The 32 Weirdest Runway Accessories of 2022

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

Oddball accessories kept us entertained this year: Joots? Busted Converse that cost $1,850? Bags that look like real-life birds?? While I can’t say that I’ll be wearing any of them anytime soon, for many brands, accessories are not only a great way to make a profit but also headlines. A striking hat, bag, or shoe (or pantashoe) can more easily grab the public’s attention than, say, a new silhouette or the rise and fall of a hemline. (Jacquemus’s giant hats and tiny bags come to mind.) And they can also be a vehicle for a designer’s ideas in a more obvious and digestible way. Jonathan Anderson, for example, wanted to take Loewe in a more surrealist direction this year, and his accessories — from heels that made the wearer look as though they were literally walking on eggshells to balloon-like sunglasses — were exceptionally playful. Instagram bait, to be sure. But they were also thoughtfully designed objects that made you think twice, as the best accessories always are.

From left: Balenciaga trash bag pouch. Photo: RetailerBottega Veneta shearling wedges

From top: Balenciaga trash bag pouch. Photo: RetailerBottega Veneta shearling wedges

Why did we see so many absurd accessories on the runways this year, though? After a particularly surreal period, it makes sense that designers would want to have some fun. Why not wear cheese on your head or broccoli on your wrist? Balenciaga showed models carrying leather trash bags down its fall 2022 runway and bags of chips the following season, but also true to form, both collections had a darker side as well. Sometimes, it went too far. Most recently, the brand’s ads featuring children holding teddy bears in bondage harnesses and costumes received swift backlash.

Meanwhile, other accessories were just plain silly. Fuzzy Bottega Veneta shoes fed our hunger to touch and feel again. Denim also took a backseat during the sweatpants era, so it was no surprise that it was back with a vengeance this year, with designers like Glenn Martens finding new and unexpected ways to manipulate the classic fabric and even incorporating it into couture. We knew things were getting really weird when Julia Fox and Kim Kardashian both wore joots, or jean boots, on the same day.

Below, we tried to make sense of the 32 most nonsensical bags, shoes, and hats of 2022.

To quote the late great André Leon Talley, my eyes were starving for beauty this year, and the runways filled me right up. You could practically go grocery shopping during New York Fashion Week, with brands like Puppets and Puppets and Collina Strada showing food-themed accessories season after season. Thankfully, brands like Moschino and Marine Serre provided cutlery as well.

From left: Puppets and Puppets fall 2022. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYFW: The ShowsCollina Strada spring 2023. Photo: Yuchen Liao/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

From top: Puppets and Puppets fall 2022. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYFW: The ShowsCollina Strada spring 2023. Photo: Yuchen Liao/Getty Im…
From top: Puppets and Puppets fall 2022. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYFW: The ShowsCollina Strada spring 2023. Photo: Yuchen Liao/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

From left: Puppets and Puppets carrot apothecary bag. Photo: RetailerPuppets and Puppets chocolate-chip-cookie bag. Photo: Retailer

From top: Puppets and Puppets carrot apothecary bag. Photo: RetailerPuppets and Puppets chocolate-chip-cookie bag. Photo: Retailer

From left: Moschino cutlery earrings. Photo: RetailerMarine Serre cutlery earrings. Photo: Retailer

From top: Moschino cutlery earrings. Photo: RetailerMarine Serre cutlery earrings. Photo: Retailer

From left: Undercover apple knuckle handle bag. Photo: RetailerLoewe broken-egg sandals. Photo: Retailer

From top: Undercover apple knuckle handle bag. Photo: RetailerLoewe broken-egg sandals. Photo: Retailer

What wasn’t made out of denim this year? In addition to joots, I saw jurses (jean purses), jats (jean hats), and even jillows (jean pillows). Julia Fox was really the patron saint of the Denimaissance, taking things into her own hands at least once to fashion a bandeau top out of the waistband of her bottoms. “Now that latex is kinda played out, denim, you’re all I have left,” she said of the trend. We can only imagine what’s going to come next.

Julia Fox wearing her own jean outfit carrying an Alexander Wang bag. From left: Photo: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesPhoto: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Julia Fox wearing her own jean outfit carrying an Alexander Wang bag. From top: Photo: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesPhoto: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/G…
Julia Fox wearing her own jean outfit carrying an Alexander Wang bag. From top: Photo: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesPhoto: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

From left: Loewe folded denim boots. Photo: RetailerR13 denim cowboy boots. Photo: Retailer

From top: Loewe folded denim boots. Photo: RetailerR13 denim cowboy boots. Photo: Retailer

From left: Diesel 1956 007a7 Straight Jeans. Photo: RetailerSaint Laurent ‘pantaboots.’ Photo: Retailer

From top: Diesel 1956 007a7 Straight Jeans. Photo: RetailerSaint Laurent ‘pantaboots.’ Photo: Retailer

Although I’m not sure Burberry’s bedazzled floaties will do much, Chanel’s thigh-high rain boots and Loewe’s slick jellies might help you stay dry. Botter, a brand born in the Caribbean, also brought water to the runway with its accessories this year.

From left: Burberry spring 2023. Photo: Tim Whitby/BFC/Getty ImagesChanel fall 2022. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

From top: Burberry spring 2023. Photo: Tim Whitby/BFC/Getty ImagesChanel fall 2022. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

From left: Botter spring 2023. Photo: Estrop/Getty ImagesLoewe spring 2022. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

From top: Botter spring 2023. Photo: Estrop/Getty ImagesLoewe spring 2022. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

No platform was too high this season. Marc Jacobs brought back the iconic Kiki boots from its fall 2016 runway, while Saint Laurent did its own designer version of Pleasers. If your ankles made it through the year unscathed, well done.

From left: Marc Jacobs ‘Kiki’ boots. Photo: RetailerSaint Laurent platforms. Photo: Retailer

From top: Marc Jacobs ‘Kiki’ boots. Photo: RetailerSaint Laurent platforms. Photo: Retailer

From left: Valentino platforms. Photo: RetailerVersace platforms. Photo: Retailer

From top: Valentino platforms. Photo: RetailerVersace platforms. Photo: Retailer

This year, designers tapped into their inner child. Gucci showed Gremlins in harnesses (what is it with designers putting stuffed animals in harnesses … ) and Off-White honored Virgil Abloh’s childlike curiosity and spirit with Slinky heels. If Mr. Potato Head were a bag, it would be the Schiaparelli one below.

From left: Louis Vuitton spring 2023. Photo: Peter White/Getty ImagesSchiaparelli anatomy bag

From top: Louis Vuitton spring 2023. Photo: Peter White/Getty ImagesSchiaparelli anatomy bag

Gucci spring 2023. From left: Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for GucciPhoto: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Gucci

Gucci spring 2023. From top: Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for GucciPhoto: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Gucci

From left: Off-White spring 2023. Photo: Valerio Mezzanotti/ShutterstockMoschino spring 2023. Photo: Justin Shin/Getty Images

From top: Off-White spring 2023. Photo: Valerio Mezzanotti/ShutterstockMoschino spring 2023. Photo: Justin Shin/Getty Images

From left: Loewe leather balloon pouch. Photo: RetailerLoewe spring 2023. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

From top: Loewe leather balloon pouch. Photo: RetailerLoewe spring 2023. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

This year, animals took over. Rats were the talk of the town, but Jonathan Anderson paid homage to the rats of the sky with a pigeon clutch, which, of course, Carrie Bradshaw was then spotted wearing on the set of And Just Like That. We’ve come a long way since Mr. Big’s ugly bedazzled swan.

From left: Collina Strada frog bag. Photo: RetailerJ.W. Anderson pigeon clutch. Photo: Retailer

From top: Collina Strada frog bag. Photo: RetailerJ.W. Anderson pigeon clutch. Photo: Retailer

Katheleen Knopf

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