A History from Sandals to Sneakers
What do your shoes say about you?
Shoes are now much more than just things to walk in. From kids on the block to models on the catwalk, we use them to signal how fashionable we are. But, beyond style, this most intimate object communicates much more . . . our sexual desires, aesthetic sense, social status and personality. And, before they became supreme objects of desire, shoes had a history. From ancient times to the present, shoes have had a cultural as well as a practical purpose.
Within these pages is pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about shoes - the tiny crushing shoes of China, the infamous chopine with its 23-inch heel, how dandies made men's shoes beautiful in the eighteenth century, and how the powers of conservatism made them dull again, war and the Wellington boot, sex and the high heel, the codes of the "gay shoe," shoes in fairytales and in art, the irresistible rise of the sneaker, and the cult of shoe designers.
Giorgio Riello is Associate Professor in Global History and Culture at the University of Warwick. He has widely published on fashion, textiles, product innovation and design in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is the author of A Foot in the Past (2006) and co-editor of several volumes including The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives (2010 with P. McNeil).
Peter McNeil is Professor of Design History in the School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney and Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies at Stockholm University. Recent publications include The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, and Fashion: Critical and Primary Sources, Renaissance to the Present Day (4 Vols. Berg, 2009).
Introduction. A Long Walk: Shoes, People and Places, Giorgio Riello (London School of Economics, UK) and Peter McNeil (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
STEP 1. A FOOT IN THE PAST
1. Beneath Their Shining Feet: Shoes and Sandals in Classical Greece, Sue Blundell (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)
2. Sumptuous Shoes: Making and Wearing in Medieval Italy, Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli (University of Bologna, Italy)
3. Courtly Lady or Courtesan? The Venetian Chopine in the Renaissance, Andrea Vianello (Saint Joseph's College, Maine, USA)
4. Walking the Streets of London and Paris in the Enlightenment, Peter McNeil and Giorgio Riello
5. War Wellingtons: Military Footwear in the Age of Empire, Alison Matthews David (Winchester School of Art and University of Southampton, UK)
6. The Perils of Choice: Women's Footwear in Nineteenth-Century America, Nancy Rexford (Independent scholar)
STEP 2. ENCOUNTERS AND CULTURAL INTERACTIONS
7. Purity, Pollution and Place in Traditional Japanese Footwear, Martha Chaiklin (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA)
8. Interrogating Africa's Past: Footwear Amongst the Yoruba, Tunde M. Akinwumi (University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
9. A Dream of Butterflies? Shoes in Chinese Culture, Paola Zamperini (Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA)
STEP 3. SHOES, BODIES AND IDENTITIES
10. Fashioning Masculinity: Men's Footwear and Modernity, Christopher Breward (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK)
11. A Delicate Balance: Women, Power and High Heels, Elizabeth Semmelhack (Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada)
12. Shoes and the Erotic Imagination, Valerie Steele (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, USA)
13. Sex and Sin: The Magic of Red Shoes, Hilary Davidson (University of Southampton, UK)
14. Beyond the Rainbow: Queer Shoes, Clare Lomas (London College of Fashion, UK), Peter McNeil and Sally Gray (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
STEP 4. REPRESENTATION AND SELF-PRESENTATION
15. Made in Italy: Ferragamo and Twentieth-Century Fashion, Stefania Ricci (Ferragamo Museum, Florence, Italy)
16. Style Through Design: Form and Function, Giovanni Luigi Fontana (University of Padua, Italy)
17. Sole Representation: Shoe Imagery and Twentieth-Century Art, Julia Pine (University of Carleton)
18. Limousines for the Feet: The Rhetoric of Trainers, Alison Gill (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
19. Conclusion. The Male Cinderella: Shoes, Genius and Fantasy, Peter McNeil and Giorgio Riello
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448pp, 210 colour illus
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|At last a work that deals not only with the history of footwear, but also with its cultural significance. This volume helps transform the shoe from a mundane object of everyday use into something of great social and psychological power.|