Rising above or falling…flat?



Since the fall runway shows I have been in high anticipation of getting my hands on one of the latest trends for the Spring 2011 season – the raised flat sandal.   These sandals, rather bulkily dubbed “Flatforms”, have a high platform or block heel with a relatively low-pitched foot.  Seen at Fendi, Prada, Philip Lim, Marni and others, they received raves from folks who were over the sky high, ankle breakers of recent seasons – editors, models…. and me!

I love the look and the idea of high heels, but my feet, knees and back are just not on board.  So I jump at any chance to get the height of heels without the tottering, painful side effects.  In fact just last season, thanks to my ever-so-stylish hairdresser, I found a gorgeous pair of snakeskin strappy platform sandals from Stuart Weitzman that sported a three inch heel, but with a two inch platform.  They are simply fab and left me craving more.

Now that the much anticipated runway to retail transition has happened I have to admit to more than a little bit of disappointment.  There are some sensational choices at Saks and Net-A-Porter from Marni, Lanvin, and other wonderful designers, and shopbop.com even has a whole spread with some very on-trend cool choices.  However, the more affordable choices at retailers like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales were pretty limited and not all that exciting.  While I do love an unusual and quirky shoe and I am in complete lust with the darling pair from Marni featured above, I am not $800 in lust (!!!)…yet.   

Granted, raised flats are going to be an acquired taste and tricky to wear well so I can see why retailers have trepidations.  Some look a little too editorial (which is a nice way of saying “bizarre”) and some are clearly not going to be flattering.  But these sandals are going to play terrific supporting roles with several of spring’s big trends – maxi dresses, 70’s revival, color blocking, and wide leg trousers. 

How to make them work?  The height and visual weight of these heels will balance the volume of material that a maxi dress or wide leg especially well.  I also think that a neutral leather color would do a nifty leg-lengthening trick when worn with city shorts.  If you aren’t ready for the boldness that Fendi and Philip Lim 3.1 went for, there are some good modified espadrille, block heeled and clog styles from several designers that will work equally well with maxis and other 70’s inspired looks.

I love the possibilities that raised flats present so I am determined!  I will keep looking and hope that mainstream fashion catches up.  Either that or that the fashion-bargain god smiles upon me and those adorable Marnis end up on sale!

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