Sculptural allure meets witty historicism in these towering platforms from John Galliano
Platform Loafer Pumps by Maison Margiela
Heel: 13.5cm, sole height: 5cm, calf leather, coin detailing
As children, Aesop – the Greek fabulist, not the Australian skincare brand – taught us that slow and steady wins the race. Such a sentiment is re-energized when considering Maison Margiela’s vertiginous platforms, which are somewhat coincidentally crafted from testudinal tortoise-shell leather. So unapologetic are they in their towering height that these shoes are inherently subverting the sartorial trend for athleisure-flavoured footwear: Nike running shoes, Adidas’ Stan Smiths and box-fresh Vans that have usually never felt the touch of a skateboard. These are far from fast-paced running shoes – these are shoes for walking at one’s own pace, strutting or promenading even. These are shoes that delightfully place an emphasis on form over function and chic over comfort. After all, wasn’t it Coco Chanel who said that a woman in good shoes is never ugly?
What makes these penny loafer platforms all the more delicious is that the proportions are practically akin to sculpture. Just observe how the chunky heel follows an obtuse curvature on the inner edge of the heel, and how the hallmarks of the classic penny loafer manifest in a sturdy wooden welt and contrasting chocolate brown stitching over crisp white patent leather. Always one to instill historicism with wit, John Galliano draws on the style’s etymology – legend has it that in the 1930s, two pennies would fit into the diamond-shaped slit, enough money to make an emergency phone call. So, there it is, a bronzed copper sitting in the aforementioned slot – a somewhat pertinent reminder of just how many pennies these penny loafers cost. Better to start saving those coppers now – and remember that slow and steady wins the race.