Item of the week: the platform boot

 

What it is:

Platform boots have retained somewhat of a cult status over recent years after making their debut in the industry in the 60s and 70s, where they were worn by the likes of David Bowie, Kiss and other rock stars from decades past. Much of the boot style’s current resurgence is due to, in part, the rise of the ‘gothcore’ trend, a subset of Gen Z’s favoured Y2K trend. This post-punk fashion aesthetic has been widely adopted by the younger generation, as they regularly look to reassemble trends from the past to meet their own demands. Typically a platform ranges from three centimetres and up, designed as a simple sole addition that will bring a bit of grunge to any style. While some of the iterations of the trend can be quite extreme, with over-the-top heights and flashy embellishments, others take on a more toned down approach, with the platform simply used to bring a bit of an edge to a simple black ankle boot.

Image: Stella McCartney
Image: Stella McCartney

Why you’ll want it:

The platform boot’s return to the front and centre of the fashion world has been influenced by many factors, all mostly driven by young shoppers and their particular interest in nostalgic trends. Much of the shoe style’s current popularity can also likely be attributed to being spotted on influential Gen Z celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid. As leaders of the Y2K trend, these women in the public eye have a lot of impact on younger, fashion-forward consumers who are striving to adopt a more individualistic take on their wardrobe. The platform offers an alternative to the standard ankle boot that is still wearable and practical but allows for a more daring exploration of the footwear style. It is also a look that continues to make its rounds year-after-year, regularly returning as either a high-fashion shoe trend or in Dr Marten-esque streetwear styles.

Image: Palladium
Image: Palladium

Where we’ve seen it:

Rick Owens arguably thrusted the platform boot back into the limelight last year, making it a prominent part of his SS22 runway, apparent in chelsea boot remakes and thigh-high strappy designs. For the coming season, chunky boots have become a staple. The style was a pivotal part of Balmain’s AW22 runway, with sky high soles that brought a new meaning to the platform. While the ankle boots remained simplistic in colour and style, the exaggerated platform provided an unconventional element to the look. For Gucci’s retro-chic AW22 show, which caused a stir due to the house’s unexpected collaboration with Adidas, the fashion house presented a set of funky ankle boots, complete with buckle details and linear prints. While the shape and silhouette was reminiscent of the typical 70’s boot trends, its extreme platform was emphasised by the use of a reflective material, a not-so-subtle nod to the glam rock fashion movement. Taking a very similar approach, Altuzarra also drew influence from retro shoe trends, presenting a simplified ankle boot style that appeared next to platform sandals, which further displayed the brand’s commitment to the heightened style.

Image: Charles & Keith
Image: Charles & Keith

How to style it:

This chunky style provides the perfect contrast to dresses and tailored looks, offering a more casual alternative to other forms of footwear. A matching co-ord suit is a particularly good choice for the platform boot trend, allowing for the style to also work in an office environment and formal settings. Flowy skirts, whether they be satin or another lightweight material, also work well with this boot silhouette. Pair the duo with an oversized sweater for a look that can be worn on a daily basis. For the colder months, bring a bit of edge to the chunky knits, either with a knit dress or a jeans and jumper combo that will each benefit from the grungey addition to the outfit. However, if it is full grunge that you want to go for, opting for an all black outfit is the way to go. Pair the platforms with dark skinny jeans and an oversized blazer for a monochromatic look that doubles the edginess.

Image: Simmi
Image: Simmi

The platform boot is another nostalgia-driven style that has pushed its way back into the limelight as one of the most popular shoe trends for this season and the next. Its connection to ongoing fashion movements and its established place in pop culture means it’s a look that resonates with younger shoppers and provides a snappy alternative to other boot styles.

Image: Stella McCartney
Image: Stella McCartney