Dust off your stilettos – 2022 marks the return of the high heel
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The pandemic put some of our most beloved fashion trends in hibernation while countries spanning the globe underwent strict lockdowns. Zoom calls took over board room meetings and the House Party app replaced social gatherings for months, forcing functionality, comfort and all forms of stripped-down, fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends to rise up the ranks of popularity. In essence, our previously ostentatious ways of existing were humbled in a bid to fit in with the “new normal”.
But, not any longer. In the new year, curfews are lifting – as are travel bans – and clubs, restaurants and businesses of all kinds are beginning to thrive once more. And, as a result, we’re looking to dress for the occasion. Whether you’re donning a pair of boyfriend jeans for something casual or a little black dress for a grand affair, one thing’s for sure, we’ll be finishing off every outfit with a pair of heels to complete the look.
Returning with a vengeance, high heels of the moment take on abstract and innovative designs with more edge, colour and creativity than we’ve seen in recent years.
Brushing off the comfort shoe trend of lockdown, high heels were all over the Spring/Summer 2022 runways in Milan and Paris.
From Gianvito Rossi’s platform mules with plexi uppers to Saint Laurent's PVC stilettos — in all their toe-squishing splendour — these designs serve as an indicator of what's next in fashion.
Of course, cushy and comfortable shoes will always have a place in the fashion space, with white sneakers remaining a wardrobe staple that traverses various seasons and trends. However, the likes of the mercifully comfortable Crocs, arch-supporting Birkenstocks and fleece-lined Ugg boots won’t necessarily outlast these classics. But for now, we’re embracing high heels – the louder, more over-the-top and whimsical, the better.
5 styles of heels we’re loving in 2022:
From Fendi and Versace's maximalist collaboration featuring seemingly invisible heels to Loewe’s hyper realistic shoes with soles resting on what appears to be ordinary objects like bars of soap and birthday candles – these heels are taking quirky to new heights. If you’re looking for a way to express yourself and add some personality to your outfits, a stand-out pair of heels is the ideal accompaniment.
Dopamine dressing is a trend that’s emerging in the post lockdown era of fashion. It involves dressing in bold patterns and bright colours, mixing and matching contrasting shades for a colour-blocking effect to evoke feelings of happiness. Bright colours were abundant at fashion shows for the season ahead, with orange being the most noticeable. Louis Vuitton, Prabal Gurung and more high-end designers had their models sporting luminous peachy hues for an extra fun pop of colour.
Amina Muaddi’s clear, Cinderella-style Begum heels had people frothing at the mouth back in 2019 when model Kendall Jenner wore them. As the “it” designer of the moment, anything this Italian designer creates is bound to lay the foundation for some of the next season of trends. From crystal buckles to metallic ribbons, for 2022, it’s the jewel-encrusted embellishments that adorn every one of her stylish creations that have people talking. So fun and glitzy, they are the ideal party shoe for upgrading any outfit.
People are just loving boots for every occasion and season, whether it is in the hot summer months, breezy spring or autumn and winter. They pair effortlessly with everything from tights and knit sweaters, to mini skirts and stockings, maxi dresses, jeans and more. Popular styles for the year are chunky platforms with lug soles and block heels for something more robust and durable. However, sexy stilettos that zip up at the thigh are also having their moment. In a range of prints, from animal to 70s florals, and loud, funky colours, in 2022, the heeled boot is all about making a statement.
Teeny, tiny micro heels are back in a big way. The trend is perfect for easing back into heel-wearing after practically two years of not going out or having an occasion to dress up for. These dainty kitten-esque high heels have been seen in a range of styles from mules to almond-toes with an ankle strap and even sling-backs. They are great for elevating an outfit, without too much distraction. However, that’s not to say they aren’t as bold as your average stiletto. In vibrant shades, luxurious materials (suede, velvet, silk and leather), they can be just as glamorous.
This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, Jan 8, 2022