Comforting designs add bit of chic

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 April, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 April, 1994, 12:00am

FASHION stays, but trends come and go. The foot has been victim to some of the more uncomfortable, impractical trends, notably the recent brief return of the platform shoe - a style not recommended for those with weak ankles.

Designers from the classic fashion houses would rarely yield to the temptation of bringing back those styles in dress or shoe which are best forgotten.

Constant to its reputation for designing comfortable and chic shoes, Fratelli Rossetti is proposing longer, tapered models, alternating with decisively square-cut, more directional lines, for its spring-summer footwear collection.

All styles are in durable, high-quality leather, including soft nappa, lightweight suede with a silky finish, woven calf, and some are combined with fresh linen to harmonise with opaque python and woven straw panels.

The more classic models, such as the sling-back and court shoe, have been elegantly updated.

The strappy sandal is back in vogue to match rising summer heat and hemlines. Open styles, such as broad or narrow strappy sandals, mules and slippers, are enhanced with deep side vents, panels of python, delicate covered buckles and cushioned straps.

For elegance, heels which give a longer line to the leg at no expense to comfort, are from 25 to 70 millimetres in height.

Natural colours dominate - from warm ochre and sand to topaz and tobacco, to the brightest reds and blacks which take on subtle shades in woven leather.

There is something special and refined in the combination of sand-coloured linens, topaz python, natural leather and gold.

The young and modern Rossetti Green range this year proposes soft, two-tone loafers in leather and suede, with personalised buckles.

Sandals in earth-coloured cowhide and elegant sandals with Capri-style straps also make an appearance.

The new short skirt shapes also see the return of metallic neutral shades in gold or silver soft leather.

For impact, lace up to the knee in Grecian styles, either in strappy thongs or hoop effect sandals.

Making its debut is the Rossetti Spectator, a combination of linen, cotton and smooth or punched leather with hand finishing.

A step up from sandals and mules is the lace-up bootie, backless loafer, pump or T-bar sandal, to be worn with pristine white ankle socks for a schoolgirl look.

Men, too, can put their best foot forward in re-invented versions of classic and casual styles.

Antique leather is one of these in executive traditional-style leather in rich conker brown with a square toe.

Both square and half-rounded toe-shaped designs play with asymmetrical lines for an individual look.

As always, great care goes into the craftsmanship as shown by the traditional punch work on toe caps and uppers and the stitching on the sporty models.

Matt and printed calf embraces the foot; high-gloss calf is finished with waxes to achieve an effect of subtle shading.

The colours reflect natural tones of leather, warm woods, sienna, red-browns, chestnut, scorched earth and cognac.

Elegant combinations appear in two-tone models in natural canvas and brick, white and blue, white and black leather.

The Classe range takes goat skin and nappa, with lining in cool canvas in classic chestnut and black tones.

There are also refreshing versions of soft nubuck yachting loafers in ochre, navy and dark green.

Even in the hottest summer months, Rossetti shoes are soled for cool comfort and enduring quality to keep a step ahead in the fashion stakes.

Only the finest fabrics are used, such as raffia weave, plaited leather, linen, cotton canvas, soft calfskin and grosgrain silk.