Shoes much like clothes have long been a necessity and as a result, the two seamlessly go hand in hand. Rarely will you find someone wearing one without the other. So naturally, my Love of Frock extends to the issue of footwear. After all, everyone knows that the right outfit can easily be ruined by the wrong pair of shoes. Women from the Ankle Down The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us, written by Rachelle Bergstein, annotates a historical and cultural view of the modern shoe and its relationship with women. The paperback is colorfully illustrated with stories of Hollywood cinema, comic book super heroines, and a host of famous cobblers.
Bergstein writes that throughout the years, several styles have gone in and out of vogue with changes attributed to several different factors. Shoes alone can have the power to represent a women's economic state, sex appeal or social status. For example, the practice of Chinese foot binding "was a mark of distinction for women of a certain class." Unpractical shoes that offered limited mobility meant you were not confined to manual labor and were of a certain means. Despite Women from the Ankle Down focusing mostly on women, the fascination with shoes is not exclusive to the female sex. Male rock stars have long been known to sport a platform and men of Louis XIV's court often wore high heels painted red to denote their prominence.
It makes no sense to invest in quality clothing, but not quality shoes. We spend a considerable amount of time using our feet to move from place to place, so it is only logical to take great care of your feet as well as your footwear. Undoubtedly, this paperback will come to mind the next time I am justifying which new pair of shoes will come home with me.
PHOTO BY AMS