Get ready to discover the key shoe trends for FW 2023.
The arrival of 2023’s fall fashion trends offers a refreshing reset, bringing a shift towards comfort in the realm of footwear trends. Simplicity takes a backseat to intricate designs, steering away from the conventional packaging of an “It” sneaker.
For those who’ve long believed in the misunderstood allure of the wedge heel, rejoice. This silhouette is staging a triumphant comeback. At Ferragamo, wedges take on a sculptural form, resembling arched statues crafted from glossy patent leather. JW Anderson sends models down the runway in a surprising pairing of socks (sans pants), a daring look mirrored by Burberry and Stella McCartney, where trousers make way for long slouchy boots. Loewe introduces the leather pant boot—an embodiment of a classic five-pocket trouser design translated to the soles. In this landscape, sneakers take a backseat, allowing a diverse array of stylish, boundary-pushing footwear to take centre stage.
This season, designers showcased more traditional and gender-associated silhouettes, favouring pointy-toed stilettos over clunky platforms. Even boots embraced a more serious demeanour, although Western-inspired styles injected a touch of playful nostalgia inspired by the previous summer’s breakout trend. Fall’s footwear narrative strikes a balance between tradition and whimsy, reflecting the nuanced mood of the times.
Here is a look at five top shoe trends from New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion week.
The era of the square toe’s dominance in the realm of fashion’s “It” shoes seems to be waning, making way for the triumphant return of the pointy toe. This resurgence was featured throughout fashion month, with Prada leading the charge by unveiling a series of pumps adorned with what can only be described as origami-inspired folds meticulously crafted from leather. Jimmy Choo delved into vintage silhouettes, presenting a sling-back pointy toe pump with minimal buckle detailing. Saint Laurent embraced the extreme by pairing pointy toes with metal stilettos and slick patent leather.
Wedges have borne the brunt of criticism for years, perhaps due to their association with cork versions that gained notoriety in the mid-’00s, thanks in part to Jersey Shore. However, the wedges showcased on the fall 2023 runways are a far cry from the memories of beer-soaked frat house gatherings circa 2008. Ferragamo’s Vidya wedge pump is a prime example, seamlessly blending the sex appeal of a classic sky-high pump with the trendy dual-buckle design of a Mary Jane. Maryam Nassir Zadeh contributes sleek peep-toe wedges that exude an immediate cool factor destined to become even more fashionable come October when downtown trendsetters find inventive ways to style them with stockings. The current wave of wedges defies controversy and, instead, emerges as highly coveted fashion statements, contributing to the rebranding of this style as an underestimated accessory powerhouse.
The stiletto heel emerges as a sobering yet severe silhouette for fall 2023. Tory Burch explores vintage flourishes, but a series of unadorned black stiletto pumps epitomize the essence of this trend. Givenchy also embraces the trend, infusing colour and nuance. However, the Saint Laurent metal stiletto stands out as a potential source of inspiration and a benchmark, challenging celebrities to master the art of wearing and walking in them on the red carpet come fall.
Who needs traditional pants when fashion is daring you to embrace innovative alternatives? Loewe challenges the status quo with its knee-high leather pant boot, inviting you to reconsider it as a formidable substitute for jeans. Y/Project takes a bold step by swapping out pants for long slouchy boots cleverly designed to resemble jeans from a distance. Stella McCartney presents a fusion of long rugby tops with even longer over-the-knee boots, offering a stylish solution to extend the life of your micro miniskirt into colder months. These boots redefine coverage without compromising your distinctive personal style, making a compelling case for the evolution of bottom-wear conventions.
Red dresses have long stolen the spotlight, but the fervour for the colour has shifted downward to our feet. Tory Burch showcases the power of head-to-toe red, accentuated by fishnet stockings and buttoned-up dresses, all elegantly finished with striking red heels. Meanwhile, at Prada and Stella McCartney, the red pump serves as a cool cherry on top of an otherwise neutral ensemble. A red shoe emerges as the ultimate sexy finishing touch, akin to the timeless confidence bestowed by a favourite tube of bold red lipstick.