Footwear for the Yellow Brick Road: London Embraces Feathers, Boots, Slingbacks

LONDON — As models strutted down the runway, during London Fashion Week, the shoes they wore didn’t go unnoticed.

From slingback kitten heels, to revamped trainers and chunky boots, the shoe game was strong.

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For footwear, the designers launched collaborations, reworked deadstock materials and experimented with different silhouettes.

Malone Souliers took inspiration from midcentury Italian architecture and the work of architects Gae Aulenti, Carlo Scarpa and Gio Ponti, who were referenced through neutral shades and geometric shapes.

The Maureen, a mule with a double strap and a curved upper, was offered in different variations including a chain-printed leather and a monochromatic version with a chain embellished onto the straps. There were also slingbacks and loafers in contrasting materials such as mesh and croc-leather, and colors — black and white; white and mahogany.

For the first time, the brand also launched ballet flats with velvet ribbons and laces that tie around the ankles.

“We are known for a lot of heels and feminine silhouettes but we want to make sure that things are very wearable,” said Coco Fong, co-creative director at Malone Souliers.

Another new addition to the collection were slingback and lace-up heels, in black, red and frost, with feather pom-poms on the vamp.

Backstage at Erdem Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at London Fashion Week
Backstage at Erdem fall 2024 at London Fashion Week.

Slingbacks were also particularly popular at Erdem, whose collection was inspired by Maria Callas’ performance of Medea in Athens. In ruby red, ballet pink, black and ivory the kitten heels were adorned with ostrich feather trims around the outsole or the top-line — almost identical ones were spotted at David Koma. Another design bore a satin rosette on the vamp that swept the floor as the models walked.

The shoes at JW Anderson were, as per usual, bold: chunky shearling chukka boots in black and brown. The models also walked in flat, closed-toe sandals in light ochre and brown shades.

Burberry Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at London Fashion Week

A strong boot moment was also seen at Burberry with designs in signature earth tones used throughout the collection. The silhouettes included; slouchy leather harness boots; over-the-knee leather wedged-heel boots, and ankle boots with contrasting welts.

Ancuta Sarca held a presentation inspired by empty airport lounges and the feeling of coziness they bring, referencing comfortable airport outfits through the use of surplus fleece and faux fur on her signature knee-high, pointed-toe heeled boots. Compared to her previous collections, this time around she played around with a more toned-down color palette featuring shades of brown, ombre mustard and red.

Continuing on her focus on sustainability, Sarca also collaborated with the 3D-printed shoe manufacturer, Hilos, to create a mule heeled sandal made of 80 percent recycled nylon and TPU.

“They work on a zero waste process, where they create everything digitally. So, there is no waste or fabric damage,” Sarca said.

Roksanda, fall 2024

Roksanda joined forces with female-founded footwear brand FitFlop in celebration of womanhood. The collaboration included leather clogs and thong flats in hues of orange, burgundy and black. On the runway, there were also pointed-toe stiletto-heeled mules in cobalt blue. The brands will carry on their collaboration for Roksanda’s spring 2025 show.

Conner Ives collaborated for the second time in a row with Jimmy Choo. The collection was inspired by Jimmy Choo archival shapes which included a knee-high boot, kitten-heeled mule and slipper. The shoes came in chocolate brown lizard-embossed calfskin and a satin effect calfskin with hand-painted roses by artist Rosie Mennem.

Backstage at Conner Ives Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at London Fashion Week
Backstage at Conner Ives fall 2024 at London Fashion Week.

“What I love about Conner and how he does things is that there are no boundaries, everything is just made exquisitely beautiful and his cleverness of resourcing everything that is around him pulled everything together — that to me is art,” said Sandra Choi, creative director at Jimmy Choo.

At Saul Nash, the models walked and danced on the runway wearing loafers made in partnership with men’s footwear brand Sebago. The designs came in classic black leather with a twist: customized rubber soles by Vibram.

Robyn Lynch launched footwear for the first time in collaboration with Geox. The shoe model was an archival Geox Uomo Snake from 2005, which was also the designer dad’s all-time favorite. The trainers came in three variations of brown and blue, in a combination of suede and leather.

Colville Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at London Fashion Week
Colville fall 2024 at London Fashion Week.

Colville worked with Italian company, College Shoes, to create a loafer-mule hybrid made of deadstock leather. The shoes came in an array of different contrasting colors including burgundy, black, mustard yellow and lilac.

The brand also upcycled sneakers by streetwear brand, Diadora, by blotching vibrant-colored paint strokes on the soles and sides of the shoes.

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