Hello lovelies, a special Irregular Choice post today with the first character heel of the new season! You know I always get so much more excited by A/W stuff than summer styles (not sure why, it's just always been the way), though these are a very good transitional or all year round shoe I suppose. "Season neutral"! It means a new sole, inners and box too, so there's lots to see in this post.
I'm just going to jump straight into talking about the heel, because it's so special. I've been eagerly awaiting this swan heel. When I was little I used to say if I came back as an animal (no idea why we were talking about death, but anyways), I'd like to be a swan. Everyone thought I was weird(er), because they wanted to be reincarnated as a cat or bunny or something really fluffy and cute. I just liked the idea of looking elegant, gliding, but snapping at anyone that got too close!! Maybe I was a bit weird, #LifeGoals, heehee!
Immediately this heel exceeded my expectations, it's much more beautiful than I imagined. It's a really nice rounded shape, taking on a wedge like support under the arch, with a large, steady base to walk on. The head of the swan, tucks under, so doesn't stick out the back of the shoe like the flamingo. Likewise the body, doesn't peek out further than the shoe at the sides, so you're unlikely to clunk these together when walking. We've had more variety in character heel heights over the past year or so and these hark back to the higher end. At 4 1/2" they are the same as the gnomes (or Santa) or bunnies, but a little lower than the unicorns or fawns. Higher heels aren't an issue for me, so it's not a concern of mine about being able to walk in them, I actually find this heel height very manageable and not ridiculously high. I know some people do prefer the lower panda or lamb or flamingo, though I'm not sure if they just shout the loudest IYKWIM? I'll maybe do a photo comparison post for you if you'd prefer to visually compare the heels to other styles rather than just read about them. On the foot, they feel or look higher than when they are just sitting there. I felt I basically had very little shoe at the front, as my foot looked rather vertical. There is a small platform, but I'll come to that in a moment.
The swan is softly glazed with painted details such as yellow feet, orange beak and black eyes and a gold glitter crown and chest detail which is raised. The most exciting part though, the wings are flocked. It's my first flocked heel as I somehow managed to resist the bunny last year (pat on the back for me please, because we all know that's RARE)! The wings take up the majority of the swan, because it's in a sitting position. So you basically just have the head and neck un-flocked, yay. There's pink shading and engraved details to the bird, even on the textured sections, similar to the original bunny heels. I was surprised at how fuzzy the flocked bits looked, the pile is a little longer than I anticipated. It's just lovely and really finishes off the bird so well. The swan itself is so freakin' pretty, I think it's the gorgeous plumped cheeks that do it, it's really been well executed. Somebody said this and I'd already thought it myself, but isn't it like those Keypers toys from the 80's? I wanted the swan so bad, though never got it (100% chance I got a Sindy instead). I can even remember the song in the advert! Mostly the heel tips are gold in these shoes, with the exception of the navy (navy) and green Savan (which I've also ordered) which come with a pink tip. Both coloured tips are really bothering me from stock photos. I'm not usually one to pick at minor details, but they are jumping out at me, trying to ruin the rest of the shoe and I much prefer the use of gold on the others (which is why I ordered this pair), but we'll see what the green look like when they arrive, it might not be an issue.
The swan shoes come in 3 different styles and many colours. This court with bow is Savan, in green/gold, navy or this pair, which I'd describe as "ballet pink", a pale nude pink. Fenella are a woven court in metallic, glitter and holographic materials and they come in mint/white or pewter/petrol and finally Odette. Another court, with fringed detail at the heel and they come in black/rainbow, white or a peachy pink. All styles feature glitter or sequins of some kind and have a similar shape with an upturned, stubby pointed toe (if you know what I mean, it's not narrow and elongated) and the toe area widens before it comes to the tip. It's a new shape for character heels and I can't think of anything similar in my collection already. I opted for my usual size and I'm finding the fit different on each foot! My left toes are curling under (and I'm struggling to straighten them), which would make me think they are too small, however the right foot, I can actually slip my heel out if I try. They don't gape, but they have a wider fit around my foot than the left shoe. So, I'm hopeful that I can stretch the left shoe with wear and it'll become as comfortable as the right. Certainly a size up would be too big. They'd gape for sure. I feel my toes spread out nicely in that wider area, which is a pleasant experience.
The shoe is not made from the sheer mesh we've seen recently, though it could be mistaken for it. It's a solid shoe with net overlay, both the underneath and mesh are in that pale pink colour. There's matte sequins in the same shade, spiralling around the shoe on top of this. Each of these sequins has a brighter pink micro sequin in the centre (very small and the hole is almost as big as the whole thing) and the pattern is very tactile with the sequins layered on top of one another. Behind this are bright rainbow metallic micro sequins, visible through the gaps of the pink patterns. It provides a really nice contrast to the pastel shade and the shine from these catch the light. From afar the sequinned patterns take on a floral like effect.
The shoes have a loafer style front (slight tongue), though overall I felt once my foot was in, the shoe was actually quite shallow at the front (i.e. not much depth keeping my foot in, not that this made it feel unsafe or uncomfortable). There's a large bow across the front, in the same shade of pink made up of oblong sequins. The type we saw on the L'il Lamb handbags. These have a pearl finish, though no shine. It feels firm and is nicely looped. There's a very small platform (roughly 1/2"), kinda inconspicuous in pink, wait for it....oil slick! I'll never say "no" to a bit of rainbow finish (thankfully, because we've been seeing it a lot lately). This is mirrored in a strip up the centre back of the heel and around the top edge of the shoe, both with scalloped edging (another favourite of mine). Overall there's a lot of interesting textures competing on this shoe, yet on the whole, they somehow feel pretty understated. The green pair I'm waiting on seem a bit more glitzy, so it may just be the pink that feel like this. I'm already thinking they are a good neutral to go with lots of things.
As I mentioned at the start, AW16 means new sole patterns. I'm sure many will be pleased to see we finally got these soles. If you don't know, they featured on most of the SS16 samples, cue mega confusion when orders went through and they arrived with spotty soles instead! They do feel a bit 'off season'. They scream 'summer' to me, but an intricate, pretty sole is an intricate pretty sole, who cares?! Not like anyone is going to stop you in the street to say your soles are more suited to June than November! They are blue with red lobsters (yes the very ones from the Thermidor bag), fish (from Flounder), crabs (from the clasp of the Flounder bag) and open oysters with pearls inside. The box has a similar design and the tissue paper is white with a red heart design (with Irregular Choice written inside) and the fish and crabs. The insoles are a mix of Autumnal coloured floral and blue metallic. There's no issues with it feeling rough against the skin, though it's nowhere near as soft (or cosy) as the purple last Winter or even the green from Spring (not such a pile on the brown).
If you can't already tell, I'm super impressed with these and really glad IC did the actual swan justice. Would I ever doubt that though? I'm loving my first flocked finish, it fits in well with this particular heel and the uppers were the part that surprised me, because I wasn't overly fussed on first sight. I'm also pleased I survived a mega-shoot, it feels like a long time since I've done that and I suffered for it afterwards, but I'm really chuffed with how they turned out (was worth it). I hope you like it too. I haven't been outside for weeks, so it was lovely to get some fresh air and take outdoor photos for once (though I did panic as I couldn't really check how they were until I got inside). Did you manage to buy any swan heels on Friday or are you holding out for something else (like Alice part 2, yes my bank account is WEEPING already)? Let me know x
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