The vibe I’m getting is ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’, mixed with cosplaying a garden gnome, or a supersized ‘Peppa Pig’. Personally, I don’t see the hype. But I am heavily invested in watching people make them look good, it just might be the biggest flex of 2023 so far.
If anybody was going to make them look wearable - it was always going to be Wisdom Kaye, @wisdm8 on social media platforms. Some of his styling ideas take inspiration from ‘Astro Boy’, then incorporating a white and red colour palette with two layered puffer jackets.
Or, Arabella, @lilrotini on TikTok. I trust her styling abilities, as I’ve written articles about her iconic Tim Burton fashion sense. Even though she says that she’s “not a fan of the big red boot” she does provide ways to style if she absolutely had to. Most are similar to Wisdom’s featuring a lot of leather, red colour palettes, and ‘Stussy’ related pieces.
However, in some of the most viral trending styles, most are cargos and a sweater. Arguably, one of the most overworn outfits of 2022 carried into 2023. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but only because it’s easy, plain, and straightforward. This way of styling almost feels like the boots aren’t a central piece to the outfit, despite retailing for $400.
As Wisdom himself says, “posing changes the whole game”. As we’ve seen in much discourse over the fabrication of social media, this begs the question, are they actually possible to style out in the real world, away from social media?
This leads me to segment into the new era of fashion, hyperreality. With recent developments in virtual reality and AI, these boots feel like a fever dream. I would be shocked to see anybody wearing them out in public, despite seeing them everywhere across TikTok and Instagram.
Despite grabbing the attention of much controversy, they do have everyone talking. I think these boots might just be the first fashion statement of this idea of ‘hyperreality’ fashion. And, where better to showcase this on social media? Debatably, one of the most ‘hyperreal’ places of all.
Something needs to be said about the process of removing the boots and putting them on, because by the time this article has been read - I bet MSCHF boot owners are still struggling to take those cartoonish boots off. Like something out of ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’.