Words by Suzie Bakos
Once solely the staple of the refined Parisian dresser, the power flat has quickly become the need-it-now footwear of the season. A trend that’s followed on from Miu Miu’s sellout satin ballerina pumps seen during the house’s fall/winter 2022 runway show — a nod to its cult ribbon-tied 2016 style — the power flat continues to be the white-hot shoe for the summer ahead. From Julia Hobbs in said Miu Miu pumps to Zoë Kravitz who has been spotted in several styles by The Row, editors and celebrities working the pair into their closets has only heightened their popularity. The modern flat has become a wardrobe cornerstone, loved for its comfort, versatility and elevated style credentials.
Here, our senior womenswear editor, Celenie Seidel, highlights the three need-to-know silhouettes trending this season — ballet pumps, modern mules and reenergized loafers — and spotlights the designers serving their best-in-class iterations, from Maison Margiela and JW Anderson to Prada and Gucci. Discover and shop your favorites below.
The ballet pump
‘A hero style throughout runway shows and front rows in every fashion capital this season, the ballet pump is the silhouette driving the power flat trend forward. No longer a shape solely designed for comfort — although it's practicality is undeniable — the ballet pump has been reworked through a luxury lens courtesy of Miu Miu and many more. Take Maison Margiela’s cult-favorite Tabi: the instantly recognisable split-toe detail is offered as a cute ballerina shoe for fans of elevated minimalism, like actress Chloë Sevigny who was spotted in the Tabi ballet flat. If you’re opting for this style, it’s worth investing in the brand’s custom Tabi socks, too.’
‘A brand signature since its 1978 debut, Ferragamo’s Vara ballet pump gets an upgrade this spring thanks to new creative director Maximilian Davis. Keeping its classic bow detail, the sleek silhouette now comes in a seasonal baby blue, with mesh panels adding a modern touch. Meanwhile, Khaite’s The Marcy ballerina shoes are accented with high-shine rhinestones, offering a fun and glamorous alternative to heels when it comes to evening plans.’
The modern mule
‘Mules have long been a favorite with the classic dresser, and while pointed toes were trending for a long time, this season sees focus turn to round-toe silhouettes. Prada’s Miuccia and Raf Simons lend their modernist and artful design lens to the label’s latest collection of padded accessories — the quilted slippers, accented with the iconic triangular logo plaque, are a hero style. Consider them a great way to elevate pared-back summer looks, from shorts to denim skirts.’
‘JW Anderson has been delivering a masterclass in power flats for a few seasons now, and for spring/summer 2023, the designer’s Gourmet Chain mules give the already cult-status loafers a new-season revamp — the chunkier profile is detailed with the unmistakable oversized chain link across the vamp, updated with a statement flat plaque. They’re available in a wide range of colorways on FARFETCH — including mustard yellow, metallic blue and bold red — which lend themselves to every style and taste.’
The elevated loafer
‘With a shift towards smarter shoes emerging as we move into summer, modern iterations of the ubiquitous loafer are key — here, Gucci is the brand to know. Synonymous with the house’s more-is-more aesthetic, the most iconic loafers in fashion come courtesy of the GG Horsebit: a maximalist design fit for an expressionist dress code. This season's update comes via a spring-ready cream upper with gold-tone lettering across the vamp in place of the signature Horsebit detail.’
‘If you’re looking for a more subtle style that will slot seamlessly into your closet, Acne Studios block-heel loafers are a strong choice. Realized in crocodile-effect leather, the pair promises to add interest to a simple T-shirt-and-jeans look. For an offbeat alternative to a typically classic style, look to Ganni's crystal-embellished block-heel loafers.’