Roger Vivier: Of Colours and Collages

by Pressroom

60 years after its inception, the “Virgule” heel continues to fascinate with its propensity for innovation and style.

There’s no mistaking the curve of the iconic “Virgule” heel that took shape under the vision of Monsieur Roger Vivier. For 60 years now, this radical heel in the shape of a comma has made waves with its countless iterations seen on pumps in canary yellow satin, sea green embroidery, or black suede with bows, and blue crystal-embellished sandals.

The “Virgule” was a radical gesture for its time, executed by inverting the slope of a high heel to create a sweeping concave form: one that flicks back on itself inward, creating the illusion of a void. Launched at a key turning point for Monsieur Vivier, when he parted ways with Christian Dior and launched his eponymous label at 24 rue François 1er in Paris, France, the “Virgule” signalled change not just for Roger Vivier but also for the world of shoes. Avant-garde in design, yet comfortable to wear, it was an elegant alternative to the high stiletto heel fashionable at the time.

On my first day of work at Roger Vivier, I leafed through a book about Monsieur Vivier and I fell in love with a fuchsia silk thread fabric shoe: it had a virgule heel, which I discovered for the first time in my life and it became an obsession ever since immediately. Today, I keep that shoe in my office in Paris…

Gherardo Felloni, Creative Director of Roger Vivier

The historical shape that revolutionised how the heel was defined, has been celebrated in the exhibition “Virgule, Etc.” curated by Olivier Saillard at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2013, and also preserved in the fashion archives of The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Palais Galliera: Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and other key fashion institutions around the world.

This year, to commemorate the “Virgule” heel’s 60th anniversary, creative director Gherardo Felloni has reimagined it for Fall Winter 2023-24 as a high-shine moulded heel with an embossed calligraphy logo, emphasising colour and shine. Picture shades of chartreuse green and ice pink, marigold and ruby red, on styles such as tulle mary-janes with Cubist crystal buckles, patent slingbacks emblazoned with a tonal matte resin buckle, and pointed sandals with a cutaway profile in satin or bouclé tweed that feature sleek contrast bows in patent leather and crystal.

Other than bows, the latest campaign puts the spotlight on the concept of collages – a process which both Roger Vivier and Gherardo Felloni hail for its ability to unleash their limitless creativity and imagination.

Playing and cutting with collages, you can create something that is really new without thinking about technical problems. As a designer, this is a great source of inspiration.

Gherardo Felloni, Creative Director of Roger Vivier

Images courtesy of Roger Vivier, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

Celebrating Roger Vivier’s Legendary Silhouette

Roger Vivier: The Secret of the Swan

Roger Vivier: The Effervescence of Summer

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