Big Foot 2.0: The Rise of Cartoonishly Oversized Shoes
Stepping into the Oversized Trend
Paris, the fashion capital, is set to host another feverish fashion week from September 25 to October 3, featuring a lineup of 108 fashion houses, 68 fashion shows, and 41 presentations. One of the most anticipated participants is the Italian fashion house, Marni, which has unveiled an exciting shoe design for the runway, the Big Foot 2.0. This model is an amplified, humorous rendition of a previous platform sneaker model from 2018, resonating with the trend of oversized, comical footwear.
The Big Red Boots Phenomenon
The Big Foot 2.0 resonates with the art collective MSCHF’s Big Red Boots, which became a viral sensation after their presentation in the spring. Despite their eccentric design, these unisex boots quickly found their way onto the feet of many, including popular artists like Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Iggy Azalea, and Janelle Monae. Interestingly, the boots’ unintentional suction issues seemed to augment the phenomenon’s reach, adding to their distinctive charm.
MSCHF, a New York-based art collective renowned for pushing the boundaries of art, design, and luxury commerce, also collaborated with Crocs in August. This collaboration resulted in the Big Yellow Boots, a sunflower-yellow reinterpretation of the Big Red Boots, complete with the signature Crocs holes and heel strap.
Psychology Behind the Oversized Trend
Carolyn Mair, a psychologist and fashion consultant, offered some insight into the appeal of such oversized, comical shoes in an interview with the BBC. According to Mair, these shoes represent a desire for nonconformity and personal expression, echoing contemporary values of individuality and self-assurance. Simultaneously, they challenge traditional beauty norms, proposing a new, unconventional aesthetic.
Cultural historian Annebella Pollen concurred, noting that the shoes call to mind designs by feminists in the 1970s and 1980s. These shoes were seen as a rebuttal to the trend of heels and pointed shoes, which were viewed as a means to restrict women, and were very anti-fashion.
Standing Out with Comical Shoes
According to Caroline Stevenson, Program Director for Cultural and Historical Studies at the London College of Fashion, such comical shoes also generate attention and stand out. The attention-grabbing aesthetic of today’s oversized shoes may not appeal to everyone, but they certainly draw attention and can convey an adventurous and fun image.
Clowncore and Nostalgia
Peculiarly, these comic-style shoes also seem to align with the “Clowncore” fashion movement, a circus-inspired aesthetic that emerged on TikTok in 2020 and has since permeated the fashion world. The trend towards flashy, colorful, large shoes also rests on a pervasive sense of nostalgia. They remind us of childhood memories and evoke a sense of familiarity and warmth, according to Mair.
As we step into this new era of fashion, it’s clear that the trend of oversized, comical shoes is more than just a fad. It’s a statement of individuality, a challenge to traditional norms, and a celebration of personal expression. And as the fashion world continues to evolve, we can expect to see more of these unique and daring designs on the runway.
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