Italian-Brazilian designer Paula Cademartori wowed her early fans with poptastic bags that made good use of superior Italian craftsmanship while tapping into the now's aspiration for colorful ― in all senses ― proposals. With her bags seen on every street-style darling around the virtual catwalk, the brand-defining moment on The Carrie Diaries and a healthy number of real life customers, she had every right to feel upbeat as she treated the guests at her Milanese presentation to a tour of her headquarters, a stone's throw from the exclusive Montenapoleone shopping area. Happy handsome monkeys scaling the golden-hued Fornasetti wallpaper, books arranged eye-catchingly on black metal framework shelving and last season’s bags peeking out from the filing cabinets at reception, her office was chockablock with the same charm as her creations, which were the star of the day.
But what had guests coming in droves was not the plexiglass clutches ― as seen on Jane Fonda at this year's Grammies ― available in Cademartori's trademark riot of well-matched colors and textures, or the textural interplay on her now classic Dun Dun bags, inspired this season by the universe (stars and swirling astral dust never looked as colorful even on NASA pictures).
The real stars of the day were hanging from the feet of disembodied crossed legs, although Cademartori fanatics know well not to do this in their front row perches, lest they want to be shouted at to uncross their legs. The designer's first collection, all sandals and lace-up open toe booties, exuded the charm of her Brazilian roots and, even more than her bags, showcased her quasi-obsessive attention to detail. While toes were the first thing to draw the eye with their graphic curve of nubuck and metallic leather, the real action was heel-side. Designed by Cademartori, they tapered into a triangle, offering two sides up for embellishment. Stars or leafy cuts caught the eye and revealed contrasting colors. To misquote advertising mogul William Bernbach, nobody counts the number of toes you have; they just remember the impression you make. And what an impression these Paula Cademartori heels leave as you sashay away.