Today's POP is Sarah. We like her. Not only because she's Stylish Sarah, but because she gave us this:
For the past two seasons, the ‘80s revival of the hazardously high heels has reined supreme both on the catwalks around the world and on the city streets. Christian Louboutin’s vertiginous platforms have become almost as ubiquitous as designer blue jeans. Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and Alexander McQueen are among the numerous designers who pushed the platform to the highest of heights for the past couple of seasons. A new credibility and unspoken ranking system has developed among the fashion elite that directly correlates your importance and power within the industry to the height of your heel: the higher the heel the more fabulous and famous you are.
I must confess that the adage that women feel more powerful and sexier in high heels rings true. Not only do high heels change your silhouette and elongate your posture, they make you feel more powerful and give you an extra confidence booster when you walk in the room. They give you a leg up in the competition among your fellow fashion followers.
However the problem with any fashion trend is that the minute you are “in” fashion you are on your way “out.” Similarly, fashion trends can only exist if they reflect where society is standing as a whole and are expressed as a sign of the times in which they live. Sally Singer once wrote that “Trends are aesthetics wedded to the zeitgeist”. Therefore, it would make sense that high platform heels and the excessive aesthetic of the ‘80s would resurface in 2000 when the economy was flourishing and conspicuous consumption ruled the market. The more ridiculous heel height seemed appropriate within both the economy and contemporary culture.
The turning point for the platform shoes came twofold when Obama was elected president; firstly, he inherited the greatest recession since the Depression, and secondly Michelle Obama proudly wore Jimmy Choo kitten heels with her Narciso Rodriguez dress at the White House.
Kitten heels have often been labeled frumpy or old lady shoes in the fashion industry. However when Michelle Obama pulled out her kitten heels, it created a tidal wave effect on the fashion erudite as well as businesswomen. She paved the way for the kitten heels to return and have their ninth life.
Can the famous saying about hemlines and the stock market ring true for heel heights as well? Can a rapidly growing recession and economy in a constant state of turmoil put an end to the conspicuous consumption and over the top platforms, with consumers reverting to more reserved spending habits and lower heel heights? In an unstable and uncertain climate, perhaps we want to be more “grounded.”
In the Spring 2010 Fashion shows, the designers clearly expressed their desire for the resurgence of the kitten heel, clog, flat gladiator sandals and ballet flats. Marc Jacobs sent out his models in the Louis Vuitton show in embellished kitten heel clogs, and Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel show embraced bucolic revelry with models skipping around in durable studded clogs. At Marni, Missoni and Givenchy, the majority of the models were sporting inch high kitten heels, slippers and sandals. Flats are no longer frumpy but fashionable and functional.
Yet while kitten heels may have scampered off the runways and stormed the streets they have by no means replaced the platform heel. Although the sky-high heels are starting to dissipate women will never completely give up a small platform, wedge or high heel. The difference now is that the kitten heel and flat will no longer be completely dismissed by the fashionista and will become a must have on their shopping list in addition to the platform.
- POP 309 Weekend 5-6 June 2010
- POP 062/ Saturday, 1 August 2009
- POP 366 Wednesday 11 August 2010
- POP 249 Weekend, 21 March 2010
- POP 245 Tuesday, 16 March 2010