“I got dressed up,” Charlotte Dellal says, by way of introduction, arching an eyebrow and glancing down at her statement necklace, vintage evening dress, and, of course, the vertiginous Charlotte Olympia heels that she designed herself. Then there’s the hair — delicately waved and recently dyed red in homage to Rita Hayworth, Dellal’s “ultimate” style icon.
The Dellal surname conjures up a similar aura—Charlotte’s brother, Alex, is a London-based curator, who is currently dating Charlotte Casiraghi, the daughter of Princess Caroline. Her model sister, Alice, she of the nose ring and half-shaved head, has posed for Paris Vogue, Burberry, and Agent Provocateur. Their mother, Andrea, is a former model; their father, Guy, is an international property magnate.
But never mind the Vogue-worthy lineage—Charlotte Dellal is here to talk about her shoe line. Launched in 2006, Charlotte Olympia is a glamour girl’s dream. For Fall 2010, there are leopard print booties, fuchsia satin platforms, and red velvet wedges embellished with a bow. For an extra dose of allure, a gold spider web is printed onto the bottom of each heel.
We meet at The Room at the Bay to play “Five minutes” with the designer. Here’s what she had to say…
What was the first pair of high heels you ever wore?
“My mother’s gold Gucci high heels! They seemed so super high to me at the time, and I guess for the time, they were. They had that ankle strap—total showgirl shoes. I was a young teenager, and I must have borrowed them for a party.”
Who is your all-time favourite shoe designer?
“Ferragamo from back in the day.”
Who do you think had the best shoes throughout history?
“Carmen Miranda! How’s that for a starting point? [laughs] It’s all a bit fruity, isn’t it? I love that—miles and miles of ridiculously high heels.”
What’s your favourite fashion era?
“The ‘40s for the glamour and the ‘50s for all its tongue-in-cheek humour. I love all that nostalgia. And it seems to me that they just had more fun with everything back then. There was a sense of play, even when it came to accessories—green shoes, yellow shoes…”
How do you feel about being called an “It girl”?
“Ultimately, I’d like to be known as Charlotte Dellal, shoe designer, but I understand where that comes from. I am my brand—it’s the essence of things that I love, and I started out really designing shoes for myself. I wanted to create shoes that I wanted to wear, and [the brand] has grown and broadened from there. I live it, so we really are one.”
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