High heels will always provoke quite the response and debate. We all have an opinion on them. But what to the top shoe designers think? Lets find out.
CNN was inspired by the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition which presents around 200 different pairs of high heels from throughout the history of this fabulous footwear. So the TV station got to ask four of the top shoe designer about their thoughts on high heels.
Quest for perfection
Manolo Blahnik for example sees high heels as the best way to improve nature: “A shoe is completing a woman in the sense of converting the foot into something else. Even the ugliest foot is going to be okay with a shoe that I do. This is the redeeming quality of a shoe well-made”, he says.
He is not particularly fond of the 70s style and thinks the proportions and the platforms “were just repulsive”. “People don’t have memories anymore after the huge confusion of the internet. Too much information. Maybe eventually they’ll come back and say “Ha! This is horrible,” and then go back again to normal things, beautiful, elegant things”.
So it is safe to say not to expect 70s style high heels and boots from Manolo Blahnik this or any season. Instead, he says, he will do what he always does – go for absolute perfection.
A form of art
For Charlotte Dellal of Charlotte Olympia high heels are a form of art. They look good both when being worn and when simply stand alone. “Just from a design aesthetic, they have a wonderful shape and feel. With the high heel, there’s the negative space between the heel and the ball of the foot, as well as the shoe itself. It becomes sculptural”, she says.
Dellal also thinks that high heels can transform you. “You can literally dress up when you put on a pair of high heel shoes. It changes the whole thing: the posture, the attitude, the feeling. Everything. It elevates you in every sense of the word; it makes you feel somewhat special. You feel that bit different with high heels”, she says.
“As a female designer, I get to wear my products, so I really know what it’s like to live in them, walk in them, wear them. I am the fit model”, she adds. This is why she puts so much effort in making her high heels as comfortable as possible.
Past, future and present in one
For Pierre Hardy fashion and high heels allow “to combine the desire for the future not with nostalgia, but with the knowledge of what was before; to try to combine those two opposite elements”.
And why are shoes so popular? “In our society, you know, civilization, walking barefoot is forbidden. Totally. Even if you aren’t aware of it, this taboo is included in your mind. It’s an obligation, a constraint. I think shoes and this love of shoes is a way to twist this constraint into a pleasure. It’s the definition of feminism or desire. Because you don’t have this reason to go barefoot, let’s make the shoe as glorious as possible”, Hardy says.
For Stuart Weitzman the high heels are simply the best and most sexy fashion item ever. “Has anything been invented yet that makes a good pair of legs look great, or a great pair of legs look fabulous better than a high heeled shoe? No, nothing has. Not tights, not leggings, not the mini skirt. A shoe does it, and until someone invents something else, the high heel shoe will always be there”, he says.
He adds he loves to work with celebrities as they give him big challenges. He also knows that celebrities can wear any brand they like, so in order to have them pick his, he has to be at the top of his game.
Weitzman adds that he is all for everybody to have choices in what they wear. ” can’t tell you what to wear. I have to give you choices”, he says.