Pre-Fall 2012 presented a respectable spectrum of footwear styles that have evolved from the previous Spring season’s trends, shapes and materials. While certain trends, including pointed toe pumps, ghillies and western, continued to strengthen into Fall, designers experimented with new ideas and brought back some classics. Colors played an important role in Pre-Fall as much as basic black did, which was the must-have color when it came to knee-high boots. Heels and platforms – if any platform at all – were generally tonal with no signs of colorblocking. The versatile silhouettes and easy-going colors made for staple styles that should be stocked up on before the storm of Fall footwear hits.
Pointed toe pumps have been seen on the runway for a few seasons now and the trend is only getting stronger. A classic investment piece, silhouettes for Pre-Fall are looking clean and sharp. Designers gave the style interest with metal toecaps and ankle straps. Materials offered a bit of lux as Alexander Wang experimented with mesh, Pour La Victoire and Boutique 9 went suede and Casadei stepped out in crocodile.
Another style to have as a staple in the shoe closet is the ankle bootie. It’s no stranger to the runway, but designers freshen up the look with low-cut top lines that often borderlined shooties. The edgy makeover was accompanied with both stiletto and sturdier heels and an occasional ankle strap, as in B Brian Atwood. Colors for ankle booties were neutral with black, taupe and a rather dark shade of red that is incredibly versatile.
While booties have been an easy favorite, the effortless knee-high boot returns in classic forms and a few updated ones. Straight shafted and to the point, Giuseppe Zanotti is an all-around style that can be worked with pants or skirts. Other designers reinvented the boot with extravagant embellishments or cutouts to resemble pumps with shafts. Givenchy created the most desirable boot of the season with a column shaft extending over the wedge.
The athletic trend isn’t going anywhere just yet. In fact, it’s getting stronger with an expansion into footwear. Stilettos take a sporty nod with laced up straps, aerodynamic shapes and a dose of color influenced by the gym. Pierre Hardy was ready for a workout with neoprene colorblock laced up booties and Jil Sander’s futuristic cutouts are cooler than sneakers.
Designers are still intrigued with the Wild West, resulting in the continuation of western-influenced boots. Silhouettes mimicked cowboy boots but with a fashionable twist, as seen in Rupert Sanderson’s wedge bootie or Balmain’s over-the-ankle statement style. Isabel Marant’s styles borrowed from the intricate patterns found on cowboys boots.
Part bootie, part sandal, the hybrid sandal is here to stay. The style was presented in open and closed toe versions with ankle straps as a key focus. Designers created looks by utilizing intricate straps or cutouts. Kanye West by Giuseppe Zanotti crafted small cutouts to appear sandal-like and a double ankle cuff. Camilla Skovgaard fused thick and thin straps together with an overlasted T-strap as the focal point.
Laced up with a sultry sex appeal, ghillies make for a glamorous look. The complex lacing is enhanced with lux materials of velvet and mesh and varies from ankle height to mid-calf. Jimmy Choo’s heeled style was an illusion with the looped straps overlaid on mesh and finished with braided laces. Prada opted for a more Victorian route with a closed toe look.