Ready To Wear: Put your best foot forward in Prada's new hybrid brogue

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Indy Lifestyle Online

While the very idea of "intellectual" fashion is likely to bring out an even a half-intelligent woman in hives, there are certain industry heavyweights who regularly come up with designs that provoke a certain amount of thought at least.

Enter the new Prada shoe. There are many of these, of course. But for spring/summer 2011 perhaps the most remarkable is the brogue – or a post-modern hybrid of the brogue par excellence. The upper – in black, white or tan – could have walked straight out of Church's. (The Prada Group owns this British heritage brand neatly enough.) The sole, however, is more interesting than that.

It's not news that flat shoes made an unprecedented appearance on the catwalk when the incoming collections were first shown. Everyone from Balenciaga to Valentino and from Chloé to Lanvin – where models apparently threw off their impossibly high heels of their own accord, stepping into flat pumps that just happened to be available – proposed them.

The shoe in question here is of that particular stable, certainly, but is elevated, so adding length to madam's leg in the manner of any number of platform/talon heels and easy-to-run-in boots. Who, then, could wish for anything more?

In reality, however, only very few people are likely to have the front – or indeed the style credentials – to carry this one off. References are layered, literally. Working from the bottom up, said footwear begins life as a high-performance trainer, then moves seamlessly into 1970s espadrille territory. As far as proportions are concerned, there's more than a touch of the brothel creeper here also, a cutely nostalgic sight for sore eyes if ever there was one.

Backstage following her Milan show in September, Miuccia Prada labelled her collection as "fresh, brave, bold and obvious." Obvious? Such things are relative of course. Either way, said shoe is destined to add more than a dash of fashionably alien spice to even the most understated outfit. Suffice to say that fierce doesn't cover it.