We talk about trends which you can adapt to your wardrobe in the next six months. Niche stores, mass market and large luxury brands have suddenly returned to the range of wedge sandals. True, not of raffia or cork, but dense and woven leather. Understanding how the new trend emerged.
Text: Anna Eliseeva
How it all started
It is believed that the wedge heel was invented by the famous shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo in the second half of the thirties of the XX century. The fact is that the couturier used German steel in his products, but after the introduction of economic sanctions against Italy, the import of raw materials was suspended. Ferragamo began experimenting with other materials: as the designer himself said, he processed the cork, squeezing, cutting and gluing it until the space between the heel and heel was filled - this is how the wedge heel familiar to us appeared.
A similar design can be found in European fashion from the 14th to 17th centuries. In Venice, for example, the so-called chopins were common - shoes on a huge platform that protected the wearer from mud and puddles. It was available only to wealthy individuals, and the higher the sole was (which sometimes reached fifty centimeters), the higher was the social position of a person. The platform was made of cork or wood, while more expensive models were covered with leather or velvet and decorated with precious stones. But if the modern wedge heel is considered a convenient alternative to the classic heel, then it was uncomfortable in chopins: in order to move smoothly, the owner of such shoes had to enlist the support of one or two servants. In general, the idea of platform boots is not new; in one form or another, examples of similar designs can be found in different historical periods around the world from Greece to Japan.
In 1938, Vogue declared the wedge to be fashionable. Shoes on the platform, according to the publication, fit both home pajamas and outfits for urban outings and were one of the most comfortable. Indeed, cork or wood soles are often lighter and more stable, while the last itself can be made from almost any material: cotton, burlap, raffia, leather and plastic.
Designers quickly picked up the new trend, experimenting with the materials and shape of the sandals. Back in the 40s, Ferragamo himself presented several pairs on a wedge heel depicting the letter F (in one of them, called "invisible sandals", Kirsten Dunst appeared in 2016 in Cannes). In the 50s, you could find colorful shoes and even warm boots in stores - all on wedges. In the 70s, during the boho-chic era, models made of leather and cork, sometimes complemented by embroidery, spread. Known for avant-garde footwear, Dutch designer Jan Jansen introduced sandals with bamboo and rattan soles in 1973 and wedge sneakers four years later. Almost four decades later, Isabel Marant sneakers, designed according to the same principle, will become a symbol of the sunset of the 2000s.
In the 90s and 2000s, wedge shoes were worn by stars with a wide variety of styles. For example, actress Sarah Jessica Parker complemented her edgy slip dress with shiny high platform sandals, while singer Gwen Stefani wore a versatile black leather model. TV presenter Paris Hilton added wedge sandals to her favorite pink mini dresses, while actress Tara Reed wore classic cork models along with short denim skirts popular in the 2000s.
How the wedge remained in vogue
Wedge heels can be found on the podium almost every season - only the design changes, which, by the way, sometimes makes a splash. So, sandals on a cork platform with a decor of raffia and ribbons often return to stores - these are considered to be an attribute of the notorious style of French women.By the way, today blogger and model Zhanna Damas also creates wedge shoes for her Rouje brand. Variations of the cork platform can even be found in the 2016 Chanel couture collection. In the early 2010s, massive wedge sneakers came into fashion. A wide variety of stars have worn such shoes - from models and fashion editors to actresses and singers. The model on the Isabel Marant wedge was considered the standard. And although over time these shoes have lost their former popularity, they still have fans - for example, in the person of Jennifer Lopez.
Today, designers also create wedge shoes, but choose more concise models. Thanks to its minimalistic design, it organically fits into any style - be it utilitarian, sporty, in the spirit of Gothic or neo-romanticism. Of the materials, designers prefer universal leather and plastic. At the same time, wedge shoes should be not only comfortable, but also almost invisible on the foot - according to the principle of Ferragamo's "invisible sandals". For example, Maryam Nassir Zadeh produces open wedge sandals with transparent plastic straps. Actress Margot Robbie included this model in her wardrobe back in 2016, adding it to the white total look - this spring it is also at the forefront of fashion. And at Zimmermann there are fancy sandals with "open" wedges, which makes them seem almost weightless.
The trend, however, didn't just come from the catwalk. An even greater variety of wedge shoes can be found in small niche stores that popular Instagram bloggers love to collaborate with. For example, Staud has sandals for lovers of minimalism - simple models with a low platform and no decor at all. By Far offers fancy yet uncluttered options with a strap and vinyl details. Lisa Says Gah has fish scale sandals, LOQ has lacquered models.
What to wear with
It is important to choose light options and pay attention to how comfortable it is in such shoes: even the platform may not be so comfortable after sneakers and orthopedic slippers like birkenstock. Laconic wedge shoes can be safely worn in a pair with a business suit, and with one of the main images of summer - a short flying dress in a flower or a linen-style skirt and a raffia bag. If you are not inclined to change your favorite jeans, shorts or cycling shorts, no problem - there are also a lot of examples of combinations with them.
PHOTOS: amazon, loq, lisasaysgah (1, 2)