The Flatform that flatters

Love or loathe it we’ve seen the return of the platform shoe for Spring/Summer 2011, in a new style, the ‘flatform’. As the name suggests ‘flatforms’ are the combination of flat shoes with platform heels underneath them, they offer women the answer they’ve been looking for – the height without the pain. But will they be a hit or miss trend?

The look has featured on many S/S ’11 catwalk shows with Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs and Chanel channelling this new inventive trend. The shoes have been criticised for looking like bricks tied to the feet, yet if designers deem it fashionable it seems likely we’ll all run like sheep to buy them on the high street. The trend does however seem a little rushed after only just getting to grips with the return of the clogs.

One thing about these chunky flatforms, they’re not cute or glamorous – names you’d associate with a Louboutin high heel. To be honest they’re pretty ugly, as I’m sure Christian Louboutin himself would agree. He recently told The New Yorker: ‘I hate the whole concept of comfort! It’s like when people say, “Well, we’re not really in love, but we’re in a comfortable relationship.” You’re abandoning a lot of ideas when you are too into comfort. “Comfy”—that’s one of the worst words! I just picture a woman feeling bad, with a big bottle of alcohol, really puffy’. We get his theory, no pain, no gain!

Despite having first take on the latest looks from the catwalks before us normal folk (flatforms were shown October ‘10), celebrities haven’t really been seen promoting the trend. I’ve managed to catch one celeb ‘cottoning on’ to the trend though, Fearne Cotton arrived at Celebrity Juice and Radio 1 shows last week wearing her own flatforms. It’s got to catch on now, right?

(Courtesy of

References from the historic, this trend screams 1970’s and 1990’s platform frenzy, yet I feel they are also heavily reminiscent of the wooden shoes worn by Geishas in Japan. Take these Kenzo S/S’11 collection flatforms for instance, they breathe Japanese style and look very similar to the Okobo that this Geisha is wearing, no? Okobo are the platform shoes worn by women who are in training to become Geishas, otherwise known as Maiko.

Kenzo S/S '11

Maiko wearing Okobo

So, will it catch on? Let us know what you think! Versions of the trend are already cropping up around the high street, including Fearne’s –  you can nab yours at Topshop and remember if you’re a student, take along your ID card for a nifty 10% discount!

WYNN Black Suede Wooden Platform Wedges, £65
JAVA Black Suede Peep Toe Platform Wedges, £65
WYNN Camel Suede Wooden Platform Wedges, £65

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