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E arly S pring R etail. Spring Summer 2009. Colour Splash.

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Early Spring Retail

Spring Summer 2009

Colour splash
Colour Splash

Brights continue to be a major fashion story. Bergdorf Goodman’s windows featured colourful digital artwork made from thousands of ‘postit’ notes, as a backdrop for the vividly dressed mannequins. Bright multicoloured footwear makes full use of the rainbow colour palette of fuchsia, orange, yellow, red, green, turquoise and violet.

New pales
New Pales

Delicate pales including white, ivory, nude, blush pink, silver grey, latte, cappuccino and honey are looking very fresh. They are second only to the brights in importance. In London, Selfridges windows bedecked with all white paper cut-outs create a magical backdrop for the pale petal coloured accessories.


Metallics look beyond the basics to new tints and textures. Gold is refreshed with a rose pink tinge. Pewter updates silver. Mirrored, cracked and subtle sheen finishes move on shiny foils.


Fluorescent cycles were chained to lamp posts around New York promoting DKNY’s orange, black and white colour scheme. Monochrome accessories are a smaller story than the other three, but never the less look crisp against a backdrop of so much colour.

Island batiks
Island Batiks

Batik prints in vibrant rainforest colours are less important than the floral trend this spring, but by next year will be a huge trend for high summer. Dries Van Noten leads the way with multi-print high heels, flat thongs and bags.

The addition of metalwork and semi-precious stones takes the story through into exotic eveningwear. Splodgy tie-dye suede and fabrics are also a theme at Christian Louboutin and Balenciaga.

Indian raj
Indian Raj

Hermes has tapped into the rising interst in India. The superpower is making waves in the fashion industry. Home grown Indian fashion labels are available around the world in stores such as harrods, London. Bollywood films are gaining global recognition. An Indian edition of Vogue has been recently launched; and Western beauty companies including Clinique and Estee Lauder are moving into the Indian market. Hermes wraps silk scarves into turbans and features paisley motifs in Indian pink on sandals. At Dior brass embellishments dangele like Indian jewellery from strappy sandals.

Plaiting and strips
Plaiting and Strips

Handcrafted leather sandals are an extension of the interweave story. Balenciaga’s plaited strap gladiators sport a jaunty fringe at the heel. Hermes and Giuseppe Zanotti Design go for flats. Bottega Veneta overlay leather strips in a chevron pattern on chic thongs.


  • Interwoven leathers are getting very clever. There are optical weave totes and Chinese knot sandals in burnished leathers at Cole Haan, delicate interlaced and pin-tucked bags at Dior and fancy interlaced patterns at Balenciaga or Pollini.

  • This is the third spring season interweaves have been popular and they are no longer reserved for warm weather, but carry on all year round. Interweaves are perfect for the incoming global ethnic trend, ensuring their longevity for 2009.


Regular espadrilles were at a low ebb in Europe last summer, but with a new wave of ethnic trends surfacing there are signs of a return already. Hermes’ platform style with the rope sole stained to match the upper, has fashionable soft wrap straps. Ras and Castaner continue with wickerwork and basketweve covered wedges, which were around last summer. Raffia is looking fresh, for instance Alima’s colourful woven raffia uppers. International designers including Armani, Stella McCartney and Lanvin are also fascinated with hula skirt fringing and raffia pom poms.

Buckle up
Buckle UP

Broad buckled straps are a story for spring. G-Star Raw’s women’s line has some of the best examples. Army style buckles and metal ID tage trims are applied to multi-stitched strap uppers and canvas slingbacks. The barreled cone heels add a feminine touch. Chunky studs are now low key. For instance, Zara’s metal discs on a taupe suede sandals are far more subtle than alst seasons’s S&M silver spikes on shiny black leather. Mary janes look new with wide straps and low peg heels.

Clog chic
Clog Chic

Spring clogs are updated with new unit shapes. Choose from barreled back banana heels, cylindrical heels or two-part wedges that combine wood with a leather covered section. Finishes often go beyond plain wood grains. At Yves Saint Laurent units are stained with random brush strokes to give a streaky two tone effect. Aldo teams wooden heels with beaten metal foreparts. Chunky wooden platforms (along with Grecian styles) are the focus for Pierre Hardy’s range of footwear for Gap.

Tough boots
Tough Boots

Boots of all kinds are a huge trend at retail. Many are glamorous high heels, with an emphasis on cropped shoe boots. However there are also some tougher looks around, such as buckled strap slouches at Vivienne Westwood, slashed leather uppers at Brown Focus and Freelance’s white bikers. Chukka boots, currently popular for men, are worked into a women’s style at Miu Miu, with a high straight heel and crepe soles. Chanel opts for raw edged grey jersey slouches with an elasticated topline.

Boat shoes and moccasins
Boat Shoes and Moccasins

Ballerinas and pumps have stolen the limelight over the past few seasons, as they work best for the sixties and eighties revivals. This has caused moccasins and their close cousin the boat shoe to fall from favour. However the time is right for their comeback. There is already an increased amount of both at retail. New details are dip sides and low-fronted cuts. They have a preppy feel, perfect for the incoming fifties revival. Boat shoes for women are of the non-traditional kind. The typical laced eyelet facings are applied to satin CVOs by Vans. There are even ballerina versions.

Platform sports
Platform Sports

High-heeled fashion sports shoes were launched in autumn 06 and are still going strong. Most really only work for the junior market, although Barbara Bui’s sophisticated military styles in combat coloured leathers also suit an older customer. High heels and wedges come on platform or regular thickness soles. High-rise vulcanized looks are popular, such as pin-tucked satin styles at Ash. Cutaway open toes follow the current trend seen for general women’s footwear.

Futurist pumps
Futurist Pumps

Pumps are given a modern sporty edge with bright contrast piping. Perspex trims, large punched holes and streamlined moulded wedges. Elasticated toplines such as Tod’s are not new, but are seeing a steady resurgence. There are plenty to be found at the AW08 trade fairs. Women’s refusal to give up comfortable flats has extended the life of the ballerina well beyond the usual span of a trend cycle, to over seven years.

Soft knots
Soft Knots

Knots and twists echo fashion’s new soft and feminine mood. They are worked on bagged strap sandals, shoe vamps and boot legs made from supple leathers and satins. Knots and twists are going to really take off nest.

Simple pumps
Simple Pumps

Simple pumps in pure white or petal tinted pales are a popular look at retail. Heels favour tall blocks, high and curvy, banana and cone shapes. There is an even mix of platform and regular slim soled styles. Key details include soft pleats and gathered.

Minimal sandals
Minimal Sandals

Minimal strappy sandals, primarily in white were also a trend last sping. New treatments include Bally’s chunky metal heels inlaid with white leather, Roger Vivier’s simple metal discs and Marc Jacobs’s spotty linings. Flat or block heels are favourities for this kind of sandal.


Pale perfed leather boots update the slouch boot for spring. Soft collapsible legs have drawstring tops or are rolled down and fastened with a buckle. They range from mid calf lengths such as Diesel’s to cropped eighties shoe boot styles. The majority have a plain leather pump shaped base or extended tab up the vamp to give a little more substance where needed. Gucci’s jazz Oxford also taps into the pale perf trend

Comfort stop
Comfort Stop

Mary Janes and ankle straps are a top look for this season’s comfort casuals. Organic leathers and eco materials such as used for simple’s hemp casual, fastened with a coconut shell button, are strongest for this category of footwear. Clarks and EI Naturalista’s use of bright colour moves things on from the muesli coloured tones of times gone by. Soft patent leathers are also a current favourite.

Roman holiday
Roman Holiday

Gladiators are back so quickly after the previous revival, that there has hardly been a break. These accelerated trend cycles are a growing phenomenon in today’s fashion industry. Gladiatrs come in equal amounts of high heels or flats. Those that strap all the way up the calf, such as Givenchy’s or Balenciaga’s are a little too theatrical to become mainstream. Ankle high cuts are far more commercial.

Pure gold
Pure Gold

Metallics continue to go from strength to strength. Although everything points to more muted finishes and textures at the leather fairs, in reality there are still and awful lot of shiny foil finishes at retail. Gold is more prominent than silver. Rose gold that has a pink coppery hue is looking new. Faceted or filigree metal heels add a modern touch. At the autumn 08 trade fairs metallics are often used for details such as piping and strippy overlays rather than for total uppers, resulting in a subtler look.





Cutaway toe pumps

Elasticated ballerina

Cutaway toe pumps

Peep toe dipside pump

Banana heel pump

Banana heel pump

Open front / closed back flat

50s pump

50s pump

Casual sandals

Dressy Sandals

Natural Units

Casual sandals


Ethnic embellished strappy sandal

Ethnic espadrille

Clog / wood heels

Soft knotted sandal

Ethnic thong

Cork / wook platform wedge

Minimal strap sandals

Platform sandal






Laced ballerina CVO

80’s shoe boot

Pale perfed slouch boot

High heeled fashion sport

Boat shoe

Comfort casual

Fringed moccasin boot

80’s sport

Upward trends
Upward Trends

  • Brights and pales

  • Shoe boots and ankle boots

  • Cone and banana heels

  • Peep and cutaway toes

  • Coloured resin chunks

  • Dressy mules

  • Gladiators

  • Ethnic prints and florals

  • High or low heels

  • Leather details (soft knots, interweaves)

  • Chunky cuffs and rings

  • Soft and squashy bags

  • Snake and python

  • Shine (patent, satin, metallic)

  • Flowers, insects and feather trims

Sliding trends
Sliding Trends

  • Neons

  • Long boots(taking second place)

  • Stilettos and Louis heels

  • Bulky round toes

  • S&M studs

  • Classic clogs

  • Flip-flops

  • Bold geometrics, abstract printgs

  • Mid-height heels (except for pegs)

  • Metal hardware

  • Dangly earrings

  • Hard structured bags

  • Zebra and pony prints

  • Matt (nubuck)

  • 60’s futuristic geometrics