High-heeled shoes are a type of footwear exclusively to women. However, history shows us that it wasn’t always so. Actually, these were worn by men in different historical periods. In addition, while today we use heels for aesthetic reasons in the past they were used because of their practicality. Although it is unclear where did the first heels came from, but it seems that they were first worn by actors in ancient Greece. These were called “kothornoi” and it was a type of shoe that was used around the second century BC. these were made with cork and wooden soles and were as high to 3 and 4 inches.
It is also said that during the Middle Ages in Europe, men and women used them due to the dirty and muddy streets, in that time period shoes were extremely delicate and expensive. To avoid damaging them, they wore heels.
A “chopine” was a type of footwear worn mostly by women and extremely popular in Venetian society during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Besides their practical uses, their height became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the “chopine”, the higher the status of the wearer. During the Renaissance, these became an essential piece in women’s fashion; some were over 20 inches high. They were not at all practical and easy to walk in, so they needed servants to help them maintain their balance.
Heeled shoes were also used for many centuries in the Middle East as footwear for soldiers. This helped them cling to their stirrups on their horses and they could shoot their arrows more accurately.
During the 1630s women wore short hair and epaulettes. They smoked pipes and wore hats that were very masculine in designs. For this reason women began to wear heels, it was an effort to masculinize their wardrobe. During this period, the European upper class adopted unisex style shoes until the end of the seventeenth century. At the end of the period a change began to occur in the style of heels. Men began using squared off, robust and lower heels, while women wore a much more slender and curved style.
During this period women were considered emotional, sentimental and with uneducated views. The began what was considered irrational fashion trends and high heels were now separated from its role in horsemanship and became a typical example of unpractical fashion; these were seen as silly and effeminate.
During the 1740’s until now men stopped using heels, but right after the French Revolution women had stopped wearing them also. Heels were used again by the mid-nineteenth century, when photography began to change the way fashion and women viewed themselves.
Check out my latest fashion segment on WAPA TV & WAPA America: [Dime que usas y te dire quien eres] ¿Cómo surgen los tacos?
The best part of working as a stylist is that no project is similar to the next. Being constantly faced with projects that are challenging and have specific needs to fit every client are part of the job. This time I had the arduous, but fun task to work with children and turn them into senior citizens. Not any type of elderly, but typical Puerto Rican seniors. I had to jump at the chance to excel at this job and began to do my research.
Finding the wardrobe for this job was no easy task. Looking for items that were legitimately a child version of adult clothing is much harder than it seems. Having in mind that there are no specialty stores locally that carry this sort of merchandise or wardrobe, that meant that the scavenger hunt was only beginning.
From frocks, knitted sweaters, to suits and typical “guayaberas”, loafers and heels it took a while to collect all these items and create looks to suitable for this campaign. After finally working on the wardrobe for this gig for over a week, the day of the shoot was here! I was a bit predisposed to the idea that the children would tire easily and would make this a much longer process than needed, it turned out that in half a day we were done.
We were able to shoot the campaign, grab video footage and have a blast with these cute underage seniors. The production team had everything on point and conducted everything on a timely manner. The makeup artist did a fantastic job with the wigs and theater makeup and the final result was epic. Our client was extremely happy with the end result and I was too.
Check out the campaign for Oriental Bank: “Todo El Mundo Envejece. Prepárate.”