From Manly to Sexy: The History of the High Heel

From Manly to Sexy: The History of the High Heel.

 

Awesome and interesting article from http://www.thesocietypages.com by Lisa H Wade. Remember, history (and fashion) repeats itself, so it’s important to know the background! :) Happy reading…

Why do women wear high heels?  Because men did.

Men were the first sex to don the shoe. They were adopted by the European aristocracy of the 1600s as a signal of status.  The logic was: only someone who didn’t have to work could possibly go around in such impractical footwear.  (Interestingly, this was the same logic that encouraged footbinding in China.)

Women started wearing heels as a way of trying to appropriate masculine power.  In theBBC article on the topic, Elizabeth Semmelhack, who curates a shoe museum, explains:

In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits…

They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel — it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.

The lower classes also began to wear high heels, as fashions typically filter down from elite.

How did the elite respond to imitation from “lesser” people: women and workers?  First, the heels worn by the elite became increasingly high in order to maintain upper class distinction.  And, second, heels were differentiated into two types: fat and skinny. Fat heels were for men, skinny for women.

This is a beautiful illustration of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of class distinction.  Bourdieu argued that aesthetic choices function as markers of class difference.  Accordingly, the elite will take action to present themselves differently than non-elites, choosing different clothing, food, decor, etc.  Expensive prices help keep certain things the province of elites, allowing them to signify their power; but imitation is inevitable.  Once something no longer effectively differentiates the rich from the rest, the rich will drop it.  This, I argue elsewhere, is why some people care about counterfeit purses (because it’s not about the quality, it’s about the distinction).

Eventually men quit wearing heels because their association with women tainted their power as a status symbol for men.  (This, by the way, is exactly what happened with cheerleading, originally exclusively for men).  With the Enlightenment, which emphasized rationality (i.e., practical footwear), everyone quit wearing high heels.

What brought heels back for women? Pornography.  Mid-nineteenth century pornographers began posing female nudes in high heels, and the rest is history.

 Does the 2nd picture remind anyone else of JC Litas? Just me… ok! LOL

 

PS Mercedes Benz Fashion Week starts tomorrow! Who is ready?!

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Fall 2013

It’s that time of year again and I’ll be here with as much coverage as I can give you in a 24 hour span! I’m looking forward to sharing and reviewing the collections with all of you! I’m most looking forward to Tadashi Shoji, Rebecca Minkoff, Jill Stuart,Herve Leger, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka,  Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Jenny Packham, Elie Tahari, and Ralph Lauren. Below is our schedule:

February 07

  • 9AM

NICHOLAS K at STUDIO

  • 9:30-10:30AM

TODD SNYDER at BOX

  • 10AM

BCBGMAXAZRIA at THEATRE

  • 11AM

RICHARD CHAI LOVE AND RICHARD CHAI MEN’S at STAGE

  • 1PM

TIMO WEILAND WOMEN’S at STUDIO

  • 2PM

TADASHI SHOJI at STAGE

  • 2:30-3:30PM

CANDELA at BOX

  • 3-4:30PM

DAVID HART at NEW MUSEUM, 235 BOWERY

  • 5PM

SERGIO DAVILA at STUDIO

  • 5PM

EDUN at SKYLIGHT WEST, 500 W 36TH ST

  • 6PM

CONCEPT KOREA at STAGE

  • 6:30-7:30PM

TIMO WEILAND MEN’S at BOX

  • 7PM

KENNETH COLE at 537 W 27TH ST

February 08

  • 9AM

CZAR BY CESAR GALINDO at STUDIO

  • 10AM

PROJECT RUNWAY at THEATRE

  • 11AM

CARMEN MARC VALVO at STAGE

  • 12PM

NOON BY NOOR at STUDIO

  • 2PM

NAUTICA at STAGE

  • 2:30-3:30PM

MONIKA CHIANG at BOX

  • 3PM

REBECCA MINKOFF at THEATRE

  • 3:30PM

IAN VELARDI at NY PUBLIC LIBRARY, LINCOLN CENTER

  • 5:30PM

TOMMY HILFIGER at PARK AVENUE ARMORY

  • 6PM

NICOLE MILLER at STUDIO

  • 7:30-8:30PM

CHARLOTTE RONSON at BOX

  • 8PM

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY at THEATRE

  • 9PM

PARKCHOONMOO at STUDIO

February 09

  • 9AM

RUFFIAN at STUDIO

  • 9:30-10:30AM

MARISSA WEBB at BOX

  • 10AM

LACOSTE at THEATRE

  • 11AM

JILL STUART at STAGE

  • 11:30AM

SECOND/LAYER at NY PUBLIC LIBRARY, LINCOLN CENTER

  • 12PM

SON JUNG WAN at STUDIO

  • 2PM

MARA HOFFMAN at STAGE

  • 2:30-3:30PM

RAFAEL CENNAMO at BOX

  • 3PM

HERVÉ LÉGER BY MAX AZRIA at THEATRE

  • 4PM

KATYA LEONOVICH at STUDIO

  • 6PM

RAIF ADELBERG at NY PUBLIC LIBRARY, LINCOLN CENTER

  • 6:30-7:30PM

ALON LIVNE at BOX

  • 7PM

MONIQUE LHUILLIER at THEATRE

  • 9PM

VENEXIANA at STUDIO

February 10

  • 10:30-11:30AM

NINA SKARRA at BOX

  • 11AM

LELA ROSE at STUDIO

  • 12-4PM

DETAILS MEN’S ACCESSORIES SHOWat NY PUBLIC LIBRARY, LINCOLN CENTER

  • 1PM

DKNY at 547 W 26TH STREET

  • 2PM

TRACY REESE at STUDIO

  • 2:30-3:30PM

TRINA TURK at BOX

  • 3PM

CUSTO BARCELONA at STAGE

  • 4PM

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG at THEATRE

  • 5PM

JOANNA MASTROIANNI at STUDIO

  • 5PM

Y-3 at 80 ESSEX STREET

  • 6PM

VIVIENNE TAM at STAGE

  • 7PM

ZAC POSEN at TBA

  • 7:30-8:30PM

DAVID TLALE at BOX

  • 8PM

RALPH RUCCI at THEATRE

  • 9PM

EMERSON BY JACKIE FRASER-SWANat STUDIO

February 11

  • 9AM

ICB BY PRABAL GURUNG at STUDIO

  • 9:30-10:30AM

MATHIEU MIRANO at BOX

  • 10AM

CAROLINA HERRERA at THEATRE

  • 1PM

PAMELLA ROLAND at STUDIO

  • 2PM

DONNA KARAN NEW YORK at 547 W 26TH STREET

  • 2:30-3:30PM

HERNAN LANDER at BOX

  • 3PM

KAUFMANFRANCO at STAGE

  • 4-5PM

MM6 MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA at CAFÉ ROUGE, 401 7TH AVE

  • 4-6PM

DL1961 at ALICE TULLY HALL

  • 5PM

BETSEY JOHNSON at STUDIO

  • 6PM

REEM ACRA at STAGE

February 12

  • 9AM

TORY BURCH at TBA

  • 9:30-10:30AM

J.CREW at STUDIO

  • 9:30-10:30AM

STEVEN ALAN at BOX

  • 10AM

BADGLEY MISCHKA at THEATRE

  • 11AM

VERA WANG at STAGE

  • 1PM

JENNY PACKHAM at STUDIO

  • 1PM

DIESEL BLACK GOLD at PIER 57 AT W 15TH ST

  • 1:30-2:30PM

ADEAM at BOX

  • 2PM

NAEEM KHAN at THEATRE

 

  • 3PM

 

DENNIS BASSO at STAGE

  • 5:30PM

ELIE TAHARI at 11 W 42ND STREET

  • 7PM

VANTAN TOKYO at STAGE

February 13

  • 9AM

BIBHU MOHAPATRA at STUDIO

  • 9:30-10:30AM

BRANDON SUN at BOX

  • 10AM

MICHAEL KORS at THEATRE

  • 11AM

NANETTE LEPORE at STAGE

  • 1PM

RACHEL ZOE at STUDIO

  • 2PM

J. MENDEL at THEATRE

  • 2:30-3:30PM

LEATHER JAPAN at BOX

  • 3PM

MILLY BY MICHELLE SMITH at STAGE

  • 5PM

FALGUNI AND SHANE PEACOCK at STUDIO

  • 6PM

ANNA SUI at THEATRE

  • 6:30-7:30PM

CLOVER CANYON at BOX

  • 7PM

ZANG TOI at STAGE

  • 7:30PM

RICARDO SECO at EYEBEAM, 540 W 21ST ST

  • 8PM

B MICHAEL AMERICA at STUDIO

February 14

  • 10AM

RALPH LAUREN at ST JOHN’S CNTR STUDIOS, 570 WASHINGTON ST

  • 11AM

RALPH LAUREN at ST JOHN’S CNTR STUDIOS, 570 WASHINGTON ST

  • 2PM

CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION at 205 W 39TH STREET

  • 3PM

CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION at 205 W 39TH STREET

 

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Boot season!

Well, its boot season, which I love and I hate (because I have muscular calves and knee length boots are hard to find! Does anyone else have this problem?). But they are just so darn cute! This year, I’m really coveting the “motorcycle” boot style. I love that they are shorter because then my calf size won’t determine which style I can get. I also like that they go with everything from dresses to pants to even shorts (though this fashion trend is geared towards the teen and early 20′s crowd).

Here are some “motorcycle” boots that I love (all of them are available in black and are found at DSW:

Holiday Party Season is Upon Us!

Hi everyone,

As we all know (and quite possibly dread), the holiday party season is here and some of you might be wondering what to wear to your work party. With the exception of an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, holiday soirées tend to be fancier affairs. You want to dress up yet still look appropriate.  Here are some suggestions that might help you on your quest to the perfect outfit and all under $150.00:

_7384824_7514962 Marc New York Donna Ricco Vince Camuto

_6829638

Express 2 Express

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of tips:

1) If you are 30 or older, it’s time to step away from the glitter/sequins bombs. Sad, I know.

2) If the dress is sleeveless, try to wear a cardigan or blazer over the top of it.

3) No tube top or bandage dresses to work parties. Remember that you will have to see these people every day or your significant other will. You don’t want to be “that girl”.

4) Dare to be different and wear something with color or an animal print (disclaimer: please be discriminatory with animal print. Less is more!).

5) Don’t be twins with your date. It’s not as cute as you think it is.

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