The already towering Swedish women have officially become at least six inches taller this spring. You literally can’t set foot in Swedish clothes stores without coming across countless, often spectacular, variations of platform and wedge heels, balancing on the thin line between the bold and the grotesque.
Even the colour combinations are taking brash steps away from the humdrum black, cream and brown, and stepping into loud shades like neon yellow, Russian red, and Yves Klein Blue. The most imaginative example being Minimarket’s multi-coloured suede-pleated pumps. Apparently, Icelandic singer Björk owns a pair in a boot version.
Maybe this trend was instigated by the success story of the Swedish Hasbeens that for the past few years have brought the traditional träsko (clogs) into the international fashion limelight, tapping into the increasing demand for rustic beauty.
But I can’t help but wonder if Swedish women’s choice to cover their slender feet with chunky, robust mega heels is linked to the booming revival of Swedish feminist ideals. Not only has the 60′s and 70′s women’s liberation movements debate over women’s right to grow body hair taken the country by storm all over again, those decades’ biggest shoe fad is, once more, making the streets of Swedish cities resonate with the clonky sound of girl power.
Women are well aware that men -more often than not- prefer them to be dainty and not taller, so they probably don’t wear platform heels to look beautiful for a man. The beauty of this bulky footwear rather lies in its sense of self-empowerment platform heels are stable, imposing and unapologetic. Men will either have to get used to towering women, or, just like in the 60′s and 70′s, start wearing platform shoes themselves.