Last season when Philo presented her collection, I eagerly waited for her fall garments. I didn’t feel that much for the clothes at all, but the shoes…The shoes were good. But just good. In fact they reminded me of shoes I had when I was 12-13, the ankle strap broke and I cried for like, a day.
What stops this shoe from going good to great, is a matter of several factors.
The shoes are good because the strap at the front is exaggerated, note how it is just 2-3 inches away from the ankle. I love that. It adds security from wobbliness. Second, the elevated slope is walkable, the wedge not teetering on a narrow platform, but chunky enough to feel confident that you won’t fall.
Third, the shoe is clunky but not so clunky that it’s embarrassing to wear. At only 4 inches (for a platform addict this is mild) I realized this was perfection. You can’t be too greedy. 5″ teeters on try hard territory.
But why, oh why are there certain elements that may stop you from rushing to the store in a frenzy to buy? I’ve owned several Celine shoes before. I love them but I never wear them. They are uncomfortable. This time, it wasn’t the comfort factor that was stopping me. They were imperfections in these designs that aren’t suitable for modern women today. For one I can’t handle the top stitching. Top stitching is bad enough as it is. But in this shoe below it is yellow. Platforms are already attention grabbing, cloggy, and as Menkes has dubbed herself “like club sandwiches”. I’m wearin’ all black and all of a sudden there’s yellow topstitching poppin’ out? No. No way pal.
The tube like 3-d sculpture on the platform. I get that she looked at some Ferragamo, but those are shoes for street style girls who want attention. Not for women like me that juggle full time jobs, a business of their own, and blog…They aren’t sensible.
I completely understand that those shoes might be more “design statement” oriented. Maybe the yellow topstitch were there for other reasons than to satiate my “practical needs”…But within the same season Jeffrey Campbell (to my surprise) has designed a shoe that I would have designed myself. They are edited to perfection (Aesthetically) based on the former model of Celine’s. The topstitch is gone, the sandal provides a cushion, and the elevation isn’t so severe.
The gloss on the leather is the same though, as the ones pictured from the runway, and the quality shockingly good. I didn’t want to purchase, but I had to. I just knew that I would regret it some seasons later.
The shoe features an elevated platform, so that your feet rests inside the shoe, kind of like a little ditch. I loved this detail on the runway and I also appreciate that it’s carried onto the mass market version. You could argue, that this shoe isn’t even mass market. At nearly 170$ USD after taxes and shipping, it is definitely not affordable for every woman.
These shoes (platform sandals) are the kind that have been on my mind for the longest time. In fact I searched long and hard for years to find these, and I’m happy they are finally on my feet. I’m praying to God they won’t fall apart within a month. If they do I will just take them to the shoe repair.
That said the shoes do have flaws. Right around the ankle (as pictured below) I already have a small cut, from the buckle rubbing against my bone. I wish shoe designers would think 10 times before cutting once. I wish they would re-cut and re-sole shoes until they were designed for comfort first. I always feel they do the opposite, they’re always in a rush to get shoes out into the market right when the trend is hot, and certain design details are ignored. But it’s always stuff like this that motivates me as a designer, the everyday hassle of dealing with a design object. I’m so annoyed right now that after 170$ spent, my ankle bone may start bleeding. I’ll find a way to get used to it as I love the shoe but seriously women shouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense.
Shoes Available here…