of handbags and sometimes small accessories, but this time, Kusama and Vuitton did a whole line, including clothes and, most importantly, SHOES.

That makes this post fairly self-explanatory: You can find pictures of the collection’s shoes after the jump, and they’re just as bold and dotted as you might expect. It’s unclear whether footwear will ship in July with the ready-to-wear or in October with the handbags, but look out for these pieces at a Vuitton store near you in the not-so-distant future. (more…)

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about shoes this season, it’s that the platform isn’t dead, it’s just different. Several seasons of traditional pumps may have fooled you, and although the platform stiletto is done for the time being, shoes with upwards of five inches of height are going nowhere soon. Ladies who need the extra five inches (or just like having it), rejoice! The rest of us will be over here, icing our ankles.

From Miu Miu to Dior to Prada to Louis Vuitton Fall 2012, the platform was reconsidered, this time with a heel that’s thicker than those we came to know during the mid-2000s but no less vertiginous. In fact, between these snub-nosed Vuitton shoes and those featured at Prada, which had several models struggling to make it down the carpeted catwalk, heels may be bigger (both literally and figuratively) than ever. Check out our gallery, after the jump. (more…)

Images via Vogue.com

So it looks like fashion is going to try and make mules happen again, perhaps because that’s the only shape that the industry hasn’t encouraged us to buy in the last three years and the powers that be are running out of ideas. The first mention of the possible trend I remember was a tweet from Elle fashion person extraordinaire Joe Zee during Milan Fashion Week, and now both Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu have both shown them during the same day.

Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 relied on variations of the shape almost entirely, and although I like a lot of the lines and color combinations that Marc Jacobs used, I just can’t support the mule as a good option for anything more than a few moments’ wear. From a practical standpoint, their incredibly dangerous to walk in and give the wearer basically no support, which is important when dealing with heels of such a precarious height. If you plan to buy into this trends, I suggest doing some ankle-strengthening exercises while you wait for this trend to show up at retail. (more…)

There are winners and losers in ever fashion season, but now that the last show has walked and the last runway vacated, the kings and queens of Fall 2011 are beginning to emerge. Unquestionably, Marc Jacobs sits atop that list for both his celebrated eponymous collection and his immaculate set of upscale fetish gear for Louis Vuitton Fall 2011. The pre-show notes indicated that Jacobs had been thinking about hedonism, addiction and excess when he conceived this collection, and what could hit that note more precisely than wildly expensive, perilously tall knee-high rubber boots?

Nothing, that’s what. The collection included an entire range of vertiginous, thick-heeled shoes with a note of kink that looked like something Bettie Page might have worn. The sexual discipline was more apparent in some designs than others, and the vast majority of the footwear was subtle enough to wear in everyday life if you can handle the height. On the other hand, some of the designs definitely weren’t – the rubber boots and pumps that tied all the way up the leg were not for the faint of heart. But then again, my favorite shoes never are. (more…)

Armchair fashion critics have accused Marc Jacobs of many and various shortcomings during his time at Louis Vuitton, but so far as I can remember, no one has ever complained that he’s just too subtle. When the man designs a collection, particularly one for Vuitton, the viewer is never left with any doubt whatsoever of what was on Jacobs’ mind during the creation process.

The same holds boldly and exuberantly true for the shoes from Louis Vuitton Spring 2011. It wasn’t enough to just give the show a strong safari theme, Jacobs actually heeled the majority of his shoes with animal legs, hooves and all. In case that didn’t get the point across strongly enough, a few of the shoes actually had literal jungle animals incorporated into the straps. As always, Vuitton is bold, inventive and very taste-specific. I wouldn’t have it any other way. (more…)

The Louis Vuitton Beauty Pumps have been controversial since their debut on the Fall/Winter 2010 runway in Paris earlier this year, just as I’m sure Marc Jacobs intended. One camp sees them as silly and matronly while the other prefers to think of them as inventive and unique in fashion’s current landscape, and I happen to be a part of that second group.

Stilettos aren’t going anywhere, of course, but it’s always nice to have a new shape and silhouette to add to the shoe landscape. The combination of a velvet upper and crystal-encrusted heel only makes this shoe more appealing in any color. (more…)

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