Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Head Over Stiletto Heels

by Madelle Morgan

"I don't know who invented the high heel," said Marilyn Monroe, "but women owe him a lot."

The Bata Shoe Museum's collection in Toronto, Canada has some beautiful examples of designer shoes. I adore these jewel-studded heels from the 1920s.

Source: Bata Shoe Museum
Source: Bata Shoe Museum
In 1954, French designer Roger Vivier created the first stiletto shoes in the world for fashion icon Christian Dior. Vivier designed the golden pair above for Dior in the mid-1950s.

Roger Vivier was able to design these thanks to research during the Second World War that led to development of lightweight, high strength steel. This enabled thin heels to rise to new heights. A real stiletto heel has a stem of solid steel or alloy. Today many manufacturers use molded plastic reinforced with an internal metal tube.

How High are True High Heels?

In the fashion industry, low heels are 2.5 inches or less, mid-height heels are between 2.5 and 3.5 inches, while high heels are higher than 3.5 inches. A heel can be 10 inches or more if a platform sole is used.

Science Babe used Manolo Blahnik's shoes to help explain in this YouTube Video why a 5 inch heel is the highest possible to maintain stability.

What's Not to Like About Stilettos?

Floor Damage. Stiletto heels worn by a person who weighs as little as 100 pounds will dent a wood floor. The smaller the heel surface, the greater the pressure. When weight is concentrated on a tiny heel area, pressure on the floor is greater than under the foot of an elephant! Every step creates pockmarks in wood or carpet.

Pain. The height essentially requires a person to stand on tiptoe, elongating the legs. The chest is thrust forward and the butt back, exaggerating the normal curvature of the spine. Although heels create a sexy silhouette, the long term physical impact can include a sore back, bunions, and foot surgery. To avoid problems down the road, high heels should only be worn on special occasions.

But Women (and Men) Love Heels Anyway...

The 1950s and 1960s were the golden age of stilettos. American actress January Jones wore these vintage blue suede pumps while portraying Betty in the TV series Mad Men set in the 1960s.

Source: Bata Shoe Museum
There's been a revival in popularity of stilettos in the 21st century. At some point in her life who hasn't coveted a pair of Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik or Canadian John Fluevog designer heels? Christian Louboutin explains how he designs and makes his famous red-soled shoes in this fascinating YouTube video.

I stopped by his store in Toronto for a peek at the new line, but kept my purse closed. Alas, at my age my feet are staying flat on the ground. I envy the young women who can wear high heels.

Here's looking (up) at you, kid!


Rachel, a stand-in bridesmaid at a celebrity wedding, falls head over Christian Louboutin heels for Hollywood talent agent Mickey McNichol.

Caught on Camera is a romantic comedy/wedding romance with a playlist. Check it out at MadelleMorgan.com.

If you're looking for a funny, sweet (and slightly steamy) story that reads like a blockbuster Rom-Com, look no further! Caught on Camera is the book for you. You will love this story! LibraryThing.com review.

Madelle tweets and posts on the topics of writing & publishing, filmmaking, and the settings for her novels. Subscribe to her blog and follow her oTwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterest, and Wattpad.

1 comment:

Judith Ashley said...

I think the other problem with high heels including stillettoes is the damage to the ankles, knees and hips. The wearer may not have pain or not mind the pain when they are younger but being a fall risk because of the damage to the ankle when one is older?

I know there were a few years in my youth that I wore high heels (on the shorter side) but I've not been in anything fashionable for more decades than I want to remember. Yes, it does create a challenge that means I wear nothing that doesn't cover my ankles/tops of my shoes.

My goal is to be so entertaining no one looks down at my feet - lol.