Feature

iSpy… Shoe psychology and the return of the kitten heel

Kate Vandermeer

Kate Vandermeer

Kitten heels are a new manifestation of the backlash against the dominatrix look… Just watch out for cracks and uneven surfaces, as iSpyStyle reports.

Kate Vandermeer is Director of iSpyStyle – a website and consultancy that spies on the design and fashion industry providing trend and business information targeted to inspire, inform and connect the creative community. You can follow Kate on Twitter at – http://www.twitter.com/iSpyStyle_Kate and subscribe to her website for free on http://www.ispystyle.net

In the last column, I mentioned how fashion is cyclical and the season of dominatrix heels is starting to wane. An emerging reaction to this overt aggression is the desire to be feminine and coquettish. Coupled a renewed interest in the style of bygone eras, largely driven by the hit TV show ‘Mad Men’, the trend means kitten heels are back!

iSpy_kitten_heel_1_w250Despite the elegance of tottering around in them, I personally never feel strong and confident about walking fast or getting somewhere in a hurry in kitten heels… which makes me wonder if there’s something to the relationship between shoes and state of mind. Here’s some food for thought (in order of comfort) on what your feet say about your head.

Thongs say “I’m chilled, comfy and ready to bring on summer! Don’t rush me.” Sneakers or trainers say “I’m ready to get fit and get things done… or maybe I’m super stylish and like to show off my limited editions.” Brogues say “I’m stylish, androgynous and appreciate classic man style looks… and hey I can walk all day or even stay upright in a stiff breeze.” Wedges say “I love a bit of extra height, but look out for those fatal rolling ankles! Stilettos say “I’m feeling sexy, and ready to draw attention to myself, but I can’t walk far or stand for long… unless (bizarrely enough) I’m dancing the night away (possibly around my matching handbag).

Finally kitten heels say “I’m dainty and feminine and happy to channel the allure of a 1960s secretary, but sidewalk cracks and cobblestones are my enemy.”

If we are to welcome back the kitten heel, here’s a tip for designers everywhere: Make them strong, use contemporary details like bandage wrapping or elastic as a feature, and splice colour palettes to make them work with current wardrobes.

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