by Kristin Young at Luxist
Extreme, statement-making shoes make the woman. If you routinely go the safe route on your footwear choices (and, by safe, I mean simple plain black pumps or modest, solid-colored flats), you’re just not living. Or at least not setting yourself apart.
The fashion world is obsessed with over-the-top shoes. The crazier, the scarier, the stranger, the better. And, because fashion is a business, it means women’s appetite for extreme footwear is increasing by leaps and bounds.
Sky scraping platforms. Metallic belt-buckle over-the-knee boots. Shoes that resemble the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Shoes that look like bloated armadillos. Cowboy boots that threaten to topple you over backwards. Torturous spikes. Spinal stilettos. Garter belt lace-ups. Stilettos festooned with feathers.
For fall, 2010, ski bindings and interior design materials like plywood and Formica marry to create Baleniaga’s high-heeled, color-blocked loafers. They are absolutely nuts! And you’ll no doubt see them on some Hollywood It creature come red carpet events later this year.
Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy fall lineup includes an impossibly complicated pair of red lace-up booties that have tiny bumps not unlike some deep sea monster.
Women have been pushing their tootsies into torturous footwear for thousands of years, beginning with the Chinese custom of breaking and binding feet into the shape of a pointed lotus bud. Bizarre footwear is always associated with the erotic and the fetish. And being attractive is an advantage that has always outweighed any pain women have had to endure.
Cut to modern day and the story is the same. Stilettos are uncomfortable and make walking difficult, not to mention what it does to your posture and spine. Still, we women persist. Why? High heels make a woman taller, force her to arch her back and push her chest forward and hips back. The goal here is an accentuated female form because men love an accentuated female form.
Problem is, height and attractive qualities are relative. So if everybody wears heels then who has the advantage? Why, alpha shoe mavens and their designer enablers who up the ante season after season. A girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do. And this year, it may not be a man she’s after. It may be a job. It is the recession, after all, and being memorable is priority number one.