Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italy. Show all posts

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fashion 101: History of High Heels

High Heels have a long history of adoration. Fashion has showcased an array of creativity for these feet adornments over the centuries...but where did they come from? Rumor has it that King Louis XIV was the man (that's right) that started the trend... but that's not entirely true.
"I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!"
~Marilyn Monroe 

 {merci weheartit}

High heels actually began their story with the Chopine dating as far back as 1000 BC Egypt! They reached as high as 20" at times and required servants to help the socialites walk around! These shoes were prohibited in Venice...but that didn't stop their fans. Catherine de Medici in Paris in the 16th Century was the first to have heels designed for her (she was rather short) where the heel elevated higher than the toe.

{merci Figlia}

Always a sex symbol, the English Parliament punished women (as witches) all who used high heels to seduce a man into marriage (oh la la)! But by the early 1700's they became necessity fashion in the royal courts, and leading the trend, King Louis XIV had many ornate high heels embellished with miniature battle scenes (very manly).
Heels reached as high as 5"...just as long as no one's were higher than the king's (complex much??).

By 1791 the man with the ultimate Short Man Complex banned heels with the French Revolution...yes Napoleon did that ladies. The ban was an attempt to show "equality"...yeah. High heel history stops for a bit as politics catches up.

{merci Goddiva Blog}

High heels were back in business in the 1860s when the invention of the sewing machine lent a whole new variety of design. The French high heel fashion continued to be the trend setter. By the 1920s high heels came in a variety of widths, heights and styles. This was a turning point for shoe history because the shorter style Flapper dresses now allowed shoes to become accessories to an outfit rather than a hidden undergarment. The T-Strap heel was a very popular style. In the 1930s American footwear began making its mark, as the glittery Hollywood heels of Ginger Rogers began to influence footwear!

Post war, 1953, Christian Dior collaborated with designer Roger Vivier to create a curved feminine high heel to compliment the curve of his clothing line. This was the first stiletto ladies...not quite the provocative versions of today, but controversial then nonetheless. The term stiletto, Italian for small dagger, was appropriately coined.

{Merci oocities}

The Women's Movement of the 1960s brought heels low to "Liberate the captive foot of womanhood" but as the 1970s approached the Hippie culture embraced platforms as style, as their concerns became anxiety about the world's future rather than footwear. 

In the Women's Movement of the 1980s the high heel becomes a symbol of power. From there, high heel history is well...history. In the 1990s specific footwear designers begin to have fame such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. Television shows such as Sex and the City, showcasing Carrie Bradshaw's ever committed relationship to her shoes catapult high heels to cult status and continues today.

What are your favorite high heels mes cheries?

Thank you Mysexyhiheels and Simone le Blanc for the fashion history knowledge. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lipstick & Loveliness

Eternal beauty. Sophia Loren was one of those iconic women of our time that just exuded beauty from her very core. I happen to love shots of women putting on lipstick, hers as no exception, and for some reason I think it feels old fashioned and lady like. I am definitely a lip stick woman, give me my matte Garnet Laura Mercier anyday over the glossy hair-magnet counterpart.

{merci WeHeartIt!}

Find your inner Sophia Loren today darlings!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fashion 101: LBD

"You can wear black at any time, you can wear it at any age. You can wear it on almost any occasion. A 'little black frock' is essential to a woman's wardrobe. I could write a book about black." ~ Christian Dior


That jaw dropping Little Black Dress has been done a million and one ways over the centuries, and it somehow never goes out of style. But where did it really come from? What catapulted it to stardom? Well mes cheries, any Miley or Gaga can strut her strut her stuff in Versace's latest invention, but to be a truly schooled fashionista, one must know her history. Besides, what is more satisfying than leaving someone speechless who misjudged you as a brainless ditz with a credit card? Put those nay-sayers in their place darlings, fashion is a power house industry and deserves the respect of a full education. So class, sit down and take notes.

Along with the Renaissance, Italy also birthed black as a fashion statement. Seen as far back as 1473 in the triptych by Jean de Witte, featuring a young woman in a lavish velvet gown with an intense scarlet ribbon. Although, the Spaniards are the reason for the initial mass appeal, as black dye was expensive, it became the color of the Spanish Royalty almost exclusively throughout the 16th century.


Fading in and out of style, black had predominantly declined in the 17th & 18th centuries. The first half of the 19th century, black paved its way as the fashionable color for men, who wore it in the English Style assimilated with merchants and businessmen. By the latter half of the century it became a fashion statement for wealthy women as well. But black was cemented in wardrobe after Sargent painted the Portrait of Madame X, causing a scandal in Paris and emerging it as the color of seduction.


The American Vogue of October, 1926 would forever change the game as it unveiled photos of Coco Chanel's "little black dress" that they described as "The Chanel 'Ford' - The frock that all will wear." Chanel had done much experimenting with black garb, but this piece debuted at a time when the world needed simplicity and craved a break from the extravagant canvases of her competitor Paul Poiret.


Then Hollywood quickly climbed on board, with many starlettes featuring stunning black gowns that were crucial to their characters' role. Christian Dior became infatuated with this idea of minimalist beauty as he began bringing these desires of Hollywood to the runway and then trickling it down to the women who walked the streets. "I have no wish to deprive fashion of the added allure and charm of color, but I could perfectly well design a whole collection simply in black or white. Color cannot transform a failure of a dress into a success; it merely plays a supporting role in the cast where cut is the star performer." (Christian Dior). Continuing the phenomenon, in 1961 Hubert de Givenchy made that very rare and pure movie magic moment with Audrey Hepburn's iconic ensemble in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and women everywhere have never been the same.


After a minor decline in the 60s, Yves Saint Laurent brought back black in steel force through the 70s and set his name in the history books. Through the next couple decades fashion wavered between whether it found black elegantly sexy or a punk statement toward anarchy. Powerhouse designer Vivienne Westwood created bridges for the fashion-antifashion opposing crowds and was the first to successfully change the industry toward an edgy, goth direction. Gianni Versace made his mark with a gift to blend the hard elements of the punk movement with the timeless seductiveness that we all know and love, and Karl Lagerfeld found a way to bring Chanel into the 21st century. With every turn of the season, designers left and right find new ways to amaze us, and somehow black is still not boring.

Check it out for more awesome info darlings!


I wonder what the next
la mode en noire holds mes cheries?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All Roads Lead to Rome

The craziest thing is to visit a place where you stop to rest, look down, and realize you are sitting on a piece of an ancient column that could possibly date back to 300 BC or later! This is Rome darlings, once the greatest empire in the world. Starting with just one city, the Roman Empire eventually spread across the whole of Northern Africa, and all the way up to England and everything in between. We can thank Rome for concrete, domes, arches, glass blowing and even wine and oil presses!

Many ruins throughout the city left you wondering what great things they had seen.
What untold stories could they tell of love, country, war, and lessons learned?

The Pantheon as well as the many sculptures around town
made your whole experience a dream.

I loved that this was just a foot, I wonder what the original sculpture was? Either way good feet were much needed to mount all the stairs at the Spanish Steps. Not to mention dance on them, another thing to check off my Bucket List. Its funny how most of my list involves travel...?

The Trevi Fountain was my favorite. You throw in 1 coin for A Return Trip to Rome, 2 coins for a Great Romance, and 3 coins for a Great Romance...and I must attest that it totally worked! The last 2 at least!

The Colosseum was my surreal moment of the trip where I thought, OMG I'm in Rome!
It was sobering to think of how many people were killed on the ground I stood.

Thank you for joining me in Roma darlings! I hope you enjoyed your stay and get to go for real, real soon. Italy is a magical place that will sweep you away with beauty, embrace you with family, and fill you with incredible food and wine.

Salute darlings!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vatican City Darlings

My whirlwind trip of Italy would not have been complete without Rome and the Vatican! Rome is still to come, but please enjoy your trip to the Vatican City today mes cheries. It is an independent country complete with its own flag, national guards and everything.

St. Peter's Square, taken from the stage where the Pope gives his speeches.

After having a Pope that was an art enthusiast, the Vatican has been home to many great pieces of art like Laoco├Ân and His Sons over the centuries. Some of the most famous works of course created by Michaelangelo.

Most moving moment in Italy was this: Michaelangelo's Pieta. With the first two being in Paris, this rounded off my trips to see all three of my favorite sculptures. St. Peter's Basilica was in incredible, housing Bernini's Alter and the Chair of St. Peter along with an unending array of mosaic artwork, it easily takes the cake as my favorite Basilica.

The Sistine Chapel was an incredible experience. I was overwhelmed with the vast details that went into every story and scene depicted. Interesting fact: Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in his 30's and was not commissioned until his 60's to paint the Last Judgement on the front wall.

Have you seen the Vatican City mes cheries?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grazie Firenze

Introducing Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and officially my favorite city on my Italian vacation. Enjoy your own tour of Firenze and let yourself dream a little at your office desk today darlings.

Famous for Brunelleschi's Duomo and it definitely doesn't leave you in want of anything. The city centers around it and is easily accessible to anything on foot. The Duomo is interesting to climb, when you reach the stairs for of the actual dome you quickly learn that it is a dome inside a dome and the stairs you mount lie in the center of the drum! This is easily the most awkward monument staircase I've climbed. You feel like you are climbing straight up a wall because its so steep, but totally worth the climb. If you ever visit Florence, don't leave unless you climb the Duomo!

Florence is known for its influence on the Renaissance, and this spirit is still very much alive in the city. Beautiful sculptures and inspirational artwork are all around the city. From sidewalk art to Michaelangelo's David your eyes never have a break from beauty.

Florence is known for its leather and gold. You get a great selection of these goods in the open air market leading up to the town center, but if you want the good stuff you go to the actual manufacturer store. Your purchase will be certified and warrantied. I only got a small trinket, but its such a cute coin purse that I was still excited. And every leather purchase includes a free gold gilding of your initials!

Whether you are walking the streets, people watching on church steps, or chatting with fellow patrons at a local pizzeria you will just love the contagious zest that Florence has in abundance. Italy was a fantastic trip that I truly did not want to end, but as vacations tend to do that, I know I will be inevitably be returning because this land is magnetic.

Do you have Firenze Fever mes cheries?

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