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Posted on December 22, 2012 by Teresa Cannata'

The world of nature as source of inspiration for fashion is nothing new, but a fresh perspective can really open new possibilities, as proven by Jan Jansen’s designs. One of the most famous Dutch footwear designers, he has been putting his imagination to the service of fashion since 1960s, but it’s only recently that he designed what is probably his masterpiece – the Orchid shoe.

Presented in October 2012 in Amsterdam, this style is part of his spring/summer 2013 collection: it’s the result of a complex mix of childhood memories (his mother loved flowers and thought orchids were the “apotheosis of luxury”) and personal studies about these fascinating flowers.

After learning more about orchids, their meaning in the language of flowers and their symbology, the idea of paying homage to them with a pair of shoes grew stronger and stronger. The result is stunning: orchids have been used as decorative elements on platform sandals made of suede. The criss-cross ankle straps remind of the thin roots of orchid plants, while the sky-high heels give a strong touch of sensuality.

The sandals are available in a number of shades, reminiscent of different types of orchids – purple (the colour of Vanda orchids), fuchsia and bright red (like red Cattleya orchids).

The collection also includes earthy tones like cognac (see the Cymbidium Volcanic Flash ‘Tim Tam’ orchid)¬†and terracotta (like the Doritaenopsis Surf Song “OX” Gold Orange orchid).

These shoes (especially the bright red ones) are festive, so they must be paired to floral clothes and sparkling accessories. The options are endless: you can wear them with a simple v-neck grey top and a printed full skirt (I picked a classic muscle tee by T by Alexander Wang and a floral paintdrip printed duchesse satin skirt by Preen) or with a structured corset top and abstract-print pencil skirt (I chose a crepe top by Vivienne Westwood Red Label and the beautiful Frida skirt by Erdem). The perfect accessories are a pair of vintage Ray Ban cat’s eye glasses and a round wristlet by Olympia Le-Tan. Do you prefer dresses? Jan Jansen orchid sandals would look lovely with the Lotus print dress by Temperley London or with the Anastasia organza dress by Marc Jacobs, accessorized with Stella & Dot Capri chandelier earrings and with a Miu Miu crystal bow bracelet, respectively.