The Fashion Statement: The Rise of Flatforms
After a long run, the precarious platform shoes we've seen for much of the last decade are giving a new, flatter platform. Or, as I'm calling them-flatforms.
If fashion soothsayers have names like Marc Jacobs, Fendi and Derek Lam, platforms here to stay-in fact, we can expect to see them through fall 2011 (Issey Miyake, above)-but gone are the high arches and their impossible heights. In their place are gentle graduated slopes full of the promise of easy promenades that don't give up much of the stature of their predecessors. That's not to say, these flatter versions are without danger. A fall show in New York featured flatform combat boots that made at least two female models and one male model fall flat on their faces.
By and large, though, this spring designers are delivering walkable wedges with no shortage of style. Marc Jacobs' platforms bring us back to the '70s with their rainbow colors adorning the arches of the shoe. Fendi confounds modern architectural rules with platforms that seem to come in three separate sections-a heel in emerald green, a mid-shoe in brown and a toe in natural wood with a bright blue strap. Derek Lam is probably the most traditional-basic Maryjanes in camel opened-toe or off-white closed toe upon natural-grained wood.
Fast forward to the '70s, and platforms would have another four-decade run, achieving impossible heights in the last few years a la Lady Gaga. But for every action in fashion, there is a reaction and taste makers are suddenly crying uncle. "It's time for a feminist revolution to put footwear back in your comfort zone," wrote Suzy Menkes in the March issue of Harper's Bazaar.
Still, in the age of Gaga, it's going to be hard to give up the drama of the platform. So, designers, are giving us a compromise and just in time for the walkable, warmer months of spring. Usher in the era of flatforms.