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Celebrating a centenary of female footwear

Wittner marks 100 years making shoes for women with a fun, frisky and forward-looking show at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

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High-kicking models in steel-capped black stilettos and pink patent platform high heels danced for Melbourne's Wittner shoe family in the City Square on day two of Spring Fashion Week.

At the free lunchtime show, Michael, Peter and Deb Wittner, the grandchildren of H.J. Wittner, who founded the hip shoe brand at the age of 17 a century ago, watched from the front row as their model troupe pranced out spring's key trends.

"Actually the quality of our shoes is so good you can dance in them," assured group executive Michael Wittner. "The models even told us they've never experienced catwalk shoes as comfortable as ours."

Wittner Shoes present their limited edition centenary collection on the catwalk. Click for more photos

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week Day 2

Wittner Shoes present their limited edition centenary collection on the catwalk. Photo: Paul Rovere

According to the show's organisers, injecting excitement into a shoe-focused program was a challenge, but one simply solved by agile dancers, energetic models and some high-voltage choreography: "To get those heels up to eye level," a spokeswoman explained. The show's theatrical styling helped too.

Dancers in flippy pink, blue and lavender frocks with satin sashes and flowers in their hair, pouted and batted eyelashes in a French-themed segment with pastel-coloured ankle-strapped and T-bar platform heels.

They changed into exotic shredded black catsuits and carried silver chains for a segment featuring spring's new dagger-toe stilettos and black platforms with high block heels.

They swapped again, into sequined party dresses, and danced the twist and the swim in a segment to celebrate Wittner's specially commissioned Centenary collection of multi-strapped high-heeled sandals flashing with Swarovski crystals.

"Going forward, it's more feminine, more sexy," said executive Deb Wittner of spring's trends. "Especially the return of the point, which makes your legs look so much longer."

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week's first ticketed shows started last night in the Town Hall with a glamorous line-up including collections by local couturiers Gwendolynne Burkin, Lui Hon and Toni Maticevski. Fashion shows and activities including free beauty and hair workshops continue at the City Square all week.