Gianvito Rossi: Shoes should make women feel beautiful

SINGAPORE - With shoes getting zanier and crazier each season, Gianvito Rossi's simple and sexy stilettos are a breath of fresh fashion air.

Celebrities and fashion insiders alike swear by these designer soles for their sheer "walkability" factor, being spotted on the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson; Carine Roitfeld is said to be one of Rossi's most ardent fans.

We met shoe designer Gianvito Rossi in Singapore last week at a cosy press presentation of his latest Autumn Winter 2013 collection, now available in store at On Pedder Scotts Square.

Gianvito Rossi's love for shoes is in his blood: he's the son of famed Sergio Rossi, who had also founded his eponymous shoe label with the knowledge acquired from his shoemaker father.

As Gianvito Rossi puts it, "a shoe is like the frame of a beautiful painting, in which the main subject is the woman." In other words, the shoe should bring out the elegance and beauty of the woman who wears it; it should "complete the look" of a modern woman's wardrobe.

Rossi considers ornaments on shoes to be excessive. Instead of in-your-face embellishments, the designer prefers to experiment with soft lines, geometric cut-outs and silhouettes on classic shapes like the stiletto pump.

A well-proportioned arch is the key to making the stiletto walkable, explains Rossi.

According to the designer, there is an ergonomic sense to the curve of the shoe's arch, so that it holds the foot right. The shoemaker has to understand how to "refine the shape and proportion", says Rossi, so that the arch can support the strain of the high heel.

You'll avoid those painfully pinched and cramped toes in his shoes as well. The footbed of Gianvito Rossi heels are made wider in the front so that the toes stay straight for a better fit.

Expect to see "more transparency" next season - like the fuchsia stiletto with the lucite panel which Rossi has singled out as his personal favourite for Autumn Winter 2013. There's also a touch of menswear inspired looks for next season with a black cut-off cuff which mimics the cut of a tuxedo while the streamlined shape of another pair is inspired by the piping on men's blazers.

Finally for the perennial question: why do women keep buying shoes, even after getting the reliable classic that they'll wear everywhere? Rossi thinks that, quite simply, it's because beautiful shoes give their owners "the pleasure of wearing something special to have".

With his artful stiletto arches, you may just be able to walk the distance in these investment pieces too.

Shop the Gianvito Rossi Autumn Winter 2013/ 2014, now in store at On Pedder at Scotts Square, #02-10/13, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209, Tel: 6636 3060. Prices start from $840.

See the full collection at www.gianvitorossi.com. Follow Gianvito Rossi on Facebook and On Pedder on Instagram for more updates on the brand.

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