100 Years of Fashion: Women ★ Glam.com
Trend Timeline: The definitive history of shoes
It’s #ShoesFirst month at Marie Claire and to celebrate, we’re charting some of the most influential and iconic design developments in footwear history.
It’s #ShoesFirst month at Marie Claire and to celebrate, we’re charting some of the most influential and iconic design developments in footwear history. From gladiator sandals to UGG boots, wellies to brogues, we’re investigating where some of our favourite styles originated…
Roman Military Sandals
Let’s start with the gladiators shall we? Because we could have gonewayfurther back and kicked off our list with some flimsy Egyptian papyrus sock, but cage shoes were the first style that really made it onto the eternal fashion map. Gladiator flats and mega strap heels are still rocking the catwalks today and have been worn by everyone from Kate Moss to Sienna Miller over the years. We bet that’sexactlywhere the Romans saw their military footwear designs ending up.
(Image: Gladiators at Chloe’s 2015 fashion show)
Chinese Foot Binding
Chinese foot binding, which began in the year 960, was the torturous process of tightly wrapping a young girl’s feet to prevent them from growing, demonstrating that she was good marriage material. Finally banned in around 1910, examples of the tiny, disabling shoes are currently on display at the V&A in their Shoes: Pleasure And Pain exhibition.
(Image: Example of ancient foot binding shoes)
18th Century Fancy Footwear
Rich women didn’t get out much in the 1700s, and their boudoir mules were usually made from fine silks and delicate embroideries, which needed a leather over-shoe, or patten, over the top if ever they did venture outside. Manolo Blahnik recreated the ultimate 18th Century style setter, Marie Antoinette’s, stunning shoe wardrobe for Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst’s movie about the French queen of decadence in 2006.
(Image: Manolo Blahnik’s collection for ‘Marie Antoinette’, 2006)
It’s the Duke Of Wellington versus Kate Moss on this one. Who should we really credit with the popularisation of wellies? Sure, the Duke commissioned the first pair in his name back in 1817, but when Kate Moss wore a pair of Hunters to Glastonbury in 2006, the practical choice really hit the festival fashion map.
(Image: Kate Moss at Glastonbury, 2006)
It wasn’t until 1830 that left and right shoes were invented. Honestly! Yes, it was a French shoemaker who first spotted that our right and left feet are different shapes and literally bended the tradition of straight sole moulds to benefit all of us forever more.
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