Cozy and Comfortable Houghton x Birkenstock

It’s hard to leave one’s house in the dead of winter for February’s New York Fashion Week activities; it’s even harder to imagine trudging from Milk to Lincoln Center to an increasing numbers of obscure peripheral venues—and back—in the requisite killer heels.

In light of such anxieties, Houghton’s second collaboration with Birkenstock came as a gentle vision of comfort. Models walked down the runway Thursday wearing flat sandals, courtesy of the German shoemaker, with a mohair vamp in black or white. Hems of loose, wide-leg pants and skirts, in the label’s signature neutral colors, flowed effortlessly around the footwear. Camel mohair details and a black and white striped floor-length coat complemented the shoes’ materials.

Designer Katharine Polk dubbed her third show the “Rose Collection,” referencing the ivory jacquard fabric that anchored its aesthetic. The line sounds feminine, and it is, but not in the truly traditional sense–Polk was inspired by film legend Katharine Hepburn’s androgynous style. “She was ahead of her time and made suits sexy for women,” says the designer. “I think there is something incredibly sexy about a woman floating inside an oversized coat and pant.” As far as the overlooked luxury of comfort goes, we find the level shape of Houghton and Birkenstock’s sandals an enticing prospect indeed.