>> Despite all those shoe-induced falls on the Prada runway, the fashion industry's obsession with super-high heels is causing designers to go higher.
Manolo Blahnik, who for over 20 years has gone no higher than five-inch heels — and doesn't do platforms — is increasing his maximum height to six inches this year. He says it's paying off — the six-inch heels already account for 30 percent of his business. And Christian Louboutin, who has popularized extreme heels, is seeing his new six- and seven-inch heels sell so well that he has plans to introduce eight-inch platform shoes next Fall: "I hear they can be painful, but women keep asking for them."
Poor economic times mean longer hemlines, but higher heels? We'll see — a model told reporters after the Prada show: "I was having a panic attack, my hands were shaking. The heels were so high. Some of the girls were crying backstage they were so scared." I love my vertiginous heels, but who wants to buy into that . . .