SHOES

From Marc Ja­cobs’s buck­led slides to Valentino’s knee-high gla­di­a­tors, when it comes to footwear this sea­son, the world is flat. AYA MCMILLAN gets the lowdown on the new height of chic.

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents -

From loafers and gla­di­a­tors to sneak­ers and slides, the look of the sea­son is flat.

“YOU SHOULD SEE YOUR FACE,” MY PO­DI­A­TRIST

says, look­ing at me with pity in her eyes. I am sit­ting in her exam room seek­ing help for my rup­tured Achilles ten­don, and the good doc­tor has just pre­scribed a high-heel hia­tus. To say that I am a stiletto girl is an un­der­state­ment. My deep love of spindly heeled beau­ties wasn’t sim­ply born from try­ing to build up my height—I’m five-foot-four, which is in­glo­ri­ously av­er­age—it’s just that I feel bet­ter in heels. More com­mand­ing. More leggy. More…more. Even my sneak­ers have wedges in them (merci, Is­abel Marant). I’ve al­ways ad­mired those Gal­lic gamines who run around town in their per­fect flats, which have a wee point, re­veal just a lit­tle toe cleav­age and are mostly by Lanvin or Alaïa. Ladies like style minx Caro­line de Mai­gret, model (and shoe muse) Inès de la Fres­sange and Brit It-girl Alexa Chung.

This sea­son, sar­to­rial change is afoot, quite lit­er­ally. From New York to Mi­lan to Paris, de­sign­ers showed flat­soled footwear with ev­ery­thing from cropped pants to evening­wear on the run­ways. With ev­ery cat­walker’s near-terra firma stride, the con­sen­sus be­came yet more ir­refutable: Hu­mon­gous, an­kle-wob­bling high heels had been grounded un­til fur­ther no­tice. Fausto Puglisi decked out the hum­ble pool slide with gold-en­crusted trim. For boy-girl glam­our with a soupçon of or­tho­pe­dic chic, Chanel showed two-tone an­kle-strap ox­fords, Ba­len­ci­aga dipped into croc-tipped pointy-toe flats and Marc Ja­cobs did a vel­vety take on Dr. Scholl’s. The de­ity-de­rived knee-high glad­i­a­tor san­dal (think Her­cules, Aphrodite, et al.) was seen ev­ery­where from Stella McCart­ney to Chloé. For day, or night, Dolce & Gab­bana de­vised or­nate Mary Janes and Dries Van Noten pro­posed flats with a fluffy spray of fur. Even ver­tig­i­nously shod Vic­to­ria Beckham made her own self-de­signed shoe de­but with— wait for it—flats. When Posh Spice—the stan­dard bearer of an­kle break­ers—pro­nounces that women can­not live by sky’s-the-limit stilet­tos alone and ded­i­cates a ma­jor part of her col­lec­tion to won­der­fully crafted win­kle-pick­ers, you know we’ve stepped into new ter­ri­tory. Not since Cé­line’s Phoebe Philo cre­ated her con­tro­ver­sially clunky mink­tufted slide (“Furken­stocks,” in In­ter­net par­lance) back in 2012 has there been such a groundswell of sup­port. »

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