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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Antonio Berardi: Hang 'em high

Seen around the Paris catwalks is a new pair of fashion shoes that cost approximately £1,800 (Sterling). “What’s new?” I hear you bay; well the gold or silver snakeskin beauties are heel less but high heeled. Antonio Berardi has designed a pair of heel less, high heels with the heels missing. The rear part of the foot is raised 5 1/2in of the ground and holds the wearer on their tip toes (resting on the ball of the foot). Seems the shoes have become a ‘must have possession’ with Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman reported to have invested in a black patent version costing more than £1,100 (Sterling). Ex Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham apparently has a snakeskin pair and there is a five week waiting list for the shoes when they go on sale in Browns stores in London. The inspiration for the design came from the pre-coital position captured in Latin American dancing. A captured intimate moment - very post-modernist. The shoe is platform in style which projects backward under the arch to give support to the foot. The design is not that original and there have been other versions on the same theme but this is a new look for this season. The design of fashion shoes prior to the introduction of stilettos always favoured the heel sitting closer to the arch of the foot. The introduction of a shank to take the strain between the heel and the forefoot in the mid sole of the shoe allowed modern heels to be position closer to the anatomical heel. This design is retro with the novelty of using a back projection from the ball of the foot. It does however demonstrate to versatility of modern materials which can support body weight which is likely to hearld more heel less designs. The footwear would prefer toe walkers or those with a tight tendo achilles (either natural or acquired). One potential disadvantage is the surface area of the ground is markedly reduced compared to a heeled shoe. This would suggest increased peak pressures are likely and wearing the shoes would necessitate expenditure of much greater energy, even by standing still (such as a hair dresser). The likely scenario is most people would appear to register fatigue (tired aching feet)when this style of shoe is worn for prolonged periods.

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