Mechante of London designer Deborah Lyons approaches shoe design from a clean, bold, sculptural point of view. Born and raised in London, Lyons’ passion led her to study fine art in London, Florence and Paris, eventually ending up at Parsons the New School of Design to study fashion design. By the age of 25, she began her own line, Mechante (meaning naughty in French), overseeing the development of her creations by traveling to the factories in Italy, studying the craft and working with the artisans themselves. Lyons’ background has strongly influenced her style, and her shoes reflect a potent combination of European aesthetics and youthful sensibility. Fiercely feminine, her designs combine a mix of luxurious textiles, leathers and metals. Lyons’ elevation of the shoe to art for the foot is boldly captured in her signature symbol: a gold triangle stretched out on the sole down to the foot.
What’s hot right now?
In the spirit of Christmas, what’s hot now is giving to others. This time of year, when our work slows down and we get to catch up with our family and friends, we should remember how many people are less fortunate than ourselves and that doing something for someone else can be really rewarding. Through something as small as donating clothes, toys, money and food, or even some of our time, we can bring a little joy into someone else’s life. The US Marine Corps Reserve have been collecting and donating toys since 1947. There are collection points in all 5 boroughs. Food Bank NYC also has volunteer and food and money donation options. And the Salvation Army has stores across the city, and will even pick up from you.
What are the most compelling shoes trends right now?
There has definitely been a strong move away from huge platforms and five-inch heels. Though I’m still not there with the kitten heel, I’ve definitely come down a bit in height for my s/s ’11 collection. Collaborations between shoe and fashion designers are also a huge trend right now and a lot of fun to be involved with.
What’s the feature that women should look for in shoes?
Ultimately women feel most confident when they’re comfortable in what they’re wearing. High heels can be very sexy, but, like everything, so much more so when they’re a reflection of how you’re feeling. When you buy an amazing pair of shoes you need to know that you can dance all night in them and get up to all sorts, and still be standing when the sun comes up.
What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
I seem to already have a lot going on in 2011. I’ve just launched my online store and the new collection will be going up in February. Fashion week is just around the corner and among other things, I’m making a short film with designer William Tempest starring Amber Le Bon. We have the most incredible crew on board, including photographer Patrick Lindblom and stylist Carmen Borgonovo, who worked with me on my SS ’11 lookbook. The film will be screened for the first time during London Fashion Week as part of William’s show. I have lots of travel planned too following the madness of New York, London and Paris. Coachella music festival and New Orleans in April, and a good friend’s wedding in Beirut in May.