“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot” Marilyn Monroe

Women are sub-consciously educated on the power of the stiletto from an early age, from teetering in their mother’s oversized heels to innocently watching Disney’s Cinderella. Young girls are continually reminded of the shoes significance and adolescent girls from far and wide dream of slipping their foot into that perfect glass slipper, symbolising the start of their princess fairy-tale. As women the stiletto’s connotations have evolved, the historical high heel is now symbolic of the elegant, powerful, sexy new woman.

In order to appreciate the stilettos iconic status in the fashion archives we must first trace it back to its origins. Though hard to believe the humble stiletto dates as far back as the Renaissance period, when the first high heels were reportedly invented. It is thought that the legendary footwear derived from chopines, high-heeled platforms of the period made famous by wealthy aristocrats. The literally staggering creations, that peaked at an unbelievable twenty inches, were originally created to protect the gowns of wealthier citizens but soon became ridiculous status symbols among the prosperous.

Centuries later the stiletto was thrust firmly back in the spotlight thanks to Roger Vivier in the 1950’s. The Italian designer re-invented the high heel to accompany a new clothing line created by Christian Dior, recognising that the tired wartime fashions of days past were in desperate need of a feminine revamp. By the 1960’s the seductive stiletto had become a fashion sensation, marking its symbolic territory in the style archives of our time.

Nowadays the stylish stiletto is one of the most iconic pieces of fashion history. In some ways the high heel has taken on its own status; take Sex and the City for example, for Carrie the stiletto represents so much more than a mere foot protector! From Jimmy Choo’s to Manolo’s the fabulous stilettos are in essence part of her DNA, her makeup, indicative of Carrie’s style, personality and prowess.

Slipping your foot into a stiletto emits a feeling like no other, seductively expressing the iconic accessories truly timeless charm. Without a shadow of a doubt the stiletto has become a timeless fashion staple which can never be replaced, the unique sensation of donning your favourite pair of Louboutin’s is a treasured past time which will quite frankly never go out of fashion!

Jenna Jones

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