Okay, the Cannes heels thing is getting out of hand.
As you probably assume, I have opinions about this.
I'll get my opinions out of the way.
1) I agree with an "attire code" at Cannes. They want to keep it elegant. It's France. And more than that, it's the
Riviera. Note that I did not say that they want to keep it classy. Telling people what to do is rarely classy. Telling people what to wear is almost never classy.
However. There are occasions and events where an attire guideline is helpful, and yes, necessary. I appreciate invitations that spell out the attire expectations. I want to know what tier of attire the host would like guests to attain. The host is spending time, effort and money planning the occasion/event, the very least attendees can do is follow the attire guideline the host offers. It doesn't matter if the requested attire is casual, black tie, costume or luau, I like to know the attire expectations so that I don't show up dressed completely inappropriately. (We all remember vicars and tarts scene in Bridget Jones' Diary
This does not mean that specifics are in order. Black tie does not
mean, "A formal dress that costs more than $1,000, heels more than 2.5" in height, and jewelry and accessories procured at this list of retailers." Black tie means, "Dress up. Men wear a dark suit and tie, or a tux, and women wear a formal dress." Where that suit/tux and formal dress are procured and what it costs is up to the attendee. Taste is personal and subjective and not to be dictated.
I suspect the Cannes people want to keep the focus on the movies and want to maintain the idea
of glamor in the film industry. Without attire guidelines the red carpets turn into arenas for attention a la Bjork's swan dress at the Oscars. I cannot remember what year that was or what movies won at that Oscar ceremony, but I remember Bjork's dress. I presume this is exactly what the Cannes people are trying to avoid. They want the event and the films to be the center of attention and not overshadowed by Bjork's swan dress or Gaga's meat dress.
2) I agree with the black shoes for men requirement. The men are required to wear a black tie appropriate suit, and that means black shoes. The Cannes people obviously want men to recede and women to exceed. The more sedate and monotone the men are dressed, the more the women will pop and shine in comparison. There's a whole truckload of gender inequality in that sentiment. I find it interesting men aren't more irate about this obvious case of female chauvinism.
3) Heels over 2.5" does not automatically mean formal. I know shoes. I know shoes really, really well. I've perused a lot of women's shoes worn at Cannes and I've seen a lot of stripper shoes and hooker heels and some Eurotrashy numbers. But, they're heels, many of them appear to be in the 4" range, and thus accepted on the red carpet at Cannes. (The heels in the over 4" range tend to be the most questionable in terms of elegance.) Meanwhile, in other outposts on the internet, not on the red carpet at Cannes, I have seen some wonderfully elegant, tasteful and yes, classy, low-heeled or no-heeled shoes.
4) Some of us ladies would dearly love to strap on a pair of 4 inchers and head out to a movie premier at Cannes. But some of us have foot/ankle/knee/hip/back problems that prevent us from safely wearing heels over 2" in height. That does not mean that we are less worthy of admission to the event. It means we're either afflicted by a horrible ailment like rheumatoid arthritis, or that we were out there living life and had an unfortunate accident that left us with physical limitations.
5) Why isn't anyone saying anything about the irony of the three women in low heeled/flat shoes denied access to Carol
, a film about lesbian
Not that there's anything wrong with that. And I certainly do not want
to stereotype anyone, but, um, it's a film about lesbians. A group of
people known the world over for their sensible footwear choices.
6) More to the point, Cannes people, what is the priority? Women wearing heels or women who are talented, creative or business savvy enough to score an invitation to Cannes?
That's the extent to which I am going to opine about shoes at Cannes.
Like many others, I see this as an opportunity to address the issue of gender inequality.
But I don't agree with making heels the bad guy in this.
Prior to my foot/ankle issues I loved heels. I wore heels a lot because I like them. Not because men found me more attractive in heels. Not because I felt that I needed to conform to the (male dominated) fashion industry. Not because I felt that I needed to conform to a sexually stereotyped image. And certainly not because I needed to add height to bring my physical stature closer to men. (At 5'11" I'm taller than a lot of men I encounter in business situations...add 3" - 4" heels and I am almost always taller than men in the office.) Don't blame Barbie. Don't blame my mother. Don't blame Vogue
. I just happen to love heels. And then my foot and ankle were mangled, twisted and torn and that was the tragic end of my days and nights in heels. But it wasn't the end of the love affair. I still look at heels and even covet them. And then I go to work and devise strategies, plan, execute, create, manage, organize and make stuff happen brain to brain with men. My footwear is of zero consequence.
Heels are not the bad guy.
The bad guys are rigid, narrow-minded people with a skewed set of priorities, and who lack the ability to understand what class truly means.