Back at London Fashion Week in September when the models at Alexa Chung’s spring/summer 2019 show took to the runway wearing a variety of ochre-hued jelly shoes, I felt torn.
On the one hand, jelly shoes hold a very special place in my heart. The pair of sparkly pink ones I owned when I was five, purchased from the beach shop in Devon where we got our buckets and spades, were quite probably the first pair of shoes I truly loved. Like slept-with-them-under-my-pillow loved. For a year or two the pink jellies and I were inseparable; they became a wardrobe staple, worn with everything from swimming costumes to white tights and dresses for birthday parties.
And yet, despite my warm fuzzy feelings towards shoes of the jet moulded variety, I wasn’t planning on wearing them again any time soon.
That was until I saw Alexa’s grown-up spin on the sandals sashaying down the runway, and now I’m beginning to wonder… are jellies about to become the stealth shoe hit of summer 2019?
“At a time when we seem as a generation compelled to look back in order to move forward in fashion, jelly shoes seem to occupy a particularly joyful corner of my memories,” says Chung, who collaborated with JuJu - the original creators of the 90's jelly shoe – to design her dream jellies, which come in two styles, a flat (The Crystal Wreath Reilly) and a block heel (the Crystal Buckle Babe).
Chung of the perfect pins loves an embellished flat, so its perhaps unsurprising she asked Juju (who have been injection moulding their cult Jelly Shoes in Northampton, Britain’s historic cobbling capital, for 25 years) to rework the classic jelly concept with crystal buckles and grown-up hues of smoke and ochre, to echo something of the demure evening pumps that have become a Chung signature.
“Playful, ironic, practical and cool, a glamorous facelift of the jelly shoe seemed amusing and made a statement in our Arrivals and Departures collection,” says the 35-year-old presenter turned designer.
At £85 for the heeled version and £75 for the flats, Chung’s jellies are definitely pricier than anything you’ll find in the bucket and spade aisle, but then again they are just that little bit more fabulous.
So, do you dare?
ALEXACHUNG X JuJu launched on Thursday, January 31 exclusively at alexachung.com