Big Shoes A Surprising Trend in 2023
In 2023, the fashion world is witnessing a remarkable comeback of established shoe styles like cowboy boots, kitten heels, Mary Janes, and court shoes. Alongside these classics, a surprising new trend is taking the runway by storm the cartoonish oversized shoe.
The Rise of Oversized Footwear
This trend started gaining momentum in February when the US label and art collective MSCHF unveiled their attention-grabbing big red boot. These pillar box-red boots, reminiscent of the 1990s Japanese manga series Astro Boy, are made from TPU and EVA foam, offering a blend of nostalgia, futuristic aesthetics, and sheer absurdity. MSCHF even claims that if you kick someone with these boots, they’ll bounce!
Despite their silliness and occasional impracticality, these oversized boots quickly caught the attention of celebrities like Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Iggy Azalea, and Janelle Monáe, becoming a style statement.
Elevated Chic Cartoon Inspired Footwear in Fashion
The spring/summer 2023 collections introduced a more refined approach to the cartoon-inspired shoe trend. Luxury brands like Prada, Loewe, and Proenza Schouler offered their interpretations, demonstrating that the craze for oversized, playful footwear knows no bounds.
What Does the Cartoonish Shoe Trend Signify?
According to Dr. Carolyn Mair, a cognitive psychologist and fashion business consultant, these oversized shoes represent a desire for non-conformity and personal expression, aligning with contemporary values of individuality and self-confidence. They challenge traditional ideals of beauty with their unconventional aesthetics.
Historical Roots From Chopines to Spice Girls
Historically, these cartoonish shoes have predecessors in terms of functionality. The Venetian chopine, a platform shoe worn by noblewomen in the late 15th to early 17th century, served both practical and symbolic purposes. It protected wearers from the streets while indicating their social status. Some reached towering heights of 20 inches.
Standing Out with Style
In the case of cartoonish oversized shoes, standing out is the primary goal. These attention-grabbing aesthetics may not appeal to everyone, but they undeniably project an image of adventure and fun. They evoke the clowncore trend, which blends circus-inspired aesthetics with high fashion, offering a playful escape from the complexities of the world.
Comfort and Nostalgia A Perfect Pair
Whether they evoke memories of childhood, pop culture icons, or carefree times, these oversized shoes tap into a sense of nostalgia and warmth. They remind us of splashing in puddles and playing with friends in a carefree world, providing a comforting and familiar escape from reality.
In the words of MSCHF, cartoonishness is an abstraction that frees us from the limitations of reality. Perhaps, in these uncertain times, that’s precisely what we need most.