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Platform shoes reach new heights of popularity

Alexa Palacios
Staff Writer

The platform shoes trend, resurrected from the 1970s, has become one of the most prevalent trends in fashion today, bringing strange beauty and staggering discomfort and combining them together.

Platform heels began their dynamic return into the fashion world during the spring and fall seasons of 2009 and they have continued to storm the runways of the biggest fashion powerhouses such as Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Prada, Miu Miu and Lanvin.

The influence from the 1970s in this year’s platforms is obvious, but designers have taken the look a step further with a different design approach.

Surrealism and extremism are two thematic elements that are prevalent the current design, which does not always make for a comfortable shoe.

Despite the abstract design and toppling heel height, celebrities, bloggers and regular girls alike are all proudly sporting platform pumps and wedges.

“When it comes to sacrificing comfort for appearance, I always say, ‘pain is beauty, take it or leave it,’” Bianca Vicente-Crain, junior visual culture major said.

“I’ve always had a strong appreciation for heels, especially the platform and to see this beautiful piece of art make a comeback makes me thrilled.”

Lady Gaga and Jessica Simpson are among many among many celebrities who have been seen wearing platforms with astounding heights and design.

Lady Gaga is known for wearing designer Alexander McQueen’s 10-inch high “Armadillo” shoes.

Jessica Simpson has her own apparel line that includes her extremely famous “Dany” sandal with a 5.8 inch platform.

Christian Louboutin, currently one of the most popular luxury shoe designers, is known for his ultra sexy and sultry shoe designs and illuminating red sole.

His shoes, which are a favorite of celebrities and the general public alike, cost anywhere from $395 to $6,000 and have heels up to six and a half inches high.

“The shoe is very much an X-Ray of social comportment,” Louboutin said in a profile interview in The New Yorker magazine with Lauren Collins.

“I hate the whole concept of comfort. You’re abandoning a lot of ideas when you are too into comfort.”

For this spring and summer, the platform trend has in no way disappeared, but the heel heights in shoes have seemed to decreased and sandals have come back for the season as they do every spring and summer.

The 1990s trend of “flat-forms” has come alive again on runways for the spring and summer collections of many designers. Also present in this season’s platform shoe design is the abstract design trend.

This trend is not growing as rapidly as that of platform shoes, but women are slowly beginning to wear flatter platforms and flatter shoes in general.

Even with the rise of the flatform and desire for comfort, the resurgence of popularity of platform heels of increasing height seem to be the most prevalent shoe trend this season.

“Platform pumps allow me to be versatile and be the height I desire,” Andrea Swann, senior criminology major said.

“Discomfort will have to take a backseat as long as it looks good and I think that it’s common to believe the higher the heel, the more appealing they are.”

Alexa Palacios can be reached at

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