The ‘espadrille’ may be difficult to pronounce, but it has surely become a summer staple for your holidaying at home and abroad this year! Espadrille’s encompass comfort, style and glamour in a single pair of shoes that are originally crafted in the Occitania and Catalonia regions of France and Spain.
You may well be wondering what’s so fascinating about another sartorial trend that has hit the shelves this spring/summer season?
Well, the espadrille derives from the word ‘esparto’, which was the species of plant that was used to braid the iconic sole, which we associate with the classic style. Born in the Pyrenees, the jute tope sole was established as an easy-to-wear shoe that even the King of Aragon wore in the thirteenth century. Not only worn by royal descendants, the shoe was practical for the likes of mine workers and priests and has quickly collated a colourful historical past that has transcended into the 21st century fashion catalogues. Espadrilles were not gender specific and worn by men and women and the trend quickly latched onto European soil. By the 1940’s, the espadrille reached new heights of popularity and was featured on the silver screen by iconic leading ladies of the time, such as Rita Hayworth, who sported a classic and vintage white pair in ‘The Lady from Shanghai’. And by the early 1970’s, Yves Saint Laurent visited a trade show in Paris and subsequently met with Spanish manufacturer Cataner who was the very first to be commissioned to design and produce the wedge espadrille.
And you may have guessed (or seen!) that espadrilles are truly everywhere you turn. From our favourite designer fashion houses such as Chanel, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and modern day designer Michael Kors, to the crème de la crème of high street fashion – Zara, Topshop and Dune to name but a few. What is so fantastic about espadrilles is its wearability. You can wear them simply with shorts, jeans, maxi dresses or culottes and your feet will remain as cool as a cucumber, due to the material.
So why not indulge in a timeless pair of summer espadrilles that will give your day to night outfit the finishing touches it needs!
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