Kendall Jenner wears high heel flip flop trend


Theoretically, I liked that typically Scandi way of upending fashion “rules”, and turning a truly functional piece of clothing into a style statement. The contrast between the flip flops and the sequins and pretty dresses was interesting.

There’s always something to be said for fashion trends that are both comfortable and accessible.

But still, thongs. Not at the beach.

At the time, Refinery29 answered their question as to whether flip flops could really work with your fanciest pieces with this musing:

“As the street style set proved this week, the answer is yes. Yellow flip-flops were styled with rainbow-coloured sequin bags, neutral-hued pairs balanced out brighter outfits, and some women embraced the bold from head-to-toe, starting with their earrings and ending with their footwear. And among all those hues and fabrics, the humble flip-flop somehow … worked?”

Then thongs took an even stranger twist.

Enter: the revival of platform thongs and kitten-heel thongs.

Big in the late 90s and early 2000s (and likely worn with a micro mini skirt, a belt with a huge round metal buckle and a crop top) the style is making a resounding comeback with the likes of Swedish designer behind the cult brand Toteme, Elin Kling, Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine and Danish fashion influencer Pernille Taesbaek all sporting the style.

This weekend Kendall Jenner was snapped wearing what US Vogue dubbed “summer’s most controversial sandal” while on holidays in Mykonos, Greece.

Pernille Teisbaek, Scandi Instagram influencer and proud thong-sporter. Picture: Pernille Teisbaek/Instagram

Pernille Teisbaek, Scandi Instagram influencer and proud thong-sporter. Picture: Pernille Teisbaek/InstagramCredit:Instagram

The magazine noted that Jenner “slipped into an appropriately high-fashion take on beachwear for her night out, daring to wear a controversial pair of shoes that her sister Kim Kardashian has been sporting obsessively this past month: yes, the supermodel is onto those flip-flop heels.”

The emphasis is Vogue’s, but the feeling is (probably) universal when it comes high heeled thongs.

Though given we’ve seen the return, nay the re-branding, of similarly questionable items from similar eras such as the bum bag and tie-dye, it’s not surprising.

Perhaps it’s just confronting to re-think items you’d relegated to the “can you believe we used to wear those?” bin. Or the actual Vinnies bin.

This time around it’s less giant foam platform in a lurid shade of lime green and instead a little more pared-back and minimalist.

Minimalist brands with an MO of easy chic like Toteme has a kitten heel thong, as does high street brand Mango, and Balenciaga has a cool neon logo-adorned one. Meanwhile The Row just dropped a pair of leather platform thongs, similar to what your American exchange student wore in high school, onto Net-a-Porter this week.

Giselle Farhat, founder of online fashion retailer mychameleon.com.au, says while the Toteme sandals are currently only selling direct-to-consumer she’s certain to stock them eventually. The brand is one of her top three sellers and appeals to a customer she describes as “modern and discerning, considered and confident.”

Ms Farhat says the Toteme sandals have challenged preconceptions around flip flops and how and where to wear them.

“They’re really making me rethink my stance on thongs, she makes them look so chic and effortless,” she says.

“The flip flop I think has always been a classic, and it really is about the context of how they are worn. The rubber version made a appearance the year before last at the shows when they were worn back with more elevated pieces. Whether it’s a heel or flat, pairing [them] with a long dress or tailored trousers and a white shirt looks much more refined.”

The style looks best when worn with relaxed tailoring and oversized silhouettes rather than the shrunken minis of old. They kind of work like an “anchor” to an outfit and thus to balance out volume.

But then again, if rubber thongs can look so effortlessly chic, is there any point in dictating how to wear them?

In any case, platform and kitten heel thongs are coming for you this summer. Get ready.

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