How Not to Teeter Totter on Heels

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One way to learn how to balance and walk in your high heels is to take a “Stiletto Workout Class”. No guff.  In three-inch heels, you tighten your tummy, do kicks and squats, lift weights and perform ballet moves.  Nicole Demaris started these classes after observing women wobble all over New York City streets.

As the New York Times writer Hilary Howard’s husband balked, “You’re going to a stiletto class? That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.”  But off to this workout class she went, right after she bought her first pair of very high heels! She claims she wasn’t sure what stilettos were, wondering if they were “those spindly things worn by fancy women who disappear rapidly into taxis?”

A stiletto workout?  After her first and last class, Hilary said, “It can be done”.  Check out studios around New York City. (ndgfit.com)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/nyregion/stiletto-workout-invented-by-nicole-damaris.html?_r=0

The Well-Heeled Heritage of Stilettos

“One of the best ways of damning a woman is saying she wears practical shoes,” said Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum. ‘On a Pedestal,’ a museum exhibit, examined two of the most extreme forms of Western footwear, the chopine and its successor, the high heel.

The sex appeal of the clunky chopine may not be immediately apparent, but it embodies the same ideals a pair of six-inch Louboutins do today, a simultaneous sense of power and that stalwart of femininity: impracticality. No sensible shoes here

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2010/09/10/think_stilettos_are_hazardous_check_out_these_heels.html

Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum’s exhibition “On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels” ran from November 19, 2009 to September 20, 2010.

(pictured below) Venetian chopines, 16th century, on loan from Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, Italy

The tallest chopines come from Venice. Some, such as this pair, have pedestals measuring over 50 cm in height. These chopines corroborate the visual and textual evidence suggesting that some women actually wore chopines of such towering heights. This pair has been conserved for this exhibition but will not be allowed to travel again. This pair has been conserved for this exhibition but will not be allowed to travel again.   Photograph © Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

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(pictured below) Milanese chopines, 16th century, on loan from Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy

These chopines are typically Italian in design. Their bases are of carved pine, tapering in the middle and flaring at the base to provide greater stability and are covered in white kid. The uppers are decorated with cutwork in patterns reminiscent of lace from the same period.  Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Applicata – Castello Sforzesco, Milan. All rights reserved

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http://batashoemuseum.ca/exhibitions/on_a_pedestal/index.shtml

“Time wounds all heels.” (From the Cabaret called ‘Shoes’)

The Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, hosted the world premiere of ‘Shoes’ in 2010. This quirky cabaret explored Choos, Louboutins and Crocs through song and dance. Richard Thomas, the man behind Jerry Springer – The Opera, composed the music. Stephen Mear, the Tony- and Laurence Olivier-award winner choreographed.

Twelve dancers performed in more than 250 pairs of shoes including flip-flops, sparkly platforms, Ugg boots as well as outsize footwear – flippers, clown shoes, and skis. The multilevel set had the band sitting atop a giant stiletto, where some entrances were made by sliding down its insole.

Tongue in cheek: there is much irony surrounding our affection for shoes.

 Sources:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/shoes-on-parade-in-london/article1379072/

www.sadlerswells.com/show/shoes

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2010/sep/08/shoes-review