The androgynous look is nothing new. Think Coco Chanel, recall Saint Laurent’s model Vibeke Knudsen in “Le Smoking”, remember Garbo and Dietrich – they all understood that there was great power in very feminine women playing with the codes of menswear. This winter it seems designers are having another androgynous moment. It is all there in the oversized, rather masculine coats (at Stella McCartney, Richard Nicoll, Jil Sander), but even more remarkable was the array of boyish Oxfords and lace-ups that came down the runways.
Givenchy had some delectable lace-ups, in black and white or camel and white (£695); Céline had some divine ones in black, white and gold (€890); and Derek Lam showed some in shiny black leather (£377). Team them with a print dress to take the edge off its sweetness, or wear them with a sharp tailored suit. They come in all sorts of price ranges, from KG by Kurt Geiger’s white Lulu brogues (£110) to Maison Martin Margiela’s perforated black leather ones (£490). Robert Clergerie has done them in grey, black and white (£450), or trimmed with python (£465). At Matches they have two exclusive designs: one from Dr Martens in black crocodile with tassels (£320), and the other by new designer Amélie Pichard, in crocodile-printed black leather (£375). Saint Laurent has some beautiful patent-leather brogues in black for £370. And if you’re partying in a tuxedo, you couldn’t do better than Lanvin’s lace-ups in metallic hues (£400).