At Marina Hoermanseder’s exquisite show at Berlin Fashion Week on Friday (July 10), in the garden of the city’s historic Crown Prince’s Palace, the models wore blouson jackets, Marlene Dietrich pants, shiny molded leather bodices, and bell-shaped skirts covered in handmade leather flowers.
They also wore towering stilettos, many of which appeared to be too big on the models’ feet. (Ill-fitting footwear on the runway is not uncommon, as shoes are often organised for a show before models are cast.)
Their willowy legs shuddered as they stepped down the runway, the potential energy of a fall heightened by, well, their height. This was the tallest, thinnest lot I’ve seen on the catwalks this week, and a few looked as if they could be toppled by a stiff breeze.
So it was a relief when halfway up the runway, a shaky model stepped out of one pump, and then the other. She started to bend to pick them up, but her movement was limited by her stiff leather bodice.
“Please?” she said to the women sitting in the front rows that flanked the runway. There was a pause, and then one from each side crouched from her seat to snatch a shoe and clear the catwalk. The model proceeded, barefoot.
Before long, another model removed her shoes mid-walk. This one did it with confidence, pausing to pull each shoe off her foot and carry them back to the palace with aplomb. The crowd cheered.
By the time the last model—arguably the star of the show in a petal pink bell-shaped skirt—made her final lap of the runway, it seemed perfectly natural for her to kick off her heels.
And that’s just what she did.