Clunky, chunky and flat, flat, flat. The shoe of the season has plenty of statement, sans typically vertiginous heel (phew!). It’s a remixed accessory affixed with a new name: the flatform, a platform applied equally under heel and toe that lengthens legs when we’re not in the mood for overt sexy. Explains Evik Asatoorian, Rudsak’s president and designer: “The flatform adds height but remains ultra-comfortable, which, I’ve come to learn, combines the best of both in every woman’s world.”
You may be thinking Oh yes,the ’90s, but we were surprised to learn it’s Oh yes, the ancients! Millenniums before the Spice Girls girl-powered up, historians believe Greeks wore platform sandals on the amphitheater stage to signify the most import- ant roles. And, while chopiness originally became popular in 16th-century Venice as a way of navigating garbage-strewn streets, their relative height came to represent the wearer’s status: During the Renaissance, noblewomen wore platforms higher than 20 inches. In China and Japan, too, women donned variations thereof for a slower gait, which was thought to be the height of femininity.
While spring’s shoes, with their high-level art- istry, speak more to the we’ve-got-the-power ’90s than the historical hobble, they do owe a debt to that old-world refinement. Thus, they’re a lovely mixed message of serious and playful. Laurence Gaillot, a Shellys designer who found inspiration for her slip-ons in original lifters Stephane Kélian and Robert Clergerie, envisions them with contrasting lace socks. Make that wool and you can wear them now, perched above the slush.