|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!|
Comrade Von Pussycat