“Fashion is so often presented in the culture as a thing of froth, which, of course, it partly is; but the bubbles are blown with care and a sense of values.” - Anna Wintour
April 21, 2012
Flat Out Frightful
Flat shoes on the runway are rare, but when they do make an appearance, it's almost always to an approving audience.
I, on the other hand, spend the entire show cringing. I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you: flat shoes look bad on the runway. Runway outfits that look good with flat shoes are few and far between; most of them need that certain sway, height and structure that only a pair of heels can give. Even the most opulent gown will turn into a dress appropriate for a beach-side stroll if the wrong pair of shoes are worn with it.
And it's not just because outfits look bad with flat shoes that I am so against them. Few models know how to maintain their runway walk in flat shoes. My first time witnessing this phenomenon was back in 2009 when I saw a runway show (I can't remember which one) with one particular model who let flat shoes get the better of her. She walked the length of the runway, stopped at the end, and in an attempt to pose, ended up posing with her feet pointing outward in the shape of a V. Not very elegant, I must say.
From the front, flat shoes aren't all that appealing either. With each step taken, you see the sole of the shoe flopping down against the floor. Almost like a reverse flip flop, if you will. Even when the model simply stands there, the top of the foot looks flat and wide. The only way this can be avoided is with sleek flat shoes (à la Chanel, who has done flat shoes successfully many times).
I hope you know I don't have anything against flat shoes. Even though I prefer all my shoes, even my flats, to have a slight heel, that's only because I find the sound of heels against pavement a horribly addicting confidence booster, and because low heels are generally more comfortable than washboard flat soles. In the end, flats are an essential part of any wardrobe. Just a regular day on the streets certainly does not call for a pair of heels.
I cringe all the same when I see a model wobbling and falling on precarious heels, yet despite all the stress, pain, agony and embarrassment heels cause for models, there's no way around it - heels were meant to be on the runway.