TEXT BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
In Milan, shoes steal the spotlight – Jimmy Choo, Aquazzura, Fendi, Bottega Veneta and more presented big footwear hits for the upcoming fall season.
Welcome to Milan Fashion Week, a shoe lover’s ultimate playground.
Here, the biggest players in the industry come together to set the tone for the upcoming season – and they usually do it in over-the-top palazzos as their backdrops.
There were the likes of Aquazzura or René Caovilla, who didn’t hold back when it came to crystals, lace and all things sparkly; Guiseppe Zanotti who wanted to return to his roots and brought back the platform in a big way; and major names like Bottega Veneta, Fendi and Jimmy Choo whose new boot styles are most likely already amassing long waiting lists.
We’ve scoured all the new collections and rounded up the best styles and creative new ideas that emerged from the Italian fashion capital over the last five days:
Let’s start off with Bottega Veneta, because no conversation around shoes or Milanese fashion can start without a mention to Bottega these days and the retail storm that Daniel Lee caused with his square-toe, intrecciato wonders.
For fall he veered off the brand’s signature woven leather for shoes and opted for a tougher, more austere aesthetic, in the form of structured, square-toe cowboy boots that came in neutral shades, grounding some of the louder, fringe-embellished ready-to-wear he presented. They were practical yet inspired a sense of authority, so could they be the next Bottega big hit?
There was also plenty of fringe at Prada, with chunky Mary Janes – often worn with colourful tights – off-setting the look. But the real story was last Sunday’s announcement that Raf Simmons will be joining Miuccia Prada as co-creative director. Are the shoes bound to get even more quirky and overshadow the Bottega craze?
Another classic hit on the catwalk has to be Fendi, which adopted a more feminine, playful approach to their footwear: Boots dominated here too but the Fendi version came with round toes, soft pastel hues and at times, multiple logo velcro straps. They added a modern touch to the label’s elegant midi-dresses, corsetry and puff sleeves and are bound to be right at the top of everyone’s fall 2020 shopping lists.
Over at Aquazzura, it was refreshing to see designer Edgardo Osorio ignore market trends and march to the beat of his own drum. This meant all things maximalist and va-va-voom, from a pair of pointed-toe mesh and crystal-embellished booties, to classic heeled pumps featuring flattering cutouts and crystals or stunning satin bow embellishments running all the way through the back of the heels.
Guiseppe Zanotti also wanted to revisit his signatures and embraced big platforms, chunky gold chains and feathers. We’ve had our eye on the return of the platform for a while and love Zanotti’s sleek iteration of platform sandals, which came in black patent leather and featured a set of gold chains at the back.
Over at Jimmy Choo, Sandra Choi wanted to blend cultures and aesthetics by referencing two different muses: Talitha Getty and Tina Chow. The result was a beautiful mix of colors, textures and a variety of styles from more laid-back to completely over-the-top. The curved heels, square toes and leather mix on mules and boots were the biggest standouts, particularly a pair of snake-effect and black leather knee boots.
I was thinking about preciousness, about refinement and elevation, about paying attention to details. Creating something beautiful, artful and considered. Something designed to last,” said Choi.
There were plenty more refined classics all across Milan. Sergio Rossi served its signature buckled pumps in bold satin shades; Casadei offered a pair of black and white pointed-toe pumps featuring sleek, of-the-moment geometric shapes and Paciotti went a little more sensual with pumps whose edges were shaped like flames; skin-tone thigh-high boots with metallic heels, and minimalist square-toe pumps.
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