French designer Christian Louboutin — he of your christian louboutin australia — is planning to appeal a recently available New York City Court decision that allows rival company Yves Saint Laurent to continue its unique scarlet-soled pumps. Louboutin had his signature trademarked in 2006, although the decision could ultimately change that, permitting legions of copycats to exploit the red sole’s se-xy appeal.
The truth is responsible for a bit of confusion within the fashion community. (Can’t YSL find another color — say, yellow — without taking Louboutin’s signature?, they ask.) For Louboutin, that has painted the soles of his shoes red since 1992, red implies sensuality — and functions as a crafty, subtle branding tool. “I selected the color as it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable along with the color of passion,” he told The Latest Yorker in March. But red also carries connotations of wealth and power, particularly in the past of fashion and footwear. Its potent symbolism and strange history give some comprehension of why it remains such an attractive color for shoe designers — and why they are able to battle in the courtroom over its use.
In Western societies, red long served as a symbol of ferocity and power, worn by soldiers, monarchs, the papacy and other important figures. The Original Greeks and Romans carried red flags in battles, so when late as being the 1800s soldiers wore red inside the field in an effort to intimidate their enemies. In her book The Red Dress, fashion historian Valerie Steele describes how Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy arrived in Paris in 1406, victorious and wearing “a red velvet suit lined with grey fur and worked over with gold foliage” — an indication of his power. It’s a tactic which has remained popular among executives and politicians: Consider the Wall Street execs from your ’80s making use of their red suspenders or ties, or Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi in their red “power suits” today.
Red also signified privilege: Red dyes were expensive to produce, so solely those with power and status could afford to put on them. (The Chinese said that red dye was made of dragon’s blood — imbuing the color with rare magic.) Many European societies imposed sumptuary laws, which dictated what certain social classes could wear, and red was often reserved for princes or nobility. (One of many people’s demands through the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany in the 16th century was the ability to wear red, and, obviously, french Revolutionaries adopted the color being a symbol of rebellion.)
A particular mark of class distinction was the red-heeled shoe, which aristos began sporting within the 1600s. Charles II of England wore them; a 1675 portrait of him shows that his louboutin australia had not merely red heels but red soles as well. However it was Louis XIV of France who made them the “it” item among Europe’s monarchs. Red heels were very important for the Sun King that he or she passed an edict praoclaiming that only members of the nobility by birth could wear them. In accordance with Philip Mansel’s Dressed to Rule, the painted heels demonstrated that nobles failed to dirty their shoes. In addition they established that their wearers were “always willing to crush the enemies in the state at their feet.”
French Revolution banished the “Louis heel,” although other European nobility continued wearing them, for example the English. But red shoes would resurface again — in culture as well as in fashion. Hans Christian Andersen used the red shoe like a symbol of wealth and vanity within his morality fairytale The Red Shoes. Clearly, he shared the French Revolutionaries’ distrust of red footwear. Fashion illustrations through the 1920s and ’30s, however, depict rouge heels much less symbols of class oppression and power, but of fun and coquetry. A drawing coming from a 1920 catalog on the Fashion Institute of Technology’s archives in New York shows a slim, elegant woman in a fur-trimmed coat and cloche hat wearing adorable black shoes with red heels. The surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous “shoe” hat — an upside-down shoe worn on one’s head — had a shocking-pink heel.
The 1939 version from the Wizard of Oz swapped Dorothy’s silver shoes from the book for ruby slippers, which had red soles. Dorothy’s slippers not simply conveyed magic and whimsy, in addition they gave her confidence and said something in regards to the transformative power of fashion — or of any particular accessory or garment.
More recently, red soles have brought glamour and s-ex appeal to the shoe. Valentino Garavani, the perennially tanned and fabulous Italian couturier, has intermittently produced red-heeled chr1stin since 1969 to select his famous elegant red gowns. (The hue he uses, an orangey rouge, is usually called “Valentino red.”) Within the 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent — known for his gender-bending, se-xy fashions that empowered women — established the monochrome shoe, which can be entirely one color — from the leather upper to the inside to the heel and the sole. YSL produced purple, blue and, yes, red monochrome shoes throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Another famed shoemaker, Charles Jourdan — under whom Louboutin apprenticed from the ’80s — also painted the soles of his louboutin shoes Melbourne.
Today, a flash of a red sole not simply screams “Louboutin” — additionally, it reveals something about the wearer. She actually is, like her Medieval and Renaissance precursors, well-off or upwardly mobile. (Louboutin’s shoes cost between $400 and $6,000.) The red makes her feel powerful (like John the Fearless or YSL’s women), as well as s-exy and possibly even naughty. In the profile from the shoe designer, the New Yorker known as the red soles “a marketing and advertising gimmick that renders an otherwise indistinguishable product instantly recognizable.” Yet for several designers and consumers — and also, probably, for Louboutin — the red sole is a lot more than that.