Wedge shoes - the ability to rise above the ground and at the same time stand firmly on your feet. Wedges are more comfortable than heels, some lovers of fashionable shoes think, and are beautiful in their own way. This type of shoe, which is commonly blamed for some clumsiness, has a rich history.
Since the inception of fashion, women have sought to wear shoes that raise them above the ground: heels make the figure more elegant, gait - graceful and eye-catching. A high thin heel has always been considered the most spectacular “support” for a girl who wants to look perfect. But besides him there are other options for high shoes - these are wedge and platform shoes. Wedges and platforms are not synonyms. The first is a sole combined with a heel: it is thin at the toe and thickens to the heel, and sometimes it has a very large "difference" in height (up to 10 centimeters or more), while the platform is just a thick sole with a uniform rise, and the foot in such shoes is located almost horizontally in relation to the ground.
As the image of heels, platform and wedges are deeply rooted in history. Their ancestors are Greek koturna heels, Venetian "socles", Japanese "geta". Koturna is the traditional shoes of dramatic actors in ancient Greece, boots on a high block without a heel, which allowed the actor to look taller and more magnificent, "socles" - shoes with high soles, in which Venetian ladies from noble houses and wealthy courtesans walked along the promenades. Geta - traditional Japanese high clogs carved from wood, in which many modern Japanese people walk with a characteristic tapping, respecting the customs of their country. High okobo sandals were also common in Japan, and a bell was sometimes cut into the thick soles of them so that young girls would walk around the town with a chime.
From the point of view of style, the wedge heel can be criticized. It is believed that it is not elegant enough, rude, heavy. It is not for nothing that its name itself has a “combat” origin, because a wedge is called a type of combat vehicle, and a shoe wedge slightly resembles the appearance of the tracked part of the tank. However, stylists are against the opinion of the clumsiness of this part of the shoe: the wedge heel can be beautiful, it can be deftly combined with different styles of clothing, it can be beautifully decorated, and due to the smooth bend it is able to compete with the stiletto and favorably emphasize the grace of the female ankle. Especially if combined with thin leather straps and decor. In the collections of famous designers there are wedges - true works of art: made of thin rods decorated with roses and resembling the cage of an exotic bird; inlaid with precious stones and painted in different artistic styles, with applications and carvings. At the same time, wedge shoes are comfortable in terms of physical parameters of socks: the leg gets tired less than in shoes with thin heels, - experienced guests of long-drawn out parties and social events are sure.
The appearance of wedges is the work of the famous Italian master Salvatore Ferragamo. And the matter was not only in the restless creative thought of the author, who, however, really was a revolutionary in fashion and invented almost all the basic models of modern shoes (he is credited with including the invention of the hairpin). In the 30 years of the last century, in the harsh years before the First World War in Italy, as throughout Europe, there was a shortage of high-quality steel that was used for military purposes. There wasn’t enough steel for the manufacture of arch support, and Ferragamo began to have problems with the quality of high-heeled shoes: they quickly deteriorated, the heels were loosened, and the clients were unhappy. Then the idea occurred to the master to fill the space between the heel and the toe of the shoes with a cork tree. So a new type of shoe appeared - a simple and inexpensive cork shape instead of a complex sole with a hairpin and plastic straps instead of a traditional leather upper. At first, the wedge heap was perplexed, and rumor even ascribes to one of Ferragamo's clients an exclamation: “I will never wear this!”, Which burst out when she saw shoes that were exotic at that time.
Around the same period, the famous French shoe maker Roger Vivier experimented with a wedge and platform, who came up with this idea on his own, inspired by American orthopedic shoes. His platform shoes were not always appreciated, but nothing could stop progress: brave personalities from the fashion world, such as avant-garde designer Elsa Schiaparelli, quickly “took the mark”. Schiaparelli included wedge shoes with a cork platform made by Vivier in her collection, and the fashion flywheel gradually unwound. Celebrities began to wear a wedge heel: for example, for the Hollywood actress Ava Gardner Ferragamo made personalized platform sandals Ava. He also created the famous model of suede wedge shoes WEDGE (large black and white striped wedge heels) specially for Peggy Guggenheim, founder of the New York Guggenheim Museum. Peggy was a gallery owner who appreciated the avant-garde, and at the same time a recognized socialite, who hosted the most popular receptions and parties in the art environment. The Brazilian actress and singer Carmen Miranda (who enjoyed great success in Hollywood in the 1940s) was also an advocate of wedge sandals, and her shoes fit well into the exotic Latin American style. Carmen most often appeared in public as a passionate beauty in a bright ethnic dress and an intricate headdress like a fruit basket. The actress wedge fit also because she had a very small stature - 155 centimeters. “The platform should be registered on the shelves of the most fashionable stores,” representatives of the Dior house declared in the press. - Firstly, she makes taller women taller, and at the same time, ladies risk their health much less than shoes with ordinary heels. Secondly, in combination with a dress or skirt of medium length, platform shoes with thin lace on the ankle make the image more feminine. ”
If in the 30-e years worn fashionable ladies wore wedge shoes as a fashion accessory, then during the war shoes with cork wedges with a top made of durable fabric became widespread among the general public, as leather and metal became scarce materials. Such shoes were practical and comfortable to wear, strong and durable. But we are talking, of course, about simple models, without fashionable frills. In the 70-s of the 20 century, interest in wedges began to return: it turned into an alternative to classic shoes and stilettos, which was chosen by fashionable, always slightly protest and experimental-inclined young people. The wedges were worn by hippies, bohemians, and representatives of the New Age trend. Wedge-heeled shoes were then made of durable buffalo leather, which darkened over time, which gave the shoes a stylishly aged look. The sole and heels were made not only from cork, but also from more expensive wood, as well as from synthetic materials and rubber. In the 80-s of the twentieth century, the wedge heels rose to the peak of ethnic fashion: “espadrilles” sandals with wedges made of rope or imitating rubber, with cotton or other natural fabrics like linen or canvas became popular. The ancestor of this shoe is light espadrilles summer cloth slippers, in which the Spaniards and French walked barefoot during the heat. Yves Saint Laurent secured the industrial fate of the espadrilles by ordering the Spanish shoe factory Castaner in the 1960 years, which has been manufacturing this traditional peasant shoe, heeled espadrilles since the 18 century. This saved the factory from bankruptcy: by that time there were no more markets for traditional shoes. Wedge sandals called "espadrilles", of course, are far from the historical prototype, but they fit perfectly into the ethno-style. Such shoes were made in muted colors - yellow, reddish, brown. It was fashionable to wear espadrilles with a huge number of thin straps around the ankle. Romantic fashionistas, bohemians, and artistic circles wore espadrilles with long flying dresses and wide skirts on the floor.
In the 21st century, the wedge heel was again at its height and in a strong marriage with the platform. Wedge and platform shoes and sandals have been regulars on the catwalks for the past few years. Shoe designers have also introduced ankle boots, boots and even wedge sneakers into fashion. For such fashion brands as Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Burberry Prorsum, Versace, Prada, Valentino, Emilio Pucci, wedge shoes are a must in their collections. The wedge heel becomes a field for experiments in terms of decor, since it provides all the possibilities for this thanks to its vast area. Dolce & Gabbana in the 2013 collection presents wedges, hand-decorated in the Sicilian style, with appliqués in the form of flowers, variegated juicy shades, catchy and recklessly luxurious. Hollywood stars wear wedge sandals with graceful leather straps even for special events and receptions, and at leisure they can be seen in wedge sneakers, which they relaxedly combine not only with jeans and shorts, but also with long elegant dresses.
In Russia, wedge shoes for the winter season have gained particular popularity: in high and at the same time stable shoes, you can walk along untidy sidewalks with relative comfort, overcome puddles and dirt of domestic roads, and at the same time not be too far behind fashion. Well, a modern wedge heel is good, like any hybrid made with the mind, the combination of a heel and a platform creates comfortable and elegant shoes at the same time.
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