Shoes! How I love shoes. What is it about shoes that makes a woman desire them so?
According to Psychology Tomorrow Magazine, “a great pair of shoes instantly changes our mood for the better. Putting on high heels lengthens our shape, changes the curve of our posture and that physical change can evoke an inner feeling of confidence and sexiness like putting on a smile can make us feel happy. We are suddenly, taller, thinner and shapelier. A pair of stilettos pushes that all out even further. Also, according to co-curator Dr. Valerie Steele, “They’re an intimate extension of the body and seem to say so much about our attitudes, aesthetics, sexuality and social status.” That’s good enough for me.
My first foray into designer shoes was when I purchased my first pair of Charles Jourdan shoes back in 1975. Black suede with gold & silver leather trim, and the highest heels I ever wore, a full 4” (not quite) stiletto heels. These shoes made me tall and feel tall. At my full height I was 5’7’’. With these babies I was 5’11”. A model’s height, for sure. Were they hard to walk in? You bet!
Here’s a bit of history about the man. Charles Jourdan (1883 – 1976) was a French fashion designer known best for his designs of women's shoes starting in 1919. In the 1930s, Jourdan was the first shoe designer to place advertisements in the high-end fashion magazines, which helped to identify his name as an haute couture house. In 1975 ready-to-wear clothing and handbags were added to the Jourdan line, although the company has remained best known for its shoes. I was fortunate too own two pairs; the black ones and these pink ones.
Though these photographs do absolutely no justice to the luscious pale-pink shade of these shoes, the mere style and cut tell you that they were special shoes, indeed! I felt like a princess wearing them.
Then a dear friend of mine, Donna, introduced me to shoes made by Maud Frizon. Donna insisted that I will never again feel such a comfortable shoe. But the price! I knew I couldn’t afford them, but if I charged them and pay them off as quickly as I could, maybe I would feel less guilty bbout buying them. And so I did.
Here’s a bit of history about the her: Maud Frizon de Marco was born in 1941 in Paris, France. She is a fashion designer specializing in women's shoes. She began her career in the 1960s as a model for Parisian Haute Couture Houses of Nina Ricci, Jean Patou, and André Courrèges. At the time models had to provide their own shoes to match the clothes designers assigned them for their runway shows and photo-shoots. Frizon disliked the available shoes from other designers, and in 1969 elected to create her own and opened her first boutique in the St. Germain des Pres district of Paris.
Many years ago, I was a fashion model in Chicago. I did runway, print work and conventions. Since this post is about vintage shoes (sometime I feel vintage) here is a picture from my model's book of some photographer's artistic concept for an ad for a shoe. I can't quite remember the whole story except the gum was hard to get off my foot. Go Figure. And I dared not put my Maude Frizon shoe back on with gum on my heel.
I had many shoes come and go in my life. Many I regret giving away. I even sold some of them at a fine boutique that carried designer goods. Though I did not recoup any percentage that was worth the effort to sell them, at least I knew they were going to someone who appreciated good shoes.
In My Family Museum, I have displayed my Charles Jourdan Black Suede shoes. The vintage suit jacket I will talk about later. I remember wearing these shoes when I worked in a Fines Arts Gallery. Though it was a part-time job, I was on my feet the entire time, but for some reason, they did not hurt. I guess that is the best testament one can give a pair of stiletto heels. The thing I loved the most about these shoes was when I stood next to my 6’2” husband, I was just about eye-to-eye with him. What a powerful feeling.
Now, some 40 years later, I, like Cinderella’s step-sisters, can no longer slip my foot into these shoes. But because they are special to me and the memories are too good to forget, I keep the Maude & Charles shoes in their boxes. Perhaps someday, I will give them away. But you can be sure it will be to someone who loves shoes!
I loved my white vinyl boots. Especially when I wore them with hot pants or short skirts. Here are a couple of modeling shots wearing my boots.
Life is like shoes . . . if they fit right and good, they will take you any place you want to go. For more about why women love shoes, visit this website.
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