Solid. Substantial. Sturdy. Something to grab onto. When it comes to style, I like mine thick from H to tippy tippy T. Sky high stilettos have always let me down; what’s length without width? The full bodied footwear in this S/S12 Fendi ad stood out to me immediately. “Strappy sandals” might otherwise connote some kind of scrawny semi-formal slipper. But between its two-tone colorway and sizeable heel, the visual effect of this Fendi pair is bold and graphic. Square and strong.
Stilettos can both feel and look out of balance. My problem is not (just) that I can’t gallop over cobblestones in them like a wild nightlife thoroughbred. A stick-thin heel can’t always carry a lot of hardware, architectural straps, or flagrant print without looking half-finished—as if the heel is an afterthought. Or a “one shape fits all” assumption about what is “sexy” or what is “evening.” The stiletto becomes archaic when it enforces the aesthetic principle that an elegant and feminine design is a thin and delicate line. It is an underweight archetype ripe to undermine with more compelling, less expected silhouettes.
What I love right now is thick, unapologetic block heel shapes because they seem reveal the act of standing and stomping and strutting as though it were itself worth looking at; a part of the design. While a stiletto, on the other foot, tries to deflect the eye from the weight of walking, obscures one’s movement through the world. I’m trying to make power moves in power heels.
There weren’t just fat pumps at Fendi. YSL’s chic, square, and stout shoes with extraordinary metallic details were photographed in a slew of January editorials:
Here are some versions less expensive than your apartment: