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When a young designer sends a breakthrough collection down the runway, the shoes aren’t usually hot topic number one among the attending cognoscenti. But when the the first model sashayed down the catwalk at Sari Gueron’s Spring/Summer show last September, every eyebrow in the front row shot up a mile: Birkenstocks?

Gueron and her stylist, Kate Young, have proved prescient in their choice of footwear at the show. Just as the designer’s mini and maxi shifts tapped the pulse of this summer’s low-key, California dreaming style vibe, so have the Birks come to seem like the perfect complement to the look, a seriously earthy shoe to ground those floaty dresses. Birkenstocks, too, make for an arch-friendly alternative to the wedge and platform sandals the new wide-leg pants seem to demand. With beach season officially upon us, and the outdoor concert season heading into high gear, the classic German sandal is increasingly de rigeur – exceptionally functional, and at least for now, definitely in fashion.

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