Feeling the winter doldrums? We’ve got a quick cure for you. Head to the women’s accessories departments of any luxury retailer (or go online) and you’ll get an instant mood lift. Designer shoes, earrings, handbags and other accessories have gone wild for the coming spring season. Our Style Council reports that statement accessories are going to be bigger than ever this year. Merchandise is in-store now, and seeing these pieces will make you laugh and start planning your spring getaways. Whether or not you buy them is of course up to you.
Vogue gave us a heads-up last October that the spring 2017 season was going to be reasonably kooky on the accessories front. We were a bit skeptical, because what’s shown on the runway frequently gets modified before it hits the sales floor. In this case, though, the crazy made it all the way through the supply chain, and may soon make its way into your closet.
On a recent retail excursion, here’s what we saw that made us happy, or caused us to scratch our heads, or made us reach for our wallets:
Pack mules. Mules are a staple of many warm-weather wardrobes, but this spring they’ve mated with other styles and birthed some eye-catching offspring. At Chanel, there’s a mash-up of a leather spectator and a mule, with gold or silver metallic trim. There are also leather mules with black or white camellias. Gucci features suede mules with its iconic logo and massive fringes; the brand has been showing fur-lined mules for a couple of seasons now. They come in a wide assortment of jewel-toned prints for spring – all with brown fur. Huh?
Birds of a feather. Mui Mui is known for pushing the limits, and the brand doesn’t disappoint this season. We saw leather sandals with pink and baby-blue feathers and translucent straps. Also ballet flats with those same feathers, plus glitter and faux pearls. Fun!
Easter eggs. An Easter egg is a little surprise tucked away where only you can see it. Gucci has embroidered hidden icons like red lips and a single eye onto the inner soles of its new collection of kitten heels. Now when you kick off your shoes to dance, everyone will be able to see that for you, the party has already started!
Lunatic Fringe. The late 60s and 70s are still with us, and in shoes that seems to mean lots of fringing. Our beloved Aquazurra has added fringes and pompoms to its iconic lace-up flats. They’re done in suede, which we also saw a great deal of, including at Gucci and Valentino – for spring. All the old rules about what fabrics to wear in each season? Gone.
Look Up. Rainbows are everywhere – in bags by Anya Hindmarch, and on the 6-inch soles of platform sneakers from Gucci. Loewe showed a bag with a blue sky and puffy white cumulus cloud print. Optimism is in the air.
Sky high. Speaking of platforms – they’re reaching insane new heights. Prada, Gucci and Marc Jacobs are showing platform sandals (yes, you heard us right) and platform sneakers with soles of 6 inches or more, many with jagged teeth on the bottom. We find that hysterically funny. And terrifying.
Miss Matched. Last season, wearing one earring was a thing. That’s still with us, but the new-new thing is mismatched earrings. McQueen, Erdem, YSL and Marni all showed them on the runway (the look is meant to suggest insouciance and creativity). Any of us who have spouses, partners and friends who don’t follow fashion can expect a chorus of “your earrings don’t match – did you know that? Did you lose one?” The fun doesn’t stop there, though – another big trend for spring is mismatched shoes – same style, but different colors on each foot. You up for this? Be prepared to explain yourself.
Extreme baggage. On the runway, handbags were either overwhelmingly large (Celine, Balenciaga, Loewe) or so small as to be extremely impractical (Alexander Wang, Chloe, Hermes, Givenchy). The point being that everything made a statement of some sort. Choose yours carefully.
A boot for all seasons. We love this trend, and we hope it lasts – boots and booties are now a year-round staple. For spring/summer, the colors and prints may lighten up – or not – but we’re free to wear them anytime we want. Yay! Louis Vuitton, Dior, Maison Margiela and Balenciaga all had them on the runway. Vogue says that some designers are pushing this trend even further, showing leather gloves and colorful tights for the warm months. Not sure we’re feeling that. But who knows? It might become the new normal.
Sunnies! Sunglasses are always supposed to be fun, and this new crop doesn’t disappoint. Vogue tells us that the new thing is colored lenses – think green, pink, pale blue and yellow. They’re on offer from 3.1 Philip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Celine, among others. Our take is that’s a really tough look to pull off – good to know that there are still plenty of whimsical and edgy frames with traditional lens colors from our go-to brands, Fendi, Chanel and Prada.
In the midst of the madness, on our retail treasure hunt we found some gorgeous pieces that capture the joy of spring while maintaining a bit more decorum. Here on planet Earth, we’re loving Chanel’s Cuba collection, which includes some incredible handbags, backpacks, shoes and costume jewelry in a beguiling color palette of olive green, lime green, gold, silver and white. Valentino’s bags also employ safari colors – we’re now stalking a snakeskin handbag with a dark green palm leaf charm and gold hardware. Louis Vuitton has a truly killer pair of flat black booties that is already basically sold out. Brilliant white leather sneakers are still a thing, and Dior has a refined feminine take on the trend that feels austere and timeless. Dior’s new booties are crazy-good, too, with crinkled lambskin and gold chunky heels (go for ivory or olive green). Francesco Rossi has drop-dead gorgeous leather cage stiletto-heeled booties in snakeskin – they come in indigo and poppy red, and we want both!
Go, explore, and see what hits your eye. In the depths of winter, let these vivid accessories remind you that an invincible summer lives in you.
To see some of these trends visit our Pinterest board!