Friday, 13 November 2009

Goodbye and Good Riddance

Last Sunday's Style magazine had a very heartening front-cover shout line. "Death of the Killer Heel", it trumpeted, adding the cheery advice "Teeter no more".

So, it is revealed at last. All those ludicrous heels were never popular with women who don't have a fetish problem or can't live without pain. So, why did they happen? Thanks to the power of a small coterie of people – by no means always women – who wish to push a good idea to extremes of ugliness and discomfort that eventually becomes the main point of wearing the fashion. This has happened at dodgy periods throughout history – just think of the ludicrous headgear at Versailles.

Today of course it is not an absolute monarch and his queen who set the style but journalists… and we all know how desperate they are these days. But what I find extraordinary is how designers – including many working for prestigious labels – have been so happy to create objects of such surpassing ugliness and lack of style. Will they hang their heads in shame when, in about 15 years' time, there is an exhibition of fashion horrors from this crazed and confused period? (An exhibition equivalent in revulsion to those devoted to the horrors of medieval torture or the Spanish Inquisition.) Let's hope they will, unless they are all begging on the streets by then, which might be an appropriate punishment for their crimes against women, aesthetics and chic.

Meanwhile, enjoy your kitten heels… and walking without pain once more.

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