SHOP THE TREND
Stack it up
Snakeskin and leopard print platform sandal by SAINT LAURENT
Silver metallic leather sandals by GUCCI
Leopard print hair calf open toe sandal by TOM FORD
‘Zia’ python and metallic leather open toe sandal by TERRY DE HAVILLAND
‘Lena’ metallic platform sandals by TOPSHOP
‘Petula’ bronze suede and metallic python platform sandal by TERRY DE HAVILLAND
As is their want, designers regularly look back to move forwards with their collections and this season the seventies took centre stage. I love the seventies – there were so many revolutionary, cultural shifts which had a direct effect on what people chose to wear (or chose not to wear as was the case in some instances – clothes were optional rather than mandatory at Woodstock for instance!) What I loved about Hedi Slimane’s collection for Saint Laurent is that instead of going for the idealistic, hippy-dippy side of the seventies, he drew from the darker, sexier side of hedonism and this season it’s all about his platform shoe.
Platform shoes always tread a fine line between ‘chic’ and ‘clown’ – it’s all about the proportions. For reference, compare Bianca Jagger with her backstage pass casually clipped to her shoe at Madison Square Gardens in the seventies with any one of the Spice Girls from their hey day – from the sublime to the ridiculous! The Saint Laurent shoe is a patchwork of materials and embellishment – snakeskin and geometrically arranged micro-studs, ‘ladybird’ glitter polka dots and glossy black leather roses, rhinestone serpents, jigsaws of tiger print pony skin and metallic leather. When someone uses the phrase ‘put on your dancing shoes’ this is exactly what I would think of and these shoes, despite their rather hefty price tag, are flying out of stores.
Another designer who references the seventies (and is never shy of too much glamour and sex) is Tom Ford. Tom was a regular at Studio 54 back in the day and his whole aesthetic based on sex, excess and semi-undress seems to stem back to this period. Ford went for an even heavier look than Saint Laurent with studded, animal print ‘clogs’ alongside sleeker styles (I called in some of these amazing shoes from both Ford and Saint Laurent for a recent shoot I did with Rosie for Vs magazine – see below). Gucci (who love a good seventies disco shoe) have done a gorgeous style which keeps the platform at the front but opts for a slimmer heel at the back.
As much as I would love to dress permanently in Saint Laurent or Tom Ford, I have to keep my dog Lovern in the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed so I often head to the high street to supplement or substitute designer looks with something a little more competitively-priced. The internet has made global fashion instantly accessible so no sooner do the big chains get a hint of the seventies from the runways, they’re straight onto designing their own interpretations. Topshop have a brilliant gold metallic open toe platform with an ankle strap – so good and really reasonably-priced (they also have a nude/black option if you want something less disco).
Finally, I must give a shout out to iconic London footwear designer Terry De Havilland.
Terry was one of the original platform shoemakers who took on the family trade from his Dad. He was fully immersed in the swinging sixties and seventies lifestyle in London and his shoes were seen on every style icon from Anita Pallenberg to Bianca Jagger. He continues to produce his collections today and Kate Moss and Cara Delevigne are more recent fans. So there are lots of options there, from designer to high street to the authentic originals. None of us have an excuse not get our dancing shoes on now!