With a history of making shoes for nearly forty years, Melissa has long become established in the fashion world for collaborating with designers at the top of their game. Arguably the most successful of these collaborations is the ongoing Vivienne Westwood x Melissa range, which combines the standout materials of Melissa with the rebellious spirit of Vivenne Westwood.
They’re the shoes every brand lover stocks up on, so STYLEetc decided to put the Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Space Love Orb Shoes to the test to see if they’re worth the designer price tag.
What’s pretty original about these shoes is their outer material choices. Made of recyclable PVC, the outer may seem odd to touch at first but you soon get used to it after a few wears. All shoes in the collection tend to run true to size, fitting the foot nicely to give room to breath. There is no need to go up a size from your usual. The outer material is flexible but still keeps a structure for the foot, allowing Melissa’s innovative technologies to come into play. As you wear them, the melflex plastic outer bends easily to suit movement as you walk, offering easy endurance when worn for long periods of time.
These are traditional ballet flats in form, they have the tiniest micro heel embedded in the sole to create a slight arch that will support the foot along when worn. The cushioning in the insole additionally allows more comfortable wear, providing more of a soft barrier between the foot and floor surface and the insole also has a thicker bottom to support feet. They can accommodate fair weather, but perhaps not heavy rain given the openness of the top of the shoe and the fact that the inside rim goes quite far to the ends of the toes, exposing most of the top foot.The melflex materials are waterproof, however, so if you don’t mind a slight drizzle, they will fare well.
After the first wear the back heel can rub slightly but by the third or fourth wear materials should moulded more to suit the foot. Once broken in these flats should be satisfactorily comfy and can be worn for hours with no blisters or marks (based on own trials).
The designs of these shoes are statement and bold (like Vivienne herself) and come in a rainbow selection of colours. In particular, the patent options are favourites. The patent black namely offering a gorgeous shine finish, that is better at hiding scratches but not scuffs.
The signature gold orb appears on most versions, with gold tonal hardware being the focal point of design throughout all styles. The orb has become renowned with the brand, epitomising Vivienne’s punk inspired roots and British identity. Having this feature alone sets these designs apart from competitors and ensures you get kudos from your fellow fashion designer fans who know and appreciate Westwood’s aesthetic.
Based on own experience, after 12 months the patent versions do tend to get a few scuffs that can standout on certain colours. In fairness, this was from vigorous and frequent wear throughout the year in a multitude of settings and conditions. The shoe shows no signs of breakage structurally and is still fully intact. At a guide price of around £100.00 it’s definitely worth the investment based on lasting wear, it could also be worth looking into protective treatments to prolong the life of the shoe’s outer.
Another signature feature to the Vivienne x Melissa range is the scent of the shoes. All are fragrant with an identifying smell, that is pungent but pleasant. The shoes smell lovely, a really unusual scent which lasts a good few months throughout wear before beginning to fade. It’s a nice added touch to focus on smell, this builds into the view that both brands have lovingly created this collection with all senses in mind and put dedication into every decision.
Which to Buy
You can’t go wrong with a trusty pair of black Space Love Orb flats to start your obsession, but this range has so much to offer by way of prints and colours, we would heartily recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trialling a more bold design. Each season sees the insole get an updated print inside, allowing you to have justification for collecting similar colours each time. There is also variation on the metal hardware that adorns the front, this can be the classic loveheart shape or something more off-piste, whichever captures the flavour of the season.
Glitter lovers should certainly delve into the sparkly options, which have a nostalgic feel of ‘jelly shoes’ that were huge in the 1990s. There is also something to be said about the matte metallics, encapsulating two moods with the contrast in the metal hues and matte textures.
Advancing from the flat ballet pump classics, there are also heel options in the Melissa and Vivenne Westwood range. Daring and stylish, these options have peep and closed toe designs to choose from, all with ornate embellishment in the form of a front-facing logo. The heels in particular would make great choices for an alternate wedding shoe choice, for the bride who perhaps has a more rock-and-roll aesthetic or just wants something a little more statement for the big day.