Nudity is everywhere in fashion, even the heel of a shoe
Throughout fashion week, we’ll be highlighting the little details we’ve seen on the runways that surprised or delighted us: Bring on the wearable fog machinery and antique fork jewelry.
PARIS — Blink and you might have missed one of the most explicit tributes to Azzedine Alaïa by his design successor, Pieter Mulier, at the brand’s latest fashion show.
But there they were, catching the light in gold or glossy black: a miniature rendering of two slightly crossed legs, hitting the ground like the heel of a stiletto sandal – with the same kind of semi-subtle eroticism as the single pearl nipple ring attached to the turtleneck bodysuit of the first model to parade on Sunday evening.
From afar, the heel looked a bit like a devil’s forked tongue. Up close it was less sinister – just two slender, shiny legs descending from a bare behind positioned just below the wearer’s heel – but still a bit surreal: legs holding a leg. Each of the round toe sandals was secured with four thin, buckled ankle straps.
But footwear also played a fairly large role in the collection, as Mr. Mulier continued to strike a balance between his own work and Azzedine Alaïa’s sultry couture heritage. In a press release, the brand specifically pointed to the shoe as proof that the founding designer, who died in 2017, was “a constant inspiration, still alive.”
The heel was originally designed in 1991 by Alaïa and Raymond Massaro, a French boot legend. The famous Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel two-tone sandal in beige, topped with a black toe? This was also developed by Maison Massaro in the late 1950s. (In 2002, the business was added to the Chanel-owned Métiers d’Art Craft Shops.)
This low-heeled conservative classic was the exact opposite of another famous Massaro creation: a wobbly platform heel on spikes designed for Jean Paul Gaultier. in 1993, inspired by football boots and imbued with the ability to strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced high heel wearers. The cleated shoe was also recently relaunched.
And so archival fashion gets another victory. Even though images of the original Alaïa shoe are still flagged on at least one major image website as “adult content.”