Wednesday, September 7, 2011

History of soles



The human obsession with shoes dates back to the first time some cave man strapped pieces of dead animal to his foot and tied it on, forever changing the human foot. Sure, the first shoes probably weren't very pretty, but neither are gym shoes and people wear the heck out of those. 

I came across a link to a National Geographic article called "The Joy of Shoes" that DNA Footwear linked to. This amazing article chronicles the history of a few different kinds of shoes, interviews the master of shoes, Manolo Blahnik, and shows that shoes really can be a window into the soul (sole?) of humanity. 

A chopine required having servants help you walk.
Shoes are everything. From identifying social status to bronzed baby shoes of the deceased and the war that brought us floor ruining stilettos, shoes define us and can define a generation or culture. No wonder women are so obsessed with them. Not only are shoes wearable art, they are wearable history. You are actually walking through life, making history in something that is identified as a piece of history. 

My only criticism is that I wish the article were longer. I wish there were more pictures. I wish I could sit down and have a martini with Manolo and discuss why I love his mink rosettes and talk with fetish boot maker Natasha Marro about what exactly defines a fetish boot (as opposed to just a hot looking boot) and have a coffee with June Swann, keeper of the Boot and shoe collection at the Northampton Museum in England. 

I also need to go to Northampton and see the Boot and Shoe Collection.  Shoes are art. Shoes are history. Shoes are a way to define ourselves and our lives. Maybe that means I can turn my closet into a museum. 

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