Chunky Platforms

Chunky Platforms
Friday, August, 05, 2011 Other than in reference to a particular style of bangs, the word "chunky" rarely has a positive connotation in the fashion world. But recently we've noticed that some of the chicest starlets and top-notch tastemakers are embracing shoes that have a certain amount of heft. That's right, chunky platforms are officially stomping into the spotlight-and we couldn't be happier about it! Typically categorized by a seriously stacked platform, thick heel, and a comparatively dainty ankle strap, these shoes are not only a key style for fall, they've also already been spotted on Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung, and Julia Restoin Roitfeld. Basically, they're a must-buy, which is why they're a worthy subject for today's Accessory Report!

One thing that's so attractive about this particular footwear trend is its longevity. In addition to being a noteworthy option for spring-a '70s-inspired look simply calls for this sort of shoe-the chunky platform is a key player in the F/W 11 collections too. For example, at Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni showed lots of long, lean, body-skimming looks styled with sizeable platform shoes, like the Taper Toe Mary Janes ($650). But obviously you don't have to wait until autumn to wear these heels! Invest in them now because the silhouette will look relevant for seasons to come and they work with everything from cocktail frocks to cuffed jeans to sleek midi-length skirts.

In addition to our runway example, we also rounded up a chic assortment of tastemakers to illustrate the versatility and popularity of the chunky platform. These on-point heels can be worn with both classic and casual ensembles, as Sienna Miller and Julia Restoin Roitfeld prove. The former was snapped in her platforms-specifically Matthew Williamson's Linen Platform Shoes ($750, 212.255.9881)-earlier this summer leaving the Royal Theatre in London. Miller showed off her shoes by pairing them with cuffed 7 For All Mankind jeans and a simple black Celine top for an understated, stylish look. (On a side note, Miller was wearing 7 For All Mankind's Josefina Jeans ($198) in Bleecker Vintage, which are sadly not in stock right now, but try that style in Vintage California for a likeminded look.) These heels also look amazing with your favorite LBD and a cropped moto, as Julia Restoin Roitfeld proved at an Emporio Armani party in London this past June. Like so many notable fashionphiles, Restoin Roitfeld wore a peep-toe pair of Prada platforms-a very popular choice indeed!

Fancier dresses also look marvelous with a chunky platform, as shown by super stylist Caroline Sieber and the invariably intriguing Alexa Chung. We appreciate the fact that both ladies used the same sold-out Prada platforms-you can find similar styles at select Prada boutiques-to ground the confectionary cocktail dresses they wore to recent fashion events. Sieber was seen earlier this month at the Chanel Haute Couture show wearing a Valentino dress and oversized Tom Ford sunglasses with her chunky platforms, while Alexa Chung wore hers to the Met Gala in May with a Christopher Kane F/W 11 sequined dress.

These shoes clearly can be dressed up or down, but it's also worth noting that they work with a wide range of styles. For example, we flipped for the gold detailed Miu Miu platforms Jade Williams-a.k.a. Sunday Girl-selected for a preview party for the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition. The British pop star mixed the exaggerated heels with more demure pieces, including a flirty Cos skirt, prim bow-tie blouse, and Mulberry's Taylor Satchel ($1300) in Deer Brown. The single-strap shoes also bring a little subversive sweetness to an of-the-moment print, as model Kyleigh Kuhn showed at a Byrdie Bell-hosted party for the new label NAHM earlier this spring. The model paired a digital print Christian Cota dress from the designer's F/W 10 collection with a hugely stacked pair of Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony platforms, resulting in a perfectly on-point ensemble.

Now that you know how to wear the chunky platform-basically with anything!-let's discuss products! As far as investment shoes go, we highly recommend Dolce & Gabbana's Suede Platform Sandals ($645) in Crimson (so dramatic, so fabulous) and are totally obsessed with Giuseppe Zanotti's Multi-Animal Suede Sandals ($930) too. Both are top-notch items that will truly elevate any ensemble. Of course, you don't need a pair of designer platforms to get this look; we've found some amazing, less expensive options too. Topping that list: Jeffrey Campbell's Sassy Sandals ($145) in Turquoise (also available in black, orange, nude, and red) and Steve Madden's Grettta Sandals ($130) in Black Suede, which have that Prada look at a much more affordable price point!

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