As new designer collections debut around the world during fashion month, we begin to see clear fashion trends for 2023 emerge.
September might feel like it’s a world away, but Fall/Winter collections made their debut months ago. While there’s plenty of summer fun — and fashion — left to be had, despite the dwindling number of summer Fridays left on our calendar, there’s no reason not to slip your feet into the best fall shoe trends of the year right now.
Designers seemed determined to deliver fresh takes on fall’s familiar favourites like over-the-knee boots, but also whimsically remixed staples like wedges and cowboy boots. From luxe hardware to micro-heels, there’s lots to love about this year’s hottest fall shoe styles.
Rejoice, those who have long believed in the misunderstood charm of the wedge heel. This silhouette is making a triumphant return. Wedge shoes take on sculptural shape at Ferragamo, like arching sculptures created from shiny patent leather. JW Anderson sends models down the catwalk without socks (no trousers), a bold design matched by Burberry and Stella McCartney, where trousers give way to long slouchy boots. Loewe debuts the leather pant boot, a translation of a traditional five-pocket trouser style to the soles. Sneakers take a back seat in this environment, enabling a varied range of elegant, boundary-pushing footwear to take centre stage.
Designers favoured pointy-toed stilettos over clunky platforms this season, favouring more classic and gender-associated designs. Even boots adopted a more solemn demeanour, yet Western-influenced versions infused a whimsical nostalgia inspired by the previous summer’s smash fad. The footwear story for Autumn seeks a mix between tradition and fun, reflecting the times’ multifaceted tone.
Here is a look at seven top shoe trends from fashion month’s New York, London, Milan, and Paris circuits.
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.
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.
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.
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 epitomise 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.
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.