When it comes to 2010 fashion trends we’re facing a year of subtlety and tradition. And while many of us will be wearing classical silhouettes and subdued colours we’ll all be in need of making them pop; after all, doesn’t every fashioniser want to stand out from the crowd?
For women that ‘stand out’ look is just about to get a whole lot easier thanks to the hottest trend for shoes in 2010: thigh high boots.
Over-the-knee boots by Loewe, Hermes, Hussein Chalayan, and Louis Vuitton
Originally I tipped that this trend would enter the wardrobes of fashion forwards women in Autumn (Fall)/Winter 2009/2010, but you’ve all gone ahead and worn them anyway. Yes, Summer may just be about to reach the Northern Hemisphere but seasons be damned. You want your thigh-high boots, and you want them now!
It didn’t seem all that long ago that boots on women fell strictly into two domains: equestrian pursuits and ‘come fuck me’ boots. Thankfully society’s hang ups about women in knee-high boots have long since vanished, as has a penchant for overly conservative boots. And women’s boots in 2010 will be anything but conservative.
Yes, over-the-knee boots are back with a vengeance but this 2009/2010 shoe trend won’t stop there. In fact, the top of your boots will be going much higher: thigh-high boots are going mainstream.
Over-the-knee and thigh-high are undoubtedly the hottest shoe trend for women in the Autumn (Fall)/Winter season, but while they scream ‘sex’ make sure they don’t do it in the wrong way. Let’s not forget, that both styles of boots are also the domain of those lovely women one sees quite frequently at night ensuring that cars don’t linger for too long near street corners. So to avoid the “I wonder how much she charges” glances I recommend you also avoid two main things with any pair of over-the-knee or thigh-high boots you decide to invest in: chunky heels and a high-sheen patent finish.
If patent is to be avoided (and PVC never to be considered), then what materials do I recommend? Genuine leather, of which you’re safest investment choice is classic matt black or brown. If you want a more unique colour leather, your other big choices for 2009/2010 are olive greens, greys (see Rodarte and Topshop Unique) or cream/neutral tones. Suede, the other big choice for this trend, is very much the go be it in black, brown, grey, maroon, or pretty much any other colour variation. One other material you might look at incorporating into your 2010 over-the-knee boot collection is shearling or wool lining, which makes for cosy aviation-inspired looks akin to those seen at Antonio Berardi.
Suede thigh-high boots by Antonio Berardi, Marc Jacobs, Hermes, & Isabel Marant
Classic: for a classic or elegant take on the over-the-knee boot, your best bet is to go for a slim-fitting suede pair with a round or tapered toe. Look no further than Hermes or Isabel Marant for some perfect examples of styles that will stand the test of time.
Futurism/Cyberpunk: building upon the cyberpunk influences of recent years, some designers have thrown an element of dark futurism into the thigh-high boot mix. Particularly evident in the wound-and-bound effects of boots by Rodarte and Topshop Unique, this is a trend I expect we’ll see more of in coming seasons.
Leather thigh-high boots by Topshop Unique, Chloe, Ohne Titel, & Rodarte
Quirky: if none of the above is quite bold enough for you, and you really want to stand out this winter, there have been many other less subtle takes on this trend to hit the runway. Louis Vuitton introduced metallics and top-to-toe laces, while Hussein Chalayan’s garter-topped thigh-highs are nothing short of brazen. Do be warned though; if long-term wearability is what you’re after then this is probably not the road to go down.
One other thing that you should avoid: wearing thigh-high boots in place of pants, leggings or other form of leg covers as we saw on the Prada 2009/2010 catwalk.
Where To Buy: This far out from the 2009/2010 collections actually hitting stores it’s hard to guess how many smaller boutiques are already stocking above-the-knee and thigh-high boots. So do what you should always do: seek out that 100% unique vintage pair.
If vintage footwear is not your thing than refer to any of the collections from the aforementioned designers or turn to the pictures below for more inspiration. Click them for a larger view.
Pierre Dal Corso's new libertine (22 Nov 2010)