Though historically prevalent in that the people of Egypt, Europe and Asia wore slippers as early on as 1,500 BC, flip-flops’ unceremonious, well, flip-flopping (hence the name, an onomatopoeia) when in motion has ranked it amongst the dregs of the slipper category in modern times — with but a few exceptions. Like, when flapping across the hot sand on the beach in summer. Or thwacking down the sidewalk to the neighbourhood convenient store. Anywhere else and flip-flops will make, on your behalf, a clamorous entrance you don’t want.
So what business do they have in Balenciaga’s Pre-Fall collection, where hourglass wool coats and skin-tight dresses meet thong-style footwear? Not logo-bearing slides or mules embellished to the nines, but the same dress-code-flouting, occasion-snubbing style that made global news headlines in 2005 when a couple of lacrosse players wore *dramatic pause* flip-flops to the White House.
Now excuse us if it seems like we’re just here to lambaste a style of footwear that’s thoroughly competent given the right time and place. Rather, this is a public service announcement because besides Balenciaga, Instagram darlings Cult Gaia, Staud and Simon Miller, and Italian footwear legacy Gianvito Rossi have unanimously given flip-flops the green light this season, scratch that — the spotlight. In fact, they are presented on equal footing alongside graceful sling-backs and powerful stilettos, elevated by architectural heels and leather.
And while there is strength in numbers, there’s also a cajoling persuasion to their styling. Balenciaga’s looks, lensed in motion, present a very chic satire of the working woman’s midday salad run (ergo, the stiletto to slippers switcheroo). Staud, Simon Miller and Cult Gaia, masters of the summer lewk (so potent, just ‘look’ don’t do them justice) paint pictures of a Gray Malin-esque beachside reverie where Ripcurl flip-flops have nothing on their now well-heeled, leather and lucite step-sisters.
Granted, despite the fact that they have definitely put their best foot forward this season, the choice to flip-flop — or not — is solely yours. We just lend a helping hand, below.