Today's Feature Friday focuses on the one accessory every woman has in her closet: a pair of high heels.
As it turns out, the high heel wasn't actually invented as much as it "evolved" thanks to Venetian prostitutes, British Queens, and French designers.
The origin of high heels is debated. Some believe they either evolved from chopines or arrived from men's equestrian footwear in the Near East.
The first documented wearer of European high heels is Queen Elizabeth I. She was painted wearing a pair, and in “Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d,” clothing historian Janet Arnold includes a list of the queen’s clothes from 1595, with “a payre of spanyshe lether shoes with highe heels and arches.”
Early shoes, like the ones pictured below, often used straps called “latchets” with lace or ribbon ties — an early form of shoelaces.
King Louis XIV of France started many fashion trends, including red heels and soles.
From his early 20s until he was at least 63 years old, Louis XIV had his heels covered in red Morocco leather or painted that color.
The stiletto was first introduced in 1953 by Christian Dior. Shoe designer Roger Vivier, who worked for Dior, is credited for its invention. He used plastic to create a strong, slender shell which he called "the needle."