There’s perhaps nothing more associated with 1970s fashion than the platform shoe – the cumbersome, gargantuan footwear loved by both sexes during the first half of the decade. While flares have made sporadic comebacks since their Seventies heyday, the platform shoe has struggled to return – especially for men.
This British Pathé film is a wonderful time capsule of fashion and fear, as the Great British Public are asked their pointless opinions about this new fashion trend that has apparently replaced the winkle picker as the shoe of the moment.
One retailer, when asked who wears these shoes, suggests “all sorts… stars, groupies, the manager to the drug store”, which seems curiously specific. A fashionista dolly bird defends her trendy footwear against fuddy-duddy naysayers, one of whom demands “nice, round lace-up shoes for children, please” – even though the shoes under discussion are for adults. Maybe he likes his ladies in children’s shoes. Meanwhile, a Chelsea Pensioner-type declares them “ridiklus” and “highly dangerous”.
How many feet – or, indeed, other body parts – were damaged as a result of wearing platforms remains unknown. But they certainly looked spectacular, and this film is a great slice of history.