Years ago, while in pre-production on a film, I was working with a brilliant wardrobe designer, groping towards a specific look for an actress.
I kept going on and on about blouses and skirts, fabric, cut, texture, silhouette. I was, I sheepishly confess, showing off my knowledge of Hollywood costume design history.
I dropped scholarly references to the great designers: Adrian’s (real name: Adrian Adolph Greenberg) brilliant work camouflaging Joan Crawford’s linebacker shoulders with padding, Travis Banton’s Pygmalion transformation of Carole Lombard (real name: Jane Alice Peters) from a cheap tootsie into a sophisticated clothes horse, and Helen Rose’s classically elegant and ultra-feminine chiffon creations for Elizabeth Taylor,
Wardrobe Designer vigorously waved away my suggestions:
I was like: “Huh?”
She said: “For women, I build the wardrobe from the ground up. Footwear.”
My head was, I kid you not, spinning.
“The shoes a woman wears defines who she is.”
Wardrobe Designer gestured to an actress tipping around in fire engine nose-bleed stilettos.
Nodding towards a female production assistant clomping across the sound stage in thick-soled brogues, Wardrobe Designer declared:
“Sudden attack of manhood.”
A light bulb blazed over my head; sweet enlightenment.
Wardrobe Designer concluded:
“Show me a woman’s shoes and I can tell you everything about her life.”
So, let’s take a peek at the latest footwear from some of the most important—meaning pricey—fashion houses, and try to tease some meaning from these intimidating designs.
And hey, while you’re at it, ladies, why don’t you tell us which heels you favor for your next stroll in the park.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and safe Shabbat.