N I K K I ' S H E E L S
BEFORE THE 1930s, SHOES THAT EXPOSED A WOMAN'S TOES WERE CONSIDERED IMMODEST. AFTER WORLD WAR II, SUCH RESTRICTIONS WERE DISCARDED, AND WHAT HAD BEEN TABOO WAS CELEBRATED AS A SENSUAL DISPLAY OF FEMININITY.
THROUGHOUT THE 1950s AND THE EARLY 1960s, THE EROTIC APPEAL OF STILETTO-HEELED SLIDES MADE THEM A FAMILIAR ACCESSORY IN PINUP PHOTOS; BUT THEY WERE POPULAR AMONG WOMEN AS STREETWEAR, TOO. THE FASHION OF WEARING SLIDES BAREFOOT OR WITH SEAMED NYLONS ENABLED WOMEN TO BE SEXUALLY PROVOCATIVE IN PUBLIC DURING WHAT WE THINK OF AS A SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE PERIOD.
SOME OF THE VINTAGE SLIDES IN MY COLLECTION ARE PICTURED BELOW. OLDER SLIDES ARE MOSTLY FOUND IN SMALLER SIZES: THE AVERAGE WOMAN'S SHOE SIZE HAS GOTTEN LARGER OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS, SO I CAN'T WEAR ANY OF THESE SHOES. BUT IT'S FUN TO SEE HOW STYLES HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS AND WHY SLIDES HAVE REMAINED POPULAR-AND SEXY-FOR SO LONG.
Satin and rhinestone slippers, 1945-1948.
The satin uppers are cut like a jacket having 'lapels.' One can imagine Lauren Bacall wearing these and a silk dressing gown, telling Humphrey Bogart how to whistle: "It's easy. You just put your lips together...and blow."
Springolator plastic, rhinestone, and Lucite slides, c. 1950"Springolator" is the name of the patented elasticised insole that was compressed when the slide was worn and kept it from slipping off. Looking like slides Cinderella might have worn, these have elastic instep straps for more security when dancing, rhinestone-studded bows, and clear Lucite heels.
Springolator plastic and fabric slides, c. 1955.
The rainbow-banded fabric on these clear slides is a dazzling example of 1950s textile design. The bows are a prim detail on an otherwise playfully seductive shoe.
Fabric, plywood, and steel slides, c. 1957
Classic Italian cuties that are being reproduced today. The molded plywood sole was probably inspired by plywood furniture that was popular at the time, and the metallic fabric and steel "wine glass" spiked heel are reminiscent of the profusion of chrome on 1950s automobiles.
Leather slides, 1960-1963.
These hotties are so tiny that Lolita must have owned them!