Why was I wearing a corset on a school night? (Shoe Challenge 32 of 105: Fredericks of Hollywood Steel Heel Stilettos)

More steel heels - metal heeled black stilettos by Fredericks of Hollywood

Up until about 2002 I had a fairly good uptodate selection of books about shoes and the theory of shoe design.

Since 2002 I have sadly missed quite a few key publications.

From 2005:

Shoes: The Complete Sourcebook| Thames & Hudson 2005

From 2007:

The Seductive Shoes: Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear by Jonathon Walford 2007

From 2009:

Fifty Shoes That Changed the World: Design Museum 2009

From 2010:

Shoes A-Z: Designers, Brands, Manufacturers and Retailers by Jonathan Walford 2010

and most recently, from 2011:

Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers by Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil 2011.

I briefly met Peter McNeil this week while waiting in line at the Powerhouse in Sydney to get into a Sydney Design 2011 lecture with our mutual shoegal pal Soshoemi. He was not impressed that I had not yet read his book (sorry Peter).

Soshoemi has recently moved to Sydney for work and managed to score two tickets to listen to Valerie Steele. She wore an elegant Paul Smith shift dress and jacket with her Manolo Blahnik investment power heels.

Soshoemi's Manolo Blahnilks

Ms Steele is a fashion historian and a prolific writer who is currently in Australia to discuss the relationship between art and fashion which is the title of her new book. She is the author of a number fashion treatises including one of my style Bibles – Shoes: A Lexicon of Style (1999). It is a book full of footwear that makes me ache with longing:

The Scary Platform Chopine Style Sandals with Laces

Rocco Barocco platform lace up sandals - page 92 - Shoes: A Lexicon of Style

The spiky barbed wire Todd Oldham sandals

Todd Oldham's Barbed Wire Sandals

and last, but not least those sublime Tom Ford for Gucci Steel heeled stilettos that I blogged about here

Tom Ford for Gucci - Metal Heel Stilettos

Bearing in mind that Ms Steele has written about shoes, fetish fashion and the history of corsets it was pretty much a moral certainty that I was going to wear steel heels and a corset.

Black & White Silk vintage Shirt by MaxMara via eBay | Vollers Satin Underbust Corset http://www.vollers-corsets.com/corset/underbust-corset-v1918ul/ |Black wide leg trousers by Zac Posen for Target| Steel Heel Stilettos by Fredericks of Hollywood

As far as I could see, Soshoemi and I were the only ones wearing high heeled shoes. Fashion academics don’t dress up to go out, apparently. Either that or high heels are no longer in fashion like nude shoes or prosthetic shoes as Maggie Alderson calls them. Since I have about another 60 odd pairs of high heels to get through, I think that I will be bucking the trend.

11 thoughts on “Why was I wearing a corset on a school night? (Shoe Challenge 32 of 105: Fredericks of Hollywood Steel Heel Stilettos)

  1. The sheer shirt and the corset are soooooo stylish. I know a girl who dresses just like that. 😉

    Lovely to read happy posts!

    • I didn’t even get round to sticking my eyes back in my head after helping you unpack your shoe collection. If you bring out the books I might never leave – that spot on your balcony looks like a good place to curl up with shoe books.

  2. I loved the shoes! And the corset! You look fabulous, really! I was just a bit shocked that going to such an event, other people didn’t wear high heel shoes??!! Anyway, whatever makes people comfortable, fine!
    The selection of books is great too, I also love to read about shoes, and the event you went sounded great – art and fashion. After all, as much as (some) people say fashion is superficial, very nice that others have another idea – it’s a cultural thing, and also pretty much art!

    • Shoes can be art or utilitarian. As much as possible I try to get the ones that are beautiful – whenever I have slipped and bought shoes for solely functional purposes I am never happy with the result.

      There is probably a whole blog meme among the Shoe Challengettes – shoes as art. Tali has some really sculptural pieces – those Kurt Geiger Bibendum platform shoes that you have just written about (9 August 2011) are quite exquisite. The Abigail Irregular Choice Ankle boots that you are wearing today are a great example of the ‘shoe as art’ genre too.

  3. Pitgat, I absolutely agree with you about shoes being cultural and art as much as about fashion. Shoes aren’t my personal thing, but that’s by the by.

  4. You looked cool. I love the laced up sandals and the barbed wire sandals.

    As for heels not being in fashion – what a load of poo. High heels are always hot!

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