Style revolution ... these shoes are made for walking.
I was Armani-ed at the weekend. From top to toe I took on the elegance of the Italian designer. From the top it was all fairly predictable - lux makeup, check; dark hair arranged off face, check; mist of limited-edition jasmine fragrance, check; sharp tailoring, check - but towards the toe end came the unexpected. I chose flat shoes. And - here is the surprising bit - in so doing, I was being very Armani.
I was initially inspired by Armani's ''face master'' in Australia, Grant Power, who offered to do my makeup at the David Jones counter before I went out on Saturday night. Power's artistry with the new purple and grey-toned eye shadow, the dark brow and blood-red lips inspired me to go home and don Armani - a black and white flecked kimono-style jacket and wide-legged black silk pants (that I'd bought in the States for a song in 2008). But instead of teaming it with the usual black T-bar heels, I wore black flats.
The more stylish outfit, the lower the heels. Have I identified a trend?
Just that morning I'd read an interview in one of the magazines at the hairdressers of Roberta Armani, Giorgio's niece, muse and brand ambassador, in which she said she always wore flats. She said she liked to walk - she does a lot of walking in New York City and is always on her feet - so flats with her elegant Armani clothes made sense. She said it was practical and stylish and very Armani.
Flattering ... a model in Giorgio Armani flats.
That evening I attended the Australian Ballet's production of Onegin. If anything was ever going to call for heels, this was it. The dancers were on their tippy-toes and so should be a respectful audience. But I noticed, as I made my way comfortably and confidently through the foyer, there were lots of flat shoes. In fact, the more stylish outfit, the lower the heels. Have I identified a trend? Among the patrons, very high heels were only teamed with more casual outfits, probably to dress them up.
Shoes in the past three or four years have been either sky-high ridiculous or arch-achingly flat. Shoe shopping has been a bit of an ordeal. I'm practical when it comes to shoes, if not clothes. I want to be able to get around, not just from ''taxi to table''. I want to be able to dance or to escape. Has fashion caught up? Are you still wearing heels? When? Do you wear them to work? Or are they a special occasion thing? And is wearing flats to the ballet ''very Armani'' or just plain wrong?