Return of The Pump

Leandra Medine | February 20, 2012
Jenna Lyons by Tommy Ton for
Among the sweeping statements I’ve made about this past Fashion Week: a salute to mature silhouettes, the reintroduction of excessive fur, an overwhelming amount of the p-word, few sentiments were left to tackle footwear. Trending this season though, more knee length boots than booties and perhaps more prevalently, era of the sky high platforms may or may not be nearing death. Its successor: a pointed toe pump. This doesn’t necessarily speak to the end of the platform, it’s just somewhat hard to craft an elegant pointed toe shoe when there are cinder blocks manifesting just below them. We grazed upon this subject right before the initiation of fashion week, but let’s flesh it out.
Photographed here from F/W 2012: Peter Som, Thakoon, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung. And there’s something to be said about that ankle strap too. Now, I remember taking note of a discreet diversion to footwear that stands closer to the ground last season, I didn’t think much of it other than, you know, oh shorter heels: too bad. But there’s a theory that says the higher the heel, the worse the economy and while I can’t speak for the collections of say, Theyskens’ Theory or Dennis Basso, the general consensus on heel height this season was a decent two inches shorter. On a larger scale, this theory about the correlation between fashion and economy suggests that consumers at large turn to more extravagant and outrageous fashions as a means to suspend the perils of real life.
And we know this season was less about wow, more about practicality so with all this new success fashion indicates may be in our cards, let’s say so long to the hooker heel and get shopping. It seems that Valentino may have had it right all along.
From left: Miu Miu gingham slingback, Sergio Rossi’s yellow suede pump, Christian Louboutin’s gold metallic toe, that may or may not still subscribe to a school of hooker, a pink suede ASOS pump, blue suede Carven slingback clad in bow, Charlotte Olympia’s denim/raffia version–to perfect the tuxedo and because, well, not all of us are ready to quit platforms just yet, fire truck red a la Alejandro Ingelmo in patent leather, Aldo in orange suede and Alexander Wang in stark white. Thoughts?
  • jessica sandoval

    I love the Louboutins! As an incredibly short girl, I feel I'd look silly in pumps, but I've always liked how they look on others!

    Jessica | Vixenelle

  • Man Repeller

    Interesting! Always assumed shorter girls preferred pumps because they elongate the leg.

  • Annah

    I'll never quit the platform!

  • Alejandra Palestino

    so classy! love the Louboutins you got in the sample sale… awesome!

  • Blue Blinds

    Cool post – I wonder if there is a correlation between the economy and hem lengths…?


    such great & vibrant pumps. & i absolutely love pointed toe pumps over any other pump~


  • Lotus Blossom Design

    As a 5'1"er girl, the higher the heel the better! I love those Miu Miu gingham pumps!

  • nicolette

    I have those pink ASOS heels and they're damn good and pretty comfortable, to boot. Plus, under $100? I'll take three.

    Frankly, I'm just glad flatforms have been ousted.

  • Leaves you wanting more

    It does makes you taller..

    And for a girl like me I haven't liked it because it makes me feel too tall and then I feel silly…
    But lets not be silly and lets wear whatever we like!!
    xox from a cold Stockholm

  • Sabrina

    have always loved pumps so am over the moon that they're back! they're just super chic, super classy. x

  • My Grandmothers Gucci

    As Edith Wharton once wrote, "a school of hooker does not a Loub pump make."

  • Fee
  • pattyandlo

    Live the collage of pumps! I'm all for a pump pop o color!

  • Leaves you wanting more

    Hm I wonder… Was planning on wearing a pair of lovely blue pumps yesterday and then I changed my mind.. Since I've become a very old women of 33 years I'm not in for pain in feet.

    Will admire all of you who walks through life up above. I will stomp around down here in admiration.

  • Tina
  • matchalattewardrobe

    Statement pumps can add such a twist to outfits. Love your selection.

  • Miriamhp

    I do feel like some of the platforms this seasons have gone too far. I've seen a lot of hooker-looking shoes, to be honest. That does not mean I am ready to stop my platform wearing ways but I will be happy to throw in a pump once in a while!

  • Tori

    I am a fan of the lower pump. Mostly because I have poor coordination and struggle to walk in sky high heels…

  • Bonnie,Clyde and Marni…..
  • Clémence

    This is so true! I have reviewed all the shows and you're so right. my heart is going to the ankle stripe for the next season. I have seen some amazing ones…

    I love you're selection of pumps! Nice!


  • Lilith

    I adore those heels

  • Larry

    I'm all for "comfortable" heel heights, but I hope the super platform isn't gone for good! I love a woman in a nice pair of 8-inch heels. Faaaabulous!

  • modelovers

    I love the pumps!!!


  • libby

    i am so very glad that the pump is coming back! i love the platform but i feel like i tower over everyone!

  • TheChambrayCountess

    Definitely a fan of the pointed toe pump + skinny pant + peplum or otherwise architectural top look. Maybe I don't need crazy shoes as an escapism tactic anymore, but I definitely want a few of your more simple (gasp!) choices.

  • Loes Elizabeth

    I'm welcoming the return of the pump if I'm honest. Platforms aren't always good news for us tallies xx

  • Creativity&Chocolate

    I am so happy the pointed shoe is coming back, love it!
    And those pink and white Miu MIu's are so cute!


    I love the louboutin with no platform.

  • rachael

    Love this perfect round-up of pumps! I still love my platforms though…they are just too damn sexy.

  • Sharon

    I love the orange one from Aldo!

    But I think I'll stick with my platforms, more length, more comfort.

  • Meganne

    I had never heard that said about heels before, interesting. Does that mean most of the Kardashian women are going to be back to fun sized before the end of the season?

    Material Fixations

  • Me Gusta o No Me Gusta

    I love pumps, they look really sofisticated, while platforms are more like a chunky style. At least for me. However I find them really hard to walk on irregular ground, while wedges keeps you far from the it.

    Was I clear? :S


  • Anonymous

    As a fellow shorty, I agree, Jessica.

    I have also thought smaller females look a bit strange in really tall heels. Depending what the girl is wearing, the heel often look out of proportion with her legs.

  • Anna im Wunderland

    Honestly, shouldn't we all just wear what we feel like? I'm a freakish 6ft tall, but I still wear heels when I feel like it:) I may look even more gigantic, but if I feel comfortable, I exude self-confidence and I think that's the best look you can possibly have!

  • YoUngLiNgToN
  • Collections

    ooo I like. I have a great pair from Zara similar to Jenna's that I bought last year :)


  • Thrill Of The Chaise

    Love a good pump. But apparently I am such an aggressive walker that I need a slingback to make sure my foot stays firmly planted in the shoe.


  • The PvdH Journal

    Funny, just as I was reading your statement on "it's just somewhat hard to craft an elegant pointed toe shoe when there are cinder blocks manifesting just below them" Charlotte Olympia came to mind. I have a red pair of her Paloma heels and love them, albeit they are not the haphazard-free type of shoes.

    Im seriously glad about this, I was getting tired of the excess in platforms.

  • The PvdH Journal

    I am 5'4' and I agree with you @MR (I had even commented on this in an earlier post of yours) that I do prefer pointy pumps because they do work magic with their elongating properties. Platforms can at times be a bit chunky.

  • TheGuayabaProject

    I don't like the fact that the designers used so much real fur this season. It's a shame to keep torturing animals in the name of fashion specially with so many faux fur options. I will not be wearing any real fur, to me that's just wrong.
    On a nicer note I love the MiuMiu pumps :)

  • Ines Naouali

    The Loubs are the best ones! Wish I could own them right now. x

  • Carolina Sundell

    I agree it's been in the air for some time "the return of the pump", great title!

  • untitled

    I'm sure my feet will enjoy the reintroduction of shorter heels, but my heart will forever remain loyal to the platform…

  • Mode’n Marie

    love the blue color of your heels !

  • Annie

    such colorful beauties! love the orange ones!

    X, Annie

  • Sandro

    the alexander wang ones are cute. but pumps are just so uncomfortable! that platform makes such a difference

  • The Photodiarist

    The pump never left . . .

  • Mackenzie

    Love the shoes

  • Bettina

    I myself have been inching towards the pointed pump, but I don't think I can every give up my love affair with the paltform!

  • lucia m
  • Valeriya

    Wang! Wang! Wang! Oh Wang)

  • biancamaria sacco

    FINALLY time to be "donne" !!!

  • monkeyshines ♥

    stunning picks!


  • Kierra

    I wish I didn't walk like a 1 year old in heels! AHH! So pretty!

  • Neijah

    It's so refreshing to see a chic and slender pump after the abundance of chunky platforms that we've all been rocking! It's almost like we forgot they even existed lol


  • The little world of fashion

    I love those shoes!

  • nicola lynde.

    Love a good pump. Something I've been craving lately too, funny how that works. There's something just so Carrie Bradshaw about a slender stiletto, I can almost imagine I have the wardrobe that goes with it.

  • Audrey
  • Ría
  • anna

    hey, you forgot the perfect pair of pointed pumps from Louis Vuitton for spring/summer 12!

  • Man Repeller

    That was on purpose, you'll see why!

  • My Life In Narnia

    Please,please,please don't let the platform be dead. They are SO much easier to wear. Whilst the shoes above are deliciously lovely (the Alexander Wang ones especially), I look at them and know they will never feature in my wardrobe. Shoes like that belong to a different class of lady. The kind of lady that takes a taxi everywhere not the tube. The kind that is always offered a seat and never forced to stand for hours at a time. The kind that never has to trundle around town after her boy mates on the way to the pub whilst they run off at 100mph.

    The platform has been my saviour for the last two years, giving me the extra five inches my chunky, stumpy little legs so desperately need without risking possible death when coming across a cobbled street or a particularly steep stairwell. Don't take it all away from me now! :-(

  • Nicole @ Giraffelegs

    Thank got for the return of the pointy toes. I really want a cap-toed pump….dying.

  • Sabine

    The pointed toe is slowly growing on me again. I love the bright colored ones Jenna Lyons wears in that picture!

  • WearAbouts
  • randofernando

    I refuse to conform.. I mean believe it. My favorites from this NYFW are from Rodarte. Those bad boys are studded, sand-filled, platformed, and bootie'd. My heart and my feets hurt for them.

  • Ally

    I can totally dig the comeback of the pointy toed pump… although that usually means more toe cleavage and crampage!

  • textilefile

    OMG I cannot live without my wedges and platforms shoes. They make you tall without killing my feet. Don't take me wrong ..pumps are sexy and I love them to. But please MOTHER FASHION DON'T TAKE MY PLATFORMS AWAY.

  • Keren, rhymes w/ Heron

    The title of the post is "Return of The Pump" but did it ever leave? As a 5'4" (ok ok, 5'3") woman I have always believed in this working woman's shoe!

  • Mimi

    aaah that Miu Miu slingback, I have something to dream of tonight :)

  • anna

    now I get why! 😉
    and I also thought that they have to be really really painful…


    Agreed, the pump is back! But I've invested in a few pairs of platforms and the best thing about personal style is…wait for it…you wear what you want! Curate put toether looks that suit you and people are less likely to question your choices.

    As for the pump, in Dec 2011 I wrote a piece that helped my readers purchase their Fall 2012 wardrobes at a discount based on Pre Fall 2012 Collections and current discounts. Out of the types of shoes, I chose the black pointed toe pump to either pull out from under your pile of platforms or buy now.

    Schuanne, Stylist
    Styled to Wear

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  • Injeanious

    I am so happy that the platform is nearing death, LOL! Every time I looked at those shoes all I could think was stripper shoes, LOL! The pointy toe heel is such a classic shoe.

  • MEME

    I absolutely agree.

  • MEME

    I absolutely agree…

  • Olivia Alexis

    Very nice shoes very good collection