Fashion Month offered up plenty of ideas for the footwear and accessories sector but here’s our pick of what we think could really hit the commercial mainstream, as well as some ideas for trends we expect to bubble under but eventually make it big.
Bye-bye toe cleavage?
Could it really be happening? After decades in which shoe vamps have been cut lower than low and have almost been custom designed to induce bunions, for SS19 plenty of labels took mercy on the world’s feet. They cut them higher up the foot, offering plenty of opportunities to make the most of pattern, texture and power colour. If it takes off, it’ll mean a big change for women to take in – but change is long overdue so fingers crossed.
Slides and thongs
The summer shoe of choice for many labels is an easy sandal that simply slides on and acts as a vehicle for materials creativity. Designers load on plenty of hardware, use trims such as feathers and beads, or simply opt for high-impact pattered cottons. An alternative is the humble thong sandal that’s been elevated and re-engineered to be about as far away from the hippy shoe as it’s possible to get. The key point is the toe post, but as long as that’s there, almost anything else goes.
Boots are always a hard sell in the summer season but they work perfectly for cooler spring days and the newest opt for wide, slouchy cuts that don’t hug the leg so they can carry over into warmer weather too. Combine them with statement heels for high impact alongside the season’s mini skirts and the ongoing trend for skinny jeans. They work well in the top leather choice for the season (snakeskin) but also think about fabric options (denim is popular as are canvas brights) or the softest suedes.
All tied up
Decorative ties work for both day and night adding a gladiator edge to flats, but let’s not suggest that the gladiator sandal will mount a major comeback even though there are hints of that already. They also add a more dressed down feel for heels that could energise the occasionwear sandals scene come the summer. While neutral and white are the big colour choices, also think about brights and remember to trim ties with beads or shells for an extra edge.
The ugly sneaker trend continues with heavy soles and high-high-profile materials. But it’s also joined by other sports-influenced silhouettes and details. Scuba shoes make a play for the fashion mainstream, channelling the use of scuba materials and details across ready-to-wear generally for SS19. But sports-influenced are most often found in more wearable knit materials that echo the extreme comfort technical developments being seen in the performance sports sector. And of course, let’s not forget the humble lace-up deck shoe or baseball shoe.
Humble materials make an impact for high summer with straw used to add a rustic edge to ladylike bags or just to make oversized totes feel completely beachy. Expect this to make a real impact at a commercial level next summer.
The mini bag has never really gone away but it’s particularly big news for SS19. As before, it’s a luxe-but-tiny interpretation of larger bag designs and offers something for everyone from the ultra-embellished to the plain, the high-colour to the neutral and the totally-casual to the very dressy.
Oversized and squishy, or smaller but still soft, the most informal bags come as school-style PE bags in leather or canvas, as giant totes in nylon, or squishy statement bags in the most luxe leathers. Duffel bags (looking particularly appealing in mini versions) also feel right and act as a strong alternative to the backpack.
Elegant but edgy
The backpack may rule for everyday use but the classic ladylike bag isn’t going down without a fight and for the new season we see it in all its traditional elegance. But there are plenty of updates via on-trend materials and colours, powerful and frequently quirky detailing and silhouettes, and striking hardware that will help it appeal to the Millennial shopper seeking newness, newness and more newness in her bag choices.
The rope belt is an easy summer hit in the making whether it’s kept ultra-simple and almost monkish or trimmed with beads, shells, coins or anything else that screams ‘summertime’. It’s a strong piece to go with the season’s staples – the tunics, the retro boho dresses, and the casual shorts.