These Couture Shoes Are a Broken Ankle Waiting to Happen

by Charles Manning

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s recent couture show in Paris was full of the kind of beautiful, avant garde designs her fans and clients have come to expect — sheer fabrics, bold silhouettes, high-tech embellishments, and laser-sharp precision.

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

It also included some truly mind-boggling shoes. I mean, what is going on south of these poor models’ ankles? The shoe part is pretty standard — just a regs suede bootie with a high heel — but that platform is another story altogether. A thin wooden wedge separates the shoe from its base, resulting a structure that seems destined to topple and break it’s poor wearer’s ankle if she’s not careful.

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

Of course, if anyone can make a problematic shoe work, it’s a runway model, but still! Why torture them? That wooden wedge just does not look stable.

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

At least the shoes appear to have a ribbed rubber tread on the bottom to help combat slippage. Without that, it’s hard to imagine they would be walkable at all.

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

They kind of look like something a fashion kid would make in high school woodshop, which is an interesting idea. They are also vaguely reminiscent of an ice-skating bootie — perhaps intended as a nod to next month’s winter Olympic games in South Korea? Probably not, but who can say for sure? The point is, they are odd and look difficult as hell to walk in. They also probably won’t be produced, so that’s not really a problem anyone not walking in a Iris van Herpen show will ever have to deal with.

Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 (FirstView)

Side note: How amazing would it be in Iris van Herpen designed the uniforms for the Dutch olympic team? Let’s all just put that out into the universe for a second and see what happens.

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