Monday, June 10, 2013

Building a Wardrobe Worthy of a Femme Fatale - the 1940's Peeptoe Platform!

Carmen Miranda and her drool-worthy 1940's platform collection!

In my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful decades in fashion has got to be the 1940's - the vivid flame red lipstick, half moon manicures, immaculately coiffed hair (or when having a bad hair day, a pretty snood), the emphasis on achieving a womanly figure (as opposed to a waifish or girlish figure), backseam silk or nylon stockings held up by a beautiful garter belt or girdle, and some of the most gorgeous footwear in the history of man: the platform peeptoe!

 Whereas the modern day stiletto goes for overt sex appeal and shock value (the higher the better, the shinier the better, the flashier the better), the 1940's platform was a shoe worn by femme fatales, pinups, and Hollywood glamour girls. Whether it was soft chocolate suede, deep cognac croc, midnight blue velvet, or bright cherry red snakeskin, the message was always sultry, seductive, and luxurious with just a touch of vulgarity. The ankle strap gently caressing your naked ankle, a flash of vermillion polish visible on the toes, and just the right amount of height. These were the shoes that legends were made of, shoes that could knock your socks off, and shoes that brought out the wolf in every red-blooded man with a pulse!

I fell in love with the 1940's platform when I was a teenager, and ever since I have been on a quest to collect these styles, even if they are difficult to find in my size and in wearable condition. Luckily, platform peeptoes came back in style around the 1970's (worn by the likes of Bianca Jagger no less!) and there has been a resurgence even today, making these beautiful creations available once again. I will never forgive myself for one thing: one summer when I was vacationing in Ohrid, Macedonia, I came across a small shoe shop down a narrow cobblestone alley in the old town, and as I entered I immediately inhaled the musty, earthy smell of vintage shoes. Almost immediately, the most stunning pair of 1940's platform peeptoes caught my eye. Soft cream leather, 5-inch platform heel, little cream bows on top of the peeptoes, and a worn stamp on the sole where "Made in Italy" was written. How I dreamed of the life they had lived before ending up in that little shop in Macedonia! Maybe they had traveled over the very same cobblestone steps where Sophia, Gina, or Claudia had walked. Oh, how many glamorous nights they must have seen! How many sultry dances with suave Guido, charming Marcello, and benevolent Benito they must have danced! Ah, la dolce vita. They were perfection incarnate. They had a few faint stains on the heel, but nothing worth crying over. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough cash at the time, as it was towards the end of my vacation, so I left them behind. Now that little shop is closed, and I am afraid I will never be able to find a pair quite like them. It nearly drives me to tears to think that they are gone forever (how pathetic and superficial you might think, but you don't understand the obsession!). All I can do now is continue my search...

In the meantime, I can dream and drool over these babies:
(Almost) Every woman's dream - shoe shopping!
Gorgeous green suede shoes with lemon snakeskin accents and matching purse

Stunning bordeaux suede peepetoes with cutouts

Fit for an artist! Look at that detail!

Classic black suede peeptoe platforms with cutouts

Bianca Jagger rocking 1940's style in the 1970's
Glitz and glam: Hollywood starlet style

A little luxury for every day wear: dusty camel suede platforms

A femme fatale day: milk chocolate suede with caramel snakeskin accents

The epitome of luxury: Cream and cognac colored snakeskin

Folk art: hand tooled sand colored platforms that Frida Kahlo would be proud to wear

My dream shoes *le sigh*: Sinful Absinthe colored suede platforms 

Aren't they divine?

How very femme fatale!
I hope you enjoyed this post, it truly comes from the heart and I hope that I can convince a few young ladies out there to give the 1940's glamour girl style a go, these are truly one of the most elegant shoes a girl can own and I have a feeling that you will be more confident than ever once you take a step in these babies!

Comrade Von Pussycat


  1. Shoes posts must rank right up there with posts about cute cuddly animals; if not, they should. I must brace myself looking at all these divine shoes. You had me with that first photo of the glorious Ms. Miranda. Great post!

    1. I completely agree with you Melanie! And please forgive me for inciting any shoe madness due to this post...I've just caught it again after looking at these beauties too! If money was no object...*le sigh* <3

  2. I love the tooled leather ones. Check out my June 2nd post, I gave you an award!

  3. Love these - I have been searching for a pair to wear for my upcoming graduation but so far no luck. I found a few nice pairs on Etsy but between the postage costs and customs charges, they mostly end up being well out of my price range.

  4. My mum had a black suede pair of these in the 70's that I used to totter around in until my big sister visited home and nicked them! I agree with you they are one of the most gorgeous shoe styles there is. I feel your pain for the pair you had to leave behind, so sad! xx

  5. I completely agree with you. There is just something magical about 40's shoes. I love them! I have oogled over many pairs only to find out they are a size 5 or 6. I'd also love a pair of suede green platform shoes, the ones you are showing are so heavenly! They are so hard to come by in my size 8.5. I bought a lovely pair of blue ones recently and I'm afraid to wear them because the strap is cracked. I have to figure out a way to repair them before the strap completely breaks. I have conditioned the shoes the but the damage to the strap was done before I got them:( They are totally worth saving so I need to find just the right cobbler to fix them. I wish shoes like this were more easily around today. I'm actually amazed today at how some of these women can wear some of these shoes I see. My foot hurts just looking at them:) I'd love to see a post on your collection of shoes.

    1. Oh, you are a woman after my own heart Joanna! I have gotten used to keeping my expectations low when I look for 1940's shoes, because usually they do come in smaller sizes and the cutest ones are ALWAYS size 5 or 6! It can be maddening sometimes, can't it? Oooh, the blue pair that you found sound divine! You should definitely fix them and do a blog post (if you haven't already!). The cobbler is one of my best friends (and the tailor!) - I am sure there is a way to breathe new life into your pair without having to feel like they are about to fall off at any moment :) I would love to do a blog post, but I want to add a few more pairs to my collection to make it a little more well-rounded ;) In other words...I need more shoes! Ah, the great dilemma of every woman :D I have my eye on a GORGEOUS pair of black suede peeptoes with a cerise colored rose on top, I am in love!

  6. The hand tooled leather mexican shoe- YES!!!

    1. I know, right??? Ugh, a few pairs similar to those just popped up on Etsy in my size...trouble! They would look really good with all of the floral headbands you wear ;) Thanks for stopping by Bella!

  7. hi my names Emma and im new to the 1940 look, ive recently been looking for a pair of tan peep toe shoes but im not sure if their 1940 or just different, any advice you could give would be really appreciated as i am going to a 1940 day out at bridgenorth at the Severn valley railway station in June.

    1. Hi Emma, welcome to Comrade Von Pussycat! I can't believe you asked me this question, because just last week I purchased the most beautiful 1940's inspired platforms in tan! It is very difficult to find 1940's platforms that are in good shape, AND in my size, so they were a godsend...the brand is BAIT (But Another Innocent Tale) and here is a link to the Baylee Platforms:!product/prd1/1172245021/baylee-winter-white

      They are actually the color "Winter White", however I consider them to be a pale, creamy latte color. They also have the Baylee's in a tan color if you need something a little darker. Definitely check out the other shoes on their site, they are so adorable and they still give the whole "retro" effect, minus the hefty price tag that often goes along with authentic 1940's footwear! I have to say that I own quite a few pairs of heels, and these babies make me feel sexier than my 6" black snakeskin heels (now that is saying something!). Thank you again for stopping by, and good luck with your search for the perfect 1940's heels :)

      Cat :)


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