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Thursday, 16 April 2015

FOUND - A Platform for Reinvention

I found these Spring green platforms at one of the Retro shops around the corner from Notting Hill tube station. This cluster of 2nd-hand stores offers to buy and sell your used clothing, accessories and small housewares. One of the bunch is packed to the rafters with pre-owned luxury clothing, 'It' bags and designer shoes but even this unflappable hunter finds its cramped confines an unpleasant experience. I prefer to pop a few doors down to the Retro shops that sell more vintage, less high-end and bit of high-street. That's where I spotted these beauties. 

Platforms can be traced back to 16th century Venice when women wore shoes - of a fashion - called chopines. They elevated ladies to as much as 30 inches off the ground and servants were required to keep the wearer upright. Not surprisingly chopines, often jewel encrusted, were a symbol of wealth and status. But it was the 20th century that saw three major revivals of platform shoes. In the 1930s a wedge platform made of cork became a popular seaside shoe. Later, in the 40s, platforms were made of wood, a practical solution to the war-time shortage of leather. Platforms would fall out of favor until the 1970s, when these green goddesses were made. After the modern, forward-looking designs of the 1960s, the 70s went nostalgic, resurrecting the chunky chopine-esque shoe of the past. The 70s - often maligned but NOW back in vogue - was actually the first era to significantly appropriate from previous decades. Today the reinterpretation of classics is commonplace, but it was the groovy 70s that used retrospection to recreate. My 70s does the 40s clod-hoppers were just £30.  

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