Designers Embrace Platform Shoes at Milan Fashion Week

During Fashion Week, we will be spotlighting the small details we saw on the runways that surprised or delighted us. Bring on the sculptural shoes and antique fork jewelry.

MILAN — Forget sneakers; when it came to the footwear at Milan Fashion Week almost everything was up in the air — by about five inches. This season, platforms were back with a bang.

Take Etro, where Marco de Vincenzo made his debut as creative director last week. Or more specifically, the towering clogs that most models wore to march — or in some cases totter — down the runway. They had shiny studs and a stacked platform sole. A pointed toe. And They coordinated with the clothes, coming in a kaleidoscope of colors like tangerine, emerald, magenta and chocolate, as well as a blue jacquard fabric that also appeared in a sky-high, thigh-high platform boot.

Elsewhere, the platform revival was thanks to the Y2K obsession sweeping the runways: See the sorbet-hued rubbery platform sneakers at Fendi or the black patent multi-strap stomping boots at Versace. Other collections had a more retro allure.

Few make a more vertiginous stiletto heel than Giuseppe Zanotti. Yet even he seemed to gravitate to another of his longtime staples, a silky platform block heel designed to unleash one’s inner disco diva. There also were black stacked sliders encrusted with pearls, drawing on the tradition of elevated Japanese footwear that kept women’s kimono hems from trailing in the dirt.

Perhaps the platform’s renaissance is pegged to the fact that, during lockdown, any shoes beyond sneakers and slippers rarely left the wardrobe. As some semblance of normality returns in many countries — for now, anyway — so, too, has a desire to go out and wear shoes that pack a punch. And for many, a platform is a more comfortable option than a spindly heel.

Time to level up.

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