Thirty years have passed since they were in vogue, so it is about time they made a comeback. The name ‘mules’ comes from calceus mulleus, the footwear worn by the highest state dignitaries in Ancient Rome, which, if the truth be told, have very little in common with today’s models, apart from their formal, essential appeal. Mules are backless shoes which redefine comfortable chic and give a touch of class without the hassle of laces or straps.
Traditionally pointed – but not always – mules are more than a sandal but not quite a shoe, and maybe that is why they are generally considered two shoes in one. When closed, they remind us of the slipper-inspired footwear that was worn in the boudoirs of the court of Maria Antonietta and Madame de Pompadour, the shoes painted by Fragonard with true Rococo symbolism, or later by Manet in his Olympia. With a stiletto heel, they take us back to the ’50s and ’60s, the days of Hollywood pin-ups and Marilyn Monroe. And models in a chunkier heavier style, especially if they have a thick high heel, look straight out of the ’90s.
Over the past couple of seasons, Caractère has ventured into the world of the accessory par excellence of the female wardrobe, alongside bags, hats, scarves and jewellery, and is relaunching mules, one of the most popular trends of the moment.
Flat and pointed, understated and elegant, they are one of the most original and versatile items in this year’s spring-summer collection, the ideal footwear to show off in the transition from spring to summer. But there is also a fair share of open-toed models with a comfortable heel that look great with more lightweight skirts and trousers. So you can enjoy the comfort of slippers, while looking hyper-feminine and sophisticated from morning to night.