For many, the “golden eraof the high-heeled shoe began through the 1940s. Some credit French designer Andre Perugia (1893-1977) with the “modernheel. [Illustration 1] Excessive heels came into their very own throughout the 1950s when the “stilettomade its very public debut. The time period “stilettoemployed to describe the shoe was perfect—its Italian derivation meant a thin, sharp dagger with a tapering blade. A mirrored image of its time, the stiletto heel offered a visible stability when paired with the snugly tailor-made garments of the publish World Conflict II period, particularly Christian Dior’s much touted “New Look.[Illustration 2] The stiletto heel altered the wearer’s gait so that the derriere was thrust out in back, the chest thrust out in front. Womanly curves have been accentuated and legs looked especially shapely, the stiletto creating the visible impact of lengthening the leg. So as to achieve the desired thinness of the stiletto, the heels had a metal or steel pin operating by them.
The shoe itself achieved a fairly uniform appearance of typically a four-inch heel, with low cut vamp or peep toe. What did change, nonetheless, from season to season and designer to designer, was the usage of supplies and cladding. Despite the comparatively customary appearance, grasp designers reminiscent of Roger Vivier (greatest identified for his work with Christian Dior) and Salvatore Ferragamo manipulated surface therapies and focused of wearabilty. It is throughout this time that we come to totally affiliate Hollywood glamor with trend shoes, a trend which continues at this time.
Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960) became a shoemaker’s apprentice to Luigi Festa in Bonito, Italy in 1909. After operating his personal shop for a number of years, he moved to California in 1914, joining his brothers who had already emigrated. His talent was apparent as he started making custom footwear for the American Movie Firm. It is thru these contacts that he was in a position to boast a clientele including Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Lauren and Ava Gardner. The connection between Marilyn Monroe and Salvatore Ferragamo is one for shoe enthusiasts to reckon with. Certainly, Ferragamo reportedly designed some 40 pairs of footwear for her, creating a specific kind only for Marilyn Monroe with a four-inch stiletto heels. [Illustration 3, 4]
Roger Henri Vivier (1903-1998) a Parisian shoe designer, is mostly credited with popularizing stiletto heeled shoes in 1954. Vivier’s work with sneakers was the right complement Dior’s glamorous new clothes collections. His sneakers might greatest be characterized as extravagantly embellished; he described his items as “sculpture.[Illustration 5]
While there were certainly earlier renditions of what we might at the moment name the stiletto throughout the 19th century, Vivier is related to its heyday. The staff of Vivier and Dior created a powerhouse of trend. He employed embellishments of both man-made supplies, corresponding to glass and sequins, as well as these from the natural world, comparable to exotic feathers. His shoes such as the “la virguleshoe, with its “commaheel playfully teased the viewer with its inside steel building. Lately revived, you’ll be able to see an instance of the iconic “Virgule Houndstooth,(calf hair, Fall 2014) on exhibit. [Illustration 6] While there are countless stiletto-kind sneakers accessible to the contemporary shopper, a current take on the basic – and considered one of my private favorites- is by Giuseppe Zanotti. [Illustration 7] Come, go to “Killer Heelsand find your model.
Dr. Alexander is author of “Georgian Shoe Tales From Colonial America[Johns Hopkins University Press, Forthcoming, 2016]. Explore textiles, shoes and extra on Dr. Alexander’s weblog.