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

WKND - - Feet First If The Shoe Fits... - By karen ann monsy

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

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