For someone who is used to walk everyday on high heels is not easy to fall off the shoes. It takes balance, full concentration and a lot of attention to where the feet are going. On high heels women cannot afford to be clumsy, or they will lose their “good impression”. High heels dictate a straight up posture and a very feminine coquetry attitude.
During the centuries, shoes gained more importance and became more visible as the skirts became shorter. They went from being simple strips of cloth to wrap around feet, so the feet wouldn’t have to touch the ground directly, to the leather sandals the Romans wore. There were shoes on stilts as high as 20” to get through rain and muddy streets and then there were heels from low to medium made of wood. Shoes with heels in the XVII Century were made of silk, brocade, embroideries and laces to be matched with the colored silk stocking.
Leather boots also came into fashion, high up to the knees and above. In the ’60s Mary Quant invented the forever young “mini skirt” and high boots became an adorable addition. I wore them both shamelessly.
Shoe heels also grew in height according to the forever changing fashion rules.
In Venice the red heel for both men and women was considered a very sexy element of the shoe and it was an “attention grabber”. Showing the red heel from underneath the dress meant looking for trouble!
Shoes are fetish, status symbols and the tradition of a nation. Some are real object d’art, some are impossible to wear (see the skeleton stiletto in my photo).
Their magical power is to turn the feet, a nonsexual part of the body, into a sexual excitement. That’s why we can’t never have enough of them in all colors and styles. In Italy, during my growing up, I had a new pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, generally brown, one new pair for Christmas in black for the elegant gatherings with family and friends and one pair of sandals for the Summer. Three pairs was all I had and they were supposed to last at least a couple of years. All the people I knew had the same custom or just about. Now, living in America, I cannot begin to count how many pairs of shoes I own and just like everybody else, I fell under their spell.
Growing up in Italy, I often accompanied my fancy young aunts in their shoes shopping. I remember the salesperson asking if they wanted two strings or three strings sandals. The merchandise in Italy was never and still isn’t exposed for the customers to reach, touch and try on. Salespeople are there to find what you are looking for, they are your gofer. Sandals with two strings were a best seller, more exposed the feet were the sexier they looked. To me, now living in America, it isn’t anymore a question of how many strings, it’s a question of how many pairs I can fit in the shopping cart and I like it ! Thanks for all the choices available to me.
We all have such an irrational obsession with shoes that we must plan the right space for them in our homes.
One of the relevant aspects of my profession as a designer is to know how people are going to use their container furniture from kitchen and bath cabinetries to closets. I must know all their habits in order to design their wellbeing and comfortable living.
How to make a morning dressing process less stressful and be able to choose the right shoes for the right outfit without stirring ourselves crazy?
Take a photograph of one shoe per pair, print it from your computer and stick it on each box of shoes. It will be easier to find and match them with the outfit. Shoes will be talking to you much easier, instead of you losing time finding them. A walking closet, of course is an ideal solution, where clothes and shoes can be displayed as your own shopping store. As an interior designer working in remodeling all kind of spaces, it is very important to me and to my clients to have an organizational team at our disposal. The team is made of professional organizers who know how to get us through an elimination process easily and painless, before we start any demolition and remodeling project. This is my precious added value to my customers.
A simple order is the foundation of all good things.
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Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is an interior designer, in business since 1990 and a former fashion designer. She helps people realizing their dream spaces in homes, offices, interiors and exteriors.Valentina is also a published author of two books:
and the author of a forthcoming book on the subject of ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors.