Ready to Wear: The socks and sandals look has got legs

Socks and sandals? Overly self-conscious styling device or quite a good look? Certainly, this one has, er, legs.

Originating in the mid-Nineties as a London girl look, it was seen once more only this season on catwalks as diverse as Burberry, Marni, Dior and Alexander Wang.

As is usual with fashion statements that have become if not ubiquitous then certainly well known, designers’ approaches vary. Burberry’s rib-knit socks in sludgy shades suggest a girl who borrows from her boyfriend – they undercut the unabashed prettiness of the pieces they’re worn with, in much the same way as wellies might a tea dress. It’s all very English rose. Marni’s socks are more purposefully strange, not least because they are toeless (“I’m mad, I am”) and in schoolboy navy but sheer as stockings. The teaming of Lurex ankle socks with Dior’s elevated platforms this season clearly demonstrates a sense of humour, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Finally, Alexander Wang’s socks are perverse to the point where David Cronenberg might be proud – they’re backless, bringing suspenders (for the innocent) and callipers (for the experienced) to mind.

Vivienne Westwood is the sock-wearing heroine of the fashion firmament. Her big woolly socks are emblazoned with the word “CHAOS”. Spotted on the street, meanwhile: grey chunky-knit socks worn with Birkenstock sandals which is the type of aberration the average fashion editor might poke fun at but is, in fact, quite Prada or old-school Helmut Lang. More obviously au courant is a pair of opaque knee-highs in a dark shade, bringing a flouncy frock that would make anyone over the age of 16 blush down to earth, and indeed metropolitan life, with a bang.

Will this particular style ever really take off anywhere other than in this country? It’s safe to assume that the Milanese are unlikely to wear socks with their neat, chic summer styles. Neither are the eternally elegant French prone to such sartorial eccentricities. And that suggests there might, in fact, be a practical reason for such an unlikely fashion flourish – stranger things have happened, after all. It’s far from balmy out there and a nice pair of socks has the happy effect of ensuring British toes remain as warm as toast whatever the weather.

s.frankel@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy