Saturday 24 August 2019

How to wear ... cowboy boots

The Americana trend can be tricky to pull off, but Western-inspired footwear should spur you to action

Jennifer Connelly Photo: Getty
Jennifer Connelly Photo: Getty

Meadhbh McGrath

There are certain trends that teeter uncomfortably close to the line between fashion and fancy dress, and the new Americana is undeniably one such trend.

Last season's Western look has geared up for spring, but indulging in a wardrobe of cowhide, double denim and prairie dresses runs the risk of leaving you looking like you're in costume - something Justin Timberlake learned the hard way after his ill-advised rodeo get-up at the Super Bowl last week.

Alexa Chung
Alexa Chung

As with all tricky trends, the simplest way to incorporate it into your look is through accessories. And cowboy boots are suddenly everywhere again.

The revival began when two of the fashion industry's most influential designers, Phoebe Philo of Celine and Raf Simons of Calvin Klein, offered modern takes on the classic style and soon the boot was stomping down catwalks in all the fashion capitals - and popping up on every front-row fashionista and street-style star.

Simons has described his use of Western iconography as an exploration of Americana in the age of Donald Trump, and for spring-summer, he paired paint-splattered cowboy boots with satin trousers and fringed dresses that evoked giant cheerleader pom-poms.

At Maison Margiela, boots were deconstructed, backless and embellished with diamente spurs, while Clare Waight Keller, in her new role as creative director of Givenchy, showcased two heights: ankle boots and shin-skimming styles with a deep-V scallop at the shaft.

The silhouette is very flattering: rather than cutting off the legs just below the knee, the curved shape shows more skin, elongating the legs - particularly when styled with a breezy skirt or denim shirt-dress.

But the ankle boot shape is likely to prove the most accessible for spring. Mango offers a high street version of Celine's slick, minimalist boots with angled heels, and a crisp white pair looks fresh and office-appropriate worn with this season's pastel suiting or tonal teal. Classic black, brown and creamy shades were the most popular on the catwalk, but for more of a statement, try a boot in glimmering silver or bold red.

Amp up the Americana vibe with a leather-look dress or indigo denim 'Canadian tuxedo', or follow Alexa Chung's lead and style shiny burgundy boots with a flowing midi dress for an effortless take on the trend.

It might seem like a stretch, but the cowboy boot can even be dressed up for evening - see Jennifer Connelly n Louis Vuiitton, wearing razor-sharp boots with this season's smart leather shorts.

For more of a showgirl-glam look, take your cue from Kylie Minogue, who has swapped her disco shoes for bedazzled Gucci boots. In her latest music video for 'Dancing', the Australian superstar wears an array of bejewelled boots with cocktail dresses and dazzling denim.

Whether you want to embrace your inner cowgirl or prefer a more sophisticated, minimalist look, there's a Western boot for everyone to try this season.

Irish Independent

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