What can we take from the couture shows about women’s shoe trends?

One thing that became clear when looking back at the recent couture shows in Paris is the return of the flat shoe and it was a talking point everywhere as more and more designers used sandals or sneakers as part of their collections.

The past few years on the catwalk it has been the shoes and their design that have taken over from hand bags as a featured aspect of the couture shows and then become the must have item, where we have seen heels become higher and more constructed and elaborate than ever before. As with all trends it seems we are turning another corner and women are now looking for alternatives and ways to head back to flats over heels.



Sneakers ruled at the Chanel Couture show!

Can some of this be laid at the feet of the shoe designers, who in trying to create interesting and new looks, fashioned platforms that became thicker and thicker, were unwieldy and in some cases looked like they could sprain an ankle or collapse completely sending the wearer tumbling to the ground. You can often see women heading out in unwieldy shoes and struggling to keep up with their partners or friends as they clunk along trying to look dignified and frankly doing a disservice to the rest of their outfit. One of the important things about any outfit and the shoes you were is to be confident in them and if you are going to put platforms on you need to not just go for the look but also look at how you can walk in them with confidence and style.

With the current couture collections sandals were softened by the addition of sequins, fur or feathers which gave them a sense of glamour and depending on the collection added whimsy to what was being presented. This was not of course adopted across the board with the couture collections, with some designers opting to put some of their creations on the catwalk with flats but also interspersing this with the more regular healed shoes that we have come to expect over the past few seasons with the couture collections.


Flat, gold and fabulous at Mason Martin Margiela Couture!

The Paris shows for summer 2014 that I reported on last week seemed to be making the argument for flat shoes to return to the fore. Of course seeing it on the catwalk sometimes does not translate to the stores that quickly, we all know how far in advance some of the retailers buy their upcoming ranges for sale and so it may be a couple of seasons before we see a large range of flatter shoe options for women, but women are rebelling against shoes that inhibit their movement when walking, whether into an event, on the red carpet, down the street, getting out of a car or heading out to dinner.



Rad Hourani gave style to these leather flat shoes for his Couture show!

As you know I love shoes in all their glory and revel in interesting designs but I also embrace practicality in footwear for women and finally we are moving towards a more sensible, fresh approach and moving from the earlier seasons that have been dominated by clubby, clunky higher and higher shoes!





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