December 13, 2005

Platform shoes.

Have you been noticing the new ads for high-heeled platform sandals? Currently, the platforms are about 2 inches thick in front. With the heel, your 5'5" woman will be 5'10". And this is just the leading edge of a trend that, if it plays out according to the 1970s trend that it is now imitating, will climax with platforms that make you 9 inches taller. In the 1970s, I used to work with a woman who went in for those shoes. She was 5'1" tall. Once she got up from her desk and walked around without her shoes on. The sudden change in height was shocking -- and hilarious. Please, people, don't go through this again. Say no to platforms. If you buy the shoes that are coming on the market now, you will be giving in to a form of insanity that before long will have you dragging cinderblock-sized objects strapped to your feet. Can we not learn from history? Stop now, while there is still hope!

35 comments:

dick said...

I saw my first one recently the other day when I was up at the St John's University area. The woman was wearing these humungous fire engine red patent leather things with heels that looked about 5 inches high and about 4 inches high at the front. All I could think was that the poor woman had a real medical problem and needed these prosthetic shoes to correct it. The way she was walking also fit that description but she looked as though she was LOOKING GOOD!! I though she looked demented.

It put me in mind of a woman I worked with back in the early 70's who wore those platform shoes then. She twisted her ankle so often she had to go to the doctor who immediately told her she should stop wearing those shoes. Unfortunately fashion won out and she kept turning her ankle and kept wearing the silly shoes.

Do women really think those things look good???????????????

Dave said...

Ann,

I hate to break the news to you, but I've seend huge chuinky platform shoes on women for the past five years.

Nothing new about this trend.

Perhaps it is only now reaching the midwest? That would be surprising in a college town, but you never know.

Seems to me that the height of the re-birth of this epidemic was two to three years ago, at least here in NYC.

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: I'm just seeing ads in the paper New York Times. I think that's from New York. I had not seen ads for full-out platforms in the Times until this week in ads for Chanel and Marc Jacobs. I know there have been small platforms in recent years, as we relive the horrors of the 70s, but it is only this week that I've seen an ad for the serious, insane platforms in the Times. I also read fashion magazines. Believe me, I don't get my fashion news from looking at women in Madison! That would be more insane that 9" shoes.

tiggeril said...

Platforms have already been back. They first came back in the late '90s when I was in high school and were out again by the time I went to college. I guess they're back again now.

I'm 4'10". If I wasn't such a klutz, I'd invest in a pair. Great for reaching stuff on the high shelves at the grocery store.

digital mule 2 said...

In Taiwan the name for these translates as “short people happy”.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I can remember girls wearing platform flipflops a while back. What a strain on the toes that must have been. They were just scuffing along, making a stupid noise as they went.

Dale B said...

I never understood why people wearing platform shoes just didn't fall over. They look so unstable.

Ann Althouse said...

Back in the 70s, when I worked in midtown Manhattan, I saw lots of officer-worker types on crutches. The kind of women who shopped at Strawberry wore those awful shoes and often suffered sprained ankles. All the clothes were so cheesy then. Just picturing the inside of that store, Strawberry, as it looked in the 70s, makes me feel ill. And nowadays, I see women wearing the same kind of clothes. It's really terrible!

Susan said...

I've been driving for about 45 years and the only accident I've had in all that time was a fender bender in the 70's when my platformed foot slipped off the brake.

Bruce Hayden said...

When I was in college in the very early seventies, a sister of one of my fraternity brothers wore them - until she fell off them and broke her leg. We all thought that was hilarious - she was so vain, and to have her end up that way was funny to us. But then, figure the ages - we were about 21 and she was 18 at the time.

Bruce Hayden said...

Then again, a lot of women do a lot of silly things for fashion. This probably isn't the worst.

Pogo said...

Once platforms re-emerge, can this be far behind.

Aaaaagh ....it burns!

Ron said...

Can we not learn from history? Stop now, while there is still hope!

Friends don't let friends clog!

miklos rosza said...

It's another influence of pornography. 7-inch stiletto heels with 2-inch platform soles. I like it, at least in some realm of hypothetical distant phantasy.

However, my wife is 5'11" and even though I am 6'2" I don't want her to be taller than me. This must be something-a-phobic on my part but I don't care.

knoxgirl said...

Platforms are just silly. They fall into a category of such obvious impracticality that no one over the age of 17 should wear them, ever. They just LOOK like toys, or a costume or something.

Finn Kristiansen said...

What is sad is that the younger generations (that would be Y) simply don't know any better, and they especially embrace some of these rebirthed stupidities.

I am sure the same people walking around in platform and regular flip flops (which I want to slap them with) and with juicy on the butts of their funky pink sweatsuits will eagerly embrace the added height of platfrom shoes.

Why don't people learn the first time around? It's all so sexy in that "I just finished up with my last john" kind of way.

MD said...

Why can we never get rid of the seventies? Oh, I know there's been an eighties revival going on for some time now, and things are a mish-mash, eighties with fifties with sixties, etc, etc.

But. The seventies. We can never leave them. Are designers so weak-minded that there are no new clothes styles left to design? Maybe that is the case. We can't go back to the hoops skirt or the bustle or the pantaloon, can we? What else can possibly be done with jeans and t-shirts?

And the super platforms are not new, it's just that the major fashion houses are pushing them at this moment, I think. Street fashion is often translated to the runway several years after the fact. It's called being edgy and innovative.

Simon Kenton said...

Platforms date at least to the time of Shakespeare, and were called chopines. And there is mention in Lysistrata of 'pumps,' though whether those were platformed, or just standard-average FMPs, is unknown.

Marghlar said...

Stupid? Oh yes, absolutely. Not only unsafe, but really lame looking.

But nevertheless, it seems tame compared with some foot-fashion news I remember reading not to long ago. Original link is missing due to Times Select, but you can read related stuff here: http://www.2heels.com/cossurg.html.

Platform shoes at least seem less likely to require toe amputation or other surgical intervention, which these people were actually engaged in. By contrast with the lengths people would go to for those pointy shoes, the platform thing seems positively benign (although Bruce H's story of the fall + broken leg provides a cautionary tale there!).

Palladian said...

You think 70's shoe styles are bad? Wait till the 1670s come back in style!

My least favorite part about these shoes, aside from the danger and ridiculousness involved, is the sound women make walking in them, as Ann mentioned. They make even a graceful woman clop down the street like a hobbled dray horse. It also doesn't help that the women who wear these kinds of shoes for a night out often end up drunk. Try getting to the subway (and down the stairs!) after 5 Cosmopolitans wearing a pair of these, sister!

If you want to experience the true damage done to fashion by 1970s revivals (as well the damage done to fashion by irony and art-school aesthetics), come spend an afternoon in my neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But be sure to pack your ironic mustache.

Palladian said...

Finn, ugh, you mentioned another thing I hate: flip flops. On the beach? Acceptable. Walking down Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn? Unacceptable. I don't know how many times I've sat on the subway looking at the hairy, soiled toes of some scumbag in flip flops (it's not just women who wear them on the streets here). Notwithstanding the damage being done to your arches walking down concrete sidewalks in flip-flops, think of the filth in the streets of New York. There seems to be such an attitude of "I don't care that I look like dirty trash" to the male "fashions" here. I see women by the side of these greasy, unshaven, dirty looking men in aviator sunglasses (HATE), mesh caps and flip flops and wonder when they'll step back and say "Geez, my boyfriend looks like absolute garbage. Does his style reflect how little he respects me, let alone how little he respects himself? Maybe I want a little more out of life..."

Who knows? Maybe it will provoke people to wake up and forget the bad dream of the 70s. Not holding my breath.

stoqboy said...

My girlfriend in '75/'76 used to wear those shoes. She was about 5' tall (I'm 6'), but I never knew it until one day we were making out in her bedroom. Her parents came home and we both jumped up and scrambled out into the living room. I lost all my anxiety about being caught because I was so surprised at our height difference.

bash91 said...

I can't stand the sight of a woman in those evil things. However, platform sandals did provide one of the alltime highlights in my teaching career. I was teaching an introductory public speaking class and one of my better students showed up for her speech wearing a new pair of platform sandals. A minute or so into her speech, the nerves had kicked in and she was doing her best imitation of a human metronome. Unfortunately for her, one of those sways went just a bit too far, she lost her balance on the edge of her platform sandal, and cleanly snapped her ankle when she went down. She was ultimately fine and did quite well in my class but I still use that anecdote in classes today when talking about choice of attire and what it says about a speaker.

Freeman Hunt said...

Here's a pic of the (supposedly) tallest surviving chopines:

http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~ebernhar/images/tallestchopines.JPG

Wow. More like stilts than shoes.

knoxgirl said...

holy crap

katiebakes said...

If you're going to disparage a shoe fashion trend, can it please be Ugg boots?

Thanks.

David N. Scott said...

Shrug. My Four foot eleven and a half wife is very fond of platforms... she likes being able to look 5'5ish so people don't ower over her, she can see over stuff, she can kiss my lips without me bending... etc, etc.

tcd said...

katie baker,
Ugg boots, although ugly, are sooo warm and comfortable in the winter. Laugh all you want, my toes are warm and dry!

AlbieNYC said...

Before we can stop reliving the 70's, don't we have to get past the 60's?

tiggeril said...

Are Uggs actually waterproof? They look like some suede-y material on the outside.

I don't think anyone would care about Uggs had it not been for the Uggs-and-miniskirt trend.

My parents used to listen to Rush Limbaugh when I was quite young, and I seem to recall first hearing about them on his show at least ten years ago. Weird that they're so trendy now.

tcd said...

tiggeril,

The material is shearling which is advertised as a natural insulator and is suppose to draw moisture away from your feet. Not sure if they are waterproof but I do know that my feet stay warm and dry when I have the boots on while walking in ankle-deep snow during the Michigan winter. And you're right about the Ugg and miniskirt look. Seems to defeat the purpose of staying warm.
Also, I think the Uggs have always been popular with the ski and active set for years and was only popularized by the Hollywood bimbo set the last two years? I believe the Hollywood bimbos have now moved on to the Frye boots (comboy meets biker?). I refuse to give up my Uggs just because the bimbos have moved on.

katiebakes said...

Ah yes. The classic excuse.

"But I wore them before they became trendy!"

;)

KaneCitizen said...

I concur that they look ridiculous. Classic heels look nice, but all I can think of when I see platforms is this.

tcd said...

katie baker,
Not making any excuses because I really don't care what you think of me.

katiebakes said...

tcd, smart move.

By the way, this sums up pretty thoroughly the way I feel about Uggs.