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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Photo Montage of High Heels Pt. 3

While there are always the continuous popularity of wearing High Heels,health concerns are still present,so check it out:


The origin of the high heel goes back many centuries in history. The first precursors of stiletto heels were discovered in a tomb of Tebas in Old Egypt, and date from 1000 BC. These heels possibly provided a high social status to those who wore them.

The idea prevailed in Old Greece, where Esquilo, the first great Greek theatrical author mounted his actors on platform shoes of differing heights to indicate each character's social status. The same idea existed in the East. The Japanese emperor Hirohito was crowned in 1926 on platform shoes with a height of 30 cm.

High heels are associated with sex. Japanese courtiers had clogs of 15 to 30 cm, Chinese concubines and Turkish odalisques had high sandals possibly to prevent them from escaping from the harem, and prostitutes of Old Rome were identified by their high heels.
The modern European fashion of the high heel comes from the Italian "chapiney" or "chopine" style: mounted shoes on a 15 to 42 cm high cylinder. Some reached 75 cm and the ladies who wore them had to lean on sticks so that they could walk.

In 1430 chopines were prohibited in Venice, but nothing could stop the trend. The invention of the high heel is attributed to Catherine of Medici in Paris, in the 16th century, who used them due to her short stature, and soon introduced them into fashion amongst the European aristocracy.

In the 17th century, the English Parliament punished as witches all women who used high heels to seduce men into marrying them. In his biography, the famous Giovanni Casanova declared his love for high heels, which raised women's hoop skirts, thus showing their legs.

In the 19th century, high heels were introduced into the USA, imported from brothels in Paris because of the success they had had amongst the clientele who preferred to hire the services of prostitutes who wore these heels.

Designer shoes didn't exist as such before the 20th century, it was more an activity within the modest shoemaker profession.

The industry of mass-production of footwear had its beginnings in the USA, where what began as a family activity of colonists from New England, ended in the appearance of the first shops in the middle of the 18th century.
The tradition of handmade shoes, like the famous designer, is to a great extent a European phenomenon, in countries such as England and Italy. Also in France, where footwear design was intimately related to dressmaking, whose Parisian industry was founded by the Englishman Charles Frederick Worth in 1858, and it was the first of prominence in the world of fashion, to the point where he dressed the whole of European royalty.

Around the shops of Worth other fashion houses arose, such as Paquin, Chernit and Doucet, which transformed Paris into the world capital of fashion. Some shoemakers who worked for these houses became independent and worked as designers. Among them, Pinet in particular arrived in Paris in 1855 to work with the house of Worth, and created the heel that has his name, finer and straighter than the popular "Louis". Another outstanding creator was Pietro Yanturni who called himself "the most expensive shoemaker in the world", with an exclusive clientele of only 20 clients, and whose shoes are actually being exhibited at present in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. Andre Perugia followed him. His shoes are exhibited in the Musee de la Chaussure, in Romans, France.
In 1900 there were still reminders of the previous century. It was still considered indecent for a woman to show her naked extremities. Comfort prevailed in detriment to style, which was relegated to the privacy of the home. In public, tight and buttoned boots were worn.

This changed after the First World War. With the improvement of the economy, the ribbon shoe arrived with its pointed toes and high heels of the "Louis" type. There was an explosion of colour and high heels were even used for dancing.

The Thirties brought the Great Depression and had its repercussions on fashion. Heels became lower and wider. Walking boots competed with sandals that ended the influence of lounge shoes, whose pointed toes and heels could not be exposed.

In the Twenties and Thirties some academic women condemned high heels, but it was during the Second World War that they were in real danger due to the rationing of leather. The Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo found the solution by developing the wedge-shaped cork platform. This became fashionable after the war, when more elegant designs were demanded.

Salvatore Ferragamo had exported handmade women's footwear to the USA in 1914, where he finally became known as the movie stars' shoemaker. The Englishman, David Evins, would later in the Forties continue the work of Ferragamo in North America, creating fashion collections for the most famous New York designers (Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta).

Ferragamo, Andre Perugia and Charles Jourdan competed to develop the finest and most elegant heel, but, in production, they could not use brittle wood or soft materials that could not support the weight of a woman. Several designers devised a steel pin covered with plastic, to overcome the problems in the strength of the heels. The Italians Del Co and Albanese designed an evening sandal with two tiny ribbons and a low heel under the arch of the foot. Roger Vivier, who worked for Christian Dior in Paris, improved the heel, giving it the form of a comma and took the credit for the invention of the stiletto heel in 1955.

However, while the French didn't have competition with their clothes, the Italians were masters of the mass-production of footwear, that they also exported to the USA. Thanks to the contacts of Ferragamo with Hollywood, these shoes became very popular amongst the Hollywood stars in the Fifties (Jane Mansfield had more than 200 pairs). The stiletto heel was now a synonym of "sex appeal".
Nevertheless, the medical profession blamed the high heel shoe for all types of problems, not only health (juvenile delinquency, for example).

In the Sixties, the transfer of fashion from Paris to London began, and street style dictated what was worn. With rising prices of leather, synthetic materials came into the picture. Vivier, Herbert Levine and Miller were pioneers in the use of the transparent plastic.
At the beginning of the Seventies platforms briefly returned, especially extravagant platform boots. Many were thigh high and had psychedelic designs. It was the androgynous style of "Glam Rock". It was the designer Terry de Havilland who popularised them, and found followers not only amongst women, but also amongst gays and lesbians.

In the Eighties, executive women adopted the stiletto heel as a complement to the shoulder pads of their suits, to project an image of authority and efficiency. High heels symbolised extravagance and glamour; a way for women to express femininity.

In the last decade of the 20th century, platforms reappeared at the hands of Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier. In the Nineties, previous ideas were recycled. Just like the dressmaker, the shoe designer is a star, with Manolo Blahnik as the greatest exponent, and, as in the previous decade, the brand name is the most important thing.
Nowadays, a new generation of footwear designers exists, requested by clients and dress designers, and probably in the future this will also be the case for museums.

As well as the above-mentioned Manolo Blahnik, shoes by Joan Halpern, Maud Frizon, Beth and Herbert Levine, Andrea Pfister, Jan Jansen, Patrick Cox and Christian Louboutin, will some day be appreciated as authentic works of art.

Technology has brought new materials (microfibre, elastic fabrics,...) and it has improved the process of production, which seems to point to the fact high heels will probably be around for a long time.

The following information is from:

Heikes Heels:

For More information & History on High Heels,check out the following links: