One of the Fall/Winter 2021 season’s biggest overall messages: bigger is better. And it’s not just the bags! Designers from New York, London, Milan and Paris seemed to coalesce on large shoes in an exciting range of ways.
At brands like Balmain and Simone Rocha, the inspiration was the evergreen military boot. Remixed in the former with a thick, platform rubber sole and ribbed wool panels, and gussied up with pearl embroidery in the latter. For Altuzarra, the classic reference was treated more simply, with a chunky flatform crepe sole.
Simone Rocha Fall/Winter 2020
That attitude of utility also carried through to Miu Miu, whose mountainside collection of “lingerie warriors” had a range of rugged-looking hiking boots. Since it is Miu Miu, those boots naturally came in pastel pink shades.
Meanwhile at Dior, Erdem and Valentino, the idea was to give classic styles a dressing-up of prettiness. For instance, the combat boots that Maria Grazia Chiuri regularly presents at Dior came in a slimmer silhouette. These were laced with ribbons – quite similar to the platform ballet slippers at Erdem Morialoglu’s dance-inspired collection. And at Valentino, the hardy wading boot got a totally luxurious layered petal design in the vein of the brand’s Rose Edition Atelier line.
A trio of monochromatic looks at Versace Fall/Winter 2021, accessorised with platform shoes in perfectly colour-matched shades.
The most interesting versions of chunky shoes, however, were the ones with heels. All of a sudden, platform heels are back in fashion. That trend basically got confirmed the minute Prada sent out its version of the platform boot, made recognisable by the cutout in the middle.
For a more avant-garde version, look no further than Rick Owens, whose boots came woven like armour. And if you just want something playful, sexy and flirty with lots of sole? Donatella’s your girl. The Versace platform heels were ’90s redux perfection, making you think of the Gianni Versace and Richard Avedon days while looking absolutely right for this year.