Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The future of shoes: It's all on the stars

Maybe the platform boots of former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell (or Ginger Spice) can fetch in excess of $1000 at auction but the white 5.5 inch platform boots were not to remain in vogue for the discerning follower of fashion. Love Geri all you will, but powerful girls for the new age wore shoes of a very different type. At the end of the millennium styles were not (surprise, surprise) futuristic but instead retrospective. Preferring to revisit the romantic period of yesteryear designers came up with shoes and boots which accentuate shape. Pointed toes and high heels were definitely on the way back especially in bright colours, matching plastic and other fabrics. Shape was in and closely fitting boots followed with toes either very sharp or moderately pointed. Flat heels were not forgotten and fashionable pumps with rubber soles contrasted with the heeled boots as the bohemian influence of prevailed.

The changes from platforms to heels says much about embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. Naomi Campbell, you may remember, fell over her platforms on the catwalk at Vivienne Westwood's Paris Show. The infamous shoes now are part of V & A Museum's collection. Cybil Shepherd, no stranger to the cat walk herself, has already broken the mode and takes every opportunity to wear comfortable shoes. Her famous comment “I do not want to think about my feet" says it all and this lady means business when she can wear her Reebok high tops with a sequined evening dresses to award ceremonies.

Although Queen of the Ugg boots, Pamela Anderson is seldom seen in front of the camera without her high heels and recently bought seven pairs of identical stripy stilettos in every available colour.

Tori Spelling is the daughter of TV Mogul, Arran Spelling and would, it is said, like to replace Imelda Marcos as the greatest living restifist (shoe fetishist). Tori is a mere beginner however and Dolly Parton thinks nothing of ordering 600 pairs of shoes at a time. Buying shoes in bulk is not just a pastime for leggy lovelies but men like Christian Slater, the late Dean Martin, as well as Englebert Humperdinck regularly snap up bulk purchases. Bruce Forsythe, Stalin, Danny DeVito, Nicke Nolte, Michael Douglas and Burt Reynolds all prefer raised heels to make them look taller. Special orders for the stars include gold tipped boots made for Michael Jackson. Cher prefers exotic tastes and has a pair of boots made from leopard skin. Playboy magnet Hugh Heffner wore velvet shoes to suit his brothel creeping habits perhaps. Siegfried and Roy, magicians extraordinaire have sport shoes made for sea bass skin and wildman Mickey Rouke prefers Louis Vuitton material. Tina Turner likes her spikes and thinks nothing of a song and dance routine in 14 cm heels. Elton John in his heyday had plug in platform boots with light up heels, these needed to be recharge between performances. Elton is height challenged and found the added span his boots gave him allowed him to lean over the piano, thus improving his stage presentations.

Another superstar taken with her screen presentation is Diana Ross who wore a pair of florescent silver pumps in the film Wiz, she liked them so much she had another eight pairs made. When Jacky Kennedy was in her heyday she bought her shoes from Rene Mancini in Paris. Her monthly order was 12 pairs every three months although her order dropped to 8 pairs after her marriage to Onassis. On a profound note the day Princess Diana died, Jimmy Choo, the designer had an appointment to supply her with made to measure shoes. Rather like a fairytale the princess’s shoes remained unfilled.

Reviewed 17/11/2016

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