Ariana Grande‘s latest heels really pop. In an Oct. 23 Instagram gallery, the singer and actor drew footwear inspiration from the land of Oz, trading ruby slippers for a pair of yellow Loewe heels covered in deflated balloons. The imaginative shoes feature hand-embroidered bunches of latex, with balloons sewn onto 3.5-inch heels to create a unique, bubbly texture. Aside from the unconventional medium and puffy exterior, the borderline comical shoes are also lined in leather (not that you could really tell).
Grande’s feet practically disappeared within rubber mountains of premature party decor. She let the balloons have their moment, styling them down with light-wash jeans and a cozy sweater. Other celebrities braving the same shoes leaned into the drama, such as Indya Moore, who wore the heels with a draped minidress at Loewe’s fall show during Paris Fashion Week. No matter who they’re worn by, the heels are a prime example of the “ugly”-shoe trend – an increasingly popular movement lifting up unusual footwear and challenging what is and isn’t aesthetically acceptable.
Thanks to Creative Director Jonathan Anderson, the balloon shoes, aptly called the Comic Balloon Pump, are not Loewe’s first venture into the avant-garde. Previously, the fashion house debuted sandals made entirely out of pom-pom tinsel, heels draped with giant bows, and chunky pumps that look like they belong to Minnie Mouse. “It’s classic Jonathan genius, this playful kind of nostalgia,” Greta Lee told Harper’s Bazaar after wearing a pair of the tinsel shoes herself, noting Anderson’s use of innovative materials on leather. “It almost looks like armor but it also kind of looks like skin.”
In Grande’s case, maybe the balloon shoes do serve as armor of sorts. Or maybe they’re just reminders not to take anything in life too seriously. In any case, scroll through her post to see how she brought the party in a pair of her own.