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WORD ON THE STREET: FLATFORMS:

What it means:They strode like a colossus over the catwalks this spring, and were a shoo-in to become the biggest fashion trend of 2011. They are platform shoes that act like flat shoes, and they’re literally walking out of the shops since they were featured at the spring/summer shows of Chanel, Prada, Alexander Wang and Michael Kors.

A shoe that gives you five or six inches of lift while retaining all the comfort of a flat shoe? Impossible, you say? Well, unlike the raised heel of your average high-heeled shoe, the flatform raises the whole foot to equal height, thus saving you the tottering, wobbling and pain that comes with conventional high heels.

Where it came from: We’ve been clomping around in platforms of one kind or another since the 1970s, whether it’s espadrilles, wedgies or MBTs. This year, the designers have upped the ante by raising the toe to the same level as the heel, to give that flat-shoe effect while retaining maximum height. If combining chic with comfort is the holy grail, however, flatforms haven’t found it – critics have been carping about its bricklike look, and remarking on its resemblance to those clunky yokes worn by Frankenstein’s monster.

How to say it: This is very embarrassing, sweetie, but I think you’ve got Paris Hilton’s dog stuck to the bottom of your flatforms.