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HISTORY OF HIGH-HEELED SHOES FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE PRESENT DAY

26-JUL-2018




High-heeled pump shoes or the ones with a well-balanced high heel! They are an essential part of the any fashionmonger’s wardrobe. Such shoes make a woman look elegant and they are always suitable for any occasion: be it a social function or a business meeting.

The first high-heeled shoes’ prototypes appeared in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were called chopines, in Venice they were referred to as zoccolo (hooves), and looked like high platforms sometimes as large as 20-50 cm in height. Such shoes were worn by courtesans and aristocrats to prevent the dress hem from becoming dirty as there were no drain facilities in the Middle Ages and European streets were flooded with mud and waste waters.
 


Spanish graving, 1540 year, ladies in chopines


High-platform shoes, Italy, the Renaissance epoch


Italian chopines, XVI century


Venice, XVI век, elegant chopines, decorated with pearls and velour

Heeled shoes with no platforms were introduced in the XV century. At first, they were worn by men. Historians suppose that women’s shoes with heels became fashionable in Italy and later this fashion was brought to France by Ekaterina Medici. Assumption is that in 1533, future bloodthirsty queen ordered from a Florentine craftsman miniature heeled shoes with thin long toe for her wedding. The inventive craftsman removed heavy wooden platform and replaced with a heel. The same shoes were worn by the queen Elisabeth I.


Such shoes were called pompes – pump shoes.
At the end of the XVII and beginning of the XVIII century shoes with high and quite thin heels gained the solid position among European fashion trends. To make the process of walking in such shoes more comfortable, ladies and gentlemen carried a special cane. It ran to the absurd: kings and emperors issued special decrees that defined relation between the heel height and affiliation with certain social class – the higher was the heel, the nobler was its wearer.


Shoes of a noble lady, 1710 year. Wooden heel, leather sole, satin.


Shoes of the Empress Catherine I 1725-1727 years.


Clog shoes of the Empress Catherine II the Great, 1770 year. Silk, leather.


Wedding shoes of the Empress Catherine II, the middle of XVIII century. Decorated with tissue cloth and silk.

At the end of the XVIII century, after the French revolution, people initiated a peculiar protest against aristocracy that resulted in high-heeled shoes disappearing from fashion trends for a long time. And only since the middle of the XIX century, shoes with moderate heels began to appear again.


Women’s shoes, the 2nd half of the 19 century.


Shoes of the Empress Maria Fedorovna 1880-1900 years.

Since the middle of the XIX century, heeled shoes became an essential part of the women’s dress-code in English courts. The top part of these shoes was made of fabric. Such heeled shoes are still called court shoes.


Court shoes, Europe 19 century. Material: leather.

In the XX century the shape of court shoes changed a lot. Heels became straighter and higher.


Wedding shoes, beginning of the 20th century


Shoes, 1920s years.

In 1955, French designer Roger Vivier created shoes with 8 cm high heels and pointed toe, which is still trendy today.


However, it’s the Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo who invented arch support and 10 cm high heel, which made high-heeled shoes so popular.

The famous Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe said that she owned her popularity to high-heeled court shoes with pointed toe that she wore for the first time in “Some like it hot” movie and immediately won the hearts of the viewers from all over the world by her elegant gait.



author Eugenia M.

some photo-materials are taken from the web site www.collectorsweekly.com





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