It’s safe to say that Paris Fashion Week’s spring ’22 season was one for the books. After nearly two years of travel restrictions and mostly-virtual shows, editors, buyers and industry executives were finally able to convene in the fashion capital of the world once again for a return to near-normal.
Along with the celebratory mood came plenty of festive shoes. Here, a rundown of the top 10 shoes of Paris Fashion Week, with an emphasis on the jubilant, the glorious and the triumphant.
1. Roger Vivier’s crystal cube heels
Amidst a cinematic and slightly surreal collection, creative director Gherardo Felloni debuted a pair of sandals destined to be the ultimate party shoe next heel. With glittery straps, an elegant platform and edgy (but also comfortable) square toe, the shoe is already dance floor ready. But a crystal-covered cubed heel adds a punctuation mark to the look — quite literally.
2. Christian Louboutin’s rainbow-brite platform
The French footwear maestro always does a strong platform sandal in his collections, and the Manola heel does not disappoint. With padded leather rope detailing done in different metallic hues and an inverted block heel, the cheerful sandal is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic.
3. Loewe’s objet heels
Creative director Jonathan Anderson took the brand’s statement footwear into a new direction this spring, replacing chunky knot loop hardware for simple strappy sandals with a lot to say in the heel. From roses to nail polish and cracked eggs, each shoe is its own tableau.
4. Valentino’s big, bold gladiator
Summer 2022 is destined to be the return of the gladiator sandal, with Valentino showing a full lace-up on the runway that was complete with its oversized Rockstud detailing.
5. Schiaparelli’s striped surrealist platforms
The French brand is experiencing a resurgence thanks to the work of artistic director Daniel Roseberry (and the genius modeling of Beyoncé and Cardi B). For spring, the designer took his golden toes to the beach in seaside-meets-Willy-Wonka stripes done on a big platform.
6. Chloé’s artisanal thongs
When it comes to sustainability, creative director Gabriela Hearst is tackling every product category from sneakers to overcoats, looking at the life cycle of each item and how its net footprint can be reduced. A series of platform thongs and other sandals showcased how upcycling scraps of leather and yarn can look both chic and innovative.
7. Balenciaga’s mega-Crocs
Creative director Demna Gvasalia’s love of Crocs is no secret, but each iteration of the ubiquitous shoe for Balenciaga seems to bring a new sense of amusement. This time, a pair of platform clogs were decorated with heavy hardware, and worn with oversized suiting by actor Elliot Page.
8. Pierre Hardy’s eco-heels
There were few sustainably-focused collections this season, which made Pierre Hardy’s new Planet collection all the more significant. Leave it to the longtime footwear pro and Hermès shoe designer to create a capsule showcasing how you can look toward more sustainable materials while maintaining design codes. Hardy’s cage heel is exactly what he would design normally (and perfect for the season’s return to both heels and bright, citrusy colors). But this time it’s done with limited-quantity old vegetable-tanned leather stock, along with chrome and metal-free tanned leather for the lining and a completely recycled material for the sole.
9. Louis Vuitton’s open-toed boots
Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière and team always do footwear a little differently for the French fashion brand’s collections, and this season was no exception. A series of satin boots had both open toes and athletic-inspired lacing, both as function and decor, giving his opulent collection a jaunty Marie Antoinette-meets-seventies-basketball-player vibe.
10. Balmain’s padded sandals
For all the celebratory high heels coming around the bend next year, it’s likely that wearers might still want to hold on to some of that work-from-home comfort. Enter Balmain’s ultra-padded sandal, which looks like a high heel was wrapped in a comfy blanket or robe.