Off with their heels! Dior leads footwear revolution

Off with their heels! Dior had fashionistas rocking back on their stilettos Monday by taking footwear down to earth with a bump in its Paris haute couture show.

Citing a famous quote that high heels "were nothing but a modern version of Chinese foot binding", proudly feminist designer Maria Grazia Chiuri went full tilt for the liberating power of flats.

She took a saw to the tottering stiletto to create black elasticated spartan sandals that almost doubled as tights, giving them "a couture allure that also frees up movement so you can be in contact with nature," she told AFP.

On a day when women creators dominated the Paris catwalks, the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen also sheared off her heels, cantilevering the stilettos that went with her stunning ethereal creations which are unlike anything else in fashion.

The big innovations in Dior's almost entirely black autumn winter collection were the gothy thigh-length sandals, punky feathered tights and a series of embroidery dresses that echoed body art at its classiest.

Photos: AFP

Chiuri, the first woman ever to lead the iconic French house, said the idea was to question what we wear.

Indeed, the opening look - a white classical tunic worn by her muse, the British model Ruth Bell - carried a quotation by social historian and design guru Bernard Rudofsky, "Are clothes modern?"

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