[Fashion History] Heels for “Juntos En La Mañana”

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.

[L to R] Griselle Mamery, Aisha Naomi

[L to R] Griselle Mamery, Aisha Naomi

Check out my latest fashion segment on  WAPA TV & WAPA America: [Dime que usas y te dire quien eres] ¿Cómo surgen los tacos?

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[Makeover] The Last of the Glamazons

In the last few days the media has gone into a frenzy because the most iconic woman in the world has gone through a monumental change. If your wondering who’s the bombshell keep in mind that she established the beauty standards of our younger generation of girls and women around the world over 50 years ago. If you still have no idea who I’m talking about, I’m referring to the one and only Barbie doll. It may sound silly and possibly frivolous, but this doll creates a huge impact on what beauty standards we imply to our daughters, sisters, nieces and children in general.

For the last 57 years Barbie hasn’t really had any major significant changes, but Mattel has been under fire for a few years for its anatomically inaccurate portrayal of a woman’s body. Lets be realistic, if these body standards were realistic all women would be standing at 6 feet tall, weigh 100 pounds with a 32 inch bust, 16 inch waist and 29 inch hips. Basically she would be falling over and completely unhealthy. Don’t get me wrong, every woman has a different constitution so whats healthy for one girl, varies to the next. But why should we subject our girls to only this standard of ‘beauty’. Why can’t we have her look like the curvy girl with the tattoos and colored hair or the petite girl with the glasses and beautiful smile?

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Since the times are changing, Mattel released various new models of what they are calling the ‘Fashionista Line’. These at the moment are only available online, but actually made me very curious of what were the different options they have to offer and if in reality they had the diversity, they said they would. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see that the had beautiful Tall, Curvy, Petite and of course original models. They’ve added a wider array of skin tones, greater variety of ethnicities, 18 additional eye colors, 18 hairstyles and colors.  The initiative of aiming for progress and not perfection is a wonderful step in the right direction for the acceptance of diversity and of positive body image. Let’s make all our girls feel beautiful, in reality they are with all of their exquisite imperfections.

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[Runway] Top 5 Menswear Shows F/W ’16

“Fashion reflects. It responds to its environment. Check the headlines, there’s darkness at the edge of town, and protection against that darkness is critical,” wrote Tim Blanks in London at the beginning of the Autumn/Winter 2016 menswear season. Indeed, designers’ pre-occupation with our troubled and uncertain times set the prevailing mood of the season.

The threat of widespread war, a global refugee crisis, a shaky global economy, the continued rise of religious extremism, increasing inequality and the spectre of ecological horrors — these strands of sadness and worry appeared in ways big and small on catwalks across London, Milan and Paris.

Largely, designers fell into two camps. There were those who offered protection, sometimes drawing on miltary themes. And there were others, who, like in 1930s Berlin, sought solace in pure escapism, which sometimes took a hyper-decorative even bacchanalian bent. Despite such a troubling context, a number of designers showed their prodigious skill, reflecting the times we live in with unfettered and powerful creativity.

 1. Raf Simons – designed by Raf Simons

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Raf Simons presentation stepped fearlessly through David Lynch’s nightmarish mirror of apple-pie Americana. Nightmares and Dreams he called it, and it was a brilliant, disturbing descent into a world where imperfections ruled, where youthful idealism had been literally destroyed, where the woods were dark and full of danger.

2. Dries Van Noten – designed by Dries Van Noten

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For his collections, Van Noten has the deep reservoir of his own past to draw on, and he revisited it persuasively. The oversized 1940s-style suits were a reminder that, of all the designers who ever drew inspiration from David Bowie, his fandom was the most convincing.

3. Alexander McQueen – designed by Sarah Burton

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Historicism, romance and science: these were always ingredients in the heady McQueen stew, and it was reassuring to see them make such a strong comeback after Spring’s irresolute offering. The silhouettes were clear and classic, with the incontrovertible masculine edge only a military influence can bring: suits single- and double-breasted suits, trenches, greatcoats, a regimental-red cadet’s jacket.There were plenty of darkly alluring flourishes, like the band of chiffon that edged a soft-shouldered coat, the tulle-shrouded moths embroidered tone on tone on a pinstripe suit, or the silver chain harness of crosses and pearls that anchored a white silk tunic.

4. Louis Vuitton  – designed by Kim Jones

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The collection had an undertow of dark allure, ably assisted by its lushly sombre colour palette and its striking casting. Many of the models looked like they could have been White Russian princelings in another life, washing up in Paris on a wave of revolution at home. They had clothes and accessories to match: dandy tailoring, languid jersey overcoats, and trench-coats belted with fur, ravishing shearlings, silver necklaces, and a whole history-book of Jade Jagger designed charms studding the silk scarves that wrapped their throats. Jones’ Paris was romantic, infused with the spirit of the artists, aesthetes and aristocrats in exile who fed the city’s creative fervour over the past century. The ghost of Cocteau hovered in the scribbles on silk shirts. The artful use of old trunk stamps as new branding was a reminder of the romance of travel that has always been LV’s calling card.

5. Ermenegildo Zegna – designed by Stefano Pilati

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Stefano Pilati’s signatures were on parade this season at Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. His knack for defusing formality, for instance, most obvious with the broken suit, but he’ll also attach a drawstring waist to a pair of pinstripe trousers. Playing with volumes, as with trousers whose bagginess was spotlighted by deep pleats. The Zegna mills showed form with muted but plush jacquards, woven in patterns that were reminiscent of mosaics and tapestries. They were carried over into the footwear, micro-perforated in swirling patterns. But at the same time, there’d be a quilted bomber in recycled polyester, a reminder of the house’s facility with fabric technology. Elegance is a constant.

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