Over-the-knee boots stomp the Fall/ Winter 2013-14 runways

The function of accessories is to offer a contrast to the garments — to brighten up and sober down as the need may arise. Similarly, the leaning towards oversize outerwear means shrinking things that pair with it — envelope clutches, quilted purses, messenger bags, et al, instead of totes. For Fall/ Winter 2013-14, footwear isn’t about contrasts. The thigh-high or over-the-knee boots that have been big in the season make footwear the co-conspirators of clothes — a case in point being the printed and patchwork boots at Tom Ford, where the line between where the boots ended and trousers (in the same print) began was obfuscated.

There is a slight feeling of déjà vu; thigh-high boots were Fall/ Winter 2009-10’s biggest trend, seen everywhere from Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, Gucci to Marc Jacobs, Paul & Joe, Hussein Chalayan and Roberto Cavalli.

That thigh-high boots might make a strong statement in FW 2013-14 was hinted at Chanel’s Spring/ Summer 2013 show, where peep-toe leg-length boots (in metallic, lace, whatnot) made an appearance. With the Fall ready-to-wear showcase in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld reinforced the trend. Models, occasionally wearing coloured fur helmets, showcased a series of over-the-knees that ended just a few inches below the skirt hems.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, the designer at Swedish retailer H&M, which led the high-street pack showcasing at the fashion week in Paris, sent out a series of looks that incorporated thigh-high boots, while Emilio Pucci in Milan had them in tan suede leather.

Frida Giannini at Gucci sent out thigh-high boots on the runway — herself taking the final bow in a pair — as did Phoebe Philo at Celine (a big change from “furkenstocks” of Spring/ Summer 2013). Shiatzy Chen, Giambattista Valli and Mila Schon were other labels to take the trend forward.