These heels are made for walkingForget painful stilettos, the one-inch pump is big news at Fashion Week
08:33 GMT, 17 September 2012
For years, the fashion world has been in love with the high heel — the higher the better.
No matter how painful, impractical or ridiculous, five, six and even seven-inch heels were the order of the day. It was that or flat ballet pumps for the style set. There was no middle ground.
But that is about to change — because this season the hottest heel height is a demure one inch, perhaps two at a push.
Pumped: Kate Bosworth, right, and Zooey Deschanel in one-inch heels, all the rage this season
Dubbed the ‘petite pump’, the new ‘It shoe’ featured in the collections of Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Chloe and Chanel, has been the heel of choice for fashionistas at London Fashion Week, and takes inspiration from the Sixties when stocky heels — such as Roger Vivier’s Belle, worn by Catherine Deneuve in Belle du Jour, and Ferragamo’s bow-decorated Vara — were in vogue.
Screaming low-key elegance, it has quickly become the shoe for discerning stars of all ages.
While Chanel muse Ines de la Fressange has always been wed to her Ferragamos, this summer both Zooey Deschanel and Kate Bosworth stepped out in one-inch pumps. Alexa Chung followed suit in Yves Saint Laurent Ingenues and Lana Del Rey eschewed stilettos for Carvela Lindy pumps on the red carpet.
‘We don’t want to wear instruments of torture any more,’ says fashion expert Brix Smith-Start. ‘These heels are the perfect height to make you stand a little taller, they’re smart and structured, but you can wear them all day.’
The good news is this isn’t just a
catwalk trend — the High Street has some fantastic options. LK
Bennett’s wear-with-everything taupe Iris design with gold buckle will
no doubt get the Duchess of Cambridge’s seal of approval. Ballet pump
icons Pretty Ballerinas has introduced pretty, glittery ones, while Kurt
Geiger’s mauve metallics give a pop of colour.
If you have the budget to spend a
little more, designers to look out for include Gianvito Rossi, Christian
Louboutin, Sam Edelman and Diane Von Furstenberg.
Iris patent leather pump, 175, lkbennett.com
Pandora Cheetah pump, 160, katmaconie.com
Studded Heel Ballerina, 29.99, zara.com
YSL Suede Ingenue pump, 735, ysl.co.uk
Jimmy Choo Walde pump, 350, jimmychoo.com
Solare 8 pump, 110, kurtgeiger.com
Liz Hemmings, the Mail’s senior stylist, says: ‘These shoes are smart, but you can dress them up or down. They look lovely with a dress, as they stop you looking too girlie, but remain feminine.
‘Alternatively, play on a masculine theme and balance them with narrow trousers for French chic.’
But beware pumps with a very round toe, which veer too far towards frumpy. Pointed styles will make your foot look slimmer and, in nude, will elongate legs.
Could it be, whisper it, that we are seeing the death of the sky-high stiletto We can only hope . . .