At the beginning of March I launched a competition to find the UK's most iconic shoe in conjunction with handbag.com I had some great entries and this week I chose the winning comment which argued that the Platform was the UK's most iconic shoe.
Congratulations to Judy who will be able to buy some swanky new shoes at Selfridges with her £200 of vouchers. Here is Judy's entry...
"Platform shoes were all the rage in the 60's 70's 80's and, well... they were pretty much all the rage always!! Although platforms may not be everyone's cup of tea and are probably not the most practical shoe, they have been iconic for many years. The history of platforms dates back much further than you may think. In the 1400's - 1600's, platforms were, surprisingly, used for a practical purpose.
The platform would slip over the actual shoe to protect it from mud and dirt. At this time it was called a chopine. In fact, the platform, or chopine in this case, is so iconic that it even made it into the great works of Shakespeare in his play Hamlet "By'r lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine". Iconic or what!!!
In the Victorian era ladies shoes became more dainty and elegant and it wasn’t until the 1960's that the platform began to reappear but in more of a fashion sense than for practical purposes! By 1975 it was so fashionable to wear platforms that everyone who was 'hip' had a pair. Not just the ladies either - at this time it was even ok for men to wear these outrageous shoes! Similar to the art, pop and lifestyles of the time, these shoes were renowned for there colourful and psychedelic nature! Platforms were worn to the shops, to work and to discos. They were the everyday shoe of the era and some platforms reached an astonishing 11 inches!
In the 90's Vivienne Westwood reintroduced them but after Naomi Campbell tripped on the catwalk in her 5" platform 9" heal shoes they did not make it into mainstream fashion. It was only towards the late 90's, when a group of sassy ladies came along and transformed the music industry, that platforms became popular again. At the time when the Spice Girls were prancing about in huge platforms, once again, everyone wanted a pair.
Although they may not be particularly popular at the moment I cant see this iconic style of shoe going too far away from the fashion headlines and before long it wouldn’t surprise me if we end up seeing a lot more of these!"
And you only need to check out the likes of my-wardrobe.com and Net-a-porter.com to realise that the platform is back baby! Brands like Chloe and Marni are showing that it is 'the chunkier the better'.
lb364: "So whether they're Primark or Prada, an iconic shoe isn't about price, it's about the pride they are worn with."
Elaine: "Brits are known for their style and spirit, And make no exception for shoes, a beautifully crafted high heel court, Would be the type I would choose!"
Davida: "Would Peggy Mitchell have dared utter those infamous words "get outta my pub" if she were standing behing the bar in a pair of plimsolls? I think not."
See all the entries here
CONTEST - Win a Pair of Designer Shoes
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SHOES - On a Shoestring