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Stiletto spells sex. Nothing else creates an erotically taut, arched foot or an overall come-hither silhouette quite like the stiletto heel.This exquisite book uncovers the compelling lure of the needle heel.
A highly charged symbol, the stiletto suggests a multitude of contradictions - it can be elegant, vulgar, submissive, aggressive, subversive, conventional. The stiletto is phallic but supremely female, it makes the wearer at once vulnerable and in control. Six decades have seen the stiletto in vogue around the world with an ever-changing, kaleidoscopic clientele of classic ladies, Hollywood stars, fetishists, punks, princesses, power- dressers, cross-dressers, A-list celebrities, and the girl next door. For the first time, Stiletto attempts to uncover the compelling lure of the needle heel.
Caroline Cox presents the various incarnations of the stiletto since its invention as a fantasy shoe brought to life by the flair and skill of shoemakers Vivier, Perugia, Ferragamo, and Jourdan in the early 1950s. Assertively modern, stilettos released women from the utilitarian wartime fashion of the 1940s, offering streamlined sophistication and glamour to women the world over. As the decade progressed the heel became saucier and higher, worn by starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. By the end of the 1950s the heel was being worn by "bad girls" and had become a weapon of female power. The 1970s took the stiletto's associations with sex and death and turned it into a fetish object, eulogized by artists Allen Jones and Eric Stanton. 1980s power dressers brought the stiletto back into the fashion arena, and today heels designed by Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Gina are the badge of celebrity status and fashion savvy.
This exciting new book by an international fashion authority presents the story of the stiletto for the first time, illustrated with new and vintage photography to explore the stiletto's long relationship with sex, power femininity, fashion, and fetishism.
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