London Fashion Week designers packed a mean punch when it came to the defining shoe trends for fall ’19. From the platform 2.0 to the playbook on utility chic and all manner of alternatives to the sneaker, your new season crib sheets starts here.
The collective consciousness of London designers was thinking big — and models were walking very tall indeed. But forget tottering on skyscraper stilettos; fall ’19 was all about the platform. It came in myriad incarnations: candy striped sandals by Christian Louboutin at Halpern, optic print laceups at Matty Bovan, loafer hybrids at Alexa Chung and elevated combat boots at House of Holland.
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It might have been an ode to the British weather, but protective footwear has undergone a high-fashion makeover. Toga, Kiko Kostadinov and Roksanda all showed wader-style boots. The Toga versions and Kiko’s Camper collab came with sneaker heels, while Roksanda’s partnership with Malone Souliers featured rubberized uppers and ruched satin legs. At Burberry, Riccardo Tisci’s debut sneaker featured the shiny rubber-dipped soles popularized by Anglo-Chinese label Both Paris.
Mutate to Survive
It’s a governing principle of evolution that organisms must mutate in order to survive. This tenet applies also to the fashion universe. Take the boots at Natasha Zinko; they came with pockets just like the designer’s utility vests. At Kiko Kostadinov, fall ’19’s Asics collab was more neat little strappy plimsoll than the label’s customary chunky runner; Christopher Kane applied last season’s DNA-inspired bubble heels to wedged ankle boots — the perfect foil for his ultrafeminine party dresses. Just call it fashion Darwinism.
She’s a Lady
The anti-sneaker reax continues apace. In the fall ’19 men’s collections, this came through as loafers and dress shoes; London womenswear designers called time on the trainer with bourgeois ladylike silhouettes (Erdem), bows (Ashley Williams x Jimmy Choo) and chiffon trains (J.W.Anderson). If in doubt, just add frosting.