History of High Heels
How did these eye catching, leg enhancing magic foot covers come to be? What exactly are stilettos?
Where did stilettoes come from and why do we think they are so sexy?
High heeled shoes in general have gone through several phases during the course of history.
First, they served as an item of high status that portrayed wealth.
Let's face it; high heels are not very practical when it comes to plowing the field or scrubbing the floor.
Since upper class wealthy people didn't partake in these lowly chores, they could wear high heels without ruining them and they could also afford them.
Lower class people often could not afford shoes at all not to mention shoes that were not practical for doing work.
However, as time went on high heels slowly became accepted by the lower class citizens of both sexes which led to them eventually becoming a female fashion item.
How did we go from high heels of yesteryear to the present day stilettos?
Not Your Average Glass Slipper
The first appearance of these thin high heeled women's shoes can be traced to the late 19th and early 20th century.
This is illustrated in numerous fetish drawings of the period.
Courtesans wore them to be fashionable.
But over time stiletto heels became known more for their erotic nature than for their ability to increase height.
Some women started wearing them more as a symbol of sex and femininity.
Further evidence of their existence came in 1940s when photographers captured images of tall, thin heeled shoes deigned by famous French shoe designer Andre Perugia and worn by singer Parisian singer Mistinguett.
Fast forward to 1950s Italy where French fashion designer Rover Vivier gave is the design of the stiletto that we know today.
From his brilliance came the first stiletto shoes in the world.
It was goodbye to thick wooden heels, and hello to thin and long metal rods that allowed women to put more emphasis on their body line by raising the heel which had a very positive effect on changing the form of women's bottoms, breasts and entire body line.
Not only was this controversial, stilettoes exploded onto the fashion scene and became an instant international hit. Women (and I am sure men) simply couldn't get enough of them.
If you look at stilettoes strictly as a fashion item, their popularity like all things fashion changed over time.
The first wave of fashion popularity in modern time was in the 1950s.
In the early 1960s they reached their most refined shape and the toes of the shoe were as slender and elongated as the stiletto heels themselves and stilettoes quickly slowly went out of style.
In 1974 the High Priest of Shoes, Manolo Blahnik launched his version of the stiletto on the world. Blahnik named his heel the Needle and they are perhaps his greatest fashion triumph.
Stilettos remained in regular use until 1990s and then, for a while business and college women mostly changed to high heeled shoes with blockier and larger heels.
The exciting news is in the early years of 21st century stilettoes made yet another comeback as business environments changed, enabling women to wear stilettoes into their working environment and now even with casual wear.
Today women often go for the skinny jean-stiletto combination.
Stilettos as a Fetish
Fetishism is when a person becomes sexually aroused from a physical object, or from a specific situation.
The object or situation that causes the sexual arousal is called a fetish.
Foot and shoe fetishes also go way back in history.
One example is Roman Senator Lucius Vebilius.
Even when he was serving Caesar, he kept his mistresses shoe with him at all times.
Legend has it he hid it under his toga in order to be in close proximity to smell and caress the shoe.
You'll even see high heel fetishes in movies and tv shows today.
Remember the Sex in the City episode where Charlotte lets a shoe salesman who has a foot and shoe fetish assist her with trying on shoes in exchange for free or low cost designer shoes?
Or Chris Elliot trying to steal Mary's shoes in the movie "There's Something About Mary."
These are just two examples of how stilettos as a fetish has become part of pop culture.
Whether that means you are a dominatrix wearing thigh high boots with stiletto heels, classic pumps with steel heels or the stiletto high heeled slipper with feathers, any or all of these items in your closet or on your person helps create a chic boudoir that is inviting and daring.