Ines de la Fressange is the daughter of a Marquess, face of Chanel, runway model and muse to Roger Vivier. As if that isn’t enough for one person in one lifetime, she is also the author of a bestselling book; Parisian Chic – A Style Guide. I was taking copious notes right up until the point where she declared that ‘many women think they look better in heels, but this is quite wrong’ (apparently ballet flats are the ‘chois du jour’ for us all).
I disagree, as do Wikipedia and I quote – “Reasons for wearing high heels include: They change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves. They change the wearer’s posture, requiring a more upright carriage and altering the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion. They make the wearer appear taller. They make the legs appear longer. They make the foot appear smaller.”
So far so good until this – “They may help shorter women use items designed around male ergonomics e.g. sit upright with feet on floor on chairs that would otherwise be too high, reach items on shelves etc.”
Look! No woman puts on a pair of Louboutins so her feet can reach the floor when she’s sitting down. And once you’re in high heels, the only thing you might reach for is a bottle of wine, which in my case will definitely not be on the top shelf.
Mind you, some of us need more lift than others. A few weeks back I was at a reception at The British Consulate. We’d been directed into the garden and my husband and I were leaning against a tall cocktail table, drinks in hand. I was pretty much rooted to the spot, as my four-inch patent leather heels were firmly stuck in the grass. After a while I asked the woman opposite, whose head was barely visible above the table top, how she’d managed to find a seat.
“Seat?” She said. “I’m standing up!“
“Of course you are!” I said knocking back my drink and wishing the ground would open (literally).
“I’m petite too.” I said in a fevered attempt to cover up the faux pas. “I’m wearing heels.”
“So am I.” She said firmly.
There was nowhere to run, even if I’d been wearing ballet flats.