This year’s Chaos & Harmony spring/summer collection is darker than their past summer collections, which, not surprisingly, means I like it a lot. Titled Flight of the Fancy, designer Beks Anderson says it’s an emotive range that dabbles in escapism yet still has summery pops of bright colour, such as duck egg blue and salmon.
Beks was inspired by an image of a girl on a swing high above a cityscape – that feeling of being in the sky, an almost “ends of days” feeling, she says. But while she was drawn to a sense of freedom “we always have to have reality” to balance it out. That juxtaposition is why this collection is so wearable – block heels, built-in platforms and strong shapes make these shoes so comfortable you’ll wear them constantly (and I know, I tried quite a few on!).
Chaos & Harmony is known for its dark aesthetic, but Beks’ past as an interior designer means she is drawn to texture to create depth. This collection features lots of that trademark texture – lace, vinyl, patent, pony fur and even wire mesh detailing in eyelets. She says each material represented different things to her, but all were “feel-good things” – the lace is our beauty, the vinyl is transparency of our true selves and so on.
There are definitely a few stand-outs for me. Firstly, the star print Fuller boots. I’ve had them for about a month and have barely taken them off. This may seem like an over-statement, but I swear they’re the perfect semi-casual boot. The mid-height heel and leather toe are dressy enough for this high heel-addict to wear to work but flat enough for running around in all day. And the double layer of leather and pony fur is super-warm. Plus, I’ve lost count of the number of compliments I’ve had, often from complete strangers on the street!
Next on my list is Illusion in gold, a reboot (ha) of their classic, sold out, Pillar sandal from SS 2010. I can’t get enough of the woven texture, block heel and beautiful, slightly distressed, shiny black leather. They also have a beautiful dark metal plate on the inside of the heel. It’s this type of attention to detail that has me coming back to Chaos & Harmony year after year. These will definitely be my go-to heel come the warmer months. (For me, this shoe is the stuff my dreams are made of. Delish.)
Other highlights for me include Madame, which has a beautiful, subtle wing at the back of the ankle, and Freedom, a beautifully simple high-heeled sandal that comes with a plain black ankle strap as well.
Beks’ favourites include Illusion, Play and Reverie – two flatform sandals that will see you through summer weekends.
The shoes in this collection are simple, yet elegant. They’re for both the dreamers and the do-ers. Or, as Anya so eloquently put it, practical, but fantastical.
Fuller is available at chaosandharmony.co.nz and stockists nationwide now. Mirage, Cherrie and Lottie will be available exclusively at The Department Store from August 2. The remainder of the collection will be available online and in stores from August 12.