On this hottest of hot days, many of the coolest of cool will strap on a lovely pair of espadrilles. The espadrille dates back to the Spanish King of Aragon, whose foot-soldiers marched in a primitive esparto grass shoe. In the 50s we associate the every fashionable Grace Kelly with popularizing the casual shoe. It wasn't until 1960 when Yves Saint Laurent asked the Castaner family to create the first wedge-heel version for a fashion show. He was cool. Inspired by the Middleton girls, this generation again turns to the comfy wedge.
Notably, the most iconic shoes of our age are the 1939 ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Several pairs were made. 4 are still in existence. Constructed by MGM staff, they were a pair of white Innes shoes covered with sequins and rhinestones. These shoes hold such an extraordinary place in our hearts, that Leonardo DiCaprio led a group of donors to purchase the most famous pair for an undisclosed amount of money, so that they could rest in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Stuart Weitzman created his version in 2003 from half a pound of platinum, 642 Burma rubies weighing in at 123.33 carats. They can be yours for a mere $1.6 million, probably close in cost to the originals.
Late in the 60s Jimi Hendrix styled a look that would later be taken to the extremes by urban street strutters. I'm talkin bout the 70s! I'm talking about pimped out leopard print hats, not the sleek American Hustle vision. At the same time David Bowie and Elton John glittered their way into hearts and fashion. Somewhere, somehow live goldfish ended up in platform shoes. Mike Love...oh lamé. That's wrong on so many levels.
Amongst every other aspect of fashion, Lady Gaga has taken her choice of footwear to the limit. If the Gaga had strolled the streets of 1600 Venice she would have joined the elite in height. With some inspiration from the Chopines of history, Noritaka Tatehana creates beautiful heel-less shoes at prices of $15,000+, +60 centimeters. As much art as footwear, they're a lovely match for a lady who knows no limits.
High on the list of designers is of course Jimmy Choo. As soon as our real life Princess Diana embraced his shoes, it wasn't long until they graced the feet of nearly every celebrity in the world. No wonder! Look at the genius shape of the "Siskin" Mary Janes J Lo is wearing. The optical illusion makes her already legendary gams look extra long and shapely. She loves her Choos!
Attention Lady Gaga's of 15th century Venice. The platform shoe can be traced back to the late 1400's in Venice. The need for aristocratic women to navigate wet streets resulted in these elevated platform shoe-covers. Courtesans and Royalty alike chose these first for practicality and then later as a mark of status. The higher the shoe, the higher the status. Some have been recording as high as 30". The style soon spread to many European cities. The examples are the Venetian Chopine (left) and the Italian Zoccolo (right).
So, did our modern day obsession with shoes come from the tale we all read as little girls? SJP a fashion princess by today's standards, finds her prince and he slips these dreamy blue satin pumps on her tiny feet. Manolo Blahnik is our real life fairy Godfather, who creates these magical shoes for our happily-ever-after. What's wrong with a little magic everyday?
You can't imagine the self-imposed pressure of finding the perfect shoe to launch my daily "shoe of the day" blog. Should it be one of the ever classic styles that have reached near sainthood, or a spectacularly ridiculous example of shoe-izism. So thank you Alexander McQueen for these fantasical Cinderella worthy shoes. What better inspiration, really, to kick-off a shoe blog than shoes perfect for the ultimate princess.
Creator, designer, artist, DIYer, photographer, writer, gardener, foody, decorator, shoe-lover, sailor and prouder-than-punch mother.