If you’ve been consciously living on earth anytime during the past couple of centuries, you’ll be well aware of the fact that fashion does indeed operate in cycles. You’re probably fully aware of this, but if you still don’t believe me then just head on over to your nearest high street and compare what you see with some pictures depicting fashion styles of times gone by.
Certain trends are cited as being current, but they’ve in actual fact been brought back from the past for 2016. Whether it’s crop tops, chokers, slip dresses or over-sized denims, it isn’t just the clothing itself which looks like it’s had a past life. Shoes inspired by the vintage look have made a comeback as well, admittedly looking much better than they’ve ever been. Daniel Footwear has put together a nice little brief about some of the retro trends setting the 2016 autumn/winter alight.
Then and Now
One would perhaps associate platforms with that rather empowered moment in history that brought us the likes of the Spice Girls, but the lace-up boots and gigantic trainers we saw in the 90s didn’t make for the first instance in which we saw the type of footwear which could be said to have been larger than life. We’d have to go all the way back to the medieval era to uncover the first type of platforms, known as ‘pattens’.
Platforms made a brief reappearance in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when they started taking the shape and style in which we know them today. Think rock stars and other glamorous acts and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
As far as current trends go, platforms come in varieties spanning heels and boots, with a more stylish, streamlined silhouette having replaced the chunky heels, while platform trainers have also gone through somewhat of a rebirth, but they’re not as high as those we saw in the 90s.
Lace-up boots don’t appear to be showing signs of ever going out of style, with varieties including combat styles, biker, and flat. These have their origins as more practical footwear, but the rugged styling soon caught on in the fashion world.
Dr Martens were originally meant to be worn as boots for working men, but the 1990s fashion world would not have it, plucking these front-running, lace-up chunky boots from the industrial sector into the fashion world as the preferred choice in footwear to form part of the Grunge fashion era.
The grunge look seems to have made a very swift comeback however, with boots inspired by the 90s look now very much part of current trends. This season, they go particularly well with dark skinny jeans, with the look topped off with a nice oversized knit.
The 1960s brought us the rather revolutionary go-go boot, featuring a short plastic and block-heel construction. The revolution resides in the fact that boots were only really used by women for outdoor activities such as riding, but with the increasing liberalisation of public attitudes as the decade progressed, the boot soon found its way onto the fashion ramps, boasting a longer design to “balance out” rising mini-skirts and hemlines.
Today, the 2016 go-go boot still maintains its classic shape, except we’ve now traded in the plastic construction for some materials which are a bit more luxurious, including leather to suede. These are perfect with those thigh-skimmer dresses we can’t wait to rock in the upcoming party season.
Naturally designers will have experimented with various toe shapes over the years, from square to rounded, but the pointed-toe shape is one which has survived the test of time.
The 1920s prominently featured pointed toes by way of women’s shoes, with ankle straps to hold them in place while engaged in activities such as dancing. The point rounded up with the progression of the decade though, almost to the point of squaring all the way up.
The 1950s then saw the re-emergence of the pointed toe, giving birth to stilettos as we know them today. They were rather painful to wear though because of the slender, high heels, but made for an instant hit in the fashion world.
Round-toed shoes briefly subsided in the fashion circles in the 1990s, after which time they’ve made a full comeback. Your 2016 autumn/winter is in fact not complete if you don’t have velvet pointed court shoes in an array of colours, including green, rich red, classic black and even blue. They’re a bit more comfortable though as they’re not as high as their 50s predecessors.