Carmen Miranda proudly displays her collection of shoes.
Classic photos of Hollywood stars usually reinforce a particular image. Lighting, composition, body language, wardrobe and the singular architecture of the face are the ingredients that create a glamorous narrative for audiences to internalize. Clark Gable is the man’s man who doesn’t give a damn; Carole Lombard, the girl next door who will drive you crazy with her zany brand of love.
But every once in a while a picture introduces an element that defines the glamorous image in unexpected ways. In the following photos, footwear emerges as more than just a casual accessory.
Gloria Swanson, 1916, as a Mack Sennett bathing beauty. At the time, bathing slippers were the height of fashion. The dog is Teddy, the star of the movie.
Pola Negri and Charlie Chaplin, 1922. I don't know about you but my eyes are drawn to Negri's school-girlish shoes and Chaplin's spiffy spats.
Along with Chaplin and Keaton, Harold Lloyd was one of the most popular stars of silent films. His two-toned Spectator shoes are the picture of casual elegance.
Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and an unidentified friend on the golf course. Lombard's sport shoes are reminicent of Swanson's bathing slippers.
No matter how many non-dancing movies Rogers appeared in we always associate her with Fred Astaire. In this studio posed photo, her blue pumps totally sizzle reminding us of her great legacy.
Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot in 1956. Bardot, the French sex symbol whose films broke the foreign film barrier in America, was never comfortable in high heels. She favored ballet flats, usually in red.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and meaningful Shabbat.