I’d do anything for you dear
for you mean everything
I know that
I’d go anywhere for your smile
for your smile
everywhere I see
Would you climb a hill?
Wear a dafodill?
Leave me all your will?
Even fight my Bill?
When I think of a thick straight high heel, I think of this song. I also like to think these gorgeous sturdy work horse heels of fashion goodness are singing this song to me too. What better heel than a sturdier heel with more dimension? It is simultaneously a fashion fantasy and a trusted friend supporting you through the cracked sidewalks, metal grates and precarious cobblestoned streets of life. Whether stacked, wrapped in leather or covered in stones, the sculptural nature of this meatier heel cuts a formidable profile. Graphic, bold and strong, the thicker heel is the visual foundation for which designers can convey their fantastical designs.
I remember with nostalgia my Prada Fall 2003 croc-embossed sling backs. The feminine gentle sling could find no perfect partner than this solid and resolute heel. Who can forget in Fall 2006, the multitude of coquettish Chloe heels whose foundations were this noble heel? In Fall 2007, the rounded shape of the YSL heel in a natural wood was a perfect counter point to the glossy grey and black pointed uppers. Balenciaga modernized this heel style for Fall 2010 with their mixed media ode to the computer age and cosmonauts.
Though this Fall is dominated by the whippet thin stiletto, I am always on the lookout for this thicker heeled beauty. Beyond their bold strong profile, they always have a place in my heart for their bewildering comfort. From my precarious perch, I still feel supported navigating the concrete jungle. Too often have I suffered from the pangs and heartache when a stiletto fell victim to the convert subway grate, unforgiving escalator, or cracked sidewalk. In an instant, my once pristine delicate sliver of a stiletto looks as appealing as a chewed up pencil. No amount of glue or prayer will restore them to their once smooth untouched state. Like a sheltered child, the delicate stiletto will meet certain trauma and injury in this unpredictable world.
The wedge heel offers style, vertigo inducing heights with stability. Though it takes a particular design talent and deft hand to keep these heels light – lest your silhouette tragically be deemed clunky or hoof-like.
In the Fall of 2004, I was once the proud owner of such a pair of tough but elegant wedges.
My Balenciaga boots elevated me to fashion heights unseen with their molded plastic platform and wedge heel. Nothing hoof-like or clunky here! The wedge was tapered razor thin from the back, and the high gloss shine contrasted beautifully against the distressed leather uppers. They vaulted me into my fashion dreams.
In these sculptural beauties I was a sophisticated denizen of art galleries, a glamourous French fashion editor dashing through the tuilleries, a no-nonsense titan of industry with killer instincts for business and fashion. These scenarios were as rooted in reality as I was in those boots. My life was not in Paris, nor in the art districts of Berlin, my life was in the back rooms and workshops of the garment district in NYC. My reality was the wearied womenswear designer concocting the wardrobe for other women’s fantasies. As glorious as they were, their paper thin wedge barely kept me upright and sadly they never left my living room.
It was the mean streets of the garment district that began my deep appreciation for the sturdy high heel. Not only could I dodge cabs, tourists, uneven sidewalks and potholes while traversing midtown, I could arrive to the studio, factory, vendors and showrooms in style. The sharp clean line of my upright thick heel belied my hectic existence. This heel shape was also a true chameleon. They could be polished, preppy, architectural, bohemian or girlish! This Fall some particularly swoon worthy finds are the embroidered heels from Dries Van Noten, an platform sandal by Prada, the snakeskin ankle strap number from Louis Vuitton and tough buckle booties by Altuzarra.
So thank you, perfect straight heels with substance, you’re coming home with me in both colorways.
All images credited to style.com