What does Jason Wu now have in common with Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier? (Besides totally unique visions, that is.) The answer may surprise you: plastic shoes. Wu is the latest designer to collaborate with Melissa, the Brazilian footwear label that makes shoes out of the synthetic yet surprisingly comfortable material of thermoplastic.
Thanks to Wu’s magic touch, jellies these are not, and unlike many designer partnerships, this is a genuine collaboration. Wu chose not to design completely new styles, but rather reinvent two of Melissa’s classic shapes, the “Ultragirl” ballet flat and “Lady Dragon” peep-toe sling-back. Both have been given the full Jason Wu treatment: the flat was upgraded with a finely folded ribbon and trademark Miss Wu owl logo and the high-heel has a gold starburst that might look familiar (it was seen in Wu’s fall collection). And I do mean full; even the linings were made-over, with touches of printed lace to mimic Wu’s own footwear, which is frequently lined in real lace.
So what’s the snob verdict? Are plastic shoes becoming more appealing or are they still strictly novelty items?
To be released for Spring 2012 in nude, black, gray, and burgundy.