It’s almost time for the flowers to bloom and the humidity to return (“yay”), so you’re probably thinking of injecting something fresh into your wardrobe, right? And because you all obviously adhere to Miranda Priestley’s iconic, “Florals for spring… groundbreaking,” you need new ideas to invigorate you. That’s where I come in. While clothes are far too quickly consumed – a devastating trend for designers, manufacturers, customers and our precious environment – there is a more long-term investment that currently holds rank in the fashion department: sneakers.
Sure, athleisure or sports chic are nothing new, but recent seasons have shown us footwear is the new apparel. And while your Nike Roshe Runs, Adidas NMDs and Stan Smiths are now integral parts of the fashion canon, there are undeniably new ways to step forward in style. Of course it is not just about the trainers or how you style them (paired with silk slips and baby pink pantsuits for example), but, rather, how you wear them. Courage of conviction has always been my favourite trend. Gym shoes are now an absolute and undeniable fashion staple, and if the latest run of Fashion Month shows (thanks autumn/winter ’17) is anything to go by, these looks will have you miles ahead on the trend track. Ok, shoe puns done.
Earlier in March, Rihanna showed yet another outstanding Paris Fashion Week collection for Fenty x Puma AW’17; an aesthetic based around schoolgirl rebellion where Bad Girl RIRI herself acted as headmistress. You best believe she took the sports brand’s athletic roots and combined them with couture and a dash of sex appeal, and, in turn, gave us LIFE. One of the most notable looks from the show? Her boxing boot inspired, lace-all-the-way-up-over-your-knee extravaganza heels.
Designer sneakers may not necessarily be a novel concept (think Dior SS’17 and the couture house’s ode to fencing, Gucci’s florals, or even further back to Chanel – who showed studded, glitzed out soles on its runway a few years back in Lagerfeld’s Supermarket inspired show for AW’14), but now more than ever they’re being collaborated, coveted and copied.
One of the most exciting trends has got to be the fusion of technology and fashion, with shoes and accessories leading the way. We’ve seen shoes that light up when you run or dance (Rula Bula, I’m coming for you) but this drop from Nike is still one of the coolest, most notable we’ve seen. In 2015 – 22, October to be exact -, Nike honoured (and finally perfected) the self-lacing Air Mag’s from Back To The Future and presented Michael J. Fox with a pair of automatic, self-lacing sneakers. These were in connection with Nike footwear built for basketball players to allow their feet to breathe and rest when not playing, plus save time and prevent any loose laces on the court. But they are also just SO DAMN COOL #fashionandfunction.
Sneakers boasting a technical advantage are a sure trend for upcoming seasons as the relationship between fashion, technology and sport continues to grow. If you want to try out a new fabric or, even better, an old fabric with a new look, Adidas launched a siiiiiiiick sneaker made entirely from recycled ocean plastic (we love us some eco-friendly footwear). The sock-fit sneakers slide right on (and yes, look like you’re wearing a sock above your sneaker top) and are inspired by the likes of Nike Fly Knits and Yeezy’s.These have trickled down to highend retailers as an easy way to adopt something new.
Get the look: Sock-like fit sneakers available from Zara
The Spice Girls knew what they were doing back in the 90s with those insane platform shoes every girl under 15 owned (myself included). Creepers are back and they’re here to stay this season (thanks again, RIRI) but this time, they’re less art school hipster and more casual chic. Brands such as Superga have reinvigorated the ‘flatform’ aesthetic with crisp colours and sleek silhouettes, while the rebirth of PUMA as a staple with cool kids has seen velvet – winter’s hottest trend – making its way to our feet.
Get the look: Ash Cult Platform Sneakers available from Shopbop
As gender roles continue to blur, fashion bounds ever forward and encourages a blending of aesthetics like never before. Taking a previously masculine discipline of sport and urban style and adding a distinct sense of femininity creates a soft, yet strong approach to the look. This season, think dusty rose (hello Adidas Tubular Entrap’s of my dreams) and metallics in classic silhouettes. Or put a big, pink bow on your big, pink sneakers a la Fenty x Puma Spring collection available now.
Get the look: The Fenty PUMA 2017 spring collection has just launched in the US – keep your eyes peeled these dusty pink trainers in HK stores, or check them out online.
Texture Turn Up
Texture is a huge trend all over. Silk, velvet, veld, fringe and visible stitching –are all small changes to previously simple shoes that create a new approach to your street style. Less subtle of course is the trend of majorrrrrrr embellishment; a look that blogger-turned-businesswoman Chiara Ferragni has built her brand with: heel-to-toe glitter, winking eyes and all the shine you can imagine. And while, for the most part, these may not take you from the treadmill to the dancefloor, they will without a doubt take you to the top of the style stakes this season.
Another ever-present trend: Pom Poms. Puffs. Fur Balls. Call them what you will, but these fluffy creatures are headed to your feet as designers and retailers add a pop of puff to your shoes.
If you’re getting tired of basic, clinically clean sneakers (which are no longer a trend, but let’s be honest, a fashion staple), then tune into your inner Picasso because this season saw a boost in colour and an ode to art. Sneakers bursting with graphics are all we’re seeing – think paint splashes, bold prints and organized chaos. Sneakers automatically add an edge to your outfit so why not let that edge be a form of creative expression and slight madness?
Get the look: Graphic print Stella McCartney x Adidas Sneaker available from Revolve
Nothing says new quite like vintage, am I right? Sure, that sounds counterintuitive, but with every new fashion season there is a sense of nostalgia and sneakers know perfectly well how to stroll down memory lane (I know, I know, I said no more shoe puns but I couldn’t help myself). Whether it’s modern takes on classic styles such as the Nike Cortez or sneakers vintage is a trend that has longevity.
Get the look: 696 Re-engineered New Balance Sneaker available from Revolve