Couture du Jour—April 18, 2006

By Sarah Cohan

Certain trends bring comfort to our delicate bodies. Last summer, it was the boho trend. Boho fashions are loose, comfortable, and stylish—clearly, the best of all worlds.

This season, the good news affects our feet with the reincorporation of the chunky heel on the fashion scene. While the wedge and the espadrille make a comeback every summer, the chunky high heel is even more prevalent this season. While high-fashion houses are leading the way in the chunky heel revolution, their more budget-friendly counterparts are following suit, offering shoes that we women can finally walk in. So this season, hide those pokey stilettos and embrace the chunk.

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) leads the way this season with their golden “peep-toed” Dada shoes. This chunky shoe is not only wide from the behind, but it is also a good two inches long on the side. The detail of the peep toe is also enlarged with wide straps crossing over the toes. This style is available in gold, silver, and metallic green. It is also offered in several different styles, including a slingback for a more flirtatious look. It’s perfect for updating last year’s ubiquitous boho look.

Following the trend in a slightly cheaper way is Moschino. Although their shoes are not boho-inspired, they are the very definition of chunky. This season’s offerings include a tiger-print Mary Jane pump with a tall, thick heel; a vintage yellow wedge slingback with a cute chunky bow in the front; and a red-and-white-striped version of the same shoe. If you want something other than the ethereal boho look, check out their offerings.

But don’t worry; I’m not a psycho. I don’t assume that we can all afford luxuries such as $700 YSL shoes, which is why I recommend scoping out my favorite store: Target. This fashion haven never lets me down, and I usually leave with some money left over in my bank account. Both Mossimo and Isaac Mizrahi have designed some choice wedges this season, including a faux–alligator skin cork wedge with a peep toe and sling back. At a mere $25, this shoe will easily slip you into this year’s chunky heel landscape without breaking the bank.

If you’re looking to spend a tiny bit more, stop by Aldo and peruse their various offerings. With so many shoes in the store, it’s hard to buy only one pair. My favorite of the season is a tiger-print slingback combined with a peep-toe snakeskin wedge. This one-of-a-kind shoe is sure to turn heads and brighten any outfit. Aldo offers many other wedges, chunky heels, and espadrille shoes—sometimes even combining them all at once. This store is definitely worth checking out.

The last store that has caught my attention is a little on the “mommy” side, but it’s just cute enough to earn a place in my wardrobe. Nine West, which has been around forever, is offering some very young, hip shoes this year. My favorite pair has a smaller heel but can still be classified on the chunky side. Their so-called “offlane” shoe has a peep toe cut into a perfect oval shape to show off a little foot. Its darts are in all the right places, and a nice little bow pulls off this vintage, flirty look. While not exactly boho, it certainly says summer.

So give your stilettos a rest, accept the larger shoe, and be thankful you’re not wobbling around in towering stilts anymore. Just because it’s chunky doesn’t mean it can’t be sexy (just ask Picasso). On a final note, if you want to see the most ridiculous shoe on the planet, check out Miss Sixty’s “Quarter Strap Platform,” available at How this shoe was ever conceived is completely beyond me.