The Milanese have a way of making even mundane things look stylish. Walking down the Via Montenapoleone yesterday, an Italian woman whizzed past in Chanel’s much coveted velcro sandal and a short, sheer sock. Fashion blasphemy?! Not in Milan, thy holiest style city (equal to Paris, of course) where even socks and sandals – fashion’s great no-no – is proving a big yes-yes this season. Another, outside Bottega Veneta on Via Senato, wore a leather brogue with a woolly sock. Then walking into the Prada show, The Attico’s glamour girl Giorgio Tordini paired Prada’s crystal-embellished Mary-Jane with an unassuming black sock.
Aside from the streets, the runways too have informed us of the sock’s fashionable return. At Max Mara, they rose high and long, sitting at the knee and in myriad shades; a perfect powdery blue, oatmeal and black. They came paired with the brand’s new pump; a two-tone court shoe which is set to be the next big thing.
Over at Fendi, they sat slouchy and little arbitrary, a purposeful subversion which made them feel wholly youthful and a little rebellious. It’s as if Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber had just returned from the schoolyard, their socks falling down. Slinky and delicately ribbed, they matched stack-heeled slingback loafers and peep-toe floral sandals, which when paired with Fendi’s paperbag shorts and quilted mini skirts made for a moment worth emulating.
And then front row, Katie Holmes – continuing her canny breakup wardrobe – wore Fendi socks and sandals. The filmy, logo-printed ankle-grazing socks of the current season sitting with sculptural bow peep-toe shoes of the same hue.
A trend which always proves incredibly polarising (particularly outside of fashion circles), if anyone is going to give us the confidence to try it – it’s the stylish women on the streets of Milan, Fendi and Katie Holmes.