Mules are continuing their quiet comeback with some key influencer labels going backless for pre-fall 16.
Will this trend hit the big time? Maybe not – at least not yet. But it could be a slow-burner. We saw tastemaker labels getting behind mules at the SS16 shows last September/October and that means there’ll be plenty of in-store display and press coverage to test shopper sentiment in the months ahead.
So what’s happening on this particular mule train? Thankfully, many of these shoes are made for walking (rather than getting out of taxis and simply posing) with flats proving popular. In fact, some (like Coach) tread a fine line between mule and clog styling, while Gucci is pushing that preppy favourite styling trick with a trodden-down back to create a faux mule.
And the high coverage of the upper makes them easier to keep a grip on – after all, mules can be the worst footwear for falling off and flying across the room at inopportune moments. That means they’re also a hosiery no-no. Any hint of tights or socks (despite the lookbook styling here) means you’ll be spending more time trying to prevent them slipping off than enjoying their look.
But back with the trend towards lower heels and practicality, kitten heels are equally wearable (I love the way they look suitably ‘grown up’ while also keeping the wearer close enough to the ground to avoid ankle sprains).
Not that killer heights are completely off the agenda. But, again, those higher uppers make them slightly more practical.
These shoes are great vehicles for embellished materials and details like bow trims. And in the earlier SS16 shows, we saw quite a few mules with mid-height chunky heels that had enough leather in them to allow for some creative colour blocking too. So expect these shoes to be real statement attention-grabbers.