Another Milan Fashion Week has come and gone — but the season will certainly go down as one of the more unique ones for the fashion and footwear capital. With a cautious but joyful return to in-person shows and presentations after the stop and start of two years of a pandemic, plus the clear and present uncertainty of a nearby war in Ukraine.
Within the collections, however, it was mostly about color, verve and lots of glitz. While there were plenty of party shoes to go around for fall ’21, this upcoming fall and winter season looks to be even more sparkly. Platforms could be seen in just about every collection, and crystal and sequin details were plentiful.
Here, a look at the best shoes from Milan Fashion Week’s fall ’22 season.
Gianvito Rossi hand cut crystal sandal
The veteran shoe designer has already done a lot of the glitzy, crystal-covered heels now on the scene for fall ‘22’s revenge dressing moment, but Rossi is taking a more subdued approach for the season. “It’s about a subtle sparkle,” said Rossi. The standout evening heel was a metallic red sandal with an ankle strap, square toe and gigantic hand-cut crystal toe detail in an emerald shape, the ultimate less-is-more statement shoe for a blinged out season.
Bottega Veneta Intrecciato boots
New Bottega — meet old Bottega. The brand’s new creative director Matthieu Blazy returned to some of the Italian heritage label’s leather craftsmanship details, including its prized “intrecciato,” which he did in black, burgundy and a compelling baby blue with an updated shape that features a tapered stacked heel and slight square shape. Think of Bottega’s new boot as fall’s “It” bag for the feet.
Versace triple-layer platforms
Just about every brand did a platform at Milan Fashion Week this season, but few are finding the sweet spot like Versace, which already can’t keep its spring ’22 colorful platform sandals in stock. This time, Donatella Versace did a triple layered platform, again in satin and with bold colors, but now with a pointed toe. Paired with cargo pants and corsets, the heel is destined to repeat itself in popularity for fall.
Jimmy Choo pink strappy sandal
Throughout her collection, creative director Sandra Choi used pops of pink, which she calls “a new neutral” — the best of which was found in a strappy sandal that the designer brought back from her very first collection for the brand in 1997.
Giuseppe Zanotti ombre crystal-covered boot
This is the season of glitz, and no one knows it more than Zanotti. After a pre-pandemic turn to a more minimal look, the Italian designer is back to his crystal-studded adventures. A series of over-the-knee boots were the stars of the show, blinged out but refined in an ombre crystal effect, done in both green-blue and pink-to-burgundy-purple palettes. The designer said he created the boot as a genderless style and will be offering the from 34 to 44; he’s even tried them himself. “A lot of men love to wear heels. Why not? I design for humans, girls, boys, no gender,” he said.
Aquazzura disco ball sandals
It has been ten years since Aquazzura blasted onto the footwear scene as purveyor of glamour and sex appeal with a “Dolce Vita” twist, and that philosophy continues to ring true for fall ‘22, with a high impact collection that was slightly more edited but no less dazzling. Designer Edgardo Osorio is well versed in the statement jewelry shoe; this time around it in a few iterations, including as an expansion on his disco ball heel series, which we bet will be a hit at store, on the red carpet and even in film come fall.
Gucci x Adidas sneaker wedge
There were many ways in which Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele could have interpreted the three stripes of Adidas, but he did it best when he took a classic sneaker from the German brand and gave it a strong Gucci update. That could be seen in a gold Gazelle done in patent leather with red laces and black stripes (and styled with turquoise stockings, naturally). A crepe wedge heel gave the sneaker its decisive appeal.
Benedetta Bruzziches satin sling back
The Italian designer has been creating some of the most interesting handbags on the market for a few years now, but her launch into footwear this season proves her creativity is boundless. Among her crystal chainmail bags are matching boots decorated with the same chainmail. But a pair of sling backs in fuchsia satin with metal hardware cuff bracelets is the shoe we would want to wear any time we put on a pair of heels — which is to say, they are something special.
Casadei crystal platform loafer
Cesare Casadei presented a collection that spanned more than a few categories, from comfort to disco and everything in between. Aside from updates to the Blade (which just celebrated its 10th anniversary), there were plenty of platforms with a definitive nod to both bondage and vintage nightclub culture. The in-between was represented by the Gogo, a Mary Jane style with a chunky rubber sole, inspired by the unisex shoes from Casadei’s own childhood. “They were ugly when I was young,” he recalled. “Every celebration, it was this shoe, always in blue, for every wedding, every ceremony. My mother said, ‘These are the shoes you need!’” This crystal studded loafer has the same new chunky rubber sole but it’s blinged-out upper makes it truly an option for day and night.
Marni spike toed pumps
Perhaps it’s the state of global current affairs, but there’s something compelling about Marni’s spiked pumps, which also came in a flat loafer for an equally alluring style during these uncertain times. It’s also a more creative approach to this season’s glittering shoe, when what makes a shoe shine is also what gives its wear some fierce protection.