Kicking hee s
Off the W o m e n h a v e b e e n m a k i n g s a c r i f i c e s i n t h e n a m e o f f o o t f a s h i o n f o r a l o n g t i m e n o W, b u t W i t h f a s h i o n g o d d e s s e s l i k e v i c t o r i a b e c k h a m g i v i n g t h e m u p, t h e
here was a time when I’d roll my eyes as my sister browsed through shopping aisles, sighing over their numerous high heel collections. Nuts, I thought. Why would anyone want to totter around in those things? Years later, I had joined the nutty ranks — and no one could get me off. Strappy stilettos had won my heart and sole ( though never the ridiculously arched types; the two- inch ones were sensible enough for me and did the trick to boot).
And what was not to love? High heels are incredibly attractive and can singlehandedly boost the wearer’s ability to turn heads. You walk, and feel, differently in them — almost empowered, as Christian Louboutin would say. By comparison, flats are comfy, sure, but so very boring.
HEAD OVER HEELS: Freelance writer Latha Gopal Krishnan
I used to brush off warnings and scroll past health articles that said wearing heels as often as I did would one day mean I couldn’t wear them at all. Long story short, my passion for foot fashion did end up cutting my stride a couple of years ago. I can barely stand in platforms for 10 minutes now without my back giving me hell for it. And while the switch to flats included all five steps of the grieving process ( denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), the lesson was learnt: you can try to fight it, but chances are your heels will catch up to you.
Take it from fashion’s final word, Victoria Beckham. Once quoted as saying she “simply couldn’t concentrate in flats”, and famous for stepping out in nine- inch heels just nine weeks after she gave birth to her youngest child, Posh recently shocked the fashion world when she took her final bow at her label’s fall 2016 New York show… in a pair of Adidas sneakers. “I just can’t do heels any more,” admitted the 41- year- old.
It’s not j ust Mrs Becks either. Addressing the Cannes Film Festival controversy last year — where organisers put forth a heels- only mandate for the red carpet event — Into The Woods star Emily Blunt called the move “very disappointing”, adding, “Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t be wearing high heels, anyways. That’s my view. I prefer wearing Converse sneakers…”
There is a definite shift in the air, confirms Dubaibased celebrity stylist Kelly Lundberg, who owns about 45 pairs of heels herself and never thought she’d see the day she wore flats. “When I first started styling 10 years ago, people were a lot dressier,” says the selfconfessed heel addict. “But style itself has become a bit more casual now, and clients are increasingly looking for practical, comfortable options. They want to wear flats with slacks.” So massive is the shift that Kelly says she’s bought more sneakers and flats in the last six months than at any point in her life. “It’s all about effortless dressing today, and it’s been really interesting introducing clients to it too.”
Having said that, in her line of work, high heels are a bit of ‘ necessary evil’, she points out. “If I ever have to give a pre- sentation or atten nd an event, I’ll always be in heels,” she states. “It re eally alters the way you stand and present yo ourself, it boosts you ur confidence, and is a great way to dresss up an outfit — even if it’ ’ s jeans and a blazer. Marily yn Monroe once said, ‘ Give e a girl the right shoes, and sh he can conquer the world’ — and it’s so true. When I’m in a great pair of heels, I can do an nything.”
So how does she e maintain happy feet? “I’ve gotg timings for my shoes,” Kel lly reveals. “I’ve got four- hour shoes, all- day shoes, shopping shoes, so- thin- y you- can’twalk- in- them- for- long sho oes… The trick is to plan your footwear r according to your day — never the o other way around. I know how long I canc last in each shoe, so I pick them acc cording to my schedule for the day.” A word of advice? “I find it always helps s to ‘ break in’ new shoes by wearing a pa ir of socks with the shoes and walking arounda the house with them first. Also, whenw buying heels, just make sure youy can walk in them. You’re going tot look really silly otherwise. Don’t t try to do a Lady Gaga.”
For freelance writer Latha GopalG Krishnan, it was always abou ut “looking tall and elegant in high hee els, like the ladies we watched in English h movies”. Growing up in Tirunelveli, Ta amil Nadu, in the late 70s, she says her 5 5” 5’ frame easily classified her as one of thet tall girls — but that didn’t stop her fro om hankering after high- heeled shoes a available in only a select few outlets at th he time.
“I used to shop twice a ye ar for high heels in Chennai or Cochin duringd my school days, but soon start ed buying them at least three to five tim mes a year to match outfits,” she recalls. . “They’d usually be between three to four inches tall, but I had a couple that were six- inch high block hee els, like the ones we’d see the mu usic ON POINT?: Known for her outrageous fashion sense, Lady Gaga has been seen sporting ridiculously high heels