sleeker and smoother, opened up, updated and well-designed in total
sophistication. After last year's steady diet of bigger bottoms, oversized
uppers and ultra casual comfort, shoes and boots for fall 2000 have
trimmed down and dressed up. Gorgeous colorations, slim little silhouettes
and feminine tailoring have created a fashion direction that begs to
new push for footwear femininity is part of a radical change on the
ready-to-wear scene. In recent couture runway shows, evening wear and
late day dressing dominated, replacing the casual sportswear, which
had played a big part in the last few seasons. At the same time clothing
manufacturers were creating "dress up Thursday" in an attempt to save
massive sales lost from the pervasive "casual Friday" phenomenon. These
trends, combined with the resurgence of suited dressing, have brought
tailored accessories back with a vengeance.
some footwear designers are touting a "return to color", others say
that after the infusion of intensive color into spring, fall should
be darker. Either way, brown and gray have bowed out and black has taken
their place as the "new" neutral. What color exists is toned down with
purple becoming burgundy, plum or cognac; green becoming loden, khaki
and moss; and brights returning only as trim. Red is the exception and
it shines in sueded snakes, bright patent boots and metalicized leather.
real news in footwear is the heel. It's back, from stiletto 70 mm high
heeled boots to 50 mm career sling backs. Heel shapes range from fun
and funky to elegant and include angular, Cuban, architectural, molded,
wedged, sliced and spooled styling. The only shoe element newer than
the heel is the toe, and fall shows them turned up, rounded, squared,
elongated, snipped and opened up.
which were back in full force for spring are, surprise, even bigger
for fall. They are strappy for evening but make an appearance in career
shoes as well. Variations included every type of cut-out, opened-up
shoe including mules, sling backs, ankle or t-strap, opened toed, double
D'orsay and open shank silhouettes.
boots, a perennial fall favorite are sandalized with daring cut outs
at the heel, the toe or the side. Created in every height, style and
color for every purpose, boots for fall are now all things to all people.
Of particular note are an influx of slim shaped boots with sexy pointed
toes and spiked heels seen at their best in ultra shiny red patent leather.
also serve function with even more features built into hikers, trail
runners and walkers. New technology includes therapy magnets, temperature
moderating footbeds, antibacterial linings, and waterproof fabrics.
Continuously inspired by athletic performance footwear, designers in
every category (from high end collections to casual comfort) have incorporated
sports looks into their lines with everything from true sneakers to
boat shoes on sexy spool heels. While boots and sandals lead the fall
fashion scene a few classic silhouettes continue to be important including
the Mary Jane, clogs and anything Western. Slippers too, which only
recently were considered boring and staid, are now making an appearance
in fun junior lines.
junior looks, in a category which always embraces the ends of the fashion
spectrum, include Persian and Eastern Indian influences, the use of
Velcro, buckles and ties and athletic feel translated to junior dress.
Fabrications take their inspiration from retro's elegant use of real
fur with faux shaggy, hairy surfaces and embellishment taking the form
of applique, feathers and embroidery. Fabric is layered over leather
giving it a futuristic flossed cotton candy appearance or beaded for
a "rock candy" look. And snakes, crocs and pony appear, painted in greens,
metallics and multi colorations.
concepts tend to start at the junior/ teen level, trending both up to
women's and down to kid's fashion. So, for this fall, kids will now
have a taste of last year's faster styling including slides, clogs and
platforms for 5-year olds. Athletic features are now a required part
of even dressier shoes with flex bottoms, padded heels, softer triple
density soles and updated technology. Girls' everyday shoes are taking
a more "Sunday-best" feel while boy's styles are looking to more rugged
menswear, formal dress is experiencing its own renaissance and footwear
is not far behind. For fall, classic shapes predominate with lace ups,
oxfords and square toe boots. The color pallet is basic with sand, cinnamon,
black, brown, smoke and burgundy in smooth leathers. Euro-comfort is
the buzzword and the shape is more anatomical with oblique lasts and
platform heels in classic handsewns. With the dress shoe business in
transition, footwear manufacturers are offering a whole wardrobe of
footwear styling including weekend, office, formal, active and casual
office - the new expanded category.
between extremes from high boots to low strappy sandals, fall footwear
has taken the best from spring and created its own elegant looks. It
is classic femininity modernized with a touch of technology. Or it is
statement-making fabrications, such as snake or croc, zipped up the
back. Or it is Euro-casual gone to the office. In any case it is about
ease and simplicity and a return to what works.