For spring 2020, it was out with conventional beauty standards and in with the eccentric librarian look, which came complete with chunky eyewear chains and orthopedic shoes galore, from clogs to Birkenstocks and luxe reimaginings of Dr. Scholl’s wooden mules.
Fabrizio Viti made his own version of the latter in raffia and signature daisy appliqués, renaming the shoes Dr. Viti. He also offered Birkenstocks in denim, raffia and even black satin for evening and teamed with JJ Martin to create clogs featuring colored feather embellishments and Martin’s signature exuberant patterns.
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Love them or hate them, clogs have been their biggest hit, according to the brand, so it made sense for Viti to embrace them in an even bigger and bolder way for spring.
At Roger Vivier, Gherardo Felloni also took a liking to Dr. Scholl’s wood mules, reworking the style with lavish jacquard fabrics and big crystal brooches. He did the same with a pair of white strappy Birkenstock-style sandals, which have also been embraced by the likes of Prada, Chanel and up-and-coming label Arizona Love, which covers the sandals in bandana scarves and has been a hit at Matchesfashion.com.
To match those orthopedic shoes, designers also proposed eyewear chains for spring, bringing the librarian look to the catwalks. Gucci kicked it off with chunky plexi chains and contemporary label Nanushka followed with more hippie, near floor-length styles that featured hand-crafted embellishments. Ditto for Stella McCartney, who added large geometric-shaped gold chains to pink-hued oversize frames, while Ralph & Russo opted for more dainty chains on large geeky sunglasses, adding a cooler edge to its embellished evening wear.
In the dressier shoe department, the Bottega Veneta effect remains unavoidable. Even though myriad colors and iterations of the brand’s now-signature square-toe, strappy sandal have been seen all over the streets and front rows this season, the popularity of the style hasn’t seemed to wane and many footwear labels want in on the action. Contemporary labels offered their own — better-priced versions — like Icelandic brand Kalda’s kitten-heel version in bright patent leathers or Miista’s lace-up style that came in a striking cobalt blue shade. At Roger Vivier, Felloni also reimagined the trend through the brand’s luxe, maximalist lens, adding a crystal-encrusted ball to the kitten heels of the sandal. Buzzy names like By Far offered square-toe mules in all colors of the rainbow, Magda Butrym customized hers with removable pearl anklets, while Wandler, who had an eye for sharp silhouettes long before the Bottega craze, offered square-toe boots and lace-up pumps in striking bi-color combinations.
Raffia was another big hit: Fabrizio Viti offered everything from flat sandals to chic pumps in daisy-embellished raffia; Felloni went all out with large oversize fringes on Vivier mules and bucket bags and at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson replaced the brand’s popular straw baskets with more sleek raffia bucket bags.
Last season it might have been all about the mini bag, especially after Jacquemus’ microscopic version of the “Chiquita” bag went viral on Instagram, but this time around designers are getting a bit more practical and realizing that just as women need sneakers to run around in during the day, they also need roomy totes to carry their laptops in.
A lot of the contemporary labels that started off the mini bag trend are now supersizing their signatures, from Tel Aviv-based label Complet’s signature envelope clutch done in a bigger size for day to Medea’s luxe version of the paper bag, reimagined in an extra-large size and durable, slouchy leather.
“Everyone is doing a mini but at the end of the day women have to go to work and need larger bags,” said Complet designer Sivan Moshkovitz.
Elza Wandler, who first became known for her structured moon-shaped bag, also added a sleek tote to the mix, featuring a twisted strap and gold hardware: “There aren’t too many working bag options on the market and we wanted to feed our more mature clients with something practical, that’s still super soft and feminine,” she said.
On the runways Balenciaga, Valentino, Dior and Altuzarra all sent out big structured bags that mean business.
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