Stepping out in style

Women love heels and men love women in heels, no matter what height they are. At one point, women would always wear gloves, hats and heels. Now, decorative pieces on hands and heads have become less fashionable but the heel has always survived the fickle fashion industry. Where did this pointy phenomenon all begin?

Heels were not invented, but rather evolved over time – a very long period of time. The earliest date written describing female footwear goes way back to 3500 BC, from etchings found in a cave in Armenia. Although you may consider ancient shoes far from enticing, you must bear in mind that tastes change and evolve frequently and heels were initially a signifier of class and sexes. Let’s fast forward to when high heels transgressed the stepping block that the Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians used, to something that we recognise more easily as ‘heels’.

Heels during the 16th century in France were worn by men and women of whom were upper class citizens. This trend was instigated by Catherine de Medici when she wore heels at her wedding to impress the French Court. The point was to make her taller as she was only fourteen years of age, standing at a humble five feet. Worn by the wealthiest men and women, heels projected the principles of wealth and power.
The popularity of heels in the French Court gave new impetus to British fashion with Queen Mary I of England wearing heels routinely. Simultaneously, the popularity of heels spread to Spain and France with the wedges, made of wood or cork, being raised to as high as twenty-three inches.
The stiletto apparently transpired through heel repairs that soon enough was built into the style of a raised and pointed back-heel. From this experimentation, the leather transgressed the ankles and evolved into riding boots, in order to avoid slippage when using stirrups.

The 17th century viewed heels with disdain and a hint of shame. Women who wore them were typecast into licentious creatures looking to manipulate men into a marriage. Some members of the parliament even went so far as to punish women who wore them and even label them witches. In Massachusetts, the colony banned heels and due to the overall negative PR, heel usage slowed down dramatically.

The French Revolution imposed the Napoleonic code of all equality in society and since heels were an indicator of the rich and powerful, they were soon disregarded in order to stay aligned with the new rules.

With the invention of the sewing machine and a resurgence in the interest in fashion in the 19th Century, heels came back in full swing, especially with Victorians. Women desired to have small feet and Victorian literature portrayed desirable women with slender feet. High heels gave the illusion of smaller feet and as a result, more women were wearing heels again. Victorian escort would wear heeled boots with buttons at the top and they would hold a red apple in their hand to indicate to potential clients that they were escorts.

The 20th century saw the revival of the stiletto with massive brand ambassadors waving the flag, such as Marilyn Monroe. From the 1940s, renown women from Hollywood were wearing heels and celebrating their femininity. There was a slight dip in popularity during the Great Depression but by the 1950’s, super brands like Roger Vivier and Christian Dior were redesigning the heels to show more skin on the feet and to taper the blade of the heel. Soon later, the platform heel was born and although feminists rejected the heel due to its trophy-like derogatory portrayal of women, the heel ironically became a symbol of independence and power for women; it depicted a sense of wealth, power and authority, especially if the said female could walk comfortably in them.

Do elite escorts love heels? It depends but the notion of heels being too alluring has proven to be true, with these types of shoes being banned in history several times in Europe. Should I tell you a secret? Ok then, many escort I have seen have a penchant for high Laboutins or Yves Saint Laurent Tribute heels but don’t always judge a book by its cover as you may be terribly wrong 😉

There is food for thought…


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