Current Trend Report

Meg Rottman
Go to: Key Trends

The Spring 2003 footwear story will be one of subtle transitions, with designers taking safe, popular styles and colors from recent seasons and modify them into something fresh and new. For example, the casual flip flop from last summer trades up to a slightly more sophisticated split-toe mule. Last fall's emphasis on red, white and blue now focuses on just the white (in 18 different shades). And the Moulin Rouge corseted influence from last year becomes macramé ankle wraps and athletic shoes laced all the way from the tip of the ankle to the tip of the toe.

And while the number of important footwear silhouettes are limited (to primarily backless slides and trimmed down sneakers), the ways to detail them are not. In fact, the sky is the limit in trims, with enhancements that include not just embroidery and flowers, but also Swarovski crystals, shells, coins, fringe and jeweled ornamentation. And, in sandalized footwear, the footbed takes on new importance with sock linings in a multitude of colors and patterns including designer logos.

In otherwords, designers have found a way to play it safe, and at the same time, offer the public (who now demand fashion styles from A to Z each and every year) a chance to have it their way.

The biggest surprise for the season is the return of green. Ignoring popular footwear lore (that green shoes do not sell), manufacturers have taken European-inspired green hues and added an assortment of muted shades and banana leaf prints to its pallet of neutrals and other citrus colors (yellow, turquoise and orange).

The other color story for spring is white. White stands alone and combines-- in color blocking, stripes and adornments-- with black or navy (in nautical looks), blues
(especially denim shades), citrus tones and strong neutrals including brown, taupe and even red (no longer considered a fashion color).

Toe character is both round and pointy. Heels heights range from the dainty Sabrina style to thicker stacked heels to a moderate wedge, with flats most often shown as the heel of choice. Adornments often take a conservative flair with tone on tone embroidery or white beading on white leather.


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