When red carpet renegade Kristen Stewart wore a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors with her Yigal Azrouël dress at the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 (or the sneakers she wore on any number of subsequent red carpet walks), she was essentially flipping fashion the bird. In this industry, comfort has historically been a four-letter word: f-l-a-t.
This season, there’s a more sophisticated way to save your soles.
After years of sending models teetering down runways in sky-high strappy sandals and stilettos, designers have become the new flat-vocates, endorsing everything from clunky lug soles and creepers to trim, slim loafers and sleek skimmers especially suited to holiday dressing.
Like so many other recent trends that can be traced back to Lanvin, it’s arguable that the house’s ubiquitous stretchy, girlish ballerina flat of 2002 was fashion’s gateway drug to comfort. Once you go flat, you never go back. This season, Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz sent winter floral party dresses down the runway but grounded their feminine whimsy with more mannish oxfords in leather, velvet and glitter-encrusted versions. This new flat provides a balance to the proportions of fall’s revival of ’50s volume, from the new New Look of full dirndl skirts at Rochas to the boxy topcoats at Céline.