The stiletto is a style icon of the 20th and 21st centuries. Its seductive power has attracted a kalaeidoscope of women from Italian and Hollywood starlets Gina Lollobrigida and Marilyn Monroe to fetishists, punks, powerful business women, and sassy glamour celebrities - Madonna, J. Lo, and the Sex and the City girls. The stiletto has also attracted the world's greatest designers, from Vivier, Perugia, and Ferragamo in the 1950s to Vivienne Westwood and Terry de Havilland in the 1970s, and the must-have designer labels of today - Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Gina, and Christian Louboutin. Stiletto is a fun, comprehensive, and insightful homage to the stiletto and its long relationship with sex, power, femininity, fashion, and fetishism.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chapter 1: Fancy Footwork; Designers break away from wedge heels and utilitarian wartime fashions to create the first tapered heel. The stiletto is born and spells sophistication, elegance, glamour, and couture. Vivier, Dior, Perugia, Jourdan, Gina. Chapter 2: Hollywood Heels; Wild style. The popularity of the Italian stiletto and associated La Dolce Vita lifestyle. Hollywood starlets make the stiletto their own. The stiletto becomes sexy, trashy, and develops associations with bad girls and danger. Ferragamo, Gina Lollobrigida, La Dolce Vita, Marilyn Monroe. Chapter 3: Spikes and Lashes; Stilettos and fetishism. The pleasure-pain equation, the heel as weapon. Female power and female submission. Punk. The language of fetishism becomes socially acceptable with 1980s power dressing. Fetish artists Eric Stanton and Allen Jones, Terry de Havilland, Vivienne Westwood. Chapter 4: Balancing Act; Feminine, sexy, successful - the stiletto and the glamour of femininity are embraced by strong, independent women. Stilettos by big name designers become must-have luxury items, and the badge of celebrity status. Madonna, Sex and the City, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin. Bibliography; Index; Acknowledgments
Caroline Cox is an international authority on fashion history whose work explores the relationship between fashion, beauty, and culture. She works as a Cultural Trends Advisor for Vidal Sassoon's Advanced Academy as well as lecturing in the UK (including London's Tate Britain and the Victoria & Albert Museum), the US, Finland, and Russia. She also broadcasts throughout the world. Her books on fashion history and theory have been published internationally and include Lingerie: A Lexicon of Style, I Do: 100 Years of Wedding Fashion, The Englishness of English Dress, and her forthcoming Hair and Fashion, accompanying a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.