Last summer we saw the return of the flatform, the more stable version of the high heeled platform shoe. A long flat sturdy wedge beneath our favourite flats made us feel sky-high. Creating the illusion of longer legs and resonant of our favourite 90s era, the flatform became THE shoe on the stomping ground.
As with most fashion items, flatforms have a history too, stemming mainly from the platform heel. Often made of cork, plastic, rubber, or wood, the wedged style is an evolution of the clog. Platform shoes have been worn for reasons such as fashion or added height, in various cultures since the Ancient era, but for many years, platform shoes were highly associated with prostitutes and courtesans. In contrast, their use was also used for raising the height of important characters in the Greek theatre and are thought to have been worn in Europe in the eighteenth century to avoid the muck of urban streets.
Going back to our beloved era, in the 1990s, acclaimed designer Vivienne Westwood re-introduced the high heeled platform. In true Westwood style, hers were bigger and better than ever, with an incredible 5 inch platform and 9 inch heel. Even the thought of that height makes me feel like I’m going to topple over, and unfortunately model Naomi Campbell felt the same when she fell on the catwalk of Westwood’s fashion show wearing these very heels. It was the Spice Girls who stabilised this trend and rocketed the shoes into stores and wardrobes everywhere.
Now tried, tested and given a unanimous nod in 2013, the platform shoe is back. Here is a run down of the high street versions that I will be saving for this summer.
By Marni Banks