The unstoppable trend towards casual comfort-driven shoes seems to have peaked! There were still plenty of collections promoting comfort footwear at Micam, the international footwear trade fair presenting fall/winter 2016/17 collections in Milan.
Italy’s reputation for making the finest, most fashionable, trend-setting shoes in the world is more than justified, and Paris as an epicenter of fashion is on the same page. On a recent shopping trip to both places we found some exciting styles that would make a great addition to anyone’s shoe wardrobe for a forward, very special footnote this season.
Black and white, plus red/white and blue were overwhelming early spring colour statements in Paris and Milan. European retailers usually receive merchandise closer to the actual season, and, indeed, there was only a sprinkling of newness in Paris this past month. However, Milan windows had transitioned into spring more extensively, not only with the traditional crisp graphic colour story but also with an abundance of pales and floral prints.
Based on the strong tradition of leather tanning and leather goods manufacturing in Italy, Lineapelle in Milan is the important international trade event for anyone in those industries. The fair this past month proposed a colour story for spring/summer 2017 with ranges referencing contemporary pop, bright digitized colours, neutral earth tones and soothing pales. And every palette used black, white and grey as an anchor to build on. However, it is the treatment of leather, textures and finishes that were really providing newness.
Première Vision in Paris this February has become a one stop shopping expedition for all those seeking early Spring/Summer 2017 guidance and inspiration. This international textile fair has expanded into leather in a separate hall, Première Vision Leather, and another section has been dedicated to findings, called Première Vision Accessories.
To buy boots or not that was the question at FFANY, the New York Shoe Show, the first of a string of footwear trade fairs presenting Fall/Winter 2016/17 collections. Many retailers complained that tall-shafted boots did not perform this last season, and everybody lamented about the weather; either too warm, too little snow, too much snow etc. However, there was consensus about one thing: anything with stretch was successful. So naturally, there were plenty of new stretch footwear options at all price points.
Moods ranged from ultra modern futuristic to ever-lasting nostalgia at NY NOW, the trade fair held in NYC formerly known as the Gift Show. There was so much more than gifts. Accessories have become an important component of the fair representing many artisans/designers who add a unique, treasure trove-like vibe.
Smartphone covers and smartphones have invaded traditional accessory classifications with novelty materials such as 3-d printing and contemporary designs. That said, traditional watches simply telling time remain important when in tune with trends, from feminine to modern graphic. Eyewear is also a key fashion accessory, from oversized to delicate thin wires. Cold weather gear is experiencing a bonanza with ponchos and wraps as well as plenty of fur (faux or real).
Victoriana romanticism, Eighties allusions to modern excess and fashion’s exploration of arctic tribal influences all contribute to jewelry designs. In addition, there are on-going key motifs such as tassels and leaves that have staying power, and the colour black (often combined with crystals) moves to the forefront. The oversized, bold look of seasons’ past becomes refined with small, more delicate pieces
Handbag silhouettes don’t hold any surprises for next fall. However, new materials and treatments will give them a true makeover. Fluffy white fur, soft shearling, woolly fringe and leather tassels are some surface treatments on handbags bound to grab attention. The 70s patchwork trend should also translate well into bags together with folkloric print and embroidery. Foliage motifs have segued from jewelry to fabrics to embossed leathers for bags, in tune with the season. Sparkle and shiny patent and metallic leathers remain an integral part of fall as well. A bit of whimsy tops off any handbag assortment with a smile.
Despite unseasonal temperatures one should remember that there will always be winter somewhere, and the right footnote is essential to make a fall fashion statement. Here is our take on 10 key footwear silhouettes that we believe will be shoe wardrobe “Must Haves” next season.