André Leon Talley Hopes Insanely High Heels Are Finally on the Way Out

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Resort looks from left: Vena Cava, Calvin Klein, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Photo: Courtesy of Vena Cava, Courtesy of Calvin Klein, Courtesy of Marc by Marc Jacobs

After spring 2009, it seemed heels couldn't get any taller. But then came the fall 2009 shows and with them, heels of twelve inches or higher. Well, André Leon Talley has had enough. He's tired of watching his Vogue colleagues suffer for fashion in the torture chambers designers call shoes. He says only one Vogue staffer wears flats regularly: style director Alexandra Kotur, who, incidentally, wears the same thing to work every day. Writes Talley:

Designers with an obsession for towering torture chambers, often poorly designed for the well-being of the foot, must get a reality check. I, for one, am over the mania for the high, high heel. Too many career women look like a herd of fashion beasts, aping one another in impractical shoes.


Yet Talley has noticed perhaps a shift toward more comfortable footwear. Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo still wears high heels, but wore a pair recently with "sensible rounded-toe fronts." The world's most famous fashion icon at the moment, Michelle Obama, wears flats or kitten heels. Also, Calvin Klein showed flat shoes in the 2010 resort show (as did Ports 1961, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Vena Cava, among others). Talley forced Kotur to try out the Calvin booties. At first she didn't like them because she felt they didn't have enough support, bless her practical heart, but then she "grew into" them. Talley also notes that in a new book with a forward written by Diane Von Furstenberg the designer writes, "I never go out in something that I am uncomfortable in, well, except shoes, and they’re torture. And that’s just something I deal with." At least she's honest about it — but why, Diane?

Come the spring shows in September, we will join André in hoping shoes come back down to Earth. Not that what happens on the runway will affect us so much. We've been enjoying the pleasures and comforts of flats on an almost daily basis for decades. But if those poor girls at Vogue feel like they need approval to be comfortable, can't they have it, just for one tiny season?

Keep It Short [Vogue.com]