Paris Fashion Week’s long, meandering week-and-a-half of runway shows, presentations and events have given us a new idea of what fashion will look like come fall. While much of the fall winter 23 season’s ready-to-wear has been more stoic, with cleaner lines, more minimalism and a lot of grays and neutrals instead of the party wear of last year, PFW still had plenty of statement making clothing and accessories.
Footwear, too, straddled the line between minimal practicality and a little flair for drama. Gone were most of the over-the-top embellishments (the sequins, sparkles and beads were taken way down); in were tonal iterations in supple leathers and dark neutrals. Statement making sparkle and shine was still present, just in a less over-the-top way.
Here, a rundown of the top 10 shoes of Paris Fashion Week’s fall winter ’23 season.
1. Roger Vivier’s bright Mary Janes
Vivier’s usual flair for embellishment was still there at the brand’s Paris Fashion Week presentation. But for fall winter ’23, creative director Gherardo Felloni explored new ideas of drama, swapping some of the all-over crystals and pastel satins for supple leathers in blacks and browns, plus a series of silk and satin sandals that were wrapped around the body and incorporated into other garment-like accessory inspired by haute couture.
Amidst all of the drama, a pair of Mary Janes in a yellow tartan (a fall winter ’23 trend), outlined in black patent leather and a stacked heel had tiny crystal Vivier buckles, just the right amount of wearable flair.
2. Christian Louboutin’s graphic black-and-white boots
For all of the chatter about his stilettos, Mr. Louboutin’s boots are sometimes overshadowed — a pity, because the designer reliably puts forth strong statement boots worth the investment, season after season. This time around, Louboutin showed a series of black-and-white boots with a conical heel, in both calf heigh and over-the-knee for a look that’s simultaneously retro, modern and destined to be timeless years from now.
3. Laurence Dacade’s innovative dance shoes
A love for Broadway shows and the theater inspired the footwear maven to create a new flat dance shoe for fall. At first glance, they look like other jazz shoes, with soft leather uppers, lace-up ties and a slight ballet shape. But a closer look reveals stretch panels on the sides, plus a sole that is made of not one whole piece but two — a heel and a footpad, with a bendy stretch paneled midsole. The construction, which took months to develop with Dacade’s manufacturer, gives a new level of freedom for dancing, performing, or just everyday life.
4. Valentino’s feather combat boots
For the brand’s fall winter ’23 collection, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli looked at the masculine version of evening wear — the black tie tuxedo — to invert those codes of glamour and femininity. Literal black ties were paired with everything from mini skirts to feather coats, giving evening wear a more casual and even gritty touch. Gowns were accented with monochrome versions and leather helped to give a bit of daytime to the collection.
A pair of glossy black leather combat boots, outfitted with Rockstuds on the welt and giant plumes of black feathers on the shaft, epitomized this exploration of a masculine-feminine duality in evening wear.
5. Balmain’s velvet slingback platforms
Never one to shy from embellishment, creative director Olivier Rousteing did in fact tone down his usual glitz for Balmain’s fall winter ’23 collection, focusing instead on ’70s and ’80s-inspired silhouettes done in a rich palette. There were still moments of bling, however, and a pair of slingback velvet platforms in a low pitch looked both comfy and glam — with the right amount of vintage feel.
6. Aquazzura’s crystal strappy sandals
There weren’t many strappy sandals on offer for fall winter ’23, but Aquazzura’s founder and creative director Edgardo Osorio knows what heels resonate, season after season. The Ari sandal has silver metallic laces and straps made of delicate crystal embellishments that are just the right amount of glitz — a true evening neutral.
7. Loewe’s embossed leather boots
We’ve come to expect plenty of zany footwear moments from Jonathan Anderson. There was still plenty of that for fall winter ’23, from oversized velvet bows to slouchy boots that looked like pants. But it was also a pair of slim knee boots in glossy embossed leather that stood out as a true investment piece, showcasing the Spanish brand’s real heritage of leather craftsmanship.
8. Bruno Frisoni’s denim pumps
It’s been a few seasons now since the footwear vet relaunched his own namesake label. The designer is taking his time in launching new styles, and for fall winter ’23 has updated an idea on a denim pump, removing crystal rivet detailing and adding real rivets back into the stiff denim, which is molded effortlessly (no easy feat for such a thick fabric) onto a pump with a slightly squared anatomical toe box.
9. Dries Van Noten’s brocade platform boots
This is not the first time that the Belgian designer has put forth a brocade shoe, and it’s certainly not the first time he’s done a platform. But the consistency of the combination lent some weight to Van Noten’s fall winter ’23 ready-to-wear, which explored the duality of statement outerwear and strong tailoring with more delicate and sheer interior layers. This season, Van Noten’s platform comes with a shaped metal heel; the brocade in a burnished gold that is not new for the designer but a trending shade for the season.
10. Chanel’s camelia boots
For fall winter ’23, Virginie Viard committed the entirety of Chanel’s collection to the camelia. It’s a familiar motif for the brand as Coco Chanel’s notoriously favorite flower. A pair of soft leather booties with a slight Victorian shape were accented with oversized bows, also in soft black leather, plus a singular white leather camelia on each foot, a tiny pearl in the middle.