The party season approaches. I have but one pair of heels. They are wintry, but will I wear them? My heart says yes, and my feet say, "But Carla doesn't."
Huffington Post ran a piece on Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's love of flats, along with a slide show, here, which shows how she wears flat shoes and boots for even dressy functions. During a visit to England in March, 2008, photos show Dior ensembles of increasing formality, always with flats.
She is thought to have adopted them to prevent towering over her bijoux husband.
Look, his heels are higher than hers. According to various reports, Sarko is 5' 5" or 5' 6", Carla is 5' 9' or perhaps 5' 11". That's quite a gap to close, if it matters.
I'm 5' 10", and back in the day dated a few Sarko-sized guys. They either liked the attention the effect drew or agonized about it. Ray, who ended up marrying my friend Dacia, swore he was 5' 7", but was really at least an inch shorter. He was so dismayed about the platforms I wore to a party that he turned up for the next date in a gorilla suit.
Regardless of their reasons, ever more women are flashing flats with dressier outfits. But many flats look a bit sad and settled-for with party clothes. (Carla's consistently in Dior shoes.)
The bad news is that flats with fizz are costly, hard to find, or both. The good news is that they don't date as quickly as heels.
Flats that stay up late
Prada Skimmer with Rings, $550 from Neiman Marcus. I love the lines; this is a grown-up flat.
Juicy Couture Ravi Studded Ballerinas, $195, also from Neiman Marcus.
Small enough to fold in your bag when wearing winter boots to travel, with studs for attitude.
The Cole Haan Nike Air Addison Ballerinas have that divine Nike Air cushion-support, detail and texture via patent and matte leathers, and the slightest wedge to save your feet from looking like flippers. $158, from Neiman's again (also available from Zappos in chocolate). Too sporty for Carla's ballgowns, but a great looking shoe.
Mugnai's "Kaitlin" in aubergine is smart, refined and has similar air-cushioning. $425 (Canadian dollars) from Ron White. (International shipping.)
Marni's pink jacquard tweed lurex ballerinas are an intelligent alternative to the brand's vertiginous heels at the same lofty price point, $510 from Marni.
Accessoire Diffusion is one of my favourite French shoemakers; the US stores are in Vegas and NYC. Carla and I could wear our sapphire patent "Gounod" ballerinas with everything from le smoking to jeans. €220. Visit the site just to enjoy the stellar collection.
Anthropologie's "Sort of Saddle" shoes, in glittery brown fabric and patent, would add wit to a silk shirt and pants, for only $128. Anthropologies' web site has many appealing flats; problem is that the standouts sell out.
Finally, an unexpected colour kicks a flat into sharp. These Italian leather ballerinas from Sundance come in purple, red, navy, mustard, a tart apple green, and brown. $128 from Sundance; international shipping.
With flats like these, I'll probably not venture into those heels more than a time or two. And you?