It’s hard to believe that shoes started out as a necessity. Animals skins and later fabric were wrapped around feet to protect them from sharp rocks. Today, shoes are a convenience, an accessory, a hobby. Women (and some men) admire, and worship shoes, myself being no exception.
Jeffrey Campbell Tick shoes from SoleStruck
Some women collect jewelry, I prefer shoes. I am constantly on the look-out for the next perfect pair! My recent acquisition are Jeffrey Campbell’s Tick shoes: when I saw those tack-covered silver heels, I knew I had to have them. I have many uncomfortable high heels (in which I willingly suffer for beauty), but these are quite comfortable – in spite of significant height (5″), I could walk in them all day.
There are several shoe trends that stick out to me at the moment. I’m seeing a lot of scaley, rhinestone and hardware-adorned shoes. Like these Swarovski-encrusted Louboutin heels, spikey Lousie Goldins for TopShop and these Alexander McQueen beauties, as seen on Lady Gaga!
Shoes Make History
Tiny Victorian shoes (humans feet used to be much smaller)
- Italian-born French queen Catherine de Medici is often credited with popularizing the modern high-heel shoe in 1533 for fashion, as well as to offset her very small stature.
- By the time of her ouster in 1986, Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos had amassed a collection of over 2700 pairs of shoes according to Time magazine (she later claimed to ‘only have 1060 pairs’). By comparison, according to an earlier poll, over a hundred readers of this blogazine own 100+ pairs!
- The Shoe is Mightier than the Sword: 1960: At a United Nations conference the shoe becomes a geo-political force when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev angrily bangs his shoe against a conference table to protest against a speech by Filipino delegate Lorenzo Sumulong.Historians remain divided as to whether the shoe in question was a loafer or wingtip.
- “Stiletto” takes its name from the Italian for a type of dagger. A Stiletto heel is generally any heel above 3.5 inches.
- The world’s most expensive shoes? In 2003 Stuart Weitzman created a pair of shoes inspired by the shoes worn in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ by Judy Garland. Woven with thread of platinum and studded with 642 rubies, the price tag on the world’s most expensive shoes knocked the world’s socks off at $1.6 million USD. In 2004 Stuart Weitzman upped the ante, creating the ‘Cinderella Slippers’ which featured 565 platinum-set diamonds. The ultra-bling shoes retailed for a reasonable 2 million USD.
- The world-record for the tallest high-heel shoe is 16 inches. These shoes also hold the world record for the quickest way to break an ankle. Now there’s a surprise!
Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes
Believe it or not, some people have built followings and made careers by simply blogging about shoes. Jane Aldrige of Sea of Shoes started out as a shoe blogger and ended up designing her own line for Urban Outfitters. Imelda The Despotic Queen of Shoes is known for posting the most outrageous pairs you’ve ever seen. I bet neither of those ladies could go A Day Without Shoes. ;) Which shoes bloggers do you read?
Shoes + Desert??
There is definitely some kind of a mysterious connection between footwear and desert. If you figure that one out, I’m all ears!
- For instance, how would you like some Chanel shoe birthday cake?
These shoes were made entirely out of chocolate!
- Even the French used to say that champagne “should be drunk straight from a beautiful lady’s slipper”. Hm, not sure about that one…
- And of course, Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette loved any combination of shoes & cakes!
Marie Antoinette – “Cakes & Shoes”
Sabina writes: “My dream shoes would be very Victorian. They would have a spindly 4-inch heel, an almond capped toe, and lace up my ankles. The shoes would be black leather, beaten with soles that were electric purple with roses and vines crawling up them.”
- Cinderella is the most shoe-centric story of all times. It was widely believed that in Charles Perrault’s version, Cinderella wore fur boots (“pantoufle en vair”), and that when the story was translated into English, vair was mistaken for verre (glass), resulting in glass slippers. It took them 300 years to re-claim their rightful glamor as… Uggs.
- A classic 1994 Mentos commercial shows a woman finding a creative solution to a broken heel. :)
- DIY is not something most people think of when it comes to footwear. But check out StudioJellyfish, who paints shoes beautifully! There are many more Etsy sellers who spend their days re-painting shoes – now that’s a job I would love!
- If you’re a fan of rockabilly, you must check out the amazing shoes at Iron Fist (via Amy).
“People always tell you to put your best foot forward, right? Well what better way to do so than to have dazzling, eye catching shoes on your feet? Whether they are stilettos, sneakers, flip flops, wedges, or any other type of shoe, I personally believe in giving your tootsies the royal treatment and wearing shoes that make you smile.” – Mandi Wasmer, pearlsandapistol
Deerlings: What is your favorite pair of shoes? If you could design your own shoe, what would it be?