Style Quotient

Archive for June 2014

For those who love footwear, here’s a quick trip down memory lane. Most of the footwear out there today is an offshoot of the styles of the past, so if you love and understand the iconic styles of yesteryear, you will be able to make informed footwear choices today.

The first style in shoes that you must have ever loved is the pump. It is one of the most popular female high heel shoes of all time and even today, it is a must-own in every woman’s shoe collection. Though history records that elevated footwear dates as far back as the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome, it is believed that the true precursors of the pumps came from the medieval fashion traditions of the wealthy class of rulers in Renaissance countries. It was soon synonymous with true wealth, but vanished for a few decades when women focused on flat soled shoes after certain political upheavals. Sure enough, fashion came full circle and the court shoes were back to live on and become a permanent fixture of shoe history.

The second iconic style you might remember is the open toe, sling back pump, which is very popular even today. In fact, I would recommend that you choose this style of shoe instead of the regular pumps because they suit our warm weather vagaries and look so utterly sexy too. These date back to 1940 when designed by Ferragamo, and later by Prada and soon afterwards they were adopted by many Hollywood stars. The peep toe satin pumps are still extremely well loved all over the world.

The next style to think about this season would be the wedges. This look dates back to the early 1920s and was very trendy at the time because they were light and attractive, as the heels were made out of cork. Cork was more popular than wood because it was lighter, sturdy and more durable. They became very popular during World War II because of the lack of leather and rubber at the time. Today, we have wedge heeled sandals that are very trendy, with the heels wrapped in rope or jute, and much of its popularity lies in the fact that is so sturdy and offers arch support to the legs all the time.

Another iconic shoe style that carries its trend forward even today is the ankle boot. Almost every woman waits for the weather to turn colder so that she can wear these fabulous shoes. In fact, the ankle boot dates back to 19th century, but it has moved up and down in length ever since. The taller boot comes back into style ever so often with fringes or exotic designs in leather or suede. Which one should you buy? It is best to go by your own height. If you are short, wear only calf or ankle length boots. This is one style that will not go out of style, so buy a pair and wait for winter.

The platform shoe is another iconic style, but one which I personally dislike. Though it was immortalized for men by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, it became a hot favourite among women too. The platform shoe fad hit its peak in 1970 and was popular because they helped to add height without all the drama and discomfort of spike heels.

And finally, who does not love the beautiful stiletto heel sandals that have never left the annals of fashion history. Named after the stiletto dagger, these heels vary in length from 1 – 10 inches and when the heels are around 2 inches high, they are often called kitten heels. The stiletto that we know today was first designed by French fashion designer Roger Vivier in 1954. It was an instant hit because it emphasized the body line and sexuality of women. Two decades later the new “needle” style came into fashion and today, women wear stilettos to work too.

There are many other iconic shoe styles out there but I have picked out the ones I love best. If you are looking for trendy footwear this year, check out the ballet flats, the block heeled shoes, the mules, the espadrilles and the loafers that are so in the stores now. Go shopping for them, buy them in the most colourful hues possible but when in doubt, let the iconic designs of the past be your guide.




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