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Fairy-tale footwear worthy of a 2015 Disney princess

March 23, 2015

Disney's "Cinderella"-inspired luxury shoe collection includes designs by (top row, from left): Rene Caovilla, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo and Paul Andrew; and (bottom row, from left) Charlotte Olympia, Alexandre Birman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jerome C. Rousseau and Stuart Weitzman.

Although there is certainly no shortage of movie-merchandise tie-ins pegged to Disney’s live-action version of "Cinderella" (think fairy godmother wands and Bluetooth speakers shaped like pumpkin carriages), let’s be honest: This is one fairy tale that’s all about the footwear.

Modern folk may not know that the story doesn’t always include a glass slipper. Different versions describe different kinds of slippers (such as "Aschenputtel" by the Brothers Grimm, which features a pair of gold shoes). It’s Charles Perrault’s 1697 version that gave us the now familiar glass slipper that helps the prince reunite with Cinderella.

Some suggest that the oddity of a glass shoe stems from a mistranslation in which pantoufle de vair (fur slipper) became pantoufle de verre (glass slipper), but most Cinder-scholars have dismissed that as a straight-up urban legend.

The new film doesn’t mess with tradition. Costume designer Sandy Powell reportedly had Swarovski make the glass slipper that appears on the big screen.

So it makes perfect sense that Disney Consumer Products has reached out to some of the biggest luxury shoe brands in the business to create ball-worthy footwear confections inspired by the glass slipper of the Cinderella story. The results include such different interpretations as a pair of midnight-blue, high-heeled glitter sandals by Jerome C. Rousseau (suggested retail price $795) and glittering stilettos with a blossom of thumb-sized crystals at the toe ($4,595) designed by Jimmy Choo’s creative director, Sandra Choi.

In between those two extremes are offerings from Charlotte Olympia, Stuart Weitzman, Paul Andrew, Alexandre Birman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nicholas Kirkwood and Rene Caovilla. Although many of the shoes have transparent panels or crystals that evoke the notion of a glass slipper, none seems to actually be made of glass. (And, yes, it is possible — Q by Pasquale made wearable shoes out of Murano glass in 2010.)

The shoes will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue department stores in New York City and Beverly Hills sometime in March, as well as in some of the designers’ own stores.

The big question is no longer whether the fantastical footwear will fit your foot — it’s whether the shoes will fit your budget.

 

 



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services