Platform shoes of the 1990s

small shoe icon 1990s small shoe icon

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In Vogue | Ravers | Fetish Shoes | Fetish Mules | Fetish Boots | Who's Wearing? | Everyday, Everywhere






Diva Web, blue platform court shoe
can be purchased from
Diva Web.

In Vogue

I was flipping through the bound volumes of American Vogue, too consumed in the dark bookshelves of the dank library to search in the database, perusing through the twelve gigantic issues from 1990, then 1991, then 1992, searching for a tiny picture, a huge ad, or perhaps even an article. After swimming through pages and pages of flat soled, flat colored, flat angled shoes I finally reached the issue that officially introduced the platform shoe into the '90s. At last, the cover of January 1993 screamed "Fashion's New Freedom". Hence, on pages 3, 32, 48, 164-9 are pictures of platform shoes! (I might have missed a couple.) In June '93 I found an ad with a woman wearing platform shoes. Next to the picture read: "It's back to the future in beautifully sculpted suede sling backs on a narrow platform wedge. You'll find them at Kinney. That's right, Kinney. Hey, fashion is where you find it." Two years later, November '95, Guess Footwear advertised some cute platforms on a full page spread, hard to miss. I couldn't resist to look for other ads. I accumulated quite a list of familiar designer names: Jean Paul Gaultier, Charles David, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Anne Klein, and John Galliano. My my...we are back in style!
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Ravers

Before the shoe hit Vogue, it made cameo appearances at raves, usually on the fashionably questionable or outrageous. According to this acticle from alt.culture, however, platform sneakers made its first re-appearance in early 1992 on crazy New York club kids, then on ravers, then on runway models. Regardless, these sneakers were elevated with layers of rubber sole and decorated in any way desirable, whether it be keeping the addidas insignia or painting a nifty design.
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Steve Madden, platform sneakers
made by
Steve Madden.
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.1

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe








Fetish platform shoes

Fetish Shoes

It is quite hard to sum up fetish shoes in one paragraph. I am working on expanding to a fetish platform shoe section, a subset of the '90s, but that wouldn't be entirely comprehensive since I already had a 1930s fetish section. Plus, there are so many kinds of fetish shoes over a long period of time, it would constitute another entire site. Right now though, I can show you a few shoes, and how they have become more common. The shoes on the left are usually saved for the bedroom or the club. The idea of locks and stiletto heels say, "I am your prisoner." The locks make the feet seem precious and of the worshiper's ownership, typically. The stiletto heel make it harder for the woman, typically, to walk, or run off and in turn appear more submissive.
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Fetish Mules

These are one of my favorites. They possess a very quirky quality. They don't fit the "locked up" image of the first ones, but stand tall with the stiletto heel, and are decorate with an unexpected pattern. With it's
Forplay Shoes, platform mules can be
purchased
from
forplay.
can be
purchased
from Leslie Shoe Co.
Leslie Shoe Co., platform mules overall polished and sleek look, both these shoes can easily be considered fetish shoes. It is styles like these that broke the shell of the private and spread into the general population, worn by women who don't entirely realize what they say, historically and presently, to admirers yet know they look damn sexy.
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If the shoe fits, it's too expensive.

-Adrienne Gusoff




Fetish Boots

It seems as if boots, like these thigh high ones, haven't made it to the average wearer. If I perform any search on the web for boots, I am bound to run into a fetish site with many platform shoe styles available. Needless to say, I found most of these shoes from fetish shoe vendors. Surprisingly, these boots were in last season's Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog. This year's catalog has quite a nice variety of shoes.
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Fredrick's of Hollywook, platform boots
Fredrick's of Hollywood



forplay shoes ForPlay Shoes, platform ankle boot Ooh, admire these sleek creations...



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Pierre Silber, thigh high platform boot Pierre Silber




Who's Wearing

From what I have noticed in the U.S., platforms are trendy amongst the 17-25 year olds. College campuses are cluttered with platforms. Urban dwellers, like the San Franciscans, simply cannot live without their platforms. One store in San Francisco named "Martini" on Haight St. offers two pairs of platforms for rent. One pair, made by the owner of the store, is 1 foot high, built on rubber layers colored blue and white. On top stands a proud pair of Addidas sneakers.
Fluevog shoes, 90s
made by John Fluevog
In Asia, platforms are so widely spread they reach other age groups. In Tokyo, I noticed a hip japanese mom, pushing a baby stroller, with a pair of wedge 1 inch platforms. In Indonesia you barely can escape platforms. Rich Indonesian women and young Indonesian girls wear them to compliment their height. In Singapore designer, flat soled shoes tended to seem more popular on the streets, but a few platforms strolled by as I was gazing at the hundreds of scurrying feet. Steve Madden, Oxford Plats, 90s
made by Steve Madden
As of yet, I cannot comment on other continents like Europe, Australia, and South America. Naturally, Londoners are hip with the trend. Look at the Spice Girls. Three out of the five of them are regularly seen in platforms. The Spice Girls have brought the platform sneaker back into the late '90s. I have heard from quite a few Germans so I assume there is interest there at least, if not backed up with some staggering soles. Marley of London
Marley of London
I think it should be noted that most of the platforms available in Asia seemed at most 2 inches high. The platforms available looked sensible--not too high, yet high enough. I have noticed that in the U.S. and England, more outrageous platforms (3+ inches) are more available. Monstrous platforms designed by Vivienne Westwood
8 inch platforms designed
by Vivenne Westwood, 1994
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Lars Hagen, 'Cinderella's Revenge', 1991
Lars Hagen, 1991
Cypress Shoes, 1990s
Cypress Shoes


Steve Madden, 90s
made bySteve Madden
Shoes designed by Vivenne Westwood, 1995
Shoes designed by Vivenne Westwood, 1995





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