Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us
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Rachelle Bergstein brings readers along on a unique and delightful romp through the history of shoes, the women who wear them, and the profound impact they have on our lives.
Women from the Ankle Down includes interviews and cameos with influential figures ranging from Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava to Oscar Award–winning costume designer Patrizia van Brandenstein, from Doc Martens historian Martin Roach to Fashion Institute of Technology museum director Valerie Steele; from Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda to Salvador Ferragamo and Christian Dior; from Judy Garland to Wonder Woman.
response, shoemakers created taller boots to protect the stockings from errant spokes and mud. Feeling liberated, some women even swapped skirts for loose-fitting pants called bloomers—still, if a woman was caught in bloomers and not in the company of her bicycle, then she very likely would be sent home to change. More than a decade later, when the economic pressures of World War I caused hemlines to hike up higher still—shorter skirts required less fabric—shoemakers again followed suit, with
transit strike: businesswomen in skirt suits, nude stockings, and white athletic shoes marching through the streets. And yet, separate from the industrious city dwellers who rode bicycles, scooters, mopeds, and roller skates in lieu of the subway, were the class of people for whom the strike was simply a minor annoyance, a drain in the budget as they shelled out for private cars and taxicabs. In order to keep traffic under control, Mayor Ed Koch enforced a strict carpool rule whereby police
else—was making shoes wrong. It was indisputable. Except now, he was the only one who knew how to fix it. Like his mentors, Salvatore had been laboring under the false impression that the foot should be measured while flat. This led to shoes that supported the ball and the heel—which seemed to make sense, given that the arch never touches the ground. But what Salvatore realized—to his utter astonishment—was that walking barefoot, and walking in shoes, are physically two different functions. In
West Coast–bred, head-in-the-sand high schoolers was very clearly tongue-in-cheek, it whetted an appetite for massages, fancy cars, and shopping, after dark years when the only thing more culturally tone-deaf than flashing a platinum American Express card was to use it to buy a Huey Lewis album. Soon, gone were the days when a show like My So-Called Life would give each character a “closet” so that they could mimic the normal experience of owning a limited number of clothes. Once again, teens
dolly birds, 96, 96n Donen, Stanley, 89–90 “Don’t Speak” (song), 193 Double Indemnity (film), 56–58, 56n, 59 Dress for Success (Molloy), 154 Dumont, Tom, 192, 193 Durbin, Deanna, 24–26 80%20, 232, 236 Elkouby, David, 222–23, 224 Ellis, Perry, 190 “Elves and the Shoemaker, The” (fairy tale), 203 Ephron, Nora, 125 Epstein, Brian, 139 Erlandson, Eric, 197 Esquire magazine, 42–43, 125 fairy tales, 33–37, 203, 224, 228 fashion. See specific decades Fast Times at Ridgemont High (film),