Power of flats at Paris haute couture show

Model - Christian Dior
A model presents a creation by Christian Dior during the Women’s Fall-Winter 2019/2020 Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris. Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP

PARIS - Off with their heels! Dior had fashionistas rocking back on their stilettos by taking footwear down to earth with a bump during its recent Paris haute couture show.

Citing a famous quote that high heels “were nothing but a modern version of Chinese foot binding”, proudly feminist designer Maria Grazia Chiuri went full tilt for the liberating power of flats.

She took a saw to the tottering stiletto to create black elasticated spartan sandals that almost doubled as tights, giving them a feel with nature.

On a day when women creators dominated the Paris catwalks, the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen also sheared off her heels, cantilevering the stilettos that went with her stunning ethereal creations which are unlike anything else in fashion.

The big innovations in Dior’s almost entirely black autumn winter collection were the gothy thigh-length sandals, punky feathered tights and a series of embroidery dresses that echoed body art at its classiest.

Chiuri, the first woman ever to lead the iconic French house, said the idea was to question what we wear.

It was also from the Austrian author of “The Unfashionable Human Body” that Chiuri took her inspiration to cut the heel down to size — wearing the spartan sandals herself — although a few low-flying kitten heels did creep in.

This was perhaps the Italian’s sharpest collection since she became the first woman to head the iconic French house in 2016.

Chiuri took Dior’s New Look classics and gave them a controlled punky elegance for Generation Z, draping every model in black net veils or little fascinator berets by British milliner Stephen Jones.

Singer Celine Dion, 51, was also been front and centre during Couture Week in Paris, proving why she will forever remain a style icon.

However, a recent outfit has caused fans to yet again share their concerns for the “scarily thin” singer.

The singer had been photographed around the streets of the French capital this week, and sitting front row at a host of haute couture fashion shows.

Dior’s headquarters, a 19th-century mansion not far from the Champs Elysees, was turned into a black-and-white surrealist landscape for the show by the British-born feminist surrealist Penny Slinger.

Meanwhile, French designer Julien Fournie hailed witches as proto-feminist trailblazers who sent shivers through the patriarchy as he staged his Paris haute couture show in a church on Tuesday.

The flamboyant couturier who believes that women should learn to love their curves, and knows how to make the best of them, sent out a run of models of all ages and shapes in corsets, killer heels and hip-hugging skirts.

Calling his collection “First Spell”, he said he took his inspiration from witches who “knew how to control their destiny”.

Haute couture shows only happen in Paris, with some of the world’s richest women paying thousands to be dressed by the little more than a dozen designers who are allowed to use the label under French law.